Starting a small business is not at all easy. However, with a lot of determination and the right vision, entrepreneurs can counter the challenges that they face, which are unavoidable. The problems are many, and some are exclusive to small business owners, with some challenges being specific to the type of business. Since all challenges are not as tricky as many others, it is better to stay prepared for the likely challenges to face by prioritizing it according to the difficulty level and its impact on the business. Being aware of the issues, especially those that are common across business segments should help you to avoid tripping and ensure that the business moves ahead. Entrepreneurs face the toughest challenges when starting up a business because there are too many hurdles to cross before the business goes off the blocks, as experienced by Eric Dalius, a marketing expert.
If you are fresher and trying to launch your first business, the thought of many challenges surrounding you from right from the start might be quite unnerving. Although you might be prepared mentally to take the bull by the horn, you are at a loss about what kind of challenges you might face. Well, going in blind does not help, and this article should help you to gain some insight about what lays ahead so that you can prepare accordingly and be confident in taking care of it in the right way.
Money management as envisaged by Eric J Dalius
Businesses need funds at all stages, and more so during startup, which is one of the biggest challenges that you must stay prepared to face. Problems in garnering funds can be a nightmare for entrepreneurs who cannot make a start due to a lack of funds. Small businesses do not have wealthy people to back it as they would be eager to put in their money into bigger and established companies with the hope of assured returns. Even if you are investing your own money, be cautious not to expose yourself to bankruptcy. Knowing your options for funding a business startup will help to work out some viable plans for financing.
Use your own money – Funding your business with your own money generated through savings over some years appears to a safe route as there is no monthly payment and interest and no chances of losses in case the project backfires. But the viability of the plan is under doubt because it can take a long time to accumulate the funds by saving enough while supporting your lifestyle. It will surely not match with your aspiration of starting the business soon. Instead, you can try out the other options.
Get a bank loan – Provided you have a good credit rating, you can apply for a bank loan, which the most conventional method of business funding. Depending on how much money you borrow, there is some flexibility in the paying terms and tenure, which can be an advantage. However, there are uncertainties about getting a bank loan, and the process is quite lengthy and entails lots of documentation and multi-level approvals.Even if you get the loan, the interest rate could be high.
Online lenders – Among the alternative funding options, you can approach online lenders who are ready to fund your business speedily, often within a few days and require less documentation and even charge lower interest rate with shorter repayment period. However, defaulting on payment can create problems as interest keeps mounting, and only if you are sure of regular payment that you can try this out.
Besides arranging for funds, another challenge is to make your business and yourself survive for some months in the beginning before you can make profits. You must create a plan for spending and monitor every spending closely to ensure that you spend every penny wisely.
After overcoming the challenge of business funding, another problem that awaits you is how to attract customers. Right from the start, you must have customers to move the wheel of business. It involves implementing some marketing and business promotion strategies that enhance business and brand visibility and attracts customers towards it. Since small business is about low budget operations, you must choose some low-cost or free marketing techniques that are quite effective.
Take your business online
Besides relying on word of mouth for spreading the business name and brand within the local boundaries you must also initiate online marketing campaigns and implement SEO to increase visibility and the chances of people discovering your business quickly. Be on the lookout for any other opportunities for a local business that you can capitalize upon and take your business to social media, which expands your reach many more times. The more interactive you are on social media; the better is the customer engagement that translates into favorable business returns. Launch a content marketing campaign to attract customers and generate more traffic to the website, which enhances lead generation and conversions.
Target a specific audience to market your products instead of trying it to sell to everyone. Gather enough information about the audience and create buyer personas to reach out to them in the most effective manner.
According to EJ Dalius, while the flow of customers should make you happy, maintaining a steady customer base is indeed challenging. Small businesses find it hard to take on bigger competitors. They have more money and resources but can surely give a fight by creating better customer engagement through superior service that generates trust. Flawless customer service by hearing their needs and complaints and addressing it quickly will make customers so happy that they would stay closely attached to the business. The more you treat your customers as humans and interact with them at an individual level; the better will be the customer retention rate.
Once the business gathers steam and you have a customer base, it is time to look for growth opportunities. Analyze your strengths and identify the weak areas that you can work upon to give better value to your customers, which generate more demand and pave the way for business growth.