SME owners will know that the first year of business can be a tricky a one. After all, there is a lot to manage and get right, and there is often a great deal on the line as well. In fact, as an SME owner, it is likely that you will come across one, two, or even all of the following crises within your first year. Luckily, in the post below you will find some advice on how to deal with these issues if they do rear their ugly heads. Read on to find out more.
Your launch doesn’t stick.
Product launches are essential for capturing the attention of the public and making them aware of the product you have to offer. However, not all product launches ‘stick’. That is they are not successful in sticking in the mind of the public and that particular demographics that you hope will buy them.
However, even if you first launch doesn’t quite do the job, it’s nothing to worry about because many household names have had to launch their brand two or three times to establish their brand and claim their niche in the market.
Yes, there will be a cost implication involved if you need to launch over and over again. However, to mitigate this, it can be useful to do a soft launch and let reviews, testimonials, word of mouth, and social media do the business of disseminating information about your brand for you.
You find your suppliers are unreliable.
SMEs are often at a disadvantage when they first get going because they are not always aware of which suppliers are the best value or most reputable in their field.
What this means is that it can be quite easy for them to fall in with suppliers that are not as reliable as they would like. Of course, when working with unreliable supplies you can expect issues with delivery time, as well of the quality of the resources you are using, something that will have a knock-on effect on the product that you deliver to your clients and that can cost you customers and your reputation.
With this in mind, it can be helpful to never rely solely on one supplier, especially for the essentials that you need to purchase. In fact, keep the research document to hand, that you created when initially looking into who would supply your company, as well as their lead times on their deliveries. Then you can quickly source an alternative if you first partnership does not go to plan.
You struggle to find funding.
Sadly, a crisis that many SMEs encounter in their first year is that they cannot find the funds to get the businesses started up and off the ground. After all, few people have the available capital to finance the startup of an entire company just laying around, and that means the need to find this money somewhere else.
One way to do this is to source grants and bursaries that are offered by charities and organisations to companies just starting up. Although, to qualify for these you usually have to meet stringent criteria and have a positive social or environmental aspect to your business.
The alternative and more popular method of securing finance to get your SME of the ground is to get a loan. Something can be made a great deal more example by following advice like the wisdom given in these startup finance applications tips. After all, the more you can do to increase your likelihood of being granted your loan, the less you will have to worry about when it comes to getting your business off of the ground.
You can’t keep up with demand.
Ironically, even success can cause a crisis, especially if the demand for your product or service grows at such a rate that you can’t keep up with it! Luckily, there are some ways to deal with this particular problem.
First of all, it’s vital to be transparent with your customers and appraise them of the delay at the time they purchase the product. Otherwise, you risk having a lot of annoyed people waiting for an item that takes a lot longer to arrive than they thought. Something that can have a substantial adverse impact on your reviews and social media, and so could harm your business in the future.
Secondly, the smarter SME can use this problem and turn it to their advantage by creating a waiting list for their product. What this does is reinforces the sense of scarcity, and continues to increase demand while managing expectations regarding how long it will be until you customers receive delivery. Something that can work as a double win and help to ensure your continued success in the first year of business.