Small businesses can have amazing products or services but still can fail to survive the tough competition and ultimately shut down. According to statistics around 50 % of the small businesses fold by their fifth year. For most, success or failure of the business is a chance, if it hits the bull’s eye you win and if you fail you face a business shutdown or a supernormal loss either of ways both is not feasible.
It basically comes down to a 50-50 chance for you. With marketing, you can turn the table 360 degrees. Successful marketing can change the scenario from where you are on the edge of shutting down to celebrating your business’s next anniversary.
Marketing is the heart of any kind of business. Effectively marketing your products or services for basic awareness of potential customers can turn out well for your small business and the marketing challenges it faces.
Small business marketing challenges mostly cover a shortage of time, money and other resources. If you really want your business to succeed, you need to market it with the limited resources it has in its possession.
Are you worried about your business? want your small business to reach the heights? want to expand your business?
We have created this guide exclusively for you about small business marketing challenges and how you can resolve these challenges and make your small business a huge success.
Let’s Dig In!
Challenge No.1: Lack of Leads
Leads are vital to any kind of business. Why? Because without leads you have no customers, and Without customers, you have no business. Big companies like Apple and Toyota etc do not sit back with their marketing strategies or just simply wait for leads to walk in on their own. Even in these most successful business corporations marketers work hard to find new prospects.
If you want your business to grow you need to keep acquiring new leads.
According to survey data from a small business network, a shortage of leads is the biggest marketing challenge for all small businesses. So if you are struggling to find leads, it is understandable.
How to acquire leads for your small business?
Before you generate leads, you really need to know what your potential customers’ desire or wants. If you want to capture someone’s interest, the first thing you need to know is who it is you are trying to attract i.e your target audience. If you can identify and categorize who your prospects are then you can craft messages that will resonate with that audience. Choosing the right set of audience is important than just reaching out to anybody and everybody. So start by finding out who is your audience. The more specific you are in identifying your audience, the better it is for you.
Are you trying your hands on everyone and anyone? Then stop!
A watered-down, one-size-fits-all message will never capture anyone’s interest.
First, create a specific buyer persona and then draft your content accordingly but make sure the content you are creating should be engaging enough for your audience.
This is definitely a great way to acquire leads with the little time and resources you have.
Challenge No. 2: Poor Visibility
The struggle of small businesses to generate leads is undoubtedly because of poor visibility.
In a noisy market place, full of competitors, it is easy for your brand’s voice to get lost. As a small business owner, you might not have enough resources or budget to go for commercial advertisements. This scenario makes lead generation tough because, if prospective customers can not find your business, then there is a high chance that they will not turn out as your actual customers.
How to generate leads for your small business by improving visibility?
One of the main factors that block a brand’s visibility is the financial resource. So is to be done if you do not have a high fund? Ask yourself some basic questions in that case:
- Does your small business have the online marketing presence it should have?
- Does your small business have a website, social media accounts, and positive online reviews?
- Is your brand on the physical marketing platforms where your target audience is looking?
If your answer is “No” to these questions then it is time for you to work on these.
Modern consumers turn to the internet first, so even if you face a financial crisis in terms of high budget advertisements it will not turn out to be an issue. Improving your marketing presence online is the key to modern business.
If you really want to improve your visibility online, target SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ). The more closely your website will match all queries, the more likely it is to appear on the valuable first page of search results.
Social media is another way to be visible to your target audience. Just increase your online presence in social media and work done!
Challenge No.3: Lack of Marketing Knowledge
Entrepreneurs are jacks-of-all-trades. When you start or run a business most responsibilities fall on the person who takes all the charges. Successful entrepreneurs learn as they fly. It is essential to frame a proper marketing plan. In case you are not marketing personnel but you find yourself in need to make an integral marketing decision then take the time to educate yourself or go for hiring marketing managers.
How to generate leads for your small business by improving marketing knowledge?
To promote your brand, marketing is crucial. Your lack of knowledge can hamper your brand’s growth. You need to find your niche in marketing. You need to create a marketing plan with the following steps:
- Conduct a situation analysis.
- Define your target audience.
- Write SMART ( specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound ) Goals.
- Analyze your tactics.
- Set your budget
A proper marketing plan focuses on winning and keeping customers also known as lead generation and retention.
Challenge No. 4: Lack of Time
Most small businesses have an all-hands-on-the-deck approach with a small number of employees. With so much work on hand and just a limited number of people to perform those tasks marketing can easily get overlooked if you do not have a dedicated marketer on your team. It is taken in like a thumb rule if you are struggling with lead generation then it is probably because you have failed to market your business. Marketing helps your business to grow in a meaningful way. You will have to make time for it.
How to generate leads for your small business by resolving your time limitation?
It is easy to say that you have to “make time” but how one can actually do that? The easiest ways to reclaim time for marketing are by delegating and automating.
If you hold on to every task then you are doing your business nothing but harm. Certain areas may not be your forte. So the main focus should be to take the time to examine your current workload and delegate tasks to your employees in accordance with your marketing needs.
Marketing automation can take some of the time-consuming elements of marketing off of your plate and you can easily acquire new leads with a little-to-no effort by incorporating marketing automation into your small business.
Challenge No.5: Lack of Budget
Small businesses struggle with cash flow and are two of the top five reasons why small businesses fail. There are numerous places where your money is needed it becomes hard to justify spending a great deal on marketing. There is a misconception that big marketing campaigns can only help but it is not so. The marketing campaign does not need to be big but it surely needs to be effective.
In case your business is struggling with cash then shift the focus of your marketing efforts on the most cost-effective options available. There are many financially lean marketing techniques to choose from:
1. Social media marketing
It is the most cost-effective platform. Establishing a proper social media presence is most effective for small businesses since it becomes easier for customers to relate to your businesses. You can create a sense of trust among the audience by creating genuine social interactions with your followers on Facebook and Twitter.
2. Content marketing
Another cost-effective method is content marketing. Using blogs to draw the audience is a smart move but the quality should be appealing to both your customers and prospective customers. You can combine your social media and content marketing by converting your social media followers into blog subscribers.
3. Influencer marketing
Developing a relationship with an influencer who resonates with your target customers can really expand your reach. Many influencers embrace and endorse products to their fan base free of charge or for a minimal sum. This can turn into great profits and growth for your business. You need to explore influencer marketing strategically.
Small business marketing challenges are unique in their own way and it is time to ask yourself what is holding your marketing back. Is it a lack of leads, knowledge, time, visibility or money? just not these there are other small business marketing challenges that can hold you back. Do not let these challenges chain you. You know now what necessary steps are needed to resolve them. Which of these challenges is relatable? What steps you think are most useful for your marketing needs? Tell us in the comments below! We would love to hear it from you.