UK’s private sector accounts for a large portion of SMEs. According to a source, 5.7 million private-sector includes 99.9 per cent of the latter. Therefore, this market’s result puts a crucial impact on the economy, jobs, and levels of employability.
However, there are many common problems that most SMEs face every day. Some of them include hiring employees, creating an online presence, localizing the business, ascertaining ethics, finding finance, maintaining profits, technological embracement, etc.
Also, the solution for most of these issues is simple but not effortless. For example, hiring the right candidates to fit job profiles may come with budget issues, lack of offerable benefits, and more. But filtering the right people becomes more manageable with every interview.
5 Solutions for the Most Common Challenges Faced by SMEs
- Hiring the Right Candidates
It has become more challenging to hire the right person for the job, mainly due to the high percentage of SMEs in the private sector. Large organizations and competitors tend to provide better benefits and salaries as compared to new organizations.
Additionally, new businesses get constrained from recruiting highly-skilled employees because of budgetary limitations. Therefore, the need to hire must-tasking personnel arises in such companies.
However, the best solution to find the aptest employees is by conducting numerous interviews and relaying questionnaires or aptitude tests. A few other aspects, such as entrepreneurial spirit and exceptional work guarantee even with many responsibilities, can ascertain the right person.
- Creating an Online Presence
Businesses understand the web visibility has become crucial for attracting new customers and retaining existing clients, customers, and employees. Therefore, in a nutshell, it helps in the business expansion and growth perspective.
However, creating a website doesn’t reach out to the mass audience on social media. Therefore, it is necessary to continuously get attention to referral, review, and social media websites.
Simultaneously, the marketing team focuses on aspects like search engine optimization (SEO), surveys or questionnaires, online advertising, referrals, etc. All these aspects with paid or unpaid means would help to increase the footfall of the organization.
- Localizing the Business
Reachability for new SMEs becomes a challenging task without an online presence. However, localizing on the web by stating the exact business location helps in many different ways. Primarily, it enables customers to reach out to the organization in case of any issues.
Second, it fosters company credibility if the employees continuously engage in answering online queries. Therefore, it helps to ascertain the frequently asked questions and find a quick resolution for them.
Besides online localization, businesses can even resort to sending out flyers, pamphlets, leaflets, etc., in regional newspapers. Additionally, coverages in local magazines, charities, and other events can help in the aspect.
- Ascertaining Ethics
The most undervalued challenge of a business organization is ascertaining ethics. Most companies resort to simple guidelines laid by their competitors or in the market. It becomes an effortless task for any firm.
However, organizations with uniquely defined ethics or those who incorporate trends get attention from a larger audience. Transparency enables such business to stand out from the crowd and even gather free publicity.
Moreover, it attracts employees, customers, and clients that associate with similar ethics in the industry. Hence, organizational growth becomes much faster than expected.
- Generating Sources of Finance
Most SMEs would quickly agree that funds can generate by opting for fast loans on the same day or other options and investors. They may even consider receiving funds through rendered products and services.
However, maintaining regular cash flow, especially when the market crashes, a calamity occurs, during bankruptcy, etc., becomes much more difficult. Therefore, building a business plan, having a financial strategy, finding the right partners, etc., can ease the monetary burden.
These financial solutions come as a relief, especially during the initial phases. Besides these practices, SMEs can make pricing adjustments, add more unique values to the solutions, follow associated trends, etc.
- Other Issues
Aside from these five most common challenges, SMEs face attracting customers, profit maintenance, valuable employee retention, and technological embracement. According to a source, new customer acquisition is the most challenging job for seventy-nine per cent of UK SMEs.
However, this is not a problem for SMEs but also for large organizations. The best solution for this issue comes down to pro-activity and smart branding. The former emphasizes mastering marketing challenging, attending networking events, and conducting required phone calls.
On the other hand, smart branding includes creating better business values in the market, high-quality maintenance in every customer-related aspect, etc. These practices would also help to retain existing investors and purchasers.
Likewise, profit maintenance becomes more challenging from one quarter to another. However, cost reduction, turnover increase, and enhancing efficiency and productivity can help to resolve it. Besides this, SMEs and other organizations should review existing suppliers, production process, and premises.
These would enable to recognize unfit or better solutions as compared to existing solutions. Moreover, instead of downsizing, businesses should adopt remote working practices and switch to co-working office spaces.
Such resolutions would diminish the expenses without downsizing and creating negative publicity in the market. Similarly, valuable employee retention can increase with recognition practices like rewards, benefits, and appreciation.
Also, upgrading and embracing new technology would help to increase efficiency, productivity, and profits.
Most UK SMEs face five common business challenges. These include hiring employees, creating an online presence, localizing the business, ascertaining ethics, and generating finance sources.