The Biggest Problem Most Small-Business Owners Face


Can you guess what it is? Before I answer, I have a few questions for you to consider…

  • Do you own a business and are you looking for ways to increase your sales and scale, so that you can grow fast and the business can, ultimately, run without you?​
  • Do you feel like you can't work any harder – you're burnt out and overwhelmed and doing too much just to keep your business operating?
  • Do you wish you had someone excellent and reliable, to whom you could outsource your marketing, cost-effectively, so that it's done for you?
  • Do you have a great product or service and yet, you can't understand why you don't have more customers?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you’re not alone.

The Number ONE Challenge

Have you guessed what it is? Well if you guessed MARKETING, then good guess! This is usually because the business owners I mentor, are so overwhelmed with the choices of marketing channels!

They wonder, “Do I market on Facebook or LinkedIn?” Most of them know they need to build an email marketing list, but “just don't have time to do this consistently. I sent an email and not many people opened the email or clicked through. Worse yet… people unsubscribed!” explained one client. This worries them, because it took a lot of effort, time and money to build their list.

Email marketing the hidden treasure in your business

I am surprised at the number of my clients who don't regularly use email to educate and inspire their clients. Email is one of the most significant marketing channels available to business owners. They have built up a list of people who have a relationship with them – these people trust them and form their community or tribe, and will continue to, as long as they are engaged regularly and sent value added content that's relevant to them, to help them learn, grow and solve pressing problems.

Many of my clients are in industries such as speaking, coaching, real estate, online marketing, service-based and retail. They have grown their businesses through sheer hard work and now want to rise to the next level. They want to be of service and help more people with their expertise. And yet, they're not sure how!

Email marketing has been, hands down, the most effective marketing strategy I’ve used in my business. If you are not currently sending your tribe regular e-newsletters or emails, think about starting today.

And, it doesn’t stop there…

Another lucrative marketing channel

Another channel that can rapidly help you to grow your tribe and disperse your message is to host live seminars or events. There is no better way to leverage your influence and multiply your revenues.In the 21 years my company, Universal Stars (formerly Universal Events), hosted seminars and events, we would often generate a million dollars in revenue in one weekend, with between1, 700 and 2, 300 people in attendance. Of course, there were many costs – including speakers, affiliate partners, as well as variable- and fixed expenses. Hands down the most rewarding part, for me, was to see peoples’ lives and businesses transforming. That's why I’m passionate about education and live events. Plus, they are a ton of fun especially, when you get to meet like-minded people!

What are your goals?

Maybe your goal is to reach 30, 50 or 100 people plus. Perhaps you run your own events now and you're just not sure how to grow the numbers. My passion is to help business owners share their message and grow their businesses, at least 3 times in revenue, through hosting their own live events. You see, many of the business owners I work with have phenomenal products and, yet, very few people know about them.

Can you relate?

Take a look at this example of one of my clients:

Tom reached out to me a few months ago. He is an excellent speaker with an effective referral program and he’s a skilled salesperson. Yet, his numbers at live events are small. He hired me to mentor him on how to attract more people. After our initial discussion, I could see what was missing immediately. Simply put – marketing.

For Tom, his dilemma was not knowing what to do to reach his target market. And, in what order!

As I mentioned, he developed a referral programme and an ascension model, which was a great start. This propelled him to where he is today, just not to the income level he aspires to achieve.

My client was aware of this and yet, he was unsure of how to get the marketing done, cost-effectively. He felt like he was already wearing so many hats and wanted to take more off his plate, not add anything else!

What Tom needed was a great marketing resource to help with simple, low-cost marketing strategies and the copywriting skills to communicate effectively with his audience. There is hidden gold in my client's business, including intellectual property unique to him, which could quite easily be repackaged into a content pieces, such as an eBook, blog post, infographic or report to attract more of his ideal clients.

As a result, I’ve been mentoring him on defining his client avatar, refining his ascension model, prioritising content marketing, building his email list and working out how to position his offers. It’s essential to have this in place before he budgets even more on building traffic.

At the heart of his challenge was a lack of time to take on everything needed to grow his business and, not being able to delegate.

What if you have a small team?

Many small-business owners have small teams and limited resources, so how can a small-business owner utilise his/her resources to grow? Sometimes, the focus just needs to change so that the highest priorities – the things that will provide maximum leverage and more revenue – are done first. Some other solutions are to outsource routine functions, delegate more and automate as many processes as you can.

If you feel stuck, seek out a coach, mentor or marketing professional, join a network of business owners or attend a live event. Remember you may be just one decision away from a breakthrough and your next success.


I would love to receive your feedback on this post. Please add any comments or questions below and, if it resonates with you, please share this with friends and family.

About the Author Karen Corban

A visionary entrepreneur, Karen founded Universal Stars (formerly Universal Events) in 1993. Her mission is to inspire people and companies to grow, through bringing them live events featuring more than 100 of the world’s top speakers on business and
success. A graduate of UNSW (Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology), her passion is to educate and inspire people to be the best they can be. Karen delights her clients with her unique blend of enthusiasm, inspiration, charm, care, wisdom and generosity.

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