Pain Points for Australian Small Businesses in 2018
Small and medium businesses have a large impact on the Australian economy. There is a big network of entrepreneurs that spend every day of the week building great things to keep the business world ticking. Ninety-nine percent of companies in Australia are privately-owned.
In fact, this is true throughout the world, meaning that most of the world runs on small and medium businesses. These businesses struggle with a wide variety of pain points. A pain point for small business owners is anything that makes operating their business difficult. These range from employee time tracking and payroll management to marketing online and dealing with customer complaints.
Employee Time Tracking
Employee time tracking is a huge pain point for small business owners. HR spends hours tracking overtime, reconciling hours worked and monitoring the manipulation of traditional time clock systems. If you don’t have an HR department, you deal with all of these things yourself.
Employers have used time clocks for decades, and they simplify the tracking of employee hours, alleviating this pain point for small business owners. However, with advances in technology, you can take these systems one step farther by allowing employees to track their time via an app.
This makes it easier for you to know where your employees are at all times, helps them access their schedule and request time off with ease, and even enables you to approve leave of absences. By taking this difficulty facing small business owners off of your plate, you can focus on more important things.
Pouring over the books every pay period to ensure the numbers add up can be a frustrating pain point for small business owners. Payroll expenses and payroll technology cost a lot of money and require dedicated employees. Doing your payroll manually is even more time-consuming.
One of the challenges facing small business owners is how to manage payroll while reducing cost. Technology can solve it by providing a comprehensive solution for identifying anomalies, correcting mistakes, and issuing checks.
You shouldn’t have to micromanage your payroll. Quickly use an app to identify areas of improvement and handle complicated tasks quickly. This saves you frustration because you don’t have to hire a dedicated payroll staff.
Because technology presents a new way to market online, customer expectations have changed. One of the challenges facing small business owners today is how to develop a strategy that engages consumers and creates conversions.
Traditional marketing methods no longer work. An effective marketing plan is essential to get the most return on your investment. However, with a small budget and limited resources, this becomes an even bigger pain point for small business owners.
Employing a mix of marketing tactics and diversifying resources is the best way to alleviate this pain point for small business owners. Creating a strategy that uses your website, blogging, and social media to captivate your audience and optimize for search is the best plan of attack.
Dealing with Customer Complaints
The unfortunate reality of business today is that customers complain. They complain about things that you can’t always change. But you can always be sympathetic to their plights. One of the difficulties facing small business owners is how to protect their brand while fielding complaints, especially publicly visible ones online.
It starts with listening. Showing customers, you care, even when you can’t fix their problem builds a relationship based on understanding and trust. Make a no sound like a yes. Acknowledging your limits is tricky, but it’s what’s best for your business in the long run, and the most skilled customer service experts can do it.
A big part of customer service is anticipating the needs of your customer. If you could always predict the future, you would never have another complaint. We all know that’s not possible, but you can get better at it with time.
Apologize. Knowing how to deal with an irate customer gracefully shows integrity. The challenges facing small business owners today are complicated, but a customer taking the time to provide feedback should be your most asset. Taking constructive criticism is a skill that takes practice, but ultimately makes your business better.
Hiring and Retention
Turnover, especially in retail, is high. Without the tools you need to manage your employees effectively, one pain point for small business owners is hiring. This ongoing challenge costs time and money. You can reduce the time and money it takes to hire employees by ensuring retention.
While you can’t afford to provide your employees with the highest salary, you can provide other creative, non-monetary things to keep your team happy. Hiring freelance consultants for fixed-term projects or one-time deliverables can help you manage your hiring processes more effectively, too.
The world of small business is constantly evolving. Coping with the difficulties facing small business owners ensures that you change with it. There’s no right way to do any of these things, but it’s important to try it and figure out what works for your business.