Common Small Business Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Karola Karlson |  September 17, 2015 |  Last updated: August 23, 2016

Small Business Challenges

Running a successful small business provides the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. But 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Take a look at this list of challenges faced by small businesses and find a solution to your problems.


1. Managing new employees takes time

If you recently started your small business, it means you’re going to hire many new people to fill job roles. Onboarding each new employee separately can be a challenge as it is highly time-consuming. So instead of teaching everyone individually, make a list of information that everybody should know and organize monthly meetings to communicate important company news simultaneously and start using a team dashboard to keep everyone updated.
Tip: Organize a weekly meeting with new employees and ask them to prepare a list of questions they would like to inquire about.
You’re going to have to deal with different personalities and finding a common language can be tricky in the beginning. Ensure you listen to what everybody has to say and offer solutions to their work-related problems. Be considerate with your employees and the respect will be mutual.

Learn more about motivating your employees in this article: Tips for Effective Project Management and How to Motivate Employees

2. Acquiring new customers is harder than you thought

Managing a small business limits the resources you can spend on extensive marketing and advertising campaigns. When you start a new business, big ad campaigns are not the best solution for making your company known. Promote your business through social media channels and inbound marketing and ask for help from your friends.
Tip: List your company at Product Hunt and ask all your friends and employees to like (and promote) the link.
Want to learn the secret of the most powerful free marketing tool? It’s called word-of-mouth marketing – provide unforgettably great customer service and people will tell others about your company. Small businesses have the opportunity to offer personalized customer service that makes people feel special and helps to acquire new clients. Do not miss the opportunity to deliver great customer experience and be spoken about.
Read more about Free Marketing Tools For Small Businesses.

3. Handling the budget is tricky

There are projects and tasks that require small businesses to divide their resources. It is a real challenge to decide which ideas deserve to be executed. Some projects return higher profits than others, but how to keep track on their outcomes and future expenses? The best way to manage your project budget is through a resource management software solution that provides you with a complete overview of your company’s budget and expenses. Also, create a KPI tracking dashboard to have a complete overview of your business performance.
Before beginning a project, craft a strategy and estimate your expenses. You should take into account the time that will be spent on certain tasks as time is one of your small business’s most valuable resources. Calculating the approximate cost of projects helps you distribute budgets between projects and prioritize tasks with higher effectiveness that have lower cost.
This article on Project Cost Management Done Right might become handy.

4. There are many competitors out there

You probably didn’t come up with a new product that hasn’t already been created by someone else. Even if you think you’ve found your niche, there are still numerous companies to compete against. Finding an advantage over competitors is one of the most common challenges small businesses face. One way to make your product stand out is to emphasize what makes you unique. Keep in mind that there are people looking for the exact product like yours but you have to ensure they’re aware of your company.
Fact: Being active on social media increases brand awareness and conversion rates, enhancing brand loyalty.
Do not be idle and wait for someone to come and pick up your product but be proactive and let the world know you exist. Find influencers that will aid you advertise your product or increase your social media presence as 94% of B2B buyers research online before making purchasing decisions. So make sure that your product information is easy to find.

5. It’s difficult to manage a large client base

For a small business, every new client is important. As time passes and you build a solid customer base, it becomes important to have a clear overview of your company’s client relations. One solution is to hire a customer relationship manager that keeps track on all customer related information and answers their questions. But even this person may find it challenging to manage all new leads and keep the customer database up to date with all relevant information.
Get a basic customer relationship management solution or look for more holistic software that would help you manage all facets of your company: client base, billing, project management, time tracking, budget, suppliers etc. Another great thing besides having all your company’s information in one place is the software’s ability to craft you insightful reports that show how successful your business has become and if the goals and deadlines are met.
If you haven’t found a business management solution that meets your expectations, we challenge you to try Scoro. The first two weeks are on us.
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