Ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you: running a small business is anything but small. It takes dedication and lots of hard work to get off the ground, but creating your own profitable business can be beyond rewarding. To get from ‘small business’ to ‘large company’ status however, you’ll have to face some growing pains. If you’re a smallbiz owner or are thinking of starting soon, you’ll want to plan for some of the potential obstacles ahead.
Here are some of the biggest challenges you’ll face, and how you can conquer them:
Little To No Online Presence
There’s no denying it: people are turning to the web for just about everything. If your business doesn’t have a professional online presence, you’re already a step behind. Luckily, putting your business online isn’t the complicated and costly endeavor it once was. Here is a checklist of essential elements for a successful online presence.
- Get yourself a professional website. Creating your own site is easy to do using Wix. You can create a stunning website using simple drag and drop tools – and you don’t need to know an ounce of code. Be sure to optimize your website for mobile (easily done with the Wix Mobile Editor) and beef up its SEO. This way, no matter what device people are on, they’ll be able to find you.
- Determine which social networks your target audience frequents, and set up a professional account on them. Creating and maintaining a social presence is key to helping drive traffic to your website, and grow your business.
- Conquer email marketing with the help of the easiest e-newsletter tool ever, Wix ShoutOut. It’s a great way to keep your contacts and customers updated and engaged with your brand.
Lack of Marketing Knowledge
When you start your own business, you don’t get a handbook explaining the ins and outs of marketing. While there are plenty of resources to help small businesses learn these skills, it’s hard to find the time to filter through with an already jam-packed schedule from running your own biz. Even though you may be spinning multiple plates at once, marketing should be prioritized. Getting the word out about your business is crucial to its success – so don’t skimp here.
- Subscribe to a trustworthy blog that provides detailed information and actionable tips on all things marketing for small business. The Wix Blog should be your first subscription, but don’t stop there. Dig deeper to find specific blogs and online resources that cater to your niche.
- Once you’ve done your research, put this new knowledge into action. Create a marketing plan that includes your target audience, measured goals, known competitors and initial advertising platforms.
- Hire a marketing company to handle your workflow. If you really don’t have the time to market your business, it’s likely worth the investment to make sure someone else is marketing it for you. Do your research and find an agency that will fit your budget, understand your brand, and be motivated to help you achieve your goals.
Trying to Do It All Alone
This is a common trap that many self-starters fall into. While you may be able to maintain an insane work flow for a while, eventually your knees will start to buckle and your business will suffer. It can be hard to hand over the reigns to someone else, or to trust a new hire with important tasks, but as you grow it will become necessary. The money you spend on salary will almost certainly equal what you’d lose if you go at it alone.
- While sometimes you may think you know best (and sometimes you’re right), don’t shy away from advice. Learning from others and their mistakes is a great way to make up for any lack of experience. And remember, just because someone gives you advice, doesn’t mean you have to use it.
- Build a dream team. If you’re desperate to hire staff, you’ve likely already started too late. When growing your business, the people you choose to work with can make all the difference, so be sure to bring on talented people who will be a good fit for your work environment.
Getting (and Keeping) New Clients
Getting new customers is obviously good for any business, but what really makes things take off is having repeat customers. In fact, a repeat customer is likely to spend 67% more than a first time buyer. So how do you make it happen? Like so:
- Price your products and services competitively. Doing your market research will give you an idea of what you should be charging. Use this information to price your products and services competitively and gain an attractive advantage.
- Follow through with remarkable service. Even if you have an amazing product line, nothing beats top tier service with a smile. Warm professionalism and reliability go a long way, and should be worked into your brand’s values. And of course, leave the 10 things clients hate hearing most out of your vocabulary.
- Follow up with your customers and encourage them to come back with incentives like special discounts and even memberships.
Balancing Quality and Growth
Congrats! Your business is succeeding and it’s growing every day. Now it’s important to put parameters in place that will help you scale to meet demand while maintaining a high level of quality.
- Develop a company culture that values quality just as much as you do. Prioritizing this value in your training and team building will allow your company to grow as a unified brand that you can be proud of.
- Do your best not to micromanage. If you have competent and trustworthy staff, you should be able to delegate tasks and projects to them while keeping a watchful eye. This will allow you to focus on important tasks of your own, like growing your product line or expanding into a new market.
- Be an all-star team leader. Your staff will do their best work when you help make their job as easy as possible. This isn’t to say you should encourage 3 hour lunch breaks, but you should be creating a workflow that lets your employees perform at their best, and not be bogged down by unnecessary tasks.