The biggest challenges new businesses face

COVID-19, of course, is the single biggest challenge businesses are facing right now. It has caused unprecedented disruption across the world, and its long-term impact on the economic climate for businesses still remains to be seen. The circumstances are far from ideal for businesses that are just starting out – but this doesn’t mean they should give up completely. There are still some opportunities out there, as the runaway success of Zoom has demonstrated. The pandemic may have damaged some sectors, but it has opened doors in other areas. 

But even in normal times, without COVID-19 to worry about, starting a business is far from straightforward. There are a whole host of potential challenges that need to be overcome if new businesses are to have any chance of success. As research from Direct Line shows, even small levels of disruption can have a huge impact – particularly for smaller businesses.

Leaving the obvious challenge of COVID-19 to one side, let’s explore some of the other challenges new businesses face – and how they can be overcome.


Growing a client base

Growing a solid client base is always a number one priority for any new business.

In this day and age, social media is one of the key avenues for this – and it simply cannot be ignored. LinkedIn, of course, is well known in the professional world as a space for online networking, but the other social media platforms can be incredibly valuable too. Twitter is becoming increasingly important in this regard, and Facebook is always a big-hitter due to the sheer size of its user base. 

Instagram should not be neglected, either. Although it’s emphasis on pictures and video might not seem like the best fit for professional businesses, the platform can be a great way to engage with potential clients. By creating engaging content and using the right hashtags you can expand your reach considerably. For businesses centred around beauty, food, lifestyle, and fashion, Instagram is arguably the most significant platform for growing a client base.  

Businesses can utilise platform features such as Stories, Highlights, IGTV, and Reels to tell meaningful stories about their brand and products, and engage with an existing or new audience. Features such as shoppable posts will also help in your quest to convert audiences instantly through high-quality imagery – just make sure you have the equipment and software to do it, too.


Abandoning the steady income

We all know how important a regular income is, and ditching this in favour of a brand new independent venture can be a scary prospect.

Some thrive at the prospect, but others aren’t so confident, so ensure you’re comfortable with the fact you might not be able to secure a steady income for a few weeks, or even months, if your business is fresh off its feet. 


Poor planning

Sadly, many new businesses overestimate their planning, and how easy it is to achieve.

The truth is, launching a brand or business is hard! And poor planning is a hurdle where many fall. Invest in mentors, ensure you’re sticking to your business plan (and create a rock-solid one at that), and make sure all plans are feasible in terms of costs and time. It may be tempting to rush in and get your business up and running as quickly as possible, but a more methodical approach is the way to maximise your chances of success in the long-term.



Obviously, all countries have their own rules and regulations, even more so when it comes to trading and launching businesses.

Make sure you’re familiar with all the rules and regulations of trading within the relevant countries you’ll be operating in to avoid falling victim to any breaches, fines (or worse). Checking with official government websites and insurance companies should get you off to a good start.

Starting a business can be an intimidating prospect, particularly in the current climate, and even the best-laid plans are not guaranteed to succeed. But businesses which thoroughly prepare themselves for the biggest challenges they will face will undoubtedly have the best chance. 

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