5 common SME challenges for growth

When you deal with different kinds of businesses day in and day out, you get a sense of the common challenges and reasons for those challenges. Find has been looking at SMEs for years, from every kind of sector, to see their pain points and understand how to overcome them.

Here are some examples of the common issues that block growth.

1. brand vagueness

Not having a strong identifiable brand and message to customers. A brand can be your strongest business asset. People remember, understand and value brands where their service is matched with what they say and what they show.

2. letting the tail wag the dog

Focusing on the wrong kind of customer, e.g. putting disproportionate time into the lowest paying, most demanding clients. You have to profile your ideal customer to get to understand them. You also ought to consider when to automate a process and when to even say, ‘no – we’re not a good fit for that client, as we’ll run at a loss’. Understand and then focus efforts on the good-fit clients.

3. not trusting others to be your brand

Working ‘in’ the business, not working ‘on’ the business. This is about not being confident in trusting the mechanics of the business to others, so the result is that there is never time to grow because you are always micro-managing. Build a business with good people, they will take care of the details if they have the credentials, whilst you build the operation. A business has to be able to survive and thrive beyond one person’s skill-set if it is to scale up.

4. not knowing the specifics about how a sale is achieved

Not identifying and expanding a sales conversion strategy. Sometimes, how a sale is made is not dissected. If it were, then it could be duplicated as a process – whether that’s via a sales team or person, or a digital channel.

5. lost leads

Not connecting the sales operation to the marketing operation. Very common as an issue. Once you understand how you sell well, then connect the marketing to the sales provision seamlessly.

6. eCommerce or authenticator?

Not realising what the company website is for. You may need your site to represent your professionalism when your sales team is trying to explain your company’s service. However good you are as a service, a bad quality website will not reflect that and even cause more damage than good. If you can automate sales effectively, an eCommerce platform might ensure you make sales whilst you sleep.

These are really common issues for a lot of developing businesses. We have faced them ourselves, so we understand how problems in the flow of business happen. And although these problems are very common, every business has a slightly different method they need to turn things around and to grow faster – which is why we recommend a bespoke strategy.

Find has a process which starts with working out these issues and getting to a point where it’s possible to transform the business. If you need us to work with you, please contact us and we’ll help.