The 2017 Challenges
What startups and small businesses need to be ready for
Building a startup is not a wieldy thing to do. Neither working in one. Whoever lives under the impression that is an easy-breezy sort of challenge is oh, so wrong.
As every startup, we have a compelling reason behind what we’re doing, we strive to be the team that will make things happen and we have the strength to make it through hard times. We also know that 2017 is not going to be a relaxed year, but then again… it’s not after effortless and undemanding things what we’re after. Neither should you.
The trends lay out that in 2017 small businesses and startups will face many challenges, but that is no reason to lose faith and panic. Be aware of these challenges instead and, most important, be prepared to face them as good as you can.
For startups, the toughest challenge is to obtain and ensure financial stability. Even if startup funding is more plentiful than ever, the competition is fierce and the investors won’t go in for a certain idea unless it has a high chance of proven success. But this could be a sign for startup founders to do their best and improve their ideas in order to drive their economy forward.
Managing Cash Flow
Money problems are encountered everywhere in different forms. For example, even if you are a fast growing company, this does not mean that you are spared of problems. In 2017 the race for financing and growth continues, which will fuel the increasing pressure of allocating financial resources. You have to juggle with cash reserves, avoid cash flow gaps, prioritize expenses and continue to increase profit and grow revenue. The good part is that cash flow issues can be tracked down and handled. We all know that not every business owner is keen on numbers, this is why ThinkOut is a helping hand in preventing cash flow problems.
Marketing a startup and a small business can be another real challenge. For instance, brand recognition is inexistent at this point. But there is no need to reinvent the wheel. This year, every marketer should take advantage of the emerging trends and focus on using tools that can give a boost to sales. As machine learning is becoming more and more popular as we speak, there is also an increase of instant communication expectancy. Therefore, the 2017 marketing strategies should include the development of executive branding, considered now a necessity; also, visual content marketing is a must for B2B marketers if they want to make it – there is a need to make the content more engaging, compelling and more shareable through 360-degree videos, infographics and of course image blog and social media posts. According to Forbes, we can also take into consideration influence marketing, native advertising, agile marketing, experience marketing and mobile marketing.
In the past few years, the trends have changed regarding employee satisfaction. New generations seek the meaning in what they do, they need to be morally satisfied with their work. Wanting to help and grow a company’s culture lies in their roots and the strive for hard work, commitment and success are encountered more and more. As Nav Athwal, founder and CEO of RealtyShares, states in this article, understanding the value of culture is a must if you’re focused on building a sustainable venture. Therefore, the focus should be on the human side, make your employees feel like to can contribute to something, whatever that something is and show them that they really make a difference. Grow your company’s culture alongside them. The team behind will always have a great impact on business evolution. In startups or small businesses, the team always needs to work together for a common goal. For that is very important to have an excellent communication, to pay attention to the details, and to take the time to understand the business idea itself. It can be time consuming, but this will definitely pay off at some point.
Building a Customer Base
Before anything else, you have to be aware of the importance of a customer. It is very important to pay attention to what he really wants and then, it is necessary to build and create trust in your brand, which, of course, will take time. But building a steady customer base relies on that, so create a custom marketing campaign to engage your potential clients and keep on taking care of them. In 2017, marketers will focus on creating customer loyalty programs through improving customer experience overall. The goal is to reach a balance between the techniques, the tools and the values that matter the most to your customers. This way, you can provide relevant and meaningful experience that will fuel the brand trust and recognition.
Every business comes with its challenges, but this is not a reason to be worried. On the contrary, be motivated and energized. Find and keep a pace that will carry your business humming without grinding down the owner or the team. Take a tiny seed and grow it into a forest.