Business challenges

Navigating Small Business Challenges in 2023

Successful small business owners must have the ability to shift to new operating models and adapt when necessary. Here are some ideas to keep you growing and profitable in a constantly-changing market.

By Tim Dimoff

As we enter 2023, I see some very important issues that small businesses may be facing. Small business owners often don’t recognize or understand some of the market forces that may affect their businesses. They just keep going as always, trying to stay afloat and profitable. However, in order to remain successful, it is important to understand and address new challenges that each year can bring.

In 2023, there are many challenges that should be acknowledged including employee issues; an increasing contact-less business environment or competitive online shopping; increasing automation of business operations; and the rising cost of doing business. With these in mind it is more important than ever to find a way to make your small business stand out in a crowded marketplace.

This year will most likely bring about an even bigger challenge when it comes to customer engagement due to distractions from the internet, social media, and increased advertisements and messages from big businesses. Additionally, big businesses have many advantages over small businesses including economies of scale; more capital for investment, technology, marketing and more. This makes it harder, but not impossible to compete.

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You need to have the ability to shift to new operating models and adapt when necessary. Here are some ideas that have worked for my small business to keep us growing and profitable:

Focus on your niche. Find what makes you different and special and focus on that market.

Take a long hard look at what you are offering your clients. Instead of trying to compete with big box stores or businesses, offer unique products or services. Personalized services attract specific customers in a way that big business is not able to do.

Seek out new funding. Small businesses often face challenges when it comes to funding. Look to sources such as banks and venture capital but don’t forget to look for alternative sources of funding, such as crowdfunding or government grants.

Find new ways to engage your customers on a personal level. This can be done thru social media with interesting and relevant content or by in-person contact.

Work hard to earn and keep the trust of your customers. You can accomplish this by being responsive and transparent about your business practices. Honor your guarantees, treat customers/clients with respect, and be honest about your products and services.

Actively work to keep employee morale high. High morale equals a strong team and low employee turnover. Invest in your employees through open communications, training, competitive pay and benefits, recognition, and development opportunities.

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These ideas may help you as you navigate the new year, and the business challenges it presents. They have always worked well for my business.

Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at