Fresh off the heels of National Small Business Week earlier this May, now is the perfect time to take a look at some of the big business problems facing many small businesses.
While there are a plethora of issues specific to small businesses that make running one a unique challenge, there are plenty more challenges that both small and large companies face.
And while corporations can typically just throw money at the problem, small companies often have to be much more innovative, considerate, and deliberate when attacking these issues.
Some of the most common areas we see this divide are in hiring, marketing, and time management. We’ll be taking a look at why those areas are so difficult for so many small businesses to deal with, and what they may be able to do about it.
The Hiring Process: Working Hard or Hardly Working
When many people imagine the hiring process, they may think it’s as simple as posting a job, wading through a sea of qualified applicants, and plucking the perfect candidate out the first time.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
It can be hard to get your job posting noticed on overly-saturated sites like LinkedIn or Indeed, which can leave positions vacant as applicants are scarce – if they come at all.
One way to be seen on these sites would be to pay to have your posting listed near or at the top of certain keyword sets to ensure interested applicants searching in your city will see your job posting.
Keyword there: pay.
Another option is to create a social media ad that links directly to your job posting.
While that may result in a lower number of total applicants than advertising on a job posting site, it can potentially lead to relevant, higher-quality candidates – saving you time on reviewing multiple applicants.
The Small Business Marketing Mindset
Small businesses can’t compete with the massive advertising budgets of big-name corporations. But, big companies often fall flat when it comes to customer communication on a more personal level.
What that means for you as a small business owner, is that your marketing shouldn’t be focusing on massive ad campaigns intended to target as many people as possible.
Instead, tailor your marketing to fit the location or niche you serve. Utilize the power of social media, mail campaigns, and other direct marketing strategies to send your message straight to consumers.
Renowned marketing guru and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has repeatedly harped on social media as one of the most important ways small businesses can grow exponentially – and his strategies go far beyond targeted ads.
In fact, Vaynerchuk insists native content is truly the way to win the social media war against titanic, corporate entities. In a 2017 blog, GaryVee states his belief, “…if you’re a small business, you want to focus on spending your time, money, and effort on creating great content (and a lot of it).”
This method allows your customers to relate to you, your company, and your message, which can elevate your brand far beyond the normal reach of traditional advertising content.
Time Management is Critical to Success
Managing time is often one of the hardest things for small business owners to do effectively, especially as the business continues to grow.
Many times, business owners find themselves so consumed by administrative tasks that they aren’t able to be as hands-on as they’d like to be.
Other times, owners are slow to accept that they can’t do it all anymore as their company grows rapidly.
This mismanagement leads to a bottleneck of production. Too many things have to go through one person before they see the light of day – and one person can’t be everywhere at once.
The simple solution for this ties back into our first tip – hiring employees and managers that you trust to uphold your company’s values and standards. That way, you can spend your time crafting creative solutions to the many critical issues that require your energy, rather than bogging yourself down with busy work and minor decisions.
Final Food for Thought
To flourish, you’ll have to be smart about how you use your time, energy, and resources.
These tips are a good jumping off point for thinking critically about small business solutions, but it’s important to expand your knowledge continually and create new ways to succeed. Running a small business is rarely ever easy, but nothing is more satisfying than watching it thrive.
But, success never sleeps. Continue to stay up-to-date on the most ingenious ways to beat big businesses at their own game to stay relevant. As Bob Dylan once said, “the times they are a-changin’.”
So change with the times.
Tayler is a content writer for the cbdMD blog. Before joining cbdMD, he spent time in Atlanta as the editor-in-chief of a music publication, covering everyone from Future to Katy Perry to up-and-coming local rock acts. In his free time, Tayler enjoys sour beer, Thai food, and watching Arrested Development for the 18th time.