There are some things that every business of every size has in common. Whether you’re selling industrial printers in Swindon or selling tourist goods on Blackpool seafront, many of the business challenges you’ll face are similar.
Saying these businesses face the same challenges might sound like an absurd statement given the differences between the two types of business, but we intend to follow it up with hard facts. Keep reading, and we’ll show you!
When you drill down to the most essential and fundamental challenges that face every type of business, those challenges are more or less the same. They come up for the same reasons, and they often have the same solutions. We’ve picked out five of the most commonly experienced issues, and we’re going to talk more about them here. The more you’re aware of these challenges, and the more you understand about what to do with them, the less likely they are to disrupt your business when they occur!
This is the single biggest issue that every business faces. Without leads, you have no customers. Without customers, you have no sales. Lead generation is an expensive business – unless, of course, you’re a lead generation company, in which case it can be quite lucrative! Even lead generation companies have to source their leads from somewhere, though, so the issue still applies. As we live in the 2020s and people do most of their research online these days, the best lead generation tool available to you is your own website.
Make no bones about it – a bad website will put customers off the idea of buying from you. To avoid that problem, you’re going to need to maintain your site regularly, keep up with modern trends, and ensure that every page on your site has a specific function that encourages your visitors to take action. There should be clickable options to get in touch with you on every page. From pop-ups to “hello bars,” your site should be both interactive and relevant. Nothing should be there just for the sake of it – your entire site should be one big sales funnel designed to take each visitor on a journey from being a casual browser to a committed buyer. A good web design expert should be able to do this for you. Find one if you don’t have one already.
Finding quality staff
Your brand is only as strong as your weakest representative. Your potential customers will assess your company based on the interactions they have with the people who work for you. That means you need to find quality people for every customer-facing position. That isn’t easy when you consider the many shortcomings of the most commonly-used recruitment methods. Get it wrong, and you’ll find yourself spending too much on recruitment for too low a reward and then having to spend even more money hiring replacements further down the line.
You’ll stand a much better chance of finding the right people if you recruit based not only on resumes and CVs but on candidate personas. Think not only about the experience and skills of the people you’re hiring but also the ideal personality type for each role. Use personality tests at the recruitment stage to identify the right people, and don’t hire from outside of those types. Each role will probably have different requirements, so make changes accordingly.
Marketing and generating leads aren’t the same thing. Lead generation is about taking people through a process from being casually interested in being genuinely interested. Marketing is about persuading people to take a casual instance in whatever it is you have to sell in the first place. That isn’t easy, which is why marketing budgets tend to be so high.
The most obvious thing to do is to spend money on social media marketing, but if you can go into it blind, you’ll end up with a hit and miss success rate no better than taking a gamble at an online slots website. That’s an ironic comparison for us to be making because online slots websites tend to be masterful at marketing and persuading people to visit them. If you’ve ever wondered how and why Rose Slots NZ manages to be so successful, look at the way it promotes itself and learn from it. The solution is very similar to the right solution for finding the right kind of candidate for your team – you create personas. Once you’ve established a buyer persona and worked out who your customers are and where they come from, it’s easier to target them. You’ll still find yourself spending money, but you’re spending it smartly rather than blindly.
As we’ve spent so much time talking about money, we should make a point of it. Your company should have a financial planner either under contract or at the other end of a phone. The only exception to this is if you work in the financial planning sector already, in which case you ought to know what you’re doing already! Every department has a budget, and every budget might sometimes need to be flexible. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to handling the purse strings for a business, and nobody should be expected to cope with these responsibilities alone.
An experienced financial planner with relevant knowledge about your industry will often be able to foresee financial issues coming before they turn into a problem. They’ll know when you should look for credit and when it would be better to make cuts. They’ll know a few techniques for cutting costs and improving efficiencies, and they’ll be able to share them with you. A financial planner is an expense, but they should save you far more than they cost you.
Not everything can be a priority, even if it sometimes feels like everything should be. Your focus can’t be everywhere at once, and your business will suffer if you burn yourself out trying to prove that statement wrong. You need to learn when to delegate, identify what tasks can be handled by which people within your team, and take regular breaks. You need access to information constantly, but you don’t necessarily need to be the person generating that information. A lot of this comes down to trusting the people who work for you – a task that’s much easier if you’ve got your recruitment strategy right!
Host regular meetings, speak to your most important staff one-on-one regularly and give additional responsibilities to people who show potential. More importantly than that, ask for feedback from customers. More often than not, they’ll tell you what you’re getting right and what you’re getting wrong. That information will tell you where your priorities ought to lie and which aspects of the business require your attention more.
Successful business people are never afraid of feedback, and nor are they afraid of new ideas. Some of the most effective changes you can make to a business are often those that are the easiest to implement. If the lesson you’ve taken from this article about business challenges is that you need a website developer, a financial planner, and a new marketing strategy, you should embrace those ideas. They’ll make your business a healthier one!