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Top Challenges for the CEO of an SME
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Top Challenges for the CEO of an SME

Leading an SME has many hardships. As a CEO, you have to anticipate and counter any challenges that the business will face. Although the list of problems that every business can come across is extensive, we will list some of the most common ones.


Financing is a struggle for a lot of SMEs due to their size and lack of access to financial markets. SMEs continuously need funding to buy new assets, expand operations, or invest in staff. The best way to overcome this challenge is to keep your financial records up to date, build relationships with your bankers, and become part of a professional body that has access to financiers.


Every business wants to have higher sales and brand recognition, but they always underestimate the amount of investment that this takes. SMEs don't have huge budgets to spend on marketing, and that severely limits their reach into new markets. Fortunately for SMEs, technology has significantly lowered the cost of marketing, allowing them to go digital. Some sales tools can reduce costs and make selling more cost-efficient, along with digital platforms that have lower advertising costs, such as social media.

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Regulatory compliance has become more pervasive and is now expected of small companies too. A good illustration of this is the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR ), which cuts across all industries worldwide who use digital tools. To cater for compliance and regulatory concerns, SMEs can use what is called RegTech. RegTech is new products that use automation and AI to lower the human effort along with costs of regulatory compliance.


The world is advancing at a faster pace than before. This has resulted in employees needing to take on new skills. Mechanics, accountants, salespeople, and many other professions now use technology, which is advancing every year. As the company leader, you must ensure that all employees are adequately skilled and well resourced to carry out their duties.


Innovation is a great thing for society, but it can cause significant headaches for an unprepared CEO. Countless industries have fallen to the wayside as society has adopted innovations – remember the CD store, typewriters, etc. Every CEO must stay ahead of the curve and ensure that the company can adapt to change swiftly to remain relevant.

A myriad of situations will arise in which the CEO will be forced to act. Their actions must be guided by the values of the company and its goals. After that, the CEO can use their strengths to keep the company moving forward and take it to the next level. For SMEs looking to enter the world of international trade, EXIMA has all the information you need to trade confidently. Join us today to be a part of our network of trade professionals from all over the world!

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