3 Common Challenges Faced By Businesses And How To Solve Them
By: Josh Cross, Interim CEO & President of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce
Running your own business isn’t easy – throw a crisis into the mix like the COVID-19 pandemic, and you have a recipe for chaos. It seems like every challenge small businesses were dealing with only grew! That’s why our Chamber has made it our mission both now and in the future to help equip you with what you need to overcome these three frequent obstacles faced by local entrepreneurs.
1. Problem One: Lack Of Connection and Support
The global pandemic made it glaringly evident that we all need a sense of personal connection and businesses need a way to connect with new and old customers in a meaningful way. Meeting and establishing relationships face-to-face with community businesses to explore ways to collaborate and enhance each other’s businesses is key to fostering B2B partnerships.
That’s why the first and arguably the most important benefit we offer is that of connection. Members of our Chamber maintain a strong relationship with each other and with the larger community. Even during a pandemic, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet other businesses, customers and build strategic relationships. For the past year, we’ve been hosting virtual mixers, virtual workshops, and drive-through events for our community. Our goal is to provide opportunities for businesses who want to connect with each other and new customers.
2. Problem Two: Staying Visible In A Busy Online World
Not only did the pandemic limit the amount of shopping in-person at local stores, but it also sped up the interest in online shopping and browsing1. Online shopping is a trend that isn’t going away any time soon, making it incredibly challenging for local businesses to suddenly compete and stand out in a space that may be very unfamiliar with them. You could have the best service, products, food in the world, but if you don’t have the visibility to help you spread that information, you’re missing out on sales.
That’s why another one of our goals here at the Chamber is to make sure you stay visible! Putting aside the visibility you gain for your business just by showing up and connecting at mixers and events, there are other ways your Chamber ensures that your business is visible online. As a member, you’re highlighted in our local online business directory. Your events can go up on our virtual community calendar. We’ll share your social media posts on our page and your flyers in our newsletters. We also regularly give shout-outs and features to our business community on our social media pages. Our team is always on the lookout for ways to increase the visibility of our local stores! (If you’re currently a member and would like to share your events and flyers with us, please email Vicki@AtascaderoChamber.org.)
3. Problem Three: Lacking A Voice
As a small business owner, it can feel like you’re standing alone with no one listening to your ideas or your challenges.
When you’re a member of the Chamber, you’re connected, and your voice is louder because you have a community on your side. You have the opportunity to participate in councils that engage in all different facets of life here in Atascadero. We have a Diversity Council, Women in Business Council, Economic and Legislative Council, and an Ambassadors Council that you can join and contribute your ideas to regularly. Did you know that the Chamber advocates on behalf of members of their business community? Your voice matters, and we’ll help you share it.
Here at the Chamber, our number one priority is that of OUR business community. The team and I work hard to ensure that your Chamber is helping you face and overcome challenges as a business. Because what you do as a small business owner makes a positive difference in our community! As always, your Chamber team is here for you. If you’d like to learn more about membership or about the upcoming opportunities you have as a member, give us a call at (805) 466-2044 or email Vicki@AtascaderoChamber.org.
-Josh Cross, CEO, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce
1 Charles Riley, CNN Business. (2020, October 13). Online shopping has been supercharged by the pandemic. There’s no going back. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/11/investing/stocks-week-ahead/index.html
President & CEO of the Atascadero Chamber | Josh Cross