Manage my business

Top 10 Small Business Problems Owners Are Facing

Being a business owner today is anything but a walk in the park. A host of forces – local, national and global – challenge business owners to be resourceful or close up shop. But here are the top ten small business problems that entrepreneurs are up against today – and how you can overcome them.

Cybersecurity threats

Cybersecurity threats are major small business problems today. The small-scale security systems of small businesses make them more vulnerable to viruses, hacks and consumer data theft. Be sure to work with a reputable IT company that can precisely put in place the security settings you need to protect your business and customers.

Tax law changes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new pass-through deduction and changes to corporate tax rates that may affect your business. Educate yourself about how the new tax law affects small business owners now so that you can avoid headaches come tax time.

Evolving health insurance market

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the individual mandate for health insurance. Read up on how to get insurance when you’re self-employed before plans are announced in the fall so that you can make a more informed decision.

Natural disasters

Events like Hurricane Irma and the recent water main break in downtown Philadelphia proved that no business is immune from disaster. Put in place a continuity plan while your company is safe and sound. Contingency plans will ensure that it recovers quickly and with minimal damage after unexpected events.

Economic uncertainty

The U.S. economy could be poised for growth or headed for a recession depending on who you ask. But careful budgeting year-round can ensure that the surpluses you enjoy during a boom cycle of business will tide you over during a potential bust cycle.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI)

Sixty-one percent of businesses have already put in place AI, says TechRepublic. Critics cite its potential to eliminate manual labor. Advocates believe systems that mimic human thinking can prove useful in areas like predictive analytics and machine learning.

Only you can decide whether AI is right for your business. If you adopt it, start small. For example, you could add a chat-bot to your website to supplement a human-led customer service department.

The changing social media landscape

The flight of young users to Instagram and Snapchat, plus Facebook News Feed changes that de-emphasize business posts, can limit your social media reach and lower your conversion rate if you’re too dependent on the platform.

You should create and maintain a presence on multiple major social platforms. Increase your social media reach by starting an influencer marketing program in which ordinary individuals promote your products and services on their social media channels.

Increased need for mobile-friendly websites

Fifty-seven percent of users claim they will only recommend businesses with well-designed mobile sites, according to socPub. The challenge lies in adapting e-commerce websites designed for large-screen users to satisfy the needs of smartphone users.

One way to meet the needs of mobile users is to use a “responsive” website design that adapts to various screen sizes. Or, you can use an “adaptive” design wherein separate mobile design loads for users with a small-screen device.

Demand for video content

Sixty-four percent of users are more likely to make an online purchase after watching a branded video, says Animoto. But small business problems can arise if you don’t have the skills, the staff or the audience size to produce the videos. Or the reach of a broad audience.

So why not get top video creators with large online audiences to advocate your products or services? They can film and post the video to their social channels. You can also promote the video on your social media channels and website.

Growing millennial workforce

Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. And old-school workplace approaches can scare them away. You need to put in place business core values, processes, and perks that take into account their desire for work-life balance and flexibility.

About the author

Manasa Reddigari

Manasa Reddigari has tackled topics ranging from computer software to home remodeling in her more-than-a-decade-long career as a writer and editor. During her stint as a scribe, she's been featured by MileIQ, Trulia, and other leading digital properties. Connect with her on copyhabit.com to find out what she's been writing about lately.

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                    The Growth Center does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.