The new year will present additional challenges and opportunities for small businesses as the country is still involved in the COVID-19 pandemic.
On The Small Business Radio Show this week, Ross Buhrdorf, the founder and CEO of ZenBusiness PBC discusses those challenges and tips for first time micro business owners. He has over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, technology leader and c-level exec, angel investor and board member, and has helped transform the way consumers interact with technology. Prior to ZenBusiness, Ross was CTO of HomeAway (now Vrbo), a vacation rental site.
Interview with Ross Buhrdorf on Small Business Challenges in 2022
Ross says that the pandemic was the black swan event that accelerated an existing trend: reassessing life and creating an “entrepreneurial renaissance”. According to a recent survey of micro business owners by ZenBusiness, the top things they found difficult to navigate when they first started their business were:
- Getting customers (50%)
- Sales/business development (41%)
- Securing funding (41%)
- Tax filing (state or federal) (40%)
- Legal requirements (39%)
- Website development and maintenance (34%)
- Accounting/financial bookkeeping (34%)
Being an experienced entrepreneur, Ross points out his tips for those doing it for the first time:
Be honest. Is your service or product something that customers really needs? Ross adds that “the number one reason that most businesses fail is that there was no market need for their service. You can’t fool your customers, so the sooner you figure out if they are going to buy your product or service, the better.”
Get to know your customers. Ross emphasizes that when “starting out, use 100% of your time, energy, and funds to find and know your customer. This is critical for surviving your first year. “
Get an effective website. Having an effective website presence enables businesses to make more revenue in their first year. Ross points out that “ZenBusiness customers who created a website after signing up are earning $15,000 more than those that don’t yet have a website. “
Be competitive. While having a competitive price can get you in the door, Ross believes that “the real clincher is providing greater value and more services. Simply put, do more for your customers than you’re asked or expected.”
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Image: Ross Buhrdorf