Secrets to Small Business Success

Small businesses often have opportunities to innovate and explore new possibilities in their sector that larger businesses can’t keep up with. However, it’s easy for leaders of these businesses to allow the difficulties that they’re faced with to hide the opportunities.

In reality, being ambitious with your business and actively pursuing sustainable paths to growth is the best way to overcome the temporary difficulties that can seem so frustrating week to week.

This infographic helps you to visualise the common difficulties small businesses face, then shows you how successful businesses are growing anyway.

Experian

Secrets to small business success

What's holding back business growth?

0% CAPACITY

Owners' attitudes or ambition

0% MARKET

Competition or other factors

0% CAPACITY

Not being geared up for growth

business growth

* Unconstrained = 18%

The 10 biggest obstacles to small business growth

Proven paths to growth

1

Collaborating with bigger businesses

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

10 - 19

YES

31%

NO

29%

20 - 49

YES

42%

NO

35%

2

Exporting

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

10 - 19

YES

32%

NO

28%

20 - 49

YES

51%%

NO

24%

3

Hiring senior managers

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

10 - 19

YES

39%

NO

20%

20 - 49

YES

42%

NO

28%

4

Innovating goods or services

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

10 - 19

YES

33%

NO

27%

20 - 49

YES

44%

NO

33%

5

Innovating processes

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

10 - 19

YES

37%

NO

26%

20 - 49

YES

51%

NO

33%

6

Investing

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

10 - 19

YES

33%

NO

23%

20 - 49

YES

45%

NO

21%

12 biggest small business growth myths*

"You can't grow during recession"

“Strategic planning only helps when you’ve got a clear objective”

“Investment in R&D is too risky, expensive and difficult”

“There’s no way we can improve our cash flow”

“Factoring is only useful if you’re in trouble”

“If my bank turns me down, there’s no alternative”

“Our employees don’t want pay-related incentives”

“We don’t need to engage the staff in a structured, involving way”

“I can’t get recruits to fit my needs”

“My business doesn’t need to restructure its management as it grows”

“We don’t need to engage the staff in a structured, involving way”

“I can’t get recruits to fit my needs”

* According to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills’ Research Paper Number 216: Understanding Growth in Small Businesses

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The paths to success for small businesses universally involve looking at sustainable, long-term changes and plans. For example, you may worry about what the competition are doing, but rather than focusing on ‘quick wins’ to undercut them, spending time innovating new products or processes will give you a longer lasting advantage for the years to come.

By investing time and energy into proven paths to growth, small business owners can continue to impact their sector, and get past the obstacles that seem to be holding them back.

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