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common small business challenges

Top Small Business Challenges and How to Solve Them with HP

Stephen Mash
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Small businesses in the UK are currently facing an extensive list of challenges. There's the continued high energy costs, high interest rates and inflation, the ongoing cost of living crisis and the lasting effects of austerity-based government policies. There's also the challenge of the economic environment experiencing negligible growth, constrained consumer spending and significant market volatility.
All these factors are affecting how companies operate day to day. We're currently seeing the most significant impact in the agricultural and food supply sectors, where the war in Ukraine directly impacts fuel, fertiliser and seed costs.
The immediate forecast could look better, with predictions of higher monetary inflation and an increase in input inflation due to cost rises for fuels and materials. On top of this are the trade barriers that have appeared over the last few years, adding additional burdens and bureaucracy to businesses with cross-border supply chains.
All these pressures are in addition to the everyday challenges that small businesses face each year. In this article, we'll look at these common small business issues and some technological solutions that can help make these more manageable.

Common small business challenges

Top Small Business Challenges and How to Solve Them with HP
In addition to the main socioeconomic challenges of the day, small businesses face a set of common challenges that remain a constant factor affecting operational performance. The increasing availability of technology to help small companies manage these changes offers solutions. Changes to business processes, better productivity and efficiency, and smarter, more flexible working practices are all helping to keep small businesses afloat during these challenging times.
Financial management is the ongoing struggle of managing finances, budgeting, and dealing with unexpected expenses with cashflow pressures and limited borrowing opportunities. Small businesses must keep on top of finances with access to the latest information that analyses and assesses data to support informed decision-making. Accounting, forecasting and transactional management tasks can become overwhelming unless technology is enabled to take the strain using digital financial management processes.
Time management is the challenge small business owners face in juggling various tasks and ensuring the business operates smoothly, whatever events conspire to disrupt operations or divert attention. You can implement effective project management using applications to track progress, identify and resolve blocks and delays to critical paths, and enable collaborative working to share the load across the business.
Getting left behind can quickly see a business lose its competitive edge with a resultant decrease in market share and impact on profitability. In contracts, early adopters of new technology often gain a business advantage that provides the financial foundation to support further investment into the latest technology. Staying up-to-date with technology and keeping pace with the speed at which technology is evolving allows businesses to stay competitive in a fierce marketplace.
One of the most significant risks to business success is a failure to manage growth. Technology offers flexible small business solutions that can scale with your company as it develops in a controlled manner. Scaling and growth, and overcoming the hurdles that small businesses face will help them easily respond to market changes.
Remote work integration is adapting businesses to embrace the hybrid work model and maintaining efficient communication to improve productivity and efficiency. The current trend for work practices is a continuation of moving from rigid office-based working to remote and hybrid working thanks to the tangible business benefits. Technology supports this approach by allowing remote workers anywhere in the world to work just as effectively and securely as an office-based worker, with internet connectivity to cloud-based IT systems.

HP solutions to these challenges

In the search for the best tech for small business owners to address these prevalent operational challenges, a range of HP products are available to help address the common small business issues.

HP business laptops

The starting point for addressing business challenges is access to a high-performance laptop with features that allow you to work efficiently and securely. An underperforming computer leads to time wasted waiting for basic tasks to finish. If you process complex financial data, collect and analyse metrics or need to search through information repositories for actionable insights, then you'll need a computer that can process data fast. Delays due to slow technology can cause frustration, especially in dynamic small businesses when time is of the essence, and delays lead to lost revenue.
Our HP ProBook family is ideal for small businesses. This range of economical and dependable laptops offers high-end processors that can handle challenging business workflows and reliable data storage solutions. They all come with built-in security applications that protect your crucial business information, whether commercially sensitive contractual and pricing data or intellectual property.
HP ProBook 450 G9 Business Laptop
The HP ProBook 450 G9 15.6-inch business laptop has an outstanding full high definition (FHD) 15.6-inch screen option that offers a great balance between image clarity and portability. This model has Intel's® 12th Generation Core™ i7 processor, so you don't have to worry when running multiple complex programs concurrently to maximise productivity.
Running Microsoft's Windows 11 Professional edition operating system, this laptop comes with our HP Wolf Security for Business, which creates a secure hardware-enforced, always-on, resilient defence against cyber attacks to help protect your business operations.
This laptop also helps speed up the basics of IT management with the HP Manageability Integration Kit that enables you to manage hardware, BIOS, and application security through the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.

HP wireless keyboards

One of the simplest ways to boost productivity if you're a laptop user is to invest in a separate keyboard that allows you to type faster and has ergonomic benefits, meaning you can work for longer in comfort. For example, the HP 970 programmable wireless keyboard offers higher key height, dished finger-shaped keys and soft return technology for more comfortable typing consistency.
HP 970 Programmable Wireless Keyboard
This wireless keyboard also allows you to program more than 20 keys with shortcuts for the apps you use the most to save time. It also has various innovative features, including customisable smart sensors that help adjust the keys backlighting to match the lighting condition in your room, turn lights off to save energy when not in use, and automatically switch back on when you return to the keyboard. Power is from a long-lasting rechargeable battery using a simple USB-C connection.
As an added security capability, this keyboard uses AES-128 data encryption to prevent anyone nearby from electronic eavesdropping when you type, a crucial feature when you type passwords or other sensitive information anywhere where a hacker can be near you as you work.

HP wireless mice

A great accompaniment to a wireless keyboard is a compatible wireless mouse. These devices offer the same productivity and ergonomic benefits, as well as being easy to use and reducing the clutter in your workspace. The HP dual-mode multi-device wireless mouse has all the standard mouse features, and two additional programmable thumb switches that allow you to customise operations to boost efficiency.
Dual Mode Multi Device Wireless Mouse
This mouse lets you control two devices with a simple switch to choose which one you're currently using. This flexible control could be two computers or, alternatively, your laptop and a smart television.
In common with the keyboard above, this smart mouse also uses AES-128 data encryption to prevent anyone nearby from eavesdropping on your mouse movements to deduce helpful information for a cyber attack.

HP business monitors

Connecting a large screen to your laptop offers excellent benefits if you need to study large spreadsheets full of information comfortably or if you are working in creative industries that involve long periods of screen use. However, for small business users, an external monitor with a docking station offers additional benefits for providing great productivity features in a compact design that keeps your workspace clear.
The HP E27d G4 QHD IPS USB-C docking business monitor with webcam includes almost everything a small business user needs for their work. First, the 27-inch Quad High Definition (QHD) screen offers crystal clear images with its impressive 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen comes with the standard HP features, including anti-glare and HP Eye Ease low blue light levels.
HP E27d Business Monitor
Connecting your computer to this USB-C Docking Monitor allows you to charge your laptop and access additional USB and RJ-45 ports for peripherals and accessories. It also includes a webcam and microphone to support video conferencing.

Summary

We've designed a range of business laptops and accessories perfect for helping small businesses work smarter and more efficiently. These small business solutions help improve comfort for long sessions in the office, and advanced audio-visual capabilities allow collaborative working across a remotely located and dispersed workforce.
Reliable and secure working is thanks to the latest connectivity technology and security features. Our technology includes advanced security protection using the principle of secure by design, helping protect your sensitive information wherever it resides.
Small businesses that embrace the latest technology benefit from efficient work practices and offer the flexibility for a work-anywhere approach that can boost productivity. You can read more about HP's flexible work solutions on our website and see how these can help your own small business meet today's challenges.

About the Author

Stephen Mash is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Stephen is a UK-based freelance technology writer with a background in cybersecurity and risk management.

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