Bredin Report: What Keeps SMBs Up at Night

Recently we’ve run a series on what SMBs want in a payments solution. This week, we’ll shift our focus to the most pressing business challenges SMBs face right now, using data from our SMB Pulse survey of 500 U.S.-based principals.

Very small businesses (VSBs, with fewer than 20 employees) rate customer retention as their most important business challenge. Customer retention is also important to larger SMBs. Midsized businesses (MBs, with 100 to 500 employees) rated it their second-most important challenge; small businesses (SBs, with 20 to 99 employees), their third. In a challenging economy for many businesses, where new client acquisition can be difficult, customer retention is key to cash flow.

After customer retention, VSBs rate managing costs second and maintaining cashflow third-most important. Keeping cash flowing from their current customers, and an eye on expenses, is the key to survival for VSBs who often have no financial cushion.

For larger SMBs, keeping good employees is more pressing. For SBs and MBs alike, the number one challenge is employee retention. In a full-employment economy, hanging on to key employees is essential – and difficult.

After that, data security is the second biggest challenge for SBs, and third for MBs. If you offer solutions that manage customer or transaction data, be sure to emphasize their security features – especially to larger SMBs.

SMB Business Challenges by Company Size

Coping with uncertainty: Economic, political, public health, environmental or other ‘macro’ change outside of your control that can affect your business.

Want to learn more about your SMB target?
Place a few questions in Bredin’s monthly SMB Pulse omnibus survey, or let our experienced team design and execute a custom research project to uncover actionable insights to improve your go-to-market and product strategies.

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About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.