New Survey Reveals Top Challenges Faced by American Business Owners

When it comes to running a small or medium-sized business, over a third of all owners and managers say “time constraints” is their biggest challenge. The top three obstacles are:

  • Time constraints: 33.1%
  • Marketing your product/service: 27.4%
  • Budget constraints: 19.7%

Collected from over 1,000 American respondents, the new data reveals that these three issues comprise the top challenges for more than 4 out of every 5 American small and medium-sized businesses.

Only 9.8% of respondents selected “Beating competition” as their biggest obstacle, while only 2.7% of respondents selected “Professional branding.”

While it’s no mystery that most American professionals are tight on time, these survey results point to a range of interesting opportunities for businesses that serve the small and medium-sized (SMB) market.

For example, three times as many respondents selected “marketing” as their biggest challenge compared to those who selected “beating competition.” This could mean that SMBs are struggling to drown out the overall noise in the market rather than struggling just to outsell their competition.

Moreover, this could indicate that solution providers who enable SMBs to directly connect with potential customers are better positioned than solution providers who boost SMBs’ big-picture marketing strength.

Interestingly, over ten times the respondents chose “marketing” compared to those who chose “branding” as their top obstacle. This could mean that SMB’s underestimate the importance of professional branding on the success of their overall marketing efforts. On the other hand, this could be symptomatic of the prevalence of low-cost branding solutions and logo design competition sites.

Top obstacles faced by small and medium-sized business owners and managers

Well over half (60.5%) of SMB owners and managers reported that time constraints and marketing their product/service are the biggest obstacles they face – not budget constraints. We believe this points to the enormous potential of service-backed, technology-enabled marketing solutions for the SMB market, as opposed to the large number of DIY options that are currently available.

How do you interpret these survey results? What ideas do you get from this data? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

About the Survey

This survey was conducted using Google Consumer Surveys targeting small and medium-sized business owners. With data collected over a three-day period in June of 2015, the survey format used a randomized question order with six total response options for the question, “What is the biggest obstacle you face as a business owner?”

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