small business challenges

Big, big challenges for small businesses in 2016 and beyond.

Small business in not just a category for putting yours and many other growth businesses. It is, in fact, the economic engine of growth in our American economy. So what are the top challenges that face owners and executives in the B2B small to medium business space? And what about some answers?

Let’s look at a couple of these that are foundational to success or languishing in obscurity.

Challenge No. 1. – Recruiting, developing and retaining key employees/team players:

The biggest obstacle affecting the growth potential for small business today is the ability to recruit top tier talent. Although it’s hard to think that finding staff is still a problem in an economy where so many people are looking for full time employment or a better job, the irony is that when a worker has the skills needed to fill the position, a small business oftentimes cannot compete on salary and benefits with larger organizations or well-funded venture-backed startups.

So what gives? The best way to tackle this obstacle is to recruit those who are passionate about the business and then have each new recruit go through an ongoing employee development and skills training program. Keeping employees vested and skilled is a simple yet powerful formula for growth.

Real potential solution– it takes an immense amount of time, energy and focus away from the core of the business, even when you outsource your position recruitment, to find, attract, offer, onboard, train and then develop new employees. How can you make this process not only better, to make it work for you as if you were already a big company with lots of money and HR talent?

  • Make it a process that matches your passion and culture. Be prepared to contract with individuals for the skills you need short-term while you really look and find passionate and talented people.
  • Visualize this “gig” decision and short-term “hire” as a bridge that gets you to that persona and place wher you are confident about a great hire and have minimized the risk of a bad hire and doing it all over in six months. Map, engage, outsource and get results.

small business recruitment

Challenge No. 2. – Creating and telling the story of your remarkable B2B business to prospects:

It’s called marketing. And it’s the engine that drives your “success” bus!

Marketing is the biggest challenge small businesses face in 2016. Getting the word out about your business is crucial to its success. Technology has made it easier than ever to test and bring a product to market, but it is difficult to cut through the noise on social media and other marketing channels and differentiate your business and brand.

The biggest hurdles small businesses face today are not technological, nor even budgetary in nature. Technology has advanced to the point where economies of scale are as great as they were just a few years ago.

Small business people are saddled with the myriad web of marketing speak and information overload, more than by any logical impediment to business. The straight benefits-based storytelling method has in many cases been supplanted by sales and marketing “conversion” talk, which really muddies the water for businesses needing to adapt their platforms and channels to meet their best prospects.

Real and valid solution – find a talented, accountable and seasoned marketing professional who can be your guide, coach, teacher and implementer.  Yes, it takes some persistent effort. Yes, it’s more than worth it with a measurable payback.

  • You don’t need them on contract forever, but you will want to make a serious investment in this option and then use the metrics they recommend to measure how the strategy and the tactics are working. Do it monthly.
  • Learn as you go. You don’t need to distract yourself from the things that are your passion and the things that you do really well. And think about getting an interpreter to debunk all of the news terminology and myths. Get it down to the core actions that work. Measure and tweak.

Rinse and repeat!

We can get you and keep you on the small business B2B content marketing effectiveness and sustainability best practices path. We deliver a measurable ROI. You get the benefits!

Email us – info@sladegroup.com or call us – 512 799 4676. You’ll be glad you did.


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