Whether you’ve just started your business or been running it for a while, you face many challenges. As you learn, practice and get experience, some things get easier. However, there are some common struggles that many business owners face, no matter the size of their business or the experience they’ve got.
A great challenge of finding customers isn’t just a new or small businesses problem. No one has the privilege to sit down, do nothing and still have leads coming in. Even well-known, successful companies work hard to attract new customers.
However, the smaller you are, the bigger problem this is. If you’re just starting out, not many people know who you are and what you do. This means you need to put your name out there. But what if you don’t have a big budget for advertising? You need to think about your marketing decisions very carefully.
The first step of finding customers is to identify who your ideal customers are. When identifying your buyer’s personas, include as much information as possible. Gender, age, location, interests, economic status, personal background – the more the better.
This will help you understand how and where you should do your marketing. What social media channels are you going to use? Do your customers even use social media? Maybe the best way to let them know about your business is by putting a flyer through their door? Once you know where your potential customers are, you’ll find it easier to reach them. Add a message they care about and watch prospects turn into customers!
Increasing brand awareness
To make customers buy from you, you need to make sure they know who you are.
According to HubSpot, marketers in 2021 say that their primary goal of running marketing campaigns is to increase brand awareness.
Building brand awareness means you also build trust and positive thinking about your business. When people are aware of your brand, your logo or the message you’re trying to convey, they are more likely to buy your product or use your service.
Think about the big brands everyone knows. It can seem like they’ve grown overnight and simply got lucky. Unfortunately, when it comes to running a business, there’s 99% of hard work and only 1% of luck. All the hard work happens behind the scenes, so all we see is this big success.
So how do you increase your brand awareness?
There are many ways to do so, including paid advertising, organic marketing, PR, co-marketing or blogging. The latest one is especially helpful if you want to establish trust. Running a high-quality, consistent and informative blog will show that you’re an expert in your industry as well as drive traffic to your website.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. But we don’t spend them the same way. Some people manage to do everything on time without rushing through while others are always in a rush, late or working overtime to manage their workload.
When you’re a business owner, managing time can be even harder. If you don’t have a team that would share different tasks, you might find yourself jumping from one thing to another and getting stressed about the lack of time.
In this situation, you need to learn how to manage time. From planning to learning how to say no, we’ve got 11 time management tips everyone needs. Read through and start using them! You’ll realise how much more you can do in the day when you spend your time effectively.
Financial planning is essential when it comes to running a business – at the end of the day, everything costs money.
However, when you don’t have a stable income, planning can be difficult. While you can try to predict your better months and when you need to be more careful with money, predictions aren’t always accurate. It also makes it harder to save as while some months you have a little bit leftover, other months you have to ‘borrow’ from your savings.
If you’re really struggling with your finances and it feels like every decision you make is wrong, consider getting some help in this area. A business accountant or financial advisor can help you stay on top of bookkeeping, make sure you spend your money wisely as well as give you advice on how to plan your budget.
Too many competitors
One of the most common struggles businesses face is competition.
Competition can be scary or inspiring.
Many entrepreneurs see competition as a problem they need to overcome, or even worse – avoid. However, if you look at it from a different perspective, you’ll realise that competition is something that gives you motivation and inspiration to do things differently, something that helps you learn from others’ mistakes without making them yourself and something that pushes you to constantly improve your business and stay up to date with the latest trends in your industry.
The best way to succeed over your competitors is by analysing them. Getting to know their marketing strategy and identifying their strengths and weaknesses will give you a better idea of what you need to do to stand out from the crowd. If you’d like to know what else you need to find out about your competitors and how it helps your business, read an article here.
Increased responsibility, making important decisions, working long hours, doing things you’ve never done before, overthinking – all of this comes hand in hand with running a business. Many business owners spend so much time working on their business needs that they abandon their own well-being. Living like that for a bit won’t do much damage but if it becomes a routine, it can negatively affect even the strongest individuals.
When you’re burned out, you’re not simply tired. You’re exhausted, lose motivation, don’t perform well and might even develop health issues.
You can avoid burning out by building healthy habits. Make sure you take regular breaks during the day to have a meal or go for a walk to get some fresh air. Take a few days off, have a weekend away or simply spend one day with your phone turned off. This will let you distance yourself from all the stress related to work. And if you’re really struggling – don’t be afraid to ask for help.