Challenges we face as Small Business Owners
Starting and growing a business is hard, really hard.
How do we know? Because each printing.com studio is owned and run by someone just like you. As part of a franchise, we got some help along the way, but we know it’s still tough out there – from getting customers to retaining great staff.
Let’s take a look at a few of the challenges we’ve had to face as small business owners.
Standing out from your competitors
Most of us operate in highly competitive marketplaces. Print is more competitive than most. Stand out from the crowd, by creating a really strong brand that represents your business and then put a lot of effort into developing your reputation. Don’t try to be all things to all people, but focus on a key niche and find a way to dominate that niche.
Your customers are living their lives surrounded by many, many influences. Spend time identifying exactly WHO they are. Spend time describing your customer and give them a name. Discover as much as you can about them, what they like to do, where they hang out and what they read. Only then can you find effective ways to target them, communicate with them and gain their loyalty.
In the old days people used Yellow Pages to find a local business, but now they turn to Google. Be sure you’re represented online with a website, optimised for Search, and that you have registered your business through various search engines, including Google My Business.
It seems obvious, doesn’t it? But actually making money and safeguarding cash flow is a real challenge to most small businesses. It’s hard to invest in marketing when the money isn’t there, but you have to take a leap of faith, trust in your business, back yourself, and invest in marketing. It really helps to create a budget, a business plan and indeed a marketing plan. Focus on creative ways to market your business cost-effectively – this is something we pride ourselves on at PDC – cost-effective marketing techniques that deliver results – we know because we’ve used them ourselves to market our own businesses!
When you find the right customers, they stay with you – that’s the beauty of spending a lot of time discovering EXACTLY who your customers are. Once you have them, spend most of your energy on keeping them. It’s the 80:20 rule, so spend time and money on growing these customers. Create a customer retention plan – keep in touch with them with regular comms so they don’t forget about you.
You passionate about your business – you have to be to succeed. But keep things in perspective to avoid burnout. Manage your stress, create a healthy work environment and create healthy habits that give you alternative focuses away from work.