Common SMB Pain Points and How to Solve Them

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Small businesses face a variety of challenges that differ based on your industry, location, and other factors. There are, however, certain pain points that are fairly common for small and midsize businesses. Here are some typical SMB pain points and some guidelines on overcoming them.

Generating Quality Leads

Lead generation is crucial in order to attract new customers. A common problem for businesses is attracting relevant, qualified leads. It's easy to waste lots of time and money attracting people who don't really need or can't afford your products or services. Here are some ways to get more quality leads:

  • Create a buyer persona that helps you identify the qualities and needs of your customers. You may need multiple buyer personas for different products and campaigns.
  • Share helpful content on social media that directs followers to your website.
  • Turn your website into a lead-generating machine. Publish content that's relevant to your target audience. Place a clear call-to-action (CTA) on every page. You need a compelling landing page that captures email addresses and/or encourages visitors to call you.
  • Use lead generation software to automate the process. Or outsource this by working with a reliable agency.

Cash Flow Problems

Lack of cash flow can be deadly for small businesses. You need a steady flow of cash to meet payroll and other expenses. You also need money to invest in inventory, equipment, and marketing.

  • Look for ways to cut expenses. Consider operating from home or a shared working space rather than renting an office. Use free or low-cost marketing strategies such as social media, blogging, making videos, and SEO.
  • Investigate possibilities for financing such as small business loans, invoice factoring, and crowdfunding.
  • Consider barter. Trading goods and services with other businesses to help you conserve funds.


Finding the Right Employees

Many businesses have trouble finding reliable employees. High turnover is also an issue in many industries. When you consider the cost of training new employees, this can be a real drain on your business.

  • Hire with care. Develop a thorough interview and qualification process to ensure you attract employees who are truly a good fit.
  • Communicate. Hire people you see sticking with you in the long run. Keep them informed on your latest plans and encourage them to keep learning. This approach is actually easier for small and midsize businesses than for larger ones.
  • Consider outsourcing for certain tasks. This helps you save money and lets you find the best possible individual or agency for each task. This allows you to only hire people who are involved with the nuts and bolts of your business while outsourcing more mundane tasks.

Getting Repeat Business

While it's great to find new customers, people who return regularly are actually your most valuable customers. For one thing, it costs much less to market to return customers. They also spend more. Research shows that returning customers spend 67% more than new ones. It's definitely in your best interest to look for ways to get more repeat business.

  • Build an email list. This gives you a reliable way to contact customers whenever you want.
  • Consider SMS or text message marketing. This works especially well for physical businesses such as restaurants, salons, and medical practices where customers typically make reservations or appointments.
  • Start a rewards or loyalty program to motivate customers to return. This model is successful for businesses as diverse as coffee shops to airlines.
  • Be flexible. Offer customer support in as many forms as possible (e.g. phone, email, social media, live chat). If you deliver physical items, offer multiple shipping options. Payment plans for costlier products and services also make you more attractive to do business with.

These are some common challenges facing small businesses. It's helpful to identify these issues as soon as possible, preferably before they become a major sticking point. One way to prevent and overcome such challenges is to find the right tools.

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