Top 4 Small Business Problems (With Solutions) Lindsey Stroud Standing Out Against Tough Competition – As a budding Small Business, chances are you face stiff competition, especially from those already established. You may not understand how you stand out in a competitive market place? If you do not understand and own what makes you unique (we all have something that does), you may blend in with crowd. Solution? I recommend focusing on the “WHY” versus the “WHAT” – check out this enlightening video by Simon Sinek (I swear this video will change your life ) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuAUnderstanding Your Target Market – If you are not getting the results you want from your advertising and marketing, you may be creating and distributing content that you find relevant, but that your target market DOES NOT relate to. Perhaps your target client a year ago is longer your ideal client today. It’s important to re-evaluate your target market on a regular basis to stay on top of changes. Solution? Take an inventory of your current customer base every few months. Take note of who your best clients are, and who your worst clients are. Does your current customer base accurately represent who you are trying to serve? Do you understand the problems and unique challenges they face? If yes, does your product or service offer a solution? If your target market does not align with your actual customer base, it’s time to do some clean-up so you can ensure you are staying relevant! Tracking Success (and Failures) – Many small businesses take on advertising like direct mail or ads. The problem with these methods is that they do not allow you to track your conversion. How do you know that new customer came from your recent direct mail? How do you know who actually saw your advertisement posted in the city newsletter? The truth is, you will find it near impossible to track your successes or failures, and it may cost you a lot of money in the meantime. Solution? Email marketing is a great alternative to traditional advertising methods. Not only will an email marketing tool track open rates and click-through, but can also give you more insight into your warmest prospects. Email Marketing tools can be fairly inexpensive, yet can provide a lot of value, as well as gauge your ROI. Obtaining Repeat Business – We often think if we provide a superior product combined with outstanding customer service, we will drive loyal – long-term clients. According to a study by SumAll, 25-40% of revenue for a stable business comes from repeat business. However, you can’t just sit back and assume that this will happen without effort. Solution? Give people a reason to come back to you! Include special offers and rewards programs for your most loyal clients. Coupons, offers, and add-ons go along way for thanking (and rewarding) your customers for working with you. You also want to make sure you are staying in touch. The grass is only greener where you water it, so follow-up!