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Small Business Challenges – Let’s Combat Them

Small Business Challenges – Let’s Combat Them

When starting a small business companies face a number of challenges. Not knowing how to combat these challenges and work towards a solution can create a lack of motivation and passion in business efforts. Below are the top 6 challenges that small businesses face and a solution to combat these challenges.

6 Small Business Challenges

1. Finding customers

Finding customers is not a problem that only small businesses face, even the market leaders have people and teams working hard to acquire new customers everyday. Finding customers can be more difficult for small business however as they are not a well-known name.

Solution

The first step is to identify your ideal customer in order to ensure you are spreading the word to the right people. Identify your target customers by creating buyer personas. Creating specific buyer personas can drastically improve business results as you will be able to create content and target your customers in the places they spend their time online and with the content they will care about.

Links to creating a Persona:

https://venngage.com/persona-guide

https://xtensio.com/

2. Hiring talented people

Hiring is one of the more prominent challenges small businesses face, primarily because small business executives feel under resourced in the hiring process. If you don’t hire well, employee turnover can be very costly. Finding the right people who are as passionate in your efforts as you are is essential.

Solution

Begin by hiring with a long-term mindset. It is important to invest your time in the hiring process and to not settle for just good employees, hire employees that will help your business grow and excel. Create candidate personas for your potential candidates. Your personas should represent what character you are looking for in each position at the company, but will share the company values and culture you want everyone to have.

3. Spreading Brand Awareness

It may seem like the largest brand names have always been around and you won’t be able to grow your business in comparison with them. There are a numerous amount of strategies to spread your brand awareness and build a strong reputation.

Solution

Public relations. Focus on finding your place in the market and focusing your voice. Work with reporters and build relationships. Co-marketing is another solution. Partnering with another reputable brand will allow you to share some of their reputation and image. It is a great way to gain contacts and organic customers. Blogging is another great way to build brand awareness. Blogging drives traffic to your website and additionally helps establish trust among your prospects.

4. Building an Email List

Never buy an email list. Rather than building an email list, people buy an email list. Buying an email list is not a good idea as your email deliverability and IP reputation will be harmed.

Solution

Rather then buying or renting an email list, create opt-in email lists. Opt-in email lists are composed of voluntarily subscribers who are willing to share their email address so they can receive emails. A great and convenient way to create an opt-in email list is to create a blog with valuable content and give readers the option to subscribe. Offering free content to customers is another great way to obtain emails, offer free guides and booklets in exchange for an email address.

5. Lead Generation

Generating leads that are high in quantity and quality can be a challenge for a small business.

Solution

Optimize your website for leads to make the lead generation process work for your business. Your website is a key tool, it has the power to turn prospects into customers. Make sure your website checks off in all the following boxes:

6. Balancing Quality and Growth

Many businesses want to further growth very rapidly, however the speed of growth and pushing it too fast can cause a decrease in the quality of services/products. For example a company trying to expand and hire very quickly can overwhelm and under train staff resulting in poor quality services.

Solution

Shift your focus towards your customers, by providing your customers with quality services you will automatically see drastic growth as you are keeping customers happy. Your customers will then further go on to spread good reviews and recommend your service, and additionally will stay loyal to your brand.

Visit: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/small-business-challenges to read the full article

Persona Development: A Free and Useful Tool

Persona Development: A Free and Useful Tool

What is a Persona?

It is crucial for small and medium businesses to find useful and low cost tools in order to improve internal and external operations. Taking advantage of all the low cost efficient tools available will allow a firm to gain a competitive advantage in the market and sharpen their processes with no loss of revenue.

A useful tool that all small and medium businesses should take advantage of is the development of user personas. It is impossible to differentiate and recognize everyone who engages with your brand, but it is very important to understand all your customers. In order to achieve a full understanding of your customers, the development of a persona can aid in understanding user behaviour, purchasing decisions, and lifestyle choices while not knowing each person.

A persona is a fictional representation of an actual user that represents a group of people and is utilized in the early stages of developing a product or redesigning a product. Personas are a vital tool and contribute to the success of a product, as they are the driving force behind design decisions. By taking the common user needs, a persona has the ability to plan prior to the development of the design.

The article “What is Persona Development and Why is it Important” posted by Segue Technologies makes many good points as to why persona development should be apart of every businesses tool kit. To summarize the reasons: personas are beneficial as they improve teamwork, website and application creation, and eliminate personal opinions.

Ways a Small/Medium Sized Business Can Use a Persona

Improve Teamwork

Personas create a consistent understanding of the target user group between team members, allowing everyone to be on the same page of understanding towards the targeted audience. This helps to avoid any misinterpretations or differences in understandings of the user. Personas take data and create compelling stories that are relatable, making them easy for a team to remember and refer to when working towards a solution. Personas help improve teamwork within the internal environment of the business.

Website and Application Creation

Personas contribute in the creation of site architecture and wireframes. Personas are designed to focus on the needs of the user group. A team can generate and test scenarios in order to determine the ideal placement of content on a platform so that it supports the goal of the product and usability for the user. The firm will now has a full understanding of the user and their wants when visiting and navigating a platform. The use of personas in planning the platform’s architecture and wireframes will save your firm money and time that could potentially be used on the redesigning of a product. Using a persona will prevent the need for re-launching a website or product, and having to call it back from the market to redesign or adjust the product or site in any way.

Eliminate Personal Opinions

Personas create a user story and attach a face to that story. This helps in creating an understanding about the user that would utilize the product and developing more empathy and a deeper understanding of that person. Attaching a face to the product allows designers to prevent the urge of applying their own needs or mental models to the design of the product that may deviate from the users wants and not align with the product design for the users needs.

Visit: https://www.seguetech.com/persona-development-important/ to read the full article.

Building a User Persona

A persona encompasses user behaviours, motivations, and lifestyle choices that a cluster of users share and exhibit similar patterns in. A persona is used to best understand your entire user experience and to aid in the development of a product and decisions in the development process by taking into account the users traits, needs, and tendencies. However in order to create a strong user persona, it is important to understand the psychographic motivators and demographics of your customers.

There are two components involved in understanding customers, these are the demographics and psychographics. Demographics contain the physical facts including context and income of the user’s outer world. These include the user’s culture, class, age, gender, etc.

Psychographics pertain to developing a deeper understanding of the user’s inner world including their motives, fears, desires, etc. An understanding of the reasoning of their attitudes and behaviours emerges here.

It is important to understand the demographics and psychographics of the user group while developing a persona in order to predict attitudes, behaviours, preferences, and incorporate these inclinations in the design and development of the product or platform.

Demographics and psychographics are the driving forces behind why people make certain decisions, act a certain way, or prefer a certain product. To succeed in a business it is required to understand how people think, human psychology is primarily exercised in marketing and product design. Developing a persona and gaining a deeper understanding of these two components will allow you as a firm to place yourself in the position of your potential customers and be able to develop according to their needs. This will allow you to excel in your design abilities and minimize mistakes.

As a business leader for a small/medium sized firm, it is important to rethink your strategies and tactics if you are not taking advantage of this free and very useful tool.

Get Started Now

Visit the links below to get started on your persona development!

https://venngage.com/persona-guide

https://xtensio.com/