How to manage the five most common pain points of running an SME

John Kinghorn
John Kinghorn 03 November 2021

Running an SME, whilst extremely rewarding, can be tough. There are many frustrations that come with being a small business owner, which range from going over invoices, chasing up late payments, managing customer appointments or searching for customers instead of completing a job. Ultimately, all of these tasks can take up valuable time and keep you from doing what you actually started your business to do. 

The highs and lows that come with running an SME are all part and parcel of being a business owner. Here are five common pain points which can arise when running a business and ways you could address them to help the highs outweigh the lows. 

Time management

Never enough time in the day? Whether it’s in our personal lives or running a business, a lack of time can hold us back. After all, there are only so many hours in a day. For business owners, managing time and maximising efficiency can reduce costs and save money for their businesses. Too much time spent on never ending administrative tasks leaves you with less time to focus on what really matters: growing your business. 

Exploring ways to streamline your business to make it run as smoothly as possible can be helpful. 

For example, the Equals Money account can help you save time and money managing your business finances more efficiently, whether it be taking control of business expenses or making international payments to suppliers. No more back-and-forth between different systems - you can make domestic and international payments, manage employee spending, reconcile transactions, and more all on one platform. 

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Hiring the right employees

Zoom meeting

Hiring is a pain point for a business of any size - it’s especially difficult for a business with limited resources, like an SME. Recruitment can take up valuable time whether it be reading through CVs or conducting interviews. Creating a successful team takes a certain combination and the right mix of team members who can effectively work together, which also takes time and effort to put together. Additionally, you might not initially have the finances to attract the types of quality personnel that you want. 

One effective strategy to help with recruitment is identifying employees who have the potential to develop. You can then mould and grow the exact team you are looking for at potentially a lower initial cost.

Capital and cash flow

Regardless of size, all businesses need to ensure their revenue covers any operational costs as well as the cost of goods. Customers might make late payments, and this can have a big impact on the balance sheet, especially if you have smaller margins.

Specialist providers can help ensure you have sufficient capital for all circumstances by giving you access to business finance. One option these providers offer is a small business loan, which is a specialised financial solution tailored to meet the needs of your businesses1.

A 2020 survey by the British Business Bank shows that 64% of small and 61% of medium businesses have used or intend to use this finance for working capital,  cash flow, day-to-day costs, and expenses.

Equals Money has partnered with a number of specialist business lending experts who can help you get the funding you need, quickly and cost effectively. Having prompt access to additional capital can make a big difference when running your business. 

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Marketing on a budget 

collaboration in office

Marketing is one of the fundamentals of growing your business. So, how can your business compete if you have a limited budget?

There are plenty of ways to market your business if you’re on a tight budget. Here are a few to consider: 

Content Marketing can be an effective tool for small business marketing. For example, you could create a company blog that you regularly update with content. The blog can be on your website and also promoted via social media channels.

Case Studies can be one of the best promotional tools as they give potential customers real life examples of how good your product and service are and how you could work for them. Case studies can also be used on your website and on marketing materials. 

Social media marketing is an effective way for companies of all sizes to reach out to prospective  and existing customers. If you aren't speaking directly to them on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, then you're missing out. Consistently updating your social media channels can help extend your reach for a low cost.

Increased Costs 

Over the past 12 months, there's been much coverage around global supply chain disruption. This has led to costs rising for many businesses. For example, statistics have shown shipping costs are over 290% higher than this time last year. 

Rising costs reduce profit margins. While it’s not possible to control major worldwide events like Covid-19, Brexit or fluctuations in the financial/currency markets, there are ways to control costs overseas without putting prices under pressure. 

With Equals Money, you have access to a dedicated currency specialist who can help assess the impact of currency fluctuations on your profit margin and help your business devise a strategy that helps manage any currency risk. 

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The Equals Money Account

There are tools that can help you with the challenging task of time management along with reducing any unnecessary costs your business may incur.

Our business account combines cutting-edge technology, support from currency experts, bank-grade connections and high level security to help businesses reach their goals and thrive. It takes the hassle out of domestic and international payments, expenses, budgets and more, so you have more time to focus on accelerating the growth of your business.

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1Equals Money is only able to refer SME’s to specialist business lending experts. Equals Money is unable to refer individuals, sole traders and small partnerships/associations of less than three  people.