6 Small Business Marketing Challenges and Smart Ways to Overcome Them
Often, many small businesses will come up with a great product or service. Yet, this is not always sufficient to keep their company in operation.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “about 20% of small businesses fall through in their first year of business. By the second year, approximately 30% of them close down. Now, fast forward to the fifth year, and almost half of them go under.”
These statistics are alarming. However, this does not mean you should give up. As a small business owner, you must productively market your business if you want it to succeed.
Marketing can seem challenging considering the time and resources needed to do it effectively. Fortunately, F.M.A., C.P.A. is here for you. Here, we’ll discuss the everyday small business marketing challenges and how to overcome them.
List of Biggest Marketing Challenges for Small Businesses
Example: A small restaurant in your local area sells various types of cuisine, offering multiple options, including gluten-free and vegetarian meals. Despite their tasty meals, this restaurant doesn’t attract as many customers as it should. What do you think could be the issue? Some of the reasons behind their foundering could include:
- Lack of resources to develop a marketing plan
- Inadequate funds to recruit a marketing team, and
- Lack of knowledge on the proper marketing channels
Here is a list of the top marketing challenges for small businesses:
Technology has changed both business and consumer behavior. For some reasons, many small business owners have failed to catch up with the marketing technology trends. For some, the issue is the failure to choose technology that meets their marketing objectives.
Here are some of the technology investments challenges that many small businesses face:
- Poor employee access – Some companies tend to focus on customer-friendly technology. What they forget is their staff also need to know how to use these solutions to improve customer relationships. As a small business, you might not always have the resources to offer training or have a fully-fledged L&D team.
- Another common challenge is that small businesses often pick the wrong technology platforms. They tend to choose the cheapest one, which unfortunately does not meet their marketing needs.
How to overcome these small business marketing challenges:
As a business owner, we recommend the following:
- Make use of free online resources to learn about the platforms you intend to adopt
- Analyze the technology that your competitors are using to see if it could work for you
- Take advantage of Google trends and look up the latest technology trends in your industry
2. Lack of adequate funds
Budget problems are perhaps one of the top small business marketing challenges. For many owners, the most pressing question is always, “where do I focus my marketing efforts?” Should your resources go to short-term or long-term marketing goals?
Here’s how to overcome such challenges:
We recommend that your initial focus ought to be on paid advertising to get the fastest results. As for the long term, your focus should be to create an SEO plan to bring in traffic when you lack an advertising marketing budget. We also recommend paying attention to the various digital marketing options such as:
- Email marketing
- Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram
- Content marketing
- Display and search advertising
3. Insufficient leads
Lead generation is another big marketing challenge for small businesses. One major obstacle preventing companies from creating a robust lead generation marketing plan is inadequate resources. Another problem could be that the existing lead generation approaches are ineffective.
In addition, your lack of leads could be because your messages are impersonal. For instance, if you’re using email marketing, consumers can quickly tell when an email is generic and that others like them have probably received the same email. This lack of personalization can promptly put off existing customers and potential ones.
Here’s how to overcome this marketing problem:
- Competitive advantage – With so many businesses’ offering similar products or services, your goal should be to identify and showcase what makes your business unique. Once you’ve understood your competitive advantage, start using it in your marketing communications.
- Personalization – Personalizing your marketing campaigns is a surefire way to increase leads. For instance, if your products are available in various states, you could start by sending specific campaigns for each state. You could even use the common colloquialisms of that area to resonate with its residents.
- Diversify – By now, you may have heard this statement repeatedly, “you should not put all your eggs in one basket.” The same applies to marketing. Do not shy away from new marketing formats if you find the current ones aren’t working.
Unquestionably, competition is yet another massive problem for small business owners. Keep in mind; small businesses have to go toe-to-toe with big chains and M.N.C.s. It can therefore be challenging to get to their target audience ahead of their competitors.
Here’s how to overcome this marketing challenge:
Performance monitoring will help you determine whether you are getting an R.O.I. from all your marketing campaigns and strategies. Additionally, you should perform a competitive analysis. Doing this will provide insights into your competitor’s unique selling proposition and give a sense of how to find yours.
5. Building your business’ email list
If your business operates in some regions, for instance, Europe, you understand the difficulty of building your email list when data protection regulations exist. To combat this marketing problem, we recommend using your company’s content to increase this list. One strategy would be to offer free resources such as eBooks and whitepapers sorely through emails.
6. Customer retention
Effective marketing will help you attract customers. However, the trickier bit is retaining them. This can be challenging for small businesses that either lack the know-how or resources. Fortunately, we have a solution for you. Customer appreciation is an excellent way to retain your customers. A few effective strategies include email marketing, where you send personalized thank you emails. Customer loyalty programs and content marketing efforts are other ways that ensure your clients keep coming back.
Working With the Right Business Advisory Team
To overcome your marketing challenges, you’ll need to work with the right business advisory team to evaluate your marketing strategies and offer customized solutions. F.M.A., C.P.A. will ensure your marketing campaigns and technology investments become positive increments to your bottom line. Get in touch with F.M.A., C.P.A. today for personalized business advisory services and watch how your business grows. We will also assist with business tax planning and accounting services.