Growing Against Odds: Addressing Common Growth Challenges For UK Small Businesses

A wooden figure climbing wooden building blocks that spell out the word Growth as the figure's small business grows in profit and size.

You’re a small business with big ambitions. But despite your obsession with quality, commitment to your customers and incredible team, it seems as though the growth you long for eludes you. In these economically turbulent times, business growth and innovation can help your business weather periods of uncertainty and help you to maintain consistent profitability. 

But if growing a small business was easy, well, there would be no small businesses.


In this article, we look at some of the common challenges that can impede business growth and how the right tools and mindset can help you to overcome them.

Working In Your Business Rather Than Working On It

Running your business and growing your business are two different disciplines that require very different skill sets. Nascent small business owners often find themselves so immersed in the day-to-day operation of their business that they lack the time and specific skills necessary to grow their businesses.

Business growth requires strategy, insight, and the kind of big-picture perspective that is hard to obtain from the proverbial coalface. Don’t be afraid to delegate key operations to your employees and instead spend your time evaluating your processes, identifying opportunities to grow revenues and focusing on customer retention.

Investing in business intelligence solutions can take the legwork out of this and provide insights that can facilitate informed decision-making.

Cash Flow Management

Business growth requires capital investment. But this capital can be difficult to come by if every month is a struggle to maintain positive cash flow. Cash flow management can be a touchy subject for SMEs. 

Startup capital repayments, spiralling energy costs, and inflation placing a squeeze on every link in the supply chain leave very little room for error when it comes to managing cash flow. With judicious investment in automation and business intelligence, you can take greater control of your company’s cash flow, targeting areas of wasteful spending, making operations more efficient and improving customer service, thereby boosting revenues.

Poor Customer Retention

Depending on whom you believe, it costs businesses anywhere between five and twenty-five times more to acquire new customers than to retain their existing customer base. Your customers are the foundation on which your growth will be built. So, make sure you take active steps to keep them coming back. This may include:

  • Establishing clear customer service standards and guidelines
  • Investing in customer service training for your staff.
  • Tailoring products/services to individual needs.
  • Responding quickly and professionally to inquiries.
  • Rewarding repeat customers with incentives to help engage customers.
  • Addressing issues and concerns from customers to show your dedication to them having a positive experience before the issue has the chance to escalate.
  • Listening to feedback and learning to grow through negative reviews instead of taking them personally.
  • Creating content across different marketing channels to increase brand awareness and keep your company at the forefront of your prospects’ minds. 
  • Using content marketing to add value for customers and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds
  • Instigating a loyalty programme to incentivise repeat customers

Lack Of New Business

Even with a loyal customer base, it can be difficult to grow your business if your consumer base is not growing with it. New customer acquisition can be a tough nut to crack and one that often proves costly for SMEs. However, there are many customer acquisition strategies that are relatively low in cost. 

Incentivising customer referrals is one of the most effective, as is using your content marketing to turn your existing customers into an army of loyal brand advocates that will share useful content on social media. Social platforms can also be great vehicles for building brand awareness, creating positive impressions and positioning your business as the solution to prospective customers’ problems. 

Are You Under-Investing In Marketing?

Increasing marketing spend can be an unnerving prospect for small businesses. However, a highly-targeted approach to marketing, combined with robust customer retention strategies and a proactive approach to operations and processes, can be rocket fuel for business growth.

You should be ensuring your business is identifying your ideal customers and the industry’s market trends to refine the messaging in your content and ensure it resonates with potential customers. 

Are you utilising various marketing channels, such as social media, email campaigns, content marketing, and SEO, to reach a wider audience? Allocate a realistic budget and consistently monitor the performance of marketing initiatives to adjust your business’s strategies as needed, and constantly engage with customers to gather their feedback and apply it to improve your marketing approach continually. 

By embracing this innovation, staying updated on industry trends, and seeking professional guidance, if needed, you will be enhancing your business by optimising its marketing efforts and driving meaningful results.

Find Out More

Here at JDR Group, we have specialists that cover all aspects of digital marketing and sales practises, to help companies grow and overcome these hindrances.

To find out more about how to grow your company by getting in touch with one of our digital marketing specialists, or download our free guide on how to attract, win, keep, and grow customers.

Guide To Attract, Win, Keep And Grow Customers

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