Owning a small business has always been difficult, but these times bring more than their fair share of extra challenges. The good news is that small business owners tend to be a hardy lot, and new ways of tackling challenges can help businesses to thrive.
Five biggest challenges facing small business owners:
- Supply chain issues
- Covid 19 safety protocols/compliance
- Rising interest rates
According to the Q2 2022 Small Business Index sponsored by MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, inflation tops the list of concerns. Of those surveyed, 44% called inflation their biggest challenge, which is up from 33% last quarter and up significantly from 19% in the third quarter of 2021.
To compensate, 69% of the small businesses surveyed have raised their prices in the past year. Nearly half (46%) report having taken out a loan to cover higher costs due to inflation (up from 39% in Q1 2022).
Labor shortages are also a major concern for small businesses in the post-pandemic world.
Half of small business owners say they’re working more hours than they were a year ago. This bears out the experiences of [email protected] Work’s clients, where hiring is always a challenge for out small business clients. It’s especially true for at least one client who off staff during the depths of the pandemic. Then, when business rebounded, they had trouble hiring, and are still short-staffed.
Interestingly, A study from the Aberdeen Group, cited by PostBeyond.com, found that 73 percent of millennials (18-34 age group) found their last position through a social media platform. To target that motivated group, make sure that you use platforms that appeal to them.
So, in addition to Facebook and Instagram, think YouTube, SnapChat and Twitter. See how these platforms stack up against each other here.
Ramp up your marketing
Revenue concerns are also on the top five list. An effective antidote is for small businesses to take a serious look at how they can improve their marketing:
- Video marketing has been a key marketing tool for years, and now the popularity of TikTok shows the significance of short form video! According to thekeenfolks.com, TikTok has overtaken YouTube as the most watched video platform!
- I remember writing years ago that “Content is King!” It still is. Content needs to be readable, structured to increase SEO, and valuable to your customers. It should be written to address their problems and concerns, not a list of products, services, and features. Here’s how we stand in our customers’ shoes on our website https://www.dianedemarcomarketing.com.
- Create an effective social media marketing plan. Consider Facebook (still the giant), Instagram and YouTube as platforms for your strategy. And don’t overlook Pinterest it your products or services are very visual, and a high percent of your customers are women. LinkedIn is important for B-2-B businesses to reach customers, drive engagement and build trust.
- Depending on your budget, consider online marketing. There are endless options available in this arena (that’s a topic for another blog post).
A final optimistic trend
An enduring trend that the Small Business Index has tracked through the years is resilience and optimism. Looking ahead to next year, 43% of small businesses intend to increase their staff—an increase of six percentage points from last quarter. Additionally, 43% anticipate they will invest more over the next year, and 66% expect revenues to increase, both on par with Q1 2022.
Click here for a complete copy of the report.
For a complimentary consultation on how you might ramp up your marketing, email [email protected] or call 301-514-1102.
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