Tag Archives: small


Small businesses face numerous unique challenges compared to large corporations. A few of the key challenges include access to capital, regulations and compliance, hiring and retaining talent, marketing and sales, technology adoption, and succession planning. Addressing these challenges is important for small businesses to survive and thrive.

Access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles for small businesses. Large banks often consider small businesses as too risky due to their size and lack of operating history. This makes it difficult for small businesses to acquire loans and lines of credit needed to start up, expand operations, purchase equipment or inventory, or handle cash flow issues. To address this, small businesses should explore alternative financing options like small business loans through community banks, online lenders, credit unions, or microloan programs. They can also consider peer-to-peer lending platforms, crowdfunding, or equity funding sources. Maintaining good financial records and credit scores can help improve eligibility for financing.

Regulatory compliance is a major challenge area, as small businesses have fewer resources compared to big companies to dedicate towards understanding and adhering to laws and regulations. This includes tax compliance, industry-specific rules, HR laws, data privacy regulations, environmental rules, and more. To address compliance, small businesses should utilize free tools and guides provided by government agencies, hire specialized consultants or accountants as needed, and automate compliance tasks through software. They must also allocate sufficient time for owners and managers to stay informed of changing rules.

Hiring and retaining skilled talent is difficult for small companies competing with larger employers that offer more substantial benefits, salaries, and career growth prospects. Small businesses address this by offering competitive compensation through performance-based bonuses or ownership stakes, flexible work arrangements, developmental training opportunities, and a strong company culture valued by employees. Using online job boards, social media, employee referrals and internship programs can help small businesses cast a wider net to find top candidates.

Marketing and sales are perpetual challenges as most small businesses lack large advertising budgets of major brands. To effectively promote products/services and find customers, small companies leverage digital and grassroots marketing strategies. This includes search engine optimization, content creation for blogs/websites, paid and organic social media ads, local event/conference sponsorships, partnership programs, public relations outreach, direct mail, and e-mail/text campaigns. Tracking key metrics and adjusting strategies that are most successful keeps messaging focused.

Adopting new technologies is challenging due to high costs and lack of in-house expertise at small companies. Technology usage boosts efficiency and competitive advantage. Small businesses can overcome this by partnering with trusted managed IT providers, utilizing free/low-cost web-based applications, pursuing tech training/workshops, and taking advantage of tax incentives for tech investments. Prioritizing strategic tech needs based on business goals and pain-points ensures funds are allocated properly.

Succession planning is often overlooked but crucial for small business longevity. Owners must start planning early for their eventual exit from the company, whether through retirement, sale to employees, or third-party acquisition. This involves establishing ownership transition strategies, valuating the business, identifying and grooming potential successors within the organization, and utilizing external advisors. Succession planning safeguards a small business’ future stability and growth even in the absence of its founders.

Small businesses face significant challenges but with proper awareness and strategies to address issues like access to capital, regulations, hiring, marketing, technology and succession planning – they can survive and thrive. Leveraging available resources, maintaining organizational flexibility and promoting from within are keys to overcoming obstacles as a small company.


The researchers acknowledged that sampling data from only one hospital and with a relatively small sample size of 250 patients were limitations of the study that could impact the generalizability and reliability of the results. To help address these limitations, the researchers took several steps in the design, data collection, and analysis phases of the project.

In the study design phase, the researchers chose the hospital purposely as it was a large, urban, academic medical center that served a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse patient population from both the local community as well as patient referrals from other areas. This helped make the sample more representative of the broader population beyond just the local community served by that single hospital. The researchers only included patients across all departments of the hospital rather than focusing on specific diagnosis or treatment areas to get a broad cross-section of overall hospital patients.

Regarding sample size, while 250 patients was not a massive sample, it was a sufficient size to conduct statistical analyses and identify meaningful trends according to power calculations conducted during the study design. Also, to supplement the quantitative survey data from patients, the researchers conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 patients to gain deeper insights into experiences that larger-scale surveys alone may miss. Interviewing a subset of the sample allowed for a mixed-methods approach that provided richer contextual understanding to support the quantitative findings.

During data collection, the researchers took efforts to maximize the response rate and reduce non-response bias that are risks with smaller samples. For the patient surveys, research assistants were present on various hospital units at varying times of day to approach all eligible patients during their stays, rather than relying on mail-back surveys. Monetary incentives were also provided to encourage participation. The quantitative survey included demographic questions so the researchers could analyze response patterns and identify any subgroups that may have been underrepresented to help address missing data issues.

For analysis and reporting of results, the researchers were transparent about the limitations of sampling from a single site and small sample size. They did not overgeneralize or overstate the applicability of findings but rather framed results asexploratory and in need of replication. Statistical significance was set at a more stringent level of p<0.01 rather than the typical p<0.05 to increase confidence given the moderate sample. Qualitative interview data was used to provide context and nuanced explanation for quantitative results rather than being reported separately. The researchers also performed several supplementary analytical tests to evaluate potential sampling bias. They compared their participant demographics to hospital patient demographics overall as an indicator of representativeness. Response patterns by demographic group were examined for non-response bias. They randomly split the sample in half and ran parallel analyses on each half to verify consistency of identified associations and trends, rather than assuming results would replicate with an independent sample. In their write-up and discussion of limitations, the researchers clearly acknowledged the constraints of the single-site setting and sample size. They argued their intentional sampling approach, mixed-methods design, response maximization efforts, more rigorous analysis, and supplementary tests provided meaningful initial insights with results that lay the necessary groundwork for future replication studies with larger, multi-site samples before making conclusive generalizations. The transparency around limitations and implications for applicability of findings model best practices for rigorously addressing challenges inherent to pilot and feasibility studies. Through careful attention in their methodology and analysis, the researchers took important steps to offset the acknowledged issues that could arise from their relatively small, single-site sample. Their comprehensive approach set the stage to begin exploring meaningful trends while also recognizing the need for future replication. The study provides an example of how initial feasibility research can be conducted and reported responsibly despite inherent sampling constraints.