In today’s highly competitive landscape, starting a business and keeping it running is no small task. Meeting the demands of clients, keeping abreast with the latest laws and regulations, living upto employee expectations all make it tough to keep businesses afloat.
In all this, marketing challenges could be some of the biggest tests that you may face as a small business.
Here, we look at the top 10 such challenges and how you can deal with them.
Whatever be the size of your business, one of the biggest concerns is funding and resources. It is not easy to make enough money to sustain the business, meet overhead expenses, deal with client payment delays and spend on staying relevant. However, while budget constraints could be perennial, you can try to manage whatever funds you have on hand. Some ways of doing so are getting more organised in creating budgets, undertaking low cost marketing activities, reducing overall marketing spending, making the most of every penny spent of marketing etc.
When you run a business, you will always be hard pressed for time. Marketing is a time consuming function that involves detailed planning and strategy. But thanks to the vicissitudes of the market, there are chances that your planning efforts may go waste. The way out is to still create a marketing and action plan and editorial calendar. A proper plan will help you focus your efforts on targeting the right audience, determining if you are on the right track and understanding how to reach your goals.
Today, the market is flooded with options for customers in every segment. With so much competition around, your biggest challenge could be think of how you want to stand out from the crowd. You will have to know what your unique selling proposition is. For this, you need to build a strong reputation for yourself that will help you stand out. You will have to focus on a niche and distinguish yourself.
- Correct strategy
Devising the right marketing strategy is hardly easy. There are so many approaches and finding what suits you is tough. Digital marketing itself has several variants than the rest of marketing combined. The way out is to get in touch with professional agencies who have the expertise for the task. You can outsource the work to them and they can handle with the help of their expert team.
- Right customers
Finding the right audience is another challenge. You may think that your ideal customers will buy your products after they are exposed to marketing. But in reality they may actually go to your competition instead. To overcome this, you will have to identify your target audience correctly, use the right channels to connect with them and explore industry-specific tactics for finding more customers.
- Getting found
From your end, you may do your best to find the right customers. But you may not be able to reach out to every customer. You also need to get found by customers which is a challenge. You will have to take special efforts to ensure that your business is discoverable in the clutter of online channels. For starters, you can get on the first page of Google, get listed in directories and make your business attractive for customers.
- Staying relevant
In a utopian world, a good marketing strategy should fetch the perfect results, unfortunately in the real world, that is not the case. You have to constantly take efforts to stay relevant and future-proof your business. Technologies get outdated all the time here. You will have to keep updating your content, deploy cutting-edge technology and make continuous investments in newer strategies to stay at the top of your game.
- Retaining customers
You want your customers to stay with you even after they make their first purchase. But they will not do so automatically because they are always spoilt for choice in this big market. If you want to retain your valuable customers, you will have to come up with a customer retention plan and find innovative ways to stay in touch with them.
Every business needs to scale up but it’s not easy to grow without bracing for a rise in tasks, relationships and investments. If you have expansion challenges, you should consider all the factors involved and identify the best ways for the business to expand.
Running even a small business can lead to high burnout levels. However, if you continue to perform despite the exhaustion, it can be counterproductive for your business. In such a case, it is good to learn how to detect and manage stress.
It is not always easy to find the right marketing approach that works for all businesses. However, the good part is that there are numerous tools and experts available in the market to make your life easier as a business owner. You need to reach out to and leverage them.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing