Biggest challenges facing business today

By Henry Brown

Running a small business has never been particularly easy, but in these rapidly changing times, some challenges facing business owners are more pronounced than ever. Technologies are changing all the time; millennials are more choosy about where they shop and who they work for, and there is bigger competition to threaten smaller businesses, be they a retail store or a burgeoning online company. These are just a few of the challenges facing today’s business owners, and we will have a closer look at them in this article.

– The changes in technology. It’s a case of catch-up for many small business owners, and in fear of being left behind, they are suddenly forced to integrate new technologies that are alien to them. Electronic fax solutions, cloud computing, mobile apps, digital marketing… 21st-century changes that are advantageous to businesses, but difficult to comprehend for those not up to date with new tech and jargon.

[amazon_link asins=’0615299210′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9b0aff74-8505-11e8-8cf8-0197095075a8′]And then it’s knowing when to embrace change. Not every new technology will stick around and not every new technology is better than the last. Why spend money on something that may soon become obsolete? The business owner is right to be wary on occasion, and the wise will research new technologies carefully and perhaps seek advice from an IT professional before jumping on board too early.

– The millennial generation. Not every business appeals to millennials, but for those that do, due thought and consideration need to be made. Millennial shoppers view the world through a digital lens, preferring to shop on the internet, rather than a bricks and mortar retail store. The millennial workforce is tech-savvy, and want to work in an environment that feels ‘modern.’ They are eco-conscious, not happy to work in a place that is ethically unsound. And career-progression is large on their agenda, so they will hop around jobs until they find somewhere that suits them. We are generalizing, of course, but these are some of the findings from recent studies. To keep the best customers and retain the best and brightest employees, small business owners need to match their expectations.

[amazon_link asins=’B06Y4457BZ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b3333bd7-8505-11e8-888e-275ef0e1bb03′]- The online competition. As mentioned, today’s shoppers are more likely to shop online than on main street. It’s quicker and more convenient, as it can be done from the palm of their hands. Lazy? Maybe, but with the dominance of online behemoths such as Amazon and eBay, cheaper prices can often be found.

For the bricks and mortar retail owner, they need to find ways to connect with the customer. The main shopping experience can still beat the virtual kind, but it’s a case of getting customers through the doors in the first place. It’s do or die, not only for main street retailers, but for smaller online businesses too. Amazon and the like are moving into more and more fields, so the challenge needs to be faced head-on. The battle isn’t lost, for some at least, but research is paramount to stay ahead of the competition.

Should you run a small business, these challenges probably resonate with you. It’s tough, but hurdles can be overcome. To stay relevant, you need to speak to business consultants, stay in touch with your customers, and keep up with industry journals and websites for advice. Whoever said running a business would be easy? Nobody, but by staying up to date, you stand less chance of business failure.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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