Small Business Help, 3 main issues small businesses are facing right now!
SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy. 5.5 million of them provide employment opportunities and contribute to local communities and economies. However, SME’s are facing numerous challenges, concerning the growth of their business and the marketing their products and services. Let’s explore three of the most common.
One of the biggest issues for SMEs at the moment is the uncertainty around the UK economy. Following Brexit and all the issues it brought, after Covid-19, and as political factors impact the economy, it’s difficult for businesses to plan their marketing strategies effectively. They may be unsure about which products or services will sell well, or whether they will have enough customers to make a profit.
To address this problem, small businesses need to be flexible and adaptable in their marketing approaches. They may need to adjust their messaging or pricing strategies, based on changing economic conditions. In addition, they may need to focus on building better relationships with their existing customers to ensure that they remain loyal in these uncertain times.
An uncertain economy isn’t a good breeding ground for business growth. What if you sign up to a bigger office to scale up your enterprise then the economy tanks even further and you can’t get out of the lease? What if you take on more staff to deal with current and future demand then your sales book empties? You’re then faced with redundancy decisions and the knowledge that you could be making things doubly difficult for a struggling family, for example. Uncertainty can often see businesses in a state of stasis when growth will actually protect them from economic fallout.
Lack of staff and difficulties recruiting
Another challenge concerns a lack of staff, waning loyalty from remaining employees, and maintaining a consistent service to your customers when you don’t have enough hands on deck. Replacing staff has become very difficult across various industries. What with the skills shortage problem, finding qualified, competent, motivated employees is much harder than it ever used to be. This difficulty can put additional, unwanted strain on your existing staff members.
To overcome this problem, small businesses may need to consider outsourcing some of their marketing activities. For example, they may hire a freelance marketer or work with a marketing agency to develop a strategy and execute campaigns. This can help relieve the pressure on current staff members whilst still ensuring their marketing efforts are effective.
It’s puzzling why some businesses fail to value their staff when there aren’t recruitment problems, let alone at a time when whole sectors are struggling to achieve a full staffing contingent. It’s common sense that, if a few people leave a company, those left behind will feel more pressure. Whilst you’re attracting and training new staff, you need to go above and beyond to show those who remain to ensure the wheels of your enterprise turn, are valued, are appreciated and are paid their worth. If you don’t do this, it’s your own fault if your staffing problems only get worse.
Outsourcing can be key in such situations. Don’t forget this.
Customers with little disposable income to spend
Due to the cost-of-living crisis, the general public is having to make conscious decisions surrounding the spending of their disposable income.
Rising living costs and stagnant wages are seeing many consumers struggling to make ends meet. They may be forced to rethink their spending on discretionary purchases.
To address this problem, your business may need to predominantly focus on value-based marketing. This means highlighting the benefits and value your products or services offer to your consumers. For example, a small business that sells organic food may focus on the health benefits of their products, rather than just the price. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many businesses start out with this approach but lose it along the way.
In addition, small businesses may need to be creative with their marketing efforts. They may need to find new ways to reach customers, such as through social media or influencer marketing. They may also need to offer special promotions or discounts to attract customers looking to save money. Put yourself in the shoes of the people who do, or who are likely to, buy from you…what hurdles would they need to overcome to spend the precious little disposable income they have left with your company?
We can help you strategise the quashing of these three challenges and also take on board any extra marketing responsibilities your poor staff may be swamped with.
The worst thing you can do in any financial crisis is freeze your marketing budget and stop your promotional efforts. They’re key to you rising above these problems. If you can’t see that, the prognosis for your business is not good.
Call 01302 578282 for Small Business Help and other information.