How to overcome the challenges faced by small businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy. In fact, according to the Federation of Small Business, they accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2018. Given their contribution to the economy, however, they must overcome more challenges than most. 

Regardless of the current political and economic uncertainty, small business owners must navigate the ongoing challenges that come with managing cashflow, winning business, staff recruitment and retention and everything else in between. As a small business ourselves, we know these challenges only too well, but we also know that a solid communications strategy can go a long way to managing and overcoming them. Here’s how:

Standing out 

Whatever sector you operate in, going up against big businesses, with big budgets, can be a challenge when it comes to standing out. Building your brand through an intelligent PR strategy will go a long way to overcoming this. 

Start by having a clear proposition – know what you are offering, who you’re offering it to and how your business helps them meet a need. Then work on targeting that audience with the right message. That means figuring out where they hang out (both online and in person) and then executing a PR campaign to ensure you are where they are. 

Top tip: Know how to identify your target audience before you embark on any marketing activity.  

Recruiting top talent

It’s clear that without the right people, any business will struggle. Recruiting, and retaining, top talent is unsurprisingly one of the biggest challenges faced by most small businesses, given most larger enterprise size competitors can usually afford bigger pay packets.

According to Glassdoor, however, organisations who invest in branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire regardless of business size or salary expectations. So, when it comes to recruitment, it’s important you have a strong brand identity – something that a potential employee wants to be a part of. 

Top tip:Make sure your brand isn’t just a front and it actually reflects the ethos of your company. Yes, it might help to recruit, but retention rates will be low if an employee doesn’t actually experience everything they were promised. 

Getting new business

Lead generation may well be the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner. That’s why an effective SEO strategy that ensures your business is appearing top of the search engines for terms relating to the service or product you sell, is a must.

With the right budget, PPC campaigns and targeted social media campaigns can help see the results you want quickly. But they must go hand in hand with a well optimised website. 

Top tip: Ensure your website is properly optimised (an SEO company can help with this) and well-designed. Your company website is your online ‘shop window’ so make sure it reflects your business brand and is easily navigated. 

Running a small business is not for the faint hearted. Every day presents a new challenge, but that’s why it’s so rewarding to be part of a small team. If you are struggling to win new business, to attract and retain talent or to stand out from the competition, take the time (we know you don’t have much, but we promise it is really worth it) to understand where your target market is hanging out and what they’re reading to ensure you are appearing in the same places, invest in a beautiful and well optimised website and build a strong brand that is focused on your core values and you’ll be in a much stronger position to drive your business forward.

Bring us your challenges and we’ll provide a solution. If you’re a small business in need of some support, get in touch today.

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