Simple Solutions for Small Business Challenges

by Jeff Learned

Every small business owner faces their share of challenges. Whether you’re a new solopreneur just getting going, or a small business owner that has been in business for 10 years, challenges never go away. For those starting out, there are far more dark days than better days. Even when things are going well, around the corner is something, that CAN derail your momentum if you let it. 

Well here is my first piece of advice - “Welcome to the show.” I’m really sorry to tell you, this is business, this is life, you are playing by big boy rules now. You took your life and your business into your own hands, for that I applaud you. Not many people have the courage to do so, but you did. That’s about all the pat on the back your are going to get from me. Simply because I’m in the trenches with you. 

I have recently started my own consulting firm. I’ve taken the steps to begin building a personal brand, investments in a website and brand awareness, and launched my first online course that was a major success simply by messaging properly and advertising on Linked-In. Not bad right? But I have made my fair share of mistake, rushing to market, untimely investments, incurring too many costs via subscriptions. Below I’ve mentioned some key issues everyone deals with and my learnings based on my experiences so far. 

My goal in my messaging going forward is to simply help you learn from my experiences so you can become more successful sooner. 

Common Issues

Rush to Market

You got that idea, a basic business plan, and everything in your mind says people will die for this. Boom! You start going! Your spreading the word, posting on social media, sending emails, etc. Then two things happen - you don’t get the amount of responses you think you should, and/or, when you get questions, your all jacked up in your messaging. Your determination to get out there - 100000%, your execution - not so much. Here are a couple things that can help

  • Know what your offering - most of the time you have a great idea and your just going to send it. Got it, you have enthusiasm, love it. However, no one else can understand that plan in your mind. Take a second and break out your product. Understand EXACTLY what it is, who it’s for, and for how much. My suggestion, lay out everything you want to provide and break it up into tiered offerings - entry level, mid-priced level, high-priced level. This way when customers tell your their problem, you can fit them into a bucket and know how to explain each and every one. 
  • Know your message - Take the time to KNOW YOUR VALUE. What problems are you trying to solve? Who are you trying to help? You need to understand what you do best, identify it, and message around it. The worst thing that can happen is if someone asks you what to do, you have a convoluted answer that is different every time someone asks the same question. You are the subject matter expert (SME) in your business, know it! Easy way to do it is the PVC method
  1. P - Pain point, What problem are you trying to solve?
  2. V - Value, What value do you bring to solve this problem? What timeframe can you achieve it?
  3. C - Close, What is your offer? How are you going to close it - cash, check, invoice?

Untimely investments/Incurring too many costs

One are the next things that causes some of the bigger challenges is getting ahead of yourself. You may have close some leads, got a referral or two, and made some cash which is open your eyes to some amazing possibilities. Sometimes you're going to hear you have to spend money to make money. This is very true but the one thing I will caution you is on when you spend this money. Try not to get ahead of yourself. I had about three clients pretty quickly and I started making some investments thinking that these were “smart” business investments that would automatically bring in new clients. The truth is, the nature of business is unpredictable regardless of what your investments are you're always gonna have peaks and valleys. The smart, timely investments will mitigate these drastic fluctuations and keep a continuous growing business trend.

You'll be surprised on how successful you can be with just a few simple investments. After being in business for nearly 9 months, I have just started to develop a professional website worth a substantial investment. Up until this point I would say 90% of my business has been through referrals and word-of-mouth. This technique may be frowned upon by some, but for those who are starting out it's a great way to slowly scale your business, and properly work out the kinks so your offers will match your representation as your business grows. Take a look at these simple solutions for those starting out.

  • Master the Basics
  1. Ease of communication and messaging. Get your messaging out there via social media, LinkedIn and emails. Start off by using free services, such as Instagram, Facebook, using Google Meet (free), or Zoom (paid/free) as a way to easily communicate with your audience. Use Calendly as a simple and effective way to have people get in touch and book meetings with you. 
  2. There’s nothing wrong with leveraging a word of mouth or referral campaign. This allows you to control your ability to scale so you can continue to provide the quality of content you need to. Use the contacts you already have in the net work you've already built just to get your foot in the door and try different things. The one big thing I suggest is not only do you want to build a reputation but I high-quality one, don't scale too fast or invest and stuff that you may not need at this time. When the time comes invest in a professional, to develop a website or brand messaging for you as your first major investment and representation of yourself. Who I used - Maurilio Amorim
  3. Build a repository of content. Record everything you do and store it locally. Any ideas you have that you feel like you can comment on, do it. Research common challenges about problems your product may solve, then open up a zoom and record a message about it. Every single client meeting or online interaction you have, record it. Build up your repository and when the time comes and you've edited your content, save it and post it. Have enough contact where you can post it on a regular basis. Make sure you're posting it to Youtube as your video content repository. All quick videos should also be posted on your social media page. Get your name and your message out there!