All businesses, small and large, will face struggles and hardships throughout their journey. That’s why it is essential to practice some reflection– looking inside your company to identify common challenges and issues before they manifest into much larger problems. In doing so, you can cut to the chase, avoid a lot of sacrificed resources, and set your business on the right track.
While it may be difficult to foresee business struggles, it is not uncommon for all entrepreneurs to encounter specific obstacles as their business continues to expand and grow. For instance, you'll confront new competitors, economic fluctuations, and scaling challenges that may cause you to second-guess your company's abilities.
But if you practice self-awareness– working to prevent or mitigate these issues as soon as possible– your business will not be dealt more challenges than it can handle.
So, here are six key reasons why small businesses often struggle and how to effectively address them in your own company.
1. Not Recording The Correct Data
Tracking your company's funds is one of the most crucial steps you can take to make smart business choices. So, not prioritizing this aspect of your business may lead to missed opportunities for growth.
It is vital for your business to calculate profit margin often, use trends in the graphs as a warning sign, indicate key performance indicators (KPIs), record customer satisfaction scores monthly, and last but not least, keep an eye out for credit card statements on an average daily basis.
Collecting all of this data is a necessary aspect of making informed and calculated business decisions. You do not want to overlook vital data that could sway the success of your business.
2. Not Focusing On Important Assignments
Businesses' disorganization often leads to a decrease in sales. By not effectively prioritizing tasks, your business will never endure at an efficient pace. That’s why you must make sure you're allocating your work evenly.
Your capability to delegate your tasks will largely influence your achievements and can even have an impact on team members as well. Order produces a foundation for efficiency, ability, and empowerment to complete assignments in a timely manner.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with assignments and tasks, it can be helpful to not only make a to-do list but also to prioritize each item. This allows you to focus on one activity at a time, so you can work through your tasks slowly rather than becoming overwhelmed. Lastly, don’t forget to utilize your team– delegating responsibilities and trusting your employees to follow through.
3. Lack Of Marketing
If you don't have a marketing strategy in place for your goods or services in the next few years, your business could become obsolete before you realize it. Marketing is not only about posting on social media and running advertisements; it also involves connecting with fresh potential clients and going where they are.
Placing a marketing plan in motion that involves social media, search engine optimization (SEO), advertising, video production, and other internet strategies grabs the attention of more potential customers. Marketing is important for your brand as it increases customer attention to your goods or services, connects them, and assists them in making a final purchasing choice.
At the end of the day, your company's reputation is determined by how it develops and how long it lasts. Marketing is the vessel that will make sure it continues making an impact in the community– keeping your company relevant.
4. Not Selling Enough
It is key to figure out how much product you're selling since identifying sales statistics allows your business to measure performance and recognize ranges for development.
If you discover your brand is selling less due to customers being simply unaware of your product, focus on your marketing strategies. In this case, you can share targeted emails and create posts on social media like Facebook and Instagram.
However, if you find that customers aren't purchasing from your business because the prices are too high, consider lowering the price tag.
By being flexible and open-minded, you can learn a lot from your customers. And identifying and analyzing these strengths and weaknesses can revitalize your sales numbers.
5. Not Automating Enough
If you find yourself constantly doing the same tasks repeatedly, automating tasks is an exceptional method to gain more time. It is also possible to outsource these responsibilities to ensure they are completed correctly.
Automation can improve process control and significantly cut lead times. Solutions like these are tailored to your specific goals and quickly pay for themselves through lower operating costs, shorter lead times, increased output, and other benefits.
A great way to use automation is through emails, such as welcome emails, thank you emails for becoming a member of your company, reminders about abandoned carts, and birthday and anniversary emails.
Did you know that almost 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned? Having an automated email can instantly send a message notifying consumers to return and purchase the product in the cart– potentially saving your sales.
6. Not Scaling Enough
One of the most common problems for small businesses is a lack of scalability. If
you can't enlarge your influence, then your brand can't develop and sell more. Here are some ways you can scale up quickly.
Collaborate with supplementary businesses similar to yours.
Leverage social media, Shape a network of consultants.
Attend conferences and trade shows.
Remember, You’re Not Alone
The truth is that there are countless different things that can cause business problems– from internal disorganization and lack of delegation to mismanaged resources or ineffective marketing strategies.
If you recognize that your business is struggling but don't know what's going on, you may need to do some research, talk to your team, or consult a management consultant.
The bottom line: If you don't address these issues now, they can only get worse and potentially hurt your business in the long term.