Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy, but are constantly facing threats to their livelihoods from many different directions. So, we have asked our fantastic contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their biggest worry and how it could impact small businesses today. Their answers are presented below, in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Cybersecurity: Gotcha!

OMG never in a million years would I think that I had to be so diligent in watching the back of my small business. Fraud is all around us and we need to be extra vigilant these days. Each and every email that comes into the business must be carefully studied because there are real thieves in this world that make it their full-time job to defraud business owners. Time is money for us business owners--the current environment saddens me that someone would want to steal our hard work.
Thanks to: Josephine Geraci of My Mom Knows Best, Inc.

2. #1 Worry for Small Businesses

One significant worry for small businesses today is the growing dependence on digital platforms controlled by large tech companies. These platforms may suddenly change their algorithms or policies, leading to sudden drops in visibility and sales for small businesses. Such unexpected changes can severely disrupt a small business's ability to reach customers and maintain revenue streams, leaving them vulnerable to rapid fluctuations in the digital marketplace.
Thanks to: Omkar Pandit of Mountain Bike Buzz.

3. Digital Transformation

In the digital age, small businesses are facing a significant challenge - keeping up with the rapid pace of technological advancements. Today, businesses must adapt to the digital landscape to remain relevant and competitive. However, this transformation often requires significant financial investment, technological know-how, and the ability to navigate a complex digital ecosystem. This challenge has become the biggest worry for small businesses.
Thanks to: Joyce Kahng of Orange + Magnolia Dental Studio.

4. Don't Let Up On Marketing!

My biggest concern is that companies large and small will give up on marketing efforts. It is important that they do not forget the importance of creativity in design, advertising, and PR. During times of economic upheaval, many opportunities arise. Fear can cause a business to become stagnant and refuse to move forward. Safety is not in staying still but moving onward toward the goal in spite of obstacles.
Thanks to: Russell Bynum of Bynums Marketing & Communications, .

5. Big Tech Market Share

As a small business owner, I am very reliant on the internet for my business. I see a few companies that control almost all the market share in those industries and it makes me very concerned. I would love to see more competition in those markets because it would benefit all small business owners as well as everyone that uses the internet.
Thanks to: Lou Haverty of Skid Retailer.

6. The Unforeseen Lurking Danger

My biggest worry today for small businesses is the rapid adaptation and reliance on technology without adequate cybersecurity measures in place. With the rise of digital platforms and the push for businesses to adopt technology in every aspect of their operations, the vulnerability to cyber-attacks has grown exponentially.
Thanks to: Bryan Clayton of GreenPal.

7. The Effects Of Exhaustion

The biggest worry for many small businesses is exhaustion in both their leaders and teams. With the economic climate, businesses are streamlining their teams but where automation is not an option, existing employees are working longer hours and tackling increased workloads.

The question on many business owners' minds is whether it's sustainable in the long-term or if their company will simply collapse under the strain.
Thanks to: Tori Bell of PR With Tori.

8. Navigating the Regulatory Maze

My primary concern for small businesses today is the increasing complexity of regulatory compliance, including taxation. Regulations are crucial, but for small businesses, staying compliant can be overwhelming due to limited resources. This burden can stifle innovation, create barriers to entry, and lead to financial strain. Simplifying regulations and providing more support for small businesses could help alleviate these challenges.
Thanks to: Adam Drake of Highland Investment Advisors LLC.

9. Curiosity: A Cure to Conflict

When we go into business, we assume our partner will see & want the same things. Rarely is this the case, even when things are harmonious. My worry is that owners often lack the tools to bridge the gaps. Conflict is misinterpreted as the other person being difficult, creating more stress when confronted with the business challenges of the day.

Opportunity resides in the hands of the curious. Find out what they want for growth, risk, profitability & liquidity before assuming they are being a brat. It works!
Thanks to: Martha Sullivan of Family Business Consulting Group.

10. 10 Ways to Get Sued by Anyone

The biggest threat to every business owner is the constant threat of lawsuits lurking around every corner--whether it's a harassment case, a discrimination allegation, an accidental injury, an infringement. The minute you hang out your shingle, you stepped into a legal minefield. We just released the book 10 Ways to Get Sued by Anyone and Everyone; The Small Business Owner's Guide to Staying Out of Court to help avoid these crises.
Thanks to: Barry Cohen of AdLab Media Communications, LLC.

11. Small Businesses Think Small

The biggest challenge with small businesses today is that they think small. They lack the vision to strive to become larger and are too risk-averse.

The challenge for many organizations is under-capitalization. They either do not have the budget to do what it takes to grow or are afraid to risk capital on things that may not pay off in the end.

Without the ability to risk and adapt to change, small businesses will be passed over and lose out on the opportunities they deserve.
Thanks to: Ben Baker of Your Brand Marketing.

12. Being Heard In a Noisy World

Small businesses are being silenced by the noise of today’s pay-to-play media machine. Top-tier outlets refuse coverage to brands that won't pay for affiliate marketing programs (often with the added expectation of paid boosts).

This trend won't reverse, yet with a well-crafted PR strategy that includes trained ambassadors, SMM, an SEO-friendly blog, and a minimal affiliate program, it’s possible for a lean SMB with polished branding to compete with big biz for the same media placements.
Thanks to: Jason Myers of The Content Factory.

13. Build Your Dream Company Now

The biggest worry is that in times of prosperity, small businesses mustn't overlook preparing for the future. It's time to cut excess, hire visionaries, and forge a magnetic culture. Building your dream company starts now, not when tides change. Embrace the opportunity to craft a resilient future for your business today.
Thanks to: AJ Cheponis of Straightline Consulting Group.

14. Narcissist Staff Members

Narcissist staff members are a big concern to small businesses because they are manipulative and destructive.

One narcissist staff member can ruin the whole team's dynamics, because they often cause problems due to their difficult nature. And they cause trouble between other staff members with their manipulations.
Thanks to: Jon Rhodes of Narcissisms.

15. Rising Costs

Rising costs and the scary side of inflation is a big worry for small businesses today.

Increases in things like rent, products needed for the job, employee salaries, and even basic utilities is making it tough on everyone.

It's affected the daily lives of individuals and is also impacting businesses, especially small ones.

You must watch what you spend, make smart decisions, and keep an eye on your bottom line.

The cost of living is affecting us and it's a big worry for businesses.
Thanks to: Kevin Adley of Adley Law Firm.

16. The Fight for Financing

With increasing talks of an upcoming recession and lenders tightening up credit/risk criteria, financing can become an even bigger challenge for small business owners. Plan your funding runway well in advance, keeping in mind it can take many months to secure a loan approval in this current economic climate.
Thanks to: Kat Wong of Perch Mortgage.

17. Competition Woes to Big Tech

With Artificial Intelligence now officially here, small business owners must learn to embrace the technology to stay relevant. But what happens when the very same technology may deem you obsolete? My worry is that creativity will be lost to technology and our entrepreneurial spirit may get crushed along the way. The only way to stay competitive is to adjust and learn the new tools coming out so we can provide product and service offerings that no artificial intelligence can compete with!
Thanks to: Angel Mary of Star Trak Investments LLC.

18. Overworking Yourself

Small business owners might end up overtired and overworked because they are trying to keep up with trends and their own competition. For small business owners, it can happen easily because sometimes it's only them running the show, or a very small team of people. This means you might take on more than you can handle, but you feel you need to in order to keep the business running. It's important to reach out for support when you can and to always make time for self-care practices.
Thanks to: Kristie Tse of Uncover Counseling.

19. Supplier Support

When times get shaky, the manufacturers, distributors and suppliers try to take the business directly. They think cutting out middlemen is a quick way to cut expenses. It’s false thinking, because in tough times, you need more hands, not fewer to move more product and services. You need to increase sales more than you need to cut expenses. I want suppliers to go all in with their small business champions.
Thanks to: Mitch Krayton of Krayton Travel.

20. Be Scrappy! (And Realistic)

My biggest worry for those starting small businesses is that rather than bootstrapping and being scrappy, they are instead planning on taking out small business loans. With interest rates being what they are, and the high fail rate of new businesses, it’s not worth going into a mass of debt that you may never climb out of. However, you can still start your new business! Need product photos? Use your phone. Need a website? Start one for free. Need to know anything else? Use YouTube!
Thanks to: Bernard May of National Positions.

21. Tune In & Lean In to Win-Win

Small businesses have big stories, but they can get lost in translation.

My biggest worry is their struggle to convey clear & compelling messages. It's like shouting how awesome their products or services are across a crowded room, but no one hears.

Stop shouting. Listen more intently.

Proactive listening leads to critical thinking, which leads to win-win solutions.

Well-told stories & authentic insights can overcome indecision, but not without proactive listening.

Listen to lead.
Thanks to: Annesa L Lacey, Ghostwriter of a.L.interpretations.

22. Brick and Mortar Struggling

One of the greater concerns for small businesses is how much being online is more important than having a physical location. Those who don't have an online presence will struggle as this is the main form of brand awareness that most consumers are familiar with. For small businesses who have been around forever, this might pose as an issue as there are fewer people supporting brick and mortar businesses. It helps to have some form of online presence even if it's only through social media.
Thanks to: George Moore of Sew Fine Cabinets.

23. Increasing Buyers

From a buyer's perspective, prices from SMBs might seem high, but because of certain economic factors like inflation, many small businesses are forced to raise their prices. This helps them to be able to pay their team a fair wage, and also to still be able to afford to stay open. With these price increases, my worry is that it can be tough to increase buyers as they might not have the means. However, larger companies are also raising prices. It's therefore helpful for consumers to support local when they can.
Thanks to: Daniel A. Herg of Decor and Decor.

24. Appealing to All Generations

My worry is that currently, there are quite a few generations that small businesses need to appeal to. This expands upon their audience, and can alter what kind of content they create in order to increase engagement from everyone. I think it's important to try and find ways to appeal to all generations, as they are all current consumers. It helps to hop on trends and find common themes between the type of content they are interacting with on other platforms. This allows you to better cater to everyone's needs.
Thanks to: James Blackwell of Quizgecko.

25. Socializing Vs Networking

A business worry is confusing social interactions with networking, which is common within the online world. Because of the large presence social media has, it's easy to connect with other business professionals. However, there is a difference between socializing and networking. Networking often has a goal at the end which helps you to make connections that are fruitful. It involves possible investing opportunities and support, so always be clear of your intentions when interacting with other professionals online.
Thanks to: Michael Charalambous of Invezz.

26. High Wages is Tax on Everyone

Everyone needs to make a living wage. That's true. However, if service workers' salaries arbitrarily increase dramatically without merit, the prices of all goods and services must increase to keep small businesses open. The extra money one earns will go toward paying more for everything. Additionally, many people may move into a higher tax bracket. The government is the only winner. Be careful what you wish for.
Thanks to: Tom Scarda of The Franchise Academy.

27. Finding a Unique Niche

In a world where so many people have access to the internet, there are a vast array of businesses that target specific niches. Because of this, it becomes more and more difficult for entrepreneurs to find a unique niche for their business. The competition is fierce and you likely will be up against other similar ideas. It helps to really lean into something you are passionate about because this makes it easier to stick with your idea and do whatever it takes to see the success of your business.
Thanks to: Alex Veytsman of The Offer Sheet.

28. Good "Duck" If You Are Small!

Doing business today is so difficult. Finding workers is really hard and supply chain issues are wrecking havoc on everyone. Add to that the rising cost of materials, salaries and all the government regulations and it really makes things tough. And let's not forget the crime that is just killing businesses. Even if you can get goods, lead times and shipping costs are a nightmare. Fortunately people love our ducks and we get by, but I really feel for the small retailers out sad.
Thanks to: Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks.

29. Health Benefits

Some small businesses may not be able to provide health benefits. For instance, young startups do not always have the funds to offer their employees health coverage right away. Although health benefits can be costly, they are important for the well-being of a business’s employees so that they can do well in their roles.
Thanks to: Miles Beckett of Flossy.

30. The Next Marketing Campaign

I think 'the next marketing campaign' is always on the mind of a small business and the person in charge of marketing.

There are many channels to navigate, tons of competition for every inch, and many small businesses completely depend on their marketing efforts for their continued success.

I think a small business is usually worried about continuing the success of their marketing channels, staying ahead of the trends, and potentially hitting a wall where certain things don't work.
Thanks to: Daniel Climans of StickerYou.

31. Rethink Your AI Hype

I sold my first business at 15, then built some more, thanks mainly to human factors like partnerships, user experience, and customer care. I caution small business owners against the hype of new tech like Hologram Commerce and AI chatbots. These technologies favor only larger corporations, lack your invaluable personal touch, and could lead to layoffs and inequality in access to goods and services. A lose-lose situation for you and your loyal customers.
Thanks to: Angelo Sorbello of Linkdelta.

32. The Rising Inflation

My biggest worry today for small businesses is the rising inflation and its potential impact on their operations. Inflation refers to the general increase in prices of goods and services over time, eroding the purchasing power of money. As inflation rates climb, small businesses could face several challenges. Some of them are increased costs of raw materials and high-interest rates.
Thanks to: Zarina Bahadur of 123 Baby Box.

33. Building a Good Team

One of the biggest challenges I had was building a good team. It took me a lot of time and patience. Experts demand higher salaries and extra incentives, which are hard to pay when a firm is small. It stands to reason that a company can pay its employees better when it creates more profit. On the other hand, when we hire interns, it makes it challenging to make improvements, which in turn leads to bad financial performance.
Thanks to: Miranda Bence of Cherry Picks Reviews.

34. Identifying Customer Needs

Small businesses often fail to meet client demands because they lack the knowledge and resources to properly investigate and comprehend those demands. Valuable insights about the target audience require research and experts in the field, which are hard to access due to a low budget at the start. Some software may help in such a situation, but again, they are not free and ask for a subscription.
Thanks to: Michael Springer of Opportunity Green.

35. Market Competition

As a business owner, one of the biggest worries is the uncertainty and unpredictability of the business environment. The most significant factor is the fear of being outperformed or overshadowed by competitors, which may impact the company's market share and growth potential.
Thanks to: Kristin Marquet of Marquet Media, LLC.

36. Making Space in the Industry

Conquering my space in the industry is one of my biggest worries as a small business owner. This includes many things: for example, identifying market gaps and offering innovative solutions, attracting and onboarding customers, and delivering value to retain them among others. Failing to conquer space in the industry can prevent small businesses' growth and also can potentially damage their reputation.
Thanks to: Paul Gordon of

37. Competition With eCom Giants

Competition with e-commerce giants can be tough for small businesses due to limited financial resources. They may struggle to fund digital marketing campaigns, website development, and online advertising, hindering their ability to broaden their reach in the digital space. Additionally, expanding offline requires funds for storefronts, inventory, and marketing, making it challenging for small businesses to compete with the vast resources of e-commerce giants.
Thanks to: Mudassir Ahmed of Digimiles.

38. Balancing Work With Life

Work-Life Balance: Managing the demands of running a business with personal life can cause considerable stress and worry. But I’ve learned how important it is to set boundaries. Creating clear boundaries between work and home and sticking to them is crucial to preventing burnout. I also avoid checking work emails or taking business calls after work hours.
Thanks to: Angela Ficken, LICSW of Progress Wellness.

39. Talent Acquisition/Retention

Small businesses often operate with limited budget and resources, making it difficult to attract and retain skilled talent which is vital for driving growth. To address this, small businesses can highlight their unique advantages, such as a close-knit work environment and growth opportunities. Building a positive work culture, offering flexible arrangements, and providing development programs can enhance employee engagement and loyalty.
Thanks to: Shabnam Afroz of Blogging Explained.

40. Cyber Risks and Threats

Growing cyber risks and threats are among the biggest worry today for small businesses. With the Internet being used for everything like transferring money, prospecting customers, closing sales, paying taxes, issuing documents, etc., it brings with it several cyber risks and threats. Fraudsters, digital thieves, and swindlers apply scams over the internet and can put small businesses' assets at risk impacting their growth.
Thanks to: Glen Maguire of Clickthrough.

41. Survival In the Gig Economy

My biggest worry for small businesses today is the rise of the gig economy. As gig platforms expand, they could attract customers and employees, leaving small businesses struggling to compete. This shift may threaten their livelihoods, forcing them to adapt or face a decline.

Gig platforms offer enticing incentives to skilled workers and greater convenience to customers, making it difficult for smaller ventures to compete on both fronts.
Thanks to: Ali Asgar of Infoverses.

42. Marketing On the Move

Most small businesses with owner operators start because the founder has a passion and knowledge about that particular business niche. Very few are also experts in marketing and to make it even more difficult, marketing strategies are changing constantly with new technology and platforms. SEO, paid online ads, streaming tv ads, and dozens of other marketing possibilities can be overwhelming. But to thrive in today's market, they must either learn these things or hire someone who does.
Thanks to: Jeremy Resmer of Value Land Buyers.

43. Keeping Up With Inflation

As a business owner with many loyal, repeat customers, I don't want to have to drastically increase my prices to my customers. However, rising product and shipping costs as well as general operating costs are forcing many businesses to have to do just that. It is important to be able to communicate with your loyal customers ahead of time to let them know price increases are coming so they can prepare for that as well. Good communication goes a long way and most people understand.
Thanks to: Jessica Wright of Dream Team Fundraising.

44. Technology - Adapt or Die

Technology is rapidly changing in our current world. Most recently, the popularity of AI has already made a huge impact on the business world and we've only even scratched the surface of it's potential. Integrating current technology into your small business is going to be crucial in the coming years to continue to stay relevant, but those that can do it well will have a better chance of growth. And those that don't will get left behind and struggle to stay afloat.
Thanks to: Erik Wright of New Horizon Home Buyers.

45. Retaining Good Employees

Your small business is only as good as the people you have on your team to help you run it. The past few years have seen a huge shake up with people changing jobs during and after the pandemic. It is vital to a small business to create an environment that financially rewards great employees and loyalty to the company. And not with pizza parties or years of service plaques. If the company is successful and makes more money, they do too. Everybody wins.
Thanks to: Adam Hawke of Myrtle Beach Home Buyers.

46. Simple: Finances

The biggest worry for small businesses today is a simple one to figure out, but a difficult one to find a solution for: FINANCES!

With rising costs and an increasingly difficult business world, small businesses are worrying more about their finances than ever before.

You need to have a plan in place, professional help along the way, and - even then - you'll still worry.

I recommend you work with experienced finance professionals to give yourself the best chance of success.
Thanks to: Dominic James Murray of Cameron James Finance.

47. How Can We Stand Out?

Our world is so competitive these days and a business isn't just competing with similar companies in their industry, but they are competing with every brand for a few seconds of someone's time.

It's a huge worry for businesses that need to get exposure and it isn't easy, which increases the worry.

Between navigating the changing landscape of business and keeping an eye on those people you are competing with for space, this is a major challenge in today's world.
Thanks to: Tim Woda of White Peak.

48. Are We Using the Right Tools?

There are so many tools on the market to use for your business and you have to make sure you're using the right ones in order to optimize your operation.

There are a ton of quality tools being introduced all the time and they can really help your business. A lot of small business owners are worried about finding the right ones and using them to their full potential.

My best piece of advice is to do your research and trust your instincts!
Thanks to: Lee Hemming of ABC Finance Limited.

49. The Changing Business World

I think the changing world and how it might affect businesses is a big worry for everyone, especially small businesses.

Things like Artificial Intelligence are being introduced to the world and changing how we do things. How will this technology change how your business operates? And what new technology is on the way that could change things?

It's something to think about and to keep an eye on. Where is this world going and how will new technology affect our small business?
Thanks to: Alberto Palumbi of Premium Toners.

50. Voice Assisstants

The Voice Assistant Content Filter is a challenge for small bloggers as they prioritize established sources, reducing their visibility. It also lacks content attribution, hindering brand recognition. Monetization opportunities are reduced, impacting revenue. Technical barriers make voice search optimization quite challenging.
Thanks to: Noah Cammann of My New York State Online.

51. Finding Talented Employees

It's difficult to find talented, motivated, and responsible team members to join your organization. Many candidates are starting their own businesses or working as a freelancer, rather than becoming employees. And with remote working being accessible to everyone, local candidates can work with a company in another country, if that's what they want.

It just makes staffing more difficult and challenging to maneuver. Small businesses need long-term team members, but it isn't always easy to find.
Thanks to: Philippa Gutierrez of Flawless Intuition.

52. Cybersecurity Risks

If your small business isn't worried about cybersecurity risks, then it should be.

And if it hasn't taken the necessary steps to protect itself against cybersecurity risks, then it better right away.

It's a very real risk in 2023 and it could cause major damage. Small businesses should take the steps needed in order to keep hackers away and their virtual property safe.

I recommend hiring a professional to help and use the available tools to protect yourself.
Thanks to: Michael Collins of Sphere IT.

53. Rising Interest Rates Trouble

One of the major concerns is the potential for rising interest rates as they have significant implications for businesses across various sectors, particularly small businesses that are less likely to be cash rich.

An increase in interest rates leads to businesses facing higher costs when taking on debt.

This will hinder their ability to finance expansion and may unfortunately result in many small businesses having to shut down.
Thanks to: Louise Dodd of Air Sea Containers.

54. Anti-Entrepreneur Legislation

The current federal administration seems hell-bent on destroying the small businesses that freelancers and independent contractors have built for themselves. Fortunately, the ProAct, which would cause companies to sever ties with independent professionals, has not passed yet. However, President Biden has not given up on it, so we may see additional attempts to shove it through the Senate, in whole or in part. Please contact your state Reps and Senators and implore them to vote against this bill.
Thanks to: Laura Gariepy of Every Day by the Lake, LLC.

55. The Fight for Relevance

The biggest worry is the effects of economic downturn and the presence of increased competition causing small businesses to fight hard to stay relevant. The current landscape offers myriad opportunities for new business, but also even greater competition than anytime in history. Finding ways to stand out as "unique," especially in a social media driven world, is a difficult task to confront for any business, but even more so for small businesses.
Thanks to: Nathan DeMetz of Nathan DeMetz Personal Training LLC.

56. The Effects of AI?

I think everyone is a little on edge about the long-term effects of AI and how it might impact business.

Will it change the way business is done in your industry? Will it give your competitors a boost somehow? Is there anything that AI can do for your small business?

The unknown is always worrying and especially in such a changing business world where technology can play such a key role.
Thanks to: Margo Jones of Wyllie Spears.

57. Employee Burnout

Burnout has been discussed often over the last few years and is something we all must keep in mind.

Our current world and the way we work can be quite difficult to navigate and everyone must find a way to navigate the fine line between a healthy, intense work schedule and potential burnout.

What can you do to monitor burnout in you, as well as your employees? And how might it affect your workplace? Also, what can you do to fight back against this harmful side effect at work?
Thanks to: Michael Leeland of Brazeau Seller Law.

58. Develop Contingency Plans

While the supply chain has improved since the pandemic, businesses still suffer from disruptions and struggle to meet customer demand. The best way to combat this is to plan and develop contingency plans for any supply chain disruptions. Your plan can include how and when you contact customers about the disruption, how you’ll estimate available inventory, and who you can contact for backup inventory. You should also calculate how much delays cost at each stage to best prepare for disruptions.
Thanks to: Lauren Gast of Truck Driver Institute.

59. Hire Talented People

A significant issue small businesses are facing is labor quality. Not only is finding the right candidate challenging, but onboarding can average more than $4,000 per new employee. Ways to overcome this challenge include sending out a detailed job description, screening applicants, and ensuring your hiring process is thorough to avoid high turnover or making the wrong choice. Even if it makes the process longer, it’ll save you time and money in the long run.
Thanks to: Mitch Chailland of Canal HR.

60. Managing Socials

Having an online presence is more important now than ever before. And it's what really makes all the difference when it comes to increasing brand awareness. This means having to dedicated a lot of resources and time to ensuring your social media accounts are constantly in use, as consistency of content is key. For small businesses this can be a struggle, as they might not have the funds or people to support it. It helps to take advantage of things like automation to make your life easier!
Thanks to: Sam Ashford of SpiritShack.

61. Transitioning Online

One of the biggest challenges for small and medium businesses today is transitioning online. Ever since the pandemic, demand has been high for products and services to be accessible remotely. It can be hard for SMBs to keep up, especially with fewer financial resources. But smaller companies have the advantage of being more agile. I recommend taking advantage of technology when possible. We’ve had success with a virtual showroom for our products.
Thanks to: Craig Ricks, Jr. of Acadian Windows and Siding.

62. Stand Out From the Competition

While customer satisfaction is excellent, companies must strive for customer delight to stand out. Ways to overcome the challenges of client delight include ensuring you set concrete expectations at the start of any client engagement and deliver on all promises, innovating how you can provide unexpected extras, and working to best understand why your customers chose you and what they need. Understanding their needs and expectations will allow you to cater to them better.
Thanks to: Allison Harrison of Goodbee Plumbing and Drains.

63. Diversity Your Revenue Streams

While it’s important to establish your core offerings, there’s a risk to relying too much on a single revenue stream. Many small businesses fall into this trap because they don’t want to be spread too thin. It’s a fair concern, but when possible, it’s a good idea to diversify your revenue streams. Not only can this help keep revenue coming in if a certain product or service no longer sells as well as expected, but also it keeps you responsive to your customers’ changing needs.
Thanks to: Anna Passalacqua of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy.

64. Will They Have To Go Remote?

Organizations that are operating in-office are beginning to worry if they will have to switch to remote eventually.

After all, employees want to work remotely, and the rising cost of office space might also push them toward working remotely.

And if all of a company's customers are purchasing remotely, does it make sense to pay large amounts of money to rent an office and expect employees to come into the office?

Something to think about!
Thanks to: Jarryd Elliott of SJ Build.

65. Balancing Revenue and Focus

I think making enough money while navigating various aspects of the business remains a major concern for SBOs.

The need to strike a delicate balance between generating revenue and dedicating time to core business functions can be daunting. But, without the proper focus on business growth, profitability may suffer.

However, by harnessing innovative strategies, staying adaptable, and prioritizing key objectives, SBOs can overcome this challenge and achieve sustained success.
Thanks to: Nitin Dabas of DabasBlog.

66. High Costs & Lower Profits

As a small business, we face two main challenges: the rising cost of living affecting both the company and our employees, and increased expenses, both of which impact our profitability.

Our translation suppliers are also affected, forcing them to raise prices.

However, we cannot pass these higher costs to customers to ensure we stay competitive and can continue to support our current client base. But we have been through tough times before, so we're confident in the future.
Thanks to: Mary Gilbey of Anglia Translations Ltd.

67. Construction Material Costs

Energy price hikes are an ongoing issue for businesses in almost every sector. Manufacturing materials like steel demand significant energy, and costs have surged in 2023 with electricity prices rising to over 60% and gas by nearly 130% compared to the previous twelve months.

Consequently, these increased production costs have been passed on to buyers like us. This means our fabrication unit's energy expenses have soared because we produce our own bespoke steel outdoor structures.
Thanks to: Edward Powell of Steel Landscaping Co.

68. Operate Without Tech Stack

Small businesses usually don’t have enough capital to make the necessary investment in technology-related resources. In current business scenarios, working without a comprehensive tech stack is almost impossible. So, small businesses lag and wait for the tables to turn in their favor. This makes it struggling for them to compete and survive in the market with the rapid and innovative changes. The most visible impact of not having technological resources is a rapid decline in business.
Thanks to: Kenneth Jimmy of TEKPIP.

69. Attracting New Customers

The act of attracting & retaining customers is much different than it used to be.

Customers used to be loyal to one company and both sides would respect this. The customer would come back, and the business would work hard to provide them with consistent pricing and quality service.

Now, it's much different.

Customers shop around for the best offers and aren't afraid to hop from one place to the next. This means that small businesses must always be attracting and acquiring new customers.
Thanks to: Mike Ryan of Cactus Mailing.

70. High Interest Rates

When interest rates are high, it's more expensive to borrow money and do business. While the Biden administration has maintained a positive outlook on the economy, many are expecting a recession in the coming months. Inflation, high interest rates, and recession mean tough times for small businesses. Tighten your seatbelts as the ride ahead may be bumpy!
Thanks to: Steve Walton of SDIRA Guide.

71. Having Unique Ideas Taken

Everyone knows that content is king, and that the more unique, the better. However, it can be tough to be fully unique with the amount of competition, and how closely you can be monitored by other businesses. And when you come up with an idea, the chances of it being reused are high. In order to stand out, it helps to get ahead of trends and to put your own signature spin on it. This allows you to increase brand awareness and helps you to be more unique. Personalized hashtags help too!
Thanks to: Saul Maslavi of Jovani.

72. Big Worry Is Small Growth

Small businesses do not want to remain small. Our biggest worry is finding teachers, tools and techniques to guide our growth. A constant challenge is missing a growth opportunity for lack of the tools, insights or skills needed to recognize it. Larger organizations benefit from their variety and depth of personnel. Our small business must remain vigilant and choosy, only leaning toward some new growth opportunities.
Thanks to: Ashley Kenny of Heirloom Video Books.

73. Keeping Employees Engaged!

Keeping employees engaged and wanting to participate in team building activities can be tough. As a small business especially, you might not always have the resources needed to keep people engaged, so you have to get creative. It helps to get your team's feedback in regards to what kind of team building activities they want to see, and to tap into ways to continue building on their skills and knowledge. Providing them with opportunities in the workplace keeps them interested in their job!
Thanks to: Michaela Sabikova of HappiestDog.

74. Google SGE Might Kill the Web

My biggest worry is that Google's introduction of generative AI directly in the SERPS is going to negatively affect many small businesses that rely on organic traffic to survive.

Google's SGE is like a featured snippet on steroids, and my worry is that typical web users won't have any incentive to visit the sites where Google is getting its data. No clicks and traffic = no sales, no revenue and no profit.
Thanks to: Nikola Roza of SEO for the Poor and Determined.

75. A Better Crystal Ball

SMBs want stability and given the UNCERTAINTY in the economy and stock market, the threat of recession, climate change, political unrest here and abroad, inflation, supply chain issues and artificial intelligence stealing our jobs, voices and images not to mention privacy concerns, there are no shortage of things to worry about today.
Thanks to: Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls.

76. Customer Attraction

Today, the biggest worry for small business owners (SBOs) is attracting customers.

Amidst competition, standing out can be challenging. To tackle this concern, SBOs must focus on understanding their target audience, offering unique value propositions, and leveraging effective marketing strategies.

Building strong customer relationships and delivering exceptional experiences will create loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals, fostering long-term success.
Thanks to: Indu Rana of BlogTread.

77. Status of Business Travel?

I believe that traveling for business is sometimes needed and can provide a ton of value. It can serve as a great learning experience for team members, can help the business find new opportunities for growth, and it's a very enjoyable activity to participate in.

However, with the rise of remote working and the ability to do just about anything virtually, does that spell the end of business travel?

We'll see, but it's something to worry about for those small businesses that enjoy it.
Thanks to: Alexander Burgemeester of Ireland Wide.

78. Retaining Visibility

A top worry for small businesses when it comes to remaining visible is the increasingly competitive online marketplace. With the rise of digital advertising and the dominance of large corporations, it can be challenging for smaller businesses to stand out and attract customers. The constant need to optimize websites, manage social media accounts, and keep up with ever-changing algorithms can be overwhelming for business owners. That's why many are seeking help from professionals.
Thanks to: Jonathan Zacharias of GR0.

79. Staying Relevant

Small businesses worry about keeping up with technology advancements. As the competitive landscape evolves, companies need to leverage digital tools and platforms to stay relevant. Many small businesses lack the resources or technical expertise to adopt and integrate new technologies effectively. This can result in outdated processes, inefficient operations, and difficulty in meeting changing customer expectations. Keeping pace with technological advancements is vital to survive and thrive.
Thanks to: Bridget Reed of The Word Counter.

80. Maintaining Target Audience

Small businesses are concerned about maintaining the attention of their target audience. With increasing competition in the market, it's become harder for small businesses to stand out and capture consumers' attention. Small businesses must conduct thorough market research to gain a deep understanding of their target audience. This includes demographic data, preferences and behavior patterns.
Thanks to: Daniel Osman of Balance.

81. Falling Behind Competitors

With digital transformation becoming a necessity for businesses of all sizes, small business owners fear falling behind their competitors. Larger corporations with deeper pockets and established digital strategies can quickly outpace smaller businesses that struggle to keep up. This fear of being left behind is a constant worry that motivates small business owners to find ways to bridge the digital divide.
Thanks to: Mary Qian of Mary Qian Dental Group.

82. Importance of Adaptability

Adaptability is crucial for small businesses to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape. Staying ahead of the curve requires small business owners to embrace change, innovate, and continuously update their business strategies to align with the digital age. However, the worry of not being able to adapt fast enough can be overwhelming for small business owners who are already stretched thin.
Thanks to: Chris Kim of Livewell Dental.

83. Limited Resources

Small businesses are often constrained by limited resources, both financial and human. When it comes to digital transformation, these limitations can be even more pronounced. Investing in new technologies, training employees, and developing an online presence can be costly, making it difficult for small businesses to allocate their resources effectively. As a result, the worry of not having enough resources to compete in the digital realm looms large for small business owners.
Thanks to: Adriana Leone of Wall Street Dental Spa.

84. Staying Relevant

I worry about staying relevant and profitable in a changing landscape. Life was easy when the biggest thing to worry about was my cheese moving! Now generative AI can make, move, remove and change my cheese into a charcuterie board while I’m blinking.
Thanks to: Amy Feind Reeves of Hire A Hiring Manager.

85. Is Tech Getting Too Advanced?

Technology is a huge asset for businesses of all sorts, but it's getting to a point where it's quite advanced. And it continues to evolve quickly.

One thing to think about is whether will there come a time when small businesses can't keep up. Will technology get so advanced so quickly that small businesses can't keep up?

Most small business owners aren't tech experts and it might become difficult for them to stay up to date. This could make things difficult.
Thanks to: Peter Peterka of Six Sigma.

86. Follow Tradition or Innovate

Maintaining a distinct brand identity and embracing the need for innovation. In an era where homogenization threatens uniqueness, small businesses must navigate the tightrope walk of preserving their individuality while remaining open to novel strategies and trends. Balancing the art of tradition and the demand for novelty, small businesses must not only compete with industry giants but also craft a narrative that captures the imagination of consumers seeking genuine and authentic experiences.
Thanks to: Devin Miller of Miller IP Law.

87. What Are Competitors Doing?

Small businesses should be worried about what their competitors are doing - or at least be aware of what they are doing.

Competition is fierce these days in just about every industry and it's something to be conscious of.

Don't be scared of competitors. But being aware of them, and being a little worried about them is fine and fuels healthy competitiveness.
Thanks to: Jason Boyd of Evolve Digital.

88. Your Mental Health

All small business owners should keep a close eye on their mental health since the job is so demanding.

You must be doing things to counteract the effects of owning a small business, which could be found in the people you are close with, hobbies you enjoy, and anything you feel can positively benefit your work-life balance.

The moment you look away from your mental health is the moment it will negatively impact you. You must always keep a close eye on it.
Thanks to: Dr. MJ Rowland-Warmann of Smileworks Aesthetic Training HUB.

89. Understaffed

Most small businesses are understaffed and it can be worrisome at times, especially in the long term.

Employees within a short-staffed small business are asked to do more, which is usually fine. However, over time it can take its toll and leave negative marks on you.

Is it normal to be short-staffed and have to work hard? Yes. But it's still something all small businesses should keep an eye on.
Thanks to: Mohammad Goodarzi of Pixune.

90. Prime Targets for Hackers

In our increasingly digital world, small businesses are becoming prime targets for hackers and malicious actors. The impact of a cyberattack can be detrimental to a small business, both financially, legally, and reputationally.

A successful cyberattack can lead to financial losses due to theft of sensitive business and customer information, as well as potential legal and regulatory penalties. A data breach can also erode customer trust and damage the reputation of a small business.
Thanks to: Ethan Benge of social benge.

91. Large Businesses

Small businesses must always be worried of larger businesses and what they are doing to take your business. Large companies are never satisfied and are always looking for ways to gain clients from competing small businesses, no matter how small.

Small businesses must always be worried about larger companies and what they might be doing to take their business.
Thanks to: Aaron Winston of Express Legal Funding.

92. Affording Tech Upgrades

As more and more big businesses adopt new technologies, many small businesses are left in the dust. Companies that can't afford to upgrade all of their tech to the latest digital products risk falling behind. Given that small businesses already face strong competition from larger companies, that's a big risk.
Thanks to: Max Ade of Pickleheads.

93. Keeping Workers Engaged Is Key

Keeping remote workers engaged. Many companies and workers have embraced hybrid or remote work options. But businesses still face the challenge of keeping those workers engaged and feeling like part of the team. Small businesses that lack some of the big benefits a large company can offer have to work hard to ensure their employees stay motivated and feel connected to their roles if they want to retain top talent.
Thanks to: Kelsey Bishop of Candor.

94. Security Breaches Are a Threat

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are one of the biggest threats facing small businesses. While data breaches and hacking are already cause for concern, they're not the only risk for SMBs. Quantum computing that's capable of breaching most existing security systems is not far off, and small businesses that can't afford heavy-duty security infrastructure are especially at-risk. As more advanced computational power becomes available, businesses should act to protect their data and information.
Thanks to: Hamid Pishdadian of SQE.

95. #1 Worry for Small Businesses

I believe it's the added challenge of accessing credit markets. Growth opportunities hit a brick wall when loans and investments are out of reach. Layoffs and cutbacks become inevitable, further straining these businesses. The truth is, a prolonged decline is not just a phase – it is make-or-break moment.

Effective cash flow management is essential, not just a choice. Cutting costs becomes important to safeguard funds for crucial needs.
Thanks to: Rahul Gulati of GyanDevign Tech Services LLP.

96. Managing Cash Flow

Small business owners experience real stress from managing cash flow. Maintaining cash flow requires continuous attention. Monitor your business's cash flow weekly or daily to ease your mind. Reviewing cash flow regularly helps identify problems before they escalate.

Make it simple for customers to pay, provide incentives for early settlement, send out invoices right away, and use accounting software to have your cash flow under control and in a healthy range.
Thanks to: Elias Pedersen of

97. One Small Business Worry: AI

One of the biggest worries small businesses have is the fear that their line of work will be “replaced” by AI. However, this fear is unlikely to come to pass any time soon. While we are at an exciting juncture in the development of artificial intelligence, AI simply cannot operate entirely on its own. It is a tool to be used in service of human endeavors & needs human judgment to guide it. Small businesses should look for ways that AI can improve their operations, saving them time & money.
Thanks to: Gene Locklear of Sentient Digital, Inc.

98. Economic Downturn Opportunity

I see the risk of an economic downturn as an opportunity to create new relationships. When times are good, clients settle into their business-as-usual buying habits with the vendors they know. When financial times get tough, they need to find new solutions that will still fit their needs and slimmer budgets. This will open up the opportunity for you to present yourself as a solution. Invest in your marketing and exhibit at trade shows to get in front of new audiences.
Thanks to: Thomas Samuels of Cardinal Double Deck Exhibit Rental.

99. Growing the Business

Your business is like a child to you. As it ages, you want it to grow and thrive. However, it can be a worry to consider expanding your small business. You'll make mistakes while growing your business. But those mistakes improve you and your business. Don't worry about your business's growth and future. Relax, enjoy the ride, and learn from your mistakes. After all, your business can't expand unless it makes a few mistakes.
Thanks to: Rose Smith of Winston Express.

100. Growing Fear Over Headlines

In my opinion, the biggest thing deterring new small business owners from even starting is the onslaught of bad news. Covid, a possible recession, multiple natural disasters. Forbes estimates that by 2031, only 87% of jobs lost during covid will be recovered. It's hard enough to start a new business in the best of times. It takes more courage than ever to start a new business, given how uncertain it feels that it'll even work out.
Thanks to: Tiffany Shan of Happy Pampered Pets.

101. Hiring New Employees

The success of your business depends largely on your team. After all, your company's foundation is its employees. Hiring new employees is a small business owner's concern.

Hiring fresh staff is complicated. Advertising, hiring, screening resumes, and doing many interviews to locate the right candidate can be exhausting. But don't worry about it. Create a plan to discover top talent and simplify the hiring process. Create your own hiring process checklist to keep track of the steps.
Thanks to: Keith Willis of Ashgrove West Dental.

102. Economic Uncertainty

The biggest worry today for small businesses is inflation. The rising cost of goods, supplies, services, and taxes all have a significant impact on a small business. It's very difficult to make confident financial decisions when there is so much economic uncertainty. Small business owners in 2023 are more likely to be far more cautious with their funds and pull back where only a few years ago, they may have taken the risk.
Thanks to: Bill Thode of Denver Business Lawyers.

103. Providing Health Insurance

A big worry for small businesses is that they will not be able to afford to provide health insurance to their employees. Fortunately, technological developments have made self-funded plans more efficient and affordable. Small businesses no longer need to worry that the process of finding the right self-funded plan for them will take a lot of time or be expensive.
Thanks to: Glenn Hillyer, Chief Growth Officer of Health In Tech.

104. Risk of Liability

Although all businesses face the danger of being sued, small ones are especially vulnerable to damage to their reputation. Liability issues, such as those involving injuries to employees or customers, property damage, or the inability to fulfill contractual commitments can lead to costly litigation and penalties for small firms. They usually do not have enough money to retain a permanent attorney who can monitor the constant shifts in legislation and case law.
Thanks to: Mark Carnevale of Exploring Emirates.

105. Business Competition

Like most business owners, your competition is probably always on your mind. You might be asking yourself all the time, "How can I keep up with my competition?"

Discover what sets you apart from competitors and fully embrace it if you want to stand out. Track your competitors' marketing methods, prices, and customers. SWOT analysis might also reveal their weaknesses. Take advantage of the holes that your competitors aren't filling to grow your business.
Thanks to: Dale Williams of Bloom’d Florist.

106. Juggling Responsibilities

Small business owners may worry about their millions of tasks. You have to balance a lot of duties with a limited amount of time, including marketing and managing employees and finances. You must manage your time effectively in order to avoid worrying about it. Multitasking and time management are essential if you have several everyday responsibilities. Use a to-do list, track your time, and plan ahead to better manage your time. Instead of rushing, focus on one task at a time to manage time.
Thanks to: Daniel Dorilas of Printer Not Printing.

107. Amp Up the Value

My one biggest worry for small businesses is that they will minimize their value because of the country’s economic challenges. Many small businesses may feel they have to dilute the essence of what makes them unique to attract enough customers to meet their bottom line. That is not the case. A solid and substantial customer base likes value-based businesses. Remember, that’s what initially attracted them to the business. Quality will never go out of style!
Thanks to: Erma Williams of The Pomade Shop.

108. Toxic Customers

Toxic clients are a big barrier in small businesses growth. It's tough for a new business owner to let a client go, but dealing with toxic clients wastes time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Customers who are toxic to a business's growth require significantly more effort and resources than average.
Thanks to: Ans Ahmed of Ricky Spears.

109. Dealing with Taxes

Dealing with taxes is a major problem for small business owners. No business owner enjoys tax and payroll rules. But it's all part of the job. Subscribing to tax newsletters (e.g., payroll blogs), visiting the IRS website, or seeing an accountant will help you stay compliant.

You can:
- Start your taxes early.
- Schedule business tax return reminders.
- Separately, bank your tax liability.
Thanks to: Tia Mula of

110. Customer Retention

You need to attract customers to retain them. Small business owners worry about this since attracting, acquiring, and retaining consumers is hard. You need both a great product and good relationships to retain customers. Building relationships takes time and money. Know your customers' needs. Connect with customers and show you value their business to attract more. Respond immediately to customer inquiries, start dialogues on social media, attend events, etc.
Thanks to: Dr Michael Doyle of Cork City Dentist.

111. Getting Left Behind

I worry about small businesses getting left behind as we progress further into the digital age. For example, many businesses have yet to embrace digital currency, even though life (and commerce) has moved increasingly online. Keeping up with technological changes is key for survival in an today's business landscape.
Thanks to: Amanda McCrea of Pelicoin Bitcoin ATM.

112. Making Money

Money concerns most small business owners. In other words, the worry of money keeps more than half of small business owners up at night. Specifically, small business owners are concerned about producing enough money. If you're worried about how much money your company is making, take these things into account:

- More market research
- New marketing methods
- Financial statement analysis
- Cutting expenses
- Seeking financial advice
Thanks to: Julie Morris of Julies Family Kitchen.

113. Worrying About the Economy

The economy can have a big impact on a small business's success. And during recessions and other economic downturns, small businesses are often the ones who suffer the most. Small business owners should adjust and prepare for the worst. To calm your economic worries, you can monitor industry trends, follow business news, and set up social media and Google alerts. You can defend your business from a recession by setting up a cash reserve (an emergency fund) and staying educated about the economy.
Thanks to: Khaled Bentoumi of anyIP.

114. Lack of Innovation

As market forces shift, businesses have to be always on their toes adapting to consumer demand. This often means bringing innovation to the fore, creating unique solutions that reduce costs (e.g., using innovative technologies), and improving profits by building a competitive edge based on exclusivity and scarcity. Lack of innovation leads to a rise in operational costs, missing on rising market opportunities, thus causing a loss in productivity, reduced consumer engagement and a fall in profits.
Thanks to: Brian David Crane of Spread Great Ideas, LLC.

115. Surviving as a Business

The survival of the business is one of the main worries of small business owners. One-fifth of new businesses fail within two years. Despite your company's success, this anxiety may always be there. But, there are steps you can take to prevent business failure.

You can:
- Create a solid business plan
- Avoid heavy debt
- Document everything
- Plan beforehand
- Learn from competitors
- Optimize cash flow
- Set and monitor goals
Thanks to: Afnan Usmani of FlexiPCB.

116. Losing Customers

Customers today are less loyal, which is a worry. You must work harder to retain customers because they have more options. If not, you risk losing them to a competitor. There is no way to keep all customers satisfied, but there are ways to reduce customer loss. Customer service is essential, no matter what you sell. Stand out here. Use customer feedback—satisfied and dissatisfied—to construct your customer service platform.
Thanks to: Jens Kleinholz of Superheroes for Kids.

117. Lead Generation

Lead generation is a difficult process, like customer acquisition. Due to the difficulty of finding high-quality, converting leads, this is a common small business concern. There are many elements that affect lead generation and sales, but streamlining operations and improving the company's website and social media channels may help. Small businesses must excel in this area to distinguish and grow their brand.
Thanks to: Dr. Peter Nichols of Carina Plaza Dental.

118. Changing Regulations

Although not every business faces this challenge, in some sectors of the economy, it is typical for regulations to change, causing small businesses to make last-minute adjustments. For a small business that has grown accustomed to doing things a certain way, adjusting and pivoting isn't always simple. However, there are technology tools that can help them stay current on new legislation so that the appropriate adjustments can be made, depending on the industry.
Thanks to: Louise Hateley of In Stride Health Clinic.

119. Reputation

For small businesses today, reputation is more important than ever. Maintaining a positive public image and good standing is one of the issues that businesses face. If a company isn't concerned about its reputation, even minor errors could have major repercussions. Because of this, it's important to constantly monitor every activity and communication to make sure that nothing the business does could jeopardize its reputation.
Thanks to: Sam Kresch of Topsoil.

120. Scaling Operations

Every small business eventually wonders whether it makes sense to begin expanding operations. Does expanding make sense? What must take place in order for that to be possible? Small firms must seek outside assistance and direction at this point to ensure that they are prepared to make such a significant step.
Thanks to: Izzy Goldberg of White Maple Landscaping.

121. Setting Vision for the Future

With small businesses, you may not always have time to consider future plans because you are too busy putting out fires and attempting to take care of your daily tasks. Small businesses often do not have a direction for how to carry out their daily operations without that long-term goal. In these circumstances, your best course of action as a business owner is to leverage technology and automation to streamline your tasks in an effort to free up some time for future planning.
Thanks to: Brent Jaffe of Jaffe Defense Team.

122. Finding the Right Guidance

For small businesses, finding the right advice is paramount to their growth and success. The myriad rules and regulations, tax frameworks, and the varied state & central compliance laws may feel overwhelming. Business owners may also flounder on the correct permits and licenses, in choosing the proper business structure and filing their tax returns correctly, thus leading to business loss and avoidable damages. Get advice from lawyers, accountants, and tax professionals to avoid loss.
Thanks to: Roman Milyushkevich of Scrape IT Cloud.

123. Failure to Take Risks

Taking well-calculated and researched risks is imperative for business success. Nobody wants to put their hard-earned money in the wrong places, but in the same vein, much can be achieved by charting new paths. To avoid failure, complete due diligence, explore possible scenarios, and carve a business strategy. Taking risks can be scary, but you may strike gold with proper preparation. Innovation and opportunities are often tied to risk, so having the first-mover advantage can spell huge benefits.
Thanks to: Emma Bukowski of Noserider Surf Club.

As always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

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