As a small business owner, what are your top challenges? Every month I talk or meet with hundreds of small business owners, and lately the list of their top challenges has been pretty consistent. Here is a list of the top four:

Number four on the list is the ability to build, develop, deploy, and provide additional products and services. Small business owners view this priority as a vehicle to open up additional revenue channels to complement their core business offerings.

Attracting and retaining customers is next on the list.  Customers, particularly those who do repeat business, are the lifeblood of small business. The cost of acquiring new customers is far more expensive than retaining existing customers; so small business owners are going out of their way to ensure they don’t lose current customers, and are always trying to attract new ones.

Next on the list is attracting and retaining reliable and hardworking employees. With the influx of the “millennial” generation, the ability to hang on to top talent has become more challenging than ever. Believe it or not, it is not just about the money you pay your employees, but their overall experience and freedom to enjoy life as well.

At the top of the list is business growth. With a strong U.S. economy, small business owners are citing growth as their top priority, and their access to working capital as being a critical success factor to enable this. There are hundreds of other issues, challenges and priorities facing small business owners today, but these four are the most common across all industries, no matter how big or small their business.

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