All businesses face different challenges every day. Even the most prominent organizations on the planet will run into hurdles from time to time. However, there are a few challenges that are specially worrisome for small businesses. I’m talking about things that present potential stumbling blocks during the first few months/years of your inception.
The secret to running a successful company is picking up a head of steam and leaping over your biggest hurdles. Prevent yourself from stumbling, and you’ll eventually reach a full-blown sprint. With that in mind, what are the challenges facing small businesses in 2018?
This first point is about gaining visibility, with more of a focus on web traffic specifically. The challenge for a modern small business is trying to stand out in a world that’s already very saturated with existing companies; particularly in the online realm. There are going to be hundreds, thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of websites all competing for the same slice of the web traffic pie. You want people to notice your site, which helps improve visibility for your business. As such, you can generate leads, convert them, and become a huge success.
Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder and harder to gain the web traffic you need and improve your visibility. Small businesses have to compete with other small businesses, and then there are the larger ones looming above them at all times as well. It can be tough to figure out the right marketing strategy to get ahead of the game. This is why it often helps to work with a marketing consultant who can help identify different ways of making your brand more visible and gaining web traffic. If you manage to get loads of traffic to your site, then your visibility will be through the roof. It’s just a question of how you do this and overcome the challenge.
Technology is both a blessing and a curse for every small business. On the one hand, it allows smaller organizations the chance to operate on much larger scales. Technology helps automate specific processes, meaning your business can do things much larger companies can do, but without having to hire loads of employees. It speeds your life up as well, meaning you can focus on what’s more important as you delegate mundane tasks to pieces of software. Without technology, a small business wouldn’t be able to survive in the current business world.
On the other hand, technology can burden a company and shatter your dreams. But, the critical thing here is that this only happens when you can’t get to grips with it. Technology is a challenge for small businesses as a lot of owners don’t know what type of tech to use, how much they should pay for it, and so on. This is when you end up spending way too much money or suffering from technical glitches as you can’t get your software/hardware to work. Thankfully, there are loads of technology and IT consultants out there that help provide more details on small business tech. It’s often a decent investment to get experts on board so they can help you with the technical side of things. That’s how you overcome the challenge of technology and learn how to use it to your advantage.
Longevity is a challenge as more and more small businesses are falling at the wayside after less than a year. Even the ones that make it past 12 months will falter and possibly fall after another year or so. It’s just unbelievably challenging to start a small business that will last for many years and continue to grow.
Why? It can be down to so many different things, with a common one being that business ideas aren’t as good as they used to be. Nowadays, it’s much easier to start a business than it used to be before. People can set up their own company from home without needing to spend lots of money at all. As a result, everyone thinks they have the next best business idea. They start companies that are built around an idea which just won’t work in the future. Primarily, this comes when entrepreneurs ride the trend wave. Something looks like a huge money maker, so you start a business around it. Then, when that trend dies, so does your business. Of course, there are more problems aside from just bad ideas. For many small businesses, the issue is competing with bigger companies who can just outperform them in all departments by pumping more money into their company than you can.
The problem with longevity is that it’s the hardest challenge to overcome. It’s so difficult to start a small business that will last a long time. Naturally, it begins with your idea, and then you have to figure out how you keep a small business afloat while fighting off the bigger boys at the same time.
Employees present a unique challenge to small businesses in 2018. These days, people want to be paid more, but also want to work for fewer hours. Not only that, they want to adopt a more flexible work week where they can stay at home some days. It’s becoming very challenging to find the right balance when hiring employees and ticking all the right boxes.
If you get things wrong, then you end up with a weak team that drags you down. But, thanks to technology, it’s getting easier to find that perfect balance. You can save money by using technology to carry out specific job roles, which helps free up cash to pay employees the salary they deserve to work the hours they want. It’s a struggle, but this is why employees are considered a challenge for modern businesses!
Pretty much every small business you can think of will face these four challenges. By knowing what they are, it means you can take a step back and try to work on getting over them. Don’t let these four things be the stumbling blocks that cause your business to fail within a year. Instead, figure out how to leap over them and sprint towards success.