Report reveals the biggest problems facing small businesses in 2020

As we enter a new decade, over half (58%) of small businesses in the UK anticipate a plateau, or for their business to struggle in the year ahead. Only 1 in 4 predict to see growth.

A recent report [1] which surveyed 1,000 small business owners and sole traders across the country (inc. senior decision makers) has been carried out by takepayments Limited, taking a snapshot of the current UK small business landscape. It uncovers key challenges for small businesses in 2020 and tips on how to approach these challenges.


Financial challenges are the biggest concern for businesses in 2020

When asked about their concerns for the year ahead, small businesses listed finance and tech issues at the top of the list, followed by changes in society.

  1. Financial challenges 36%
  2. Technology risks 21%
  3. Societal changes 13%
  4. Talent and people 12%
  5. Supply and logistics 5%

It’s no wonder that finances are a major challenge, with 63% of small business owners being “self-taught” about taxes and invoicing. When asked in more detail, pricing and cash flow came up as key worries in this area. 

Sandra Rowley, Head of Marketing at takepayments Limited said,

“Pricing structure and cash flow are both key to driving a business forward and yet for small businesses, many have had no or very little training. There are plenty of online courses available but, it’s not just training that can help.

Technology such as Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems can be beneficial in giving key insights real-time to business performance, saving time on accounts and getting a true reflection of what products and services achieve the best margin.

Our study revealed that 49% of small businesses have seen a decrease in consumer spending and so implementing technology to improve your business could be a smart step to help overcome a variety of finance related challenges.”


Is there a small business tech gap?

Technology related challenges are the second biggest challenge for small businesses – 1 in 5 named it their main concern for 2020. Keeping up with technology was a key issue, as was cyber security, compliance and online marketing.

All three of these areas are specialist skills and a small business won’t always have the resource available to be “experts” in each. Social media marketing in particular stands out as a key area where small businesses could see quick wins in 2020…

  • 45% want to try more social media marketing but lack the knowledge and the same percentage say they are worried about keeping up with social media marketing
  • 52% say social media has helped their business grow and gain new customers, proving the potential of this marketing strategy


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