Top 10 Small Business Challenges in 2023


Steve Thompson

Jan 2, 2023


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Economic changes may lead to new paths and barriers for small businesses in 2023. Supply chain issues and the overall economic slowdown will create hurdles between business leaders and their goals. Companies that survive the upcoming headwinds will be those well-prepared. Here are some of the top small business challenges 2023 will bring to enterprise owners and managers.

Analyze the top 10 rivals for your target keywords

Keyword  with a target

Your focus on meeting the top small business challenges 2023 presents should begin with analyzing what your competitors are doing online. It takes little time to get an overview of a rival's online marketing strategies. A major concern should be their target keywords to attract an audience. To what degree do their keywords overlap with yours? Find out how well rivals appear in search results on the first page for your top keywords.

Analyzing keyword performance for your company's top 10 competitors is helpful. It will reveal how much more marketing you need to do to stay competitive. Keywords are the basic building blocks of search engine optimization and connection with an online community.

Top small business challenges 2023

While key small business challenges in 2021 have evolved, the challenges faced in 2023 will revolve around digital concerns. While a significant percentage of companies already prioritize their websites to be mobile-friendly storefronts, traditional managers still need to work on digital transformation. Ultimately, it will be challenging for businesses of all types to be competitive against a growing pool of empowered digital players. The following are some of the top challenges to look for in 2023.

1. Shifting to a Sustainable Business Model

Man holding an LED bulb with a calculator

Tighter resource access has forced firms of all types to rethink their business models. The Russia-Ukraine war has already dramatically impacted fuel prices, causing volatility and unpredictability in future energy costs. The supply chain crisis and the effects of the pandemic also play into this redesign. Businesses must adopt sustainability as a core fundamental to withstand the possibility of supply shortages amid rising demand.

2. Maintaining Happy Remote Workers

Many American workers who are burned out on traditional 9-5 office jobs have enthusiastically embraced remote work. Employers, however, still face the challenges associated with people getting tired of remote work for reasons such as alienation, lack of motivation, and too many home distractions. The key to maintaining a positive remote workforce is communicating closely with team members and providing interesting incentives that reward remote performance.

3. Deeper Digital Adoption

Hand holding a digital world

Larger companies have been energized by digital transformation, but not all small businesses have the budgets to spend on new technology. Business evolution has reached a fork in the road dividing modern digital firms from traditional companies that engage in something other than big data. But resisting transformative developments such as cloud migration, automation software, and digital marketing risks surrendering market share to competitors.

4. Handling Inflation and a Slower Economy

Inflation spiraled out of control in 2022 to the point the Federal Reserve began a series of interest rate hikes. That means it will be more difficult for small businesses and consumers to access loans. The combination of low-interest rates over the past decade, the supply chain crisis, the pandemic, and international conflicts have led to the highest inflation the world has seen in four decades. Unless market prices decline, consumer spending is expected to tighten in 2023.

5. Continued Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply chain disruptions have been going on even before the pandemic. Several issues have converged to create barriers to fast, affordable shipping. These barriers include labor shortages, regulations affecting international trade, and giant shipping companies tying up ports leading to skyrocketing storage fees. There have also been shortages of raw materials such as silicon, which has impacted several industries, especially tech. Businesses must find alternatives or make concessions to account for these deficiencies.

Woman going through an interview

6. Recruiting Quality Talent and Preparing for Labor Shortages

The nation's top economists forecast a recession for 2023, which may involve widespread layoffs. Attracting experienced talent will be challenging as the job market becomes more competitive while many seasoned professionals are still rethinking their careers. Automation software can be a sustainable solution to certain redundant tasks to improve productivity and accuracy of order fulfillment.

7. Keeping Loyal Customers Satisfied

Over the past decade, customer satisfaction has been a top priority among local establishments and national brands that ship directly to consumers. Speedy, accurate delivery has shifted from a winning to a challenging objective due to supply chain slowdowns. That's why it's helpful to maintain a list of backup suppliers and distributors in case primary vendors run into bottlenecks. Maintaining solid relationships with existing customers will remain one of the top small challenges in 2023 and beyond.

8. Protecting Data and Devices

The era of sophisticated hacking persists and shows no signs of fading soon. Businesses must place a high value on strong cybersecurity to maintain business continuity. One cybersecurity breach alone can force an unprepared enterprise to start all over again from scratch. It's essential to develop multiple defensive layers of data and device protection to make hacking as difficult as possible. Backing up critical data regularly in multiple places remains a safeguard against ransomware attacks.

Diverse Team

9. Aiming for Team Diversity

Shifting to a sustainable future involves opening up opportunities for diverse employees. Team diversity will be particularly meaningful for businesses seeking a global market. Hiring people from various cultures and backgrounds can help improve your company's reputation as a fair employer.

10. Building Online Trust

Your online reputation as a business carries much more weight than just a decade ago. Over the years, throughout the internet age, consumers have seen a wide range of online schemes get exposed, from phishing scams to unregulated crypto exchanges robbing customers. The good news is it's getting harder to fool people online regarding shallow marketing attempts. The challenge for new young companies is to generate enough positive engagement with a target audience to overshadow complaints that may appear in online customer reviews.


Small businesses must take critical steps to become more resilient when economic conditions weaken. One of the effective ways for online companies to stay afloat is to embrace e-marketing consulting. It will help your operation stay competitive on a digital level. As energy costs add to economic uncertainty, consumers will be more conscious of replacing gas mileage with internet clicks to find the best deals.

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