All entrepreneurs have certain things in common. These extend to their personality traits, their attitudes and most importantly: to the problems they have to solve. Here are eight difficulties facing most entrepreneurs, and advice on how to handle them based on facts and statistics from the 2015 Infusionsoft Small Business Market Research Sales & Marketing Report.
1. Managing a website
It’s hard to think of a business that wouldn’t benefit in some form from having its own website. But for them to benefit, entrepreneurs have to put some amount of time and effort into creating and updating those websites. The business of entrepreneurs won’t gain any traction if the site isn’t built on a solid foundation and if they don’t regularly add new content to keep readers coming back – that’s why it’s so disappointing that only 38% of businesses have a site that receives regular updates. For entrepreneurs to succeed they should always be in that 38%. Best practice is to get people who understand web design to build your site and to find writers who can make your site more than just a promotional vehicle.
2. Marketing their business online.
Entrepreneurs need to know the best resources for marketing their product or service. Major ways to promote a company include compiling email lists, creating original content, engaging in search engine optimization (SEO) practices and understanding pay-per-click advertising. Perhaps most importantly in regards to social media however, is…
3. Effectively utilizing social media
Social media for your business is as expensive (or inexpensive) as you want it to be, which is why it’s used by 71% of businesses that have websites. Entrepreneurs can benefit from a large budget for social media but real success comes from quality and consistent content on a variety of platforms. It’s important to know specifically which social media services will benefit your business. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the Big Three (Facebook specifically is used by 76% of companies with websites) but it can pay dividends to research your industry and discover what will generate the most leads.
4. Overcoming small marketing and PR budgets
It’s hard to afford someone who will work full time on marketing and public relations if your business is still small. A scant 24% of companies can afford to spend even $1,000/month on it. Part of the way to overcome that small budget is to use affordable services like the ones mentioned above (especially email lists, SEO and social media), but another trick is hiring employees who can wear multiple hats. When you can’t afford to bring on someone new to market your company, you better have someone on staff who can do it well – if not exceptionally.
5. Leaving customers satisfied.
As important as marketing is, an impressive 62% of business comes from making existing customers happy. Provide great customer service and a great product so that buyers will refer their friends to your business. Entrepreneurs struggle so much to get people in the door that sometimes they forget to focus on the experience when they come in. As much as marketing matters, the number one priority should be on perfecting the buying experience and the thing being bought; so that customers come back and tell their friends to stop in too.
6. Budgeting time
Time is one of the least available resources for entrepreneurs, with 55% of entrepreneurs agreeing that there’s not enough of it to do everything they need to get done daily. To overcome this, learn what tasks you can afford to delegate to other people on your staff. Do this by thinking hard about what needs your personality behind the work, and what’s mundane enough that the person behind the curtain isn’t significant. With that kind of consideration – and by heeding the other advice in this article – managing a business doesn’t become easy (it’s never easy, nor should it be) but it becomes doable.