The Top 3 Challenges Facing Small Businesses

With the current economic climate, small businesses are under the cosh. This blog details what challenges small businesses are facing and discusses strategies they can use to overcome them.

8/28/20233 min read

challenges facing small businesses
challenges facing small businesses

The journey of entrepreneurship is both thrilling and unpredictable. However, it is marked by intricate challenges that demand careful consideration. Within this blog, we aim to bring to light the most prominent challenges often confronted by UK small businesses. Rest assured, we possess a collection of practical recommendations to aid you in navigating these challenges.

1. Getting New Customers and Spreading the Word: Crafting Smart Growth Strategies

Imagine this: you've got a product or service that could change lives, but the real challenge is getting it in front of the right people. Acquiring new customers and effectively marketing to them can feel like threading through a maze. Did you know that attracting customers is a top challenge for 42% of small businesses? This nugget comes from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)1. In a world teeming with options, making your business stand out demands some strategic nouse. However, there are some simple steps you can take to kick start your business growth, with digital marketing and your online presence being the catalyst for success.

Strategies for Success:

  • Embrace the Digital Realm: Establishing a robust online presence is a must. Use social media platforms to showcase your offerings, connect with your audience, and create a buzz.

  • Hit the Bullseye with Targeted Ads: When you advertise, focus on reaching those who are most likely to be interested. Platforms like Facebook and Google offer tools to pinpoint your audience.

  • Serve Up Value with Content: Crafting valuable content, such as blog posts, videos, and guides, positions you as an expert and resonates with your audience.

2. Taking Care of Mental Health: Nurturing Your Well-being

Running a business can feel like riding an exhilarating roller coaster, but it can also bring its fair share of challenges to your mental health. According to the FSB, a whopping 38% of small business owners grapple with mental health issues stemming from their business ventures1. As small business owners working in the current economic environment, we are all feeling the pressure. As a result, of our focus on continuing to do right by our business we often forget to give ourselves the breathing space and time off to refresh and refocus. Balancing a multitude of responsibilities can easily lead to burnout.

Strategies for Self-Care:

  • Draw a Line Between Work and Life: Setting clear boundaries between work and personal time is vital. Remember to unplug and dedicate time to things you love.

  • Delegate with Confidence: You're a superhero, but even superheroes need a team. Delegate tasks that don't require your direct attention so you can focus on the bigger picture.

  • Tap into Support Resources: Resources like the NHS's Every Mind Matters2 are invaluable for managing mental health. Don't hesitate to ask for assistance when needed.

3. Managing Rising Costs: Navigating Financial Waters

Running a business comes with a fair share of costs that can sometimes sneak up on you. From rent hikes to unpredictable supply costs, keeping expenses in check can be quite the puzzle. The FSB found that 40% of small businesses worry about the rising cost of doing business1.

Strategies for Cost Efficiency:

  • Give Your Budget a Regular Check-Up: Regularly assess your budget to uncover areas where savings can be made. Small changes can add up over time.

  • Master the Art of Negotiation: Forge strong relationships with your suppliers and don't shy away from negotiating for better terms.

  • Leverage the Power of Tech: Technology can be a true ally. Automate tasks wherever possible to streamline operations and save precious time.

In a nutshell, navigating the challenges that UK small businesses face demands a mix of savvy strategies and unwavering determination. Attracting new customers hinges on a robust online presence, safeguarding your mental health is non-negotiable, and tackling increasing costs requires a financial game plan. Always remember that you're not alone in this journey. There's an entire network of industry peers, fellow business owners, and professionals ready to offer guidance and support.

So, as you continue to sail through the world of business, keep in mind that each challenge is an opportunity in disguise. Embrace them, learn from them, and let them shape you into a business powerhouse.


  1. Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). "FSB Priorities for the UK’s Small Businesses and the Self-Employed." 2021.

  2. NHS. "Every Mind Matters." Available at