Every business starts small.
The success of a business lies in its strategy to overcome any challenge during its journey.
If you are trying to take your business to new heights, start identifying challenges and create solutions.
The best way is to learn from sundry success stories.
There are several case studies of different businesses that can teach you which strategy to take for selling your product and attracting the target audience.
In this article, we will discuss some of the top case study examples that can assist in upscaling small businesses.
Interesting read: 9 Small Budget Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business
Challenges Faced by Small Businesses
As far as businesses go, there are always hurdles that need to be defeated. Starting a business is itself a big achievement for entrepreneurs, but the main challenge is maintaining one.
There are three common challenges businesses need to overcome. These include managing the expenses, hiring people, and following new trends to develop a customer base.
1. Increased Expenses
Every business revolves around money. There are different areas where businesses have to spend their money. But the issue is handling the financial hurdles. With an unplanned budget and financial advice, businesses will be spending more than they need to.
Keeping an eye on expenses is important because the expenses determine the profit the business will make.
However, it is not easy to reduce the expense. It’s affected by demand and supply. If businesses need to keep up with the market’s demands, then the chance of increasing expenses is 100%.
2. More and Skilled Manpower Required
Businesses don’t run themselves. They need manpower with skills to handle different departments. Generally, the number of employees in a small business ranges from 1 to 500 people. Getting this manpower is easy but getting a skilled one is difficult and time-consuming.
Whenever looking for manpower, businesses need to decide what skills they want in their candidate. The problem is candidates can’t always fulfill all the requirements. Besides, hiring manpower also increases the expenses.
3. Keeping Up With the Latest Trends
The market is fluid. It changes and introduces new trends. Small businesses need to keep up with the changing trends to keep their business growing. But this is where many businesses start to fall apart.
The thing about new trends is that businesses need to sell their products at the right time. It means they have to keep on studying the market to speculate their next products. If a small business fails to deliver during the peak of the trend, then it will suffer a heavy loss.
Solutions to Grow a Small Business
The best thing about businesses is that there is an attempt to find a solution for every challenge. It brings out the competition in the market, which is huge for surfacing different kinds of solutions a business can adopt.
1. Reduce the Expenses
When it comes to expenses, businesses are focused on spending huge sums on communication because communication is the key element of increasing customers and revenue. It’s not a big problem for big companies, but it is expensive for small businesses.
Fortunately, the cloud telephony system has removed the dilemma while making business budgets because cloud phone services are cheaper than plain old telephone services.
It reduces the initial cost of new businesses up to 90%. Recent surveys suggest that over 74% of businesses prioritize cloud phone systems as their urgent investment.
The same goes for marketing which is necessary to attract potential customers. Small businesses don’t have enough budget to advertise their products.
The best solution for this is using social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to promote and sell their products.
Case Study: Coffman Engineers
Coffman Engineers clearly states that although the cost of using a virtual phone number adhered to cloud phone is 50% more per employee, it still provides overall 25% more savings than plain old telephone service (POTS).
Coffman Engineers have been relying on cloud phones ever since their one office location faced a disaster. Now they have a disaster recovery feature built into their cloud phone system. It helped them to be ready for any disasters without losing communication with employees.
Not just that, they found all the necessary features bundled into one subscription package in a VoIP phone system. Such a facility enabled them to handle all their business communication using only one platform.
- Small businesses must invest in cloud telephony for business communication.
- Extensive use of social media to promote and sell your products/service.
2. Improve Employee Productivity
As we have already discussed earlier, manpower is a big challenge for small businesses. Hiring more employees doesn’t mean higher productivity. Businesses need to hire the right candidates to keep their expenses in check and improve productivity.
There are different tools available that can monitor what the employees are doing. Time tracking tools and workforce management tools are key components every business needs.
Especially in remote working scenarios, these tools are crucial to getting the full effort for the employees. Companies have seen a 35%-40% rise in productivity in employees working remotely with the use of tracking tools.
Case study: On The Map Marketing
On The Map Marketing, a digital marketing agency, used time tracking tools that showed that remote working employees tend to work more hours since they can work at flexible hours.
On The Map Marketing first started using the time tracking tool when they were opening their office in Riga, Latvia. The CTO of the company wanted the time spent on different tasks on his computer as well as managing the remote working employees.
Using a time tracking tool, they were able to track their productivity with a detailed report of their daily activities during office hours. It helped them calculate salary bonuses. They also found the productivity level of each employee to determine their value for the company.
- Small businesses should use a time tracking tool to make sure employees focus on their office work.
- Small businesses can track the performance of each employee at office locations or remote working locations.
3. Reward Your Customers
A business becomes successful when it can keep its customers happy. In efforts to upscale a small business quickly, the marketplace has seen a decline in the quality of products and services. It is a primary reason for customer dissatisfaction.
About 45% of business professionals rate customer experience as their top priority for growing a business.
Survey says more than 85% of buyers are willing to spend more for a better customer experience. Therefore, small businesses need to focus on improving their quality of products and services, which is a powerful indicator of customer experience.
Case study: Starbucks
Starbucks introduced a Reward Loyalty Program in which customers collect stars to get exciting rewards. This program drives 40% of Starbucks total sales.
By adapting the gamification method, Starbucks added a reward loyalty program to their already established app. This move drastically increased sales and digital traffic. They brought mobile payment, customer loyalty, and content partnership in one powerful app.
Customers started registering for My Reward via their app. They are given stars(points) in exchange for their interaction in the app or purchase made. The higher the number of stars a customer gets, the better rewards they get.
- Small businesses can give different forms of rewards for more customer engagement.
- Improvement in customer service can drive more sales and attract more customers.
4. Build Your Brand
Small businesses should learn to build their brand image. While marketing any product or service, the brand image is a key factor for understanding how people view your business.
A brand image must first include mission, vision, and values. It also requires a brand positioning statement that can set your business apart from the competitors.
It’s important to create a unique brand personality. For this, businesses need to design a good logo because customers are most likely to recognize a business looking at a logo. They will have to identify their target audience to craft a good brand image.
According to a study, around 89% of users stay loyal to a business with a good brand image.
Case study: Apple
Apple logo is a well-recognized design that reflects the brand value. Over the years, the Apple logo has gone through several design changes.
The most important rebranding of the company came when Steve Jobs changed the logo which impacted the overall personality of the company. Now, this logo is the most recognized logo in the world.
Looking at the Apple logo, customers can feel a sense of trust, reliability, and innovation. It is the main reason for the huge sales of all the Apple products across the globe.
- Branding helps a business build strong relationships with prospects and attract them to be loyal customers.
- Small businesses need to create a strong brand image to sell their products efficiently.
5. Prioritize on Partnerships
Partnerships and collaboration can lift the businesses to maximize their cost savings. It allows businesses to strengthen their programs using available resources and tools.
This has a direct effect on improving the efficiency of their operations. It improves the credibility of the business in the marketplace.
Case study: RENAULT & NISSAN
Renault and Nissan have a strong partnership in automobiles. Their partnership made a remarkable achievement of making up 10% of new car sales worldwide.
Renault and Nissan chose to make an alliance rather than a merger because an alliance has many stronger benefits than a merger would give.
With an alliance, they can access more geographical areas where foreign investments are restricted. These companies got better chances to enter each other’s territory where they were already established companies because of the alliance.
Although they faced numerous challenges including fluctuation in price share, they managed to resolve issues and succeed.
- Small businesses can collaborate with other businesses to increase their chances of higher product sales and profit for everyone.
- Partnership with other businesses allows all parties to take benefits from each other’s strong areas.
6. The Right Marketing Strategy
Every business requires to sell its product and services to the market. Without marketing, a business cannot compete in the marketplace. The first thing about marketing is knowing your target audience and competitors.
When small businesses know who they are competing against, it will help them to see how the competitors are executing their business and attracting their customers.
One such way is to grow your website traffic which can bring you more leads and eventually customers. And how do you increase your website traffic? SEO. If done right, Search Engine Optimization can drive huge traffic to your website to reach your marketing goals.
Case study: Zapier
Zapier used an SEO strategy revolving around long-tail keywords for generating organic traffic to their website. They created 25,000 unique landing pages for unique keywords.
Zapier had a structure and layout for each page including well-optimized human written content. They outsourced SEO content and focused on a playbook for the onboarding process and launched new apps so that they can get partners to write content for them.
On top of that, they also outsourced link building to their partners. These partners wrote valuable guest post content of Zapier on their site and gave a backlink to Zapier. It helped Zapier to get new users as well as drive their website traffic.
- Small Businesses should improve their website traffic by adding more landing pages with relevant content.
- Backlinks through guest posts on other websites can drive more website traffic and attract more prospects.
Now that you have a fair idea of the business challenges and solutions, there is a good chance of delivering a good strategy for growing your small business.
On top of that, the case study examples above will help you view how other businesses overcome their situation to take their business to new heights.
The most important aspect of upscaling a small business is understanding the customer’s needs. Therefore, you should design a persuasive marketing strategy to attract customers and compete with other businesses in the market.
And a good marketing strategy for any business must include social media. And to make the most of your social media marketing efforts try SocialPilot for free today.