June 11, 2024



In today’s dynamic business landscape, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face unique challenges that can be overwhelming. As a consultant with extensive experience transforming businesses with revenues between 5 and 40 million dollars, I have witnessed first-hand the profound impact that tailored business consulting can have. This article series will delve into common issues faced by SMEs and showcase how strategic consulting can lead to sustained growth and success. Whether you’re struggling with stagnant revenue, succession planning, or digital transformation, the insights shared here are designed to resonate deeply with your experiences and provide actionable solutions.

Common Challenges Faced by SMEs

Stagnant Revenue with Declining Profits

Imagine working tirelessly, only to see your revenue plateau and your profits decline. It’s frustrating and disheartening. This was the reality for a family-owned medical and aeronautical manufacturing company. They were trapped in a cycle of inefficiency, with no formal productivity measurement system. By introducing data-driven methodologies and standard operating procedures, we unlocked their potential. Productivity soared, output doubled, and financial stability was restored.

Succession Planning Issues

The thought of retiring should be a time of looking forward to a well-earned rest, not a source of anxiety. Many business owners worry about what will happen to their company when they’re no longer at the helm. This was the case for a wholesale restaurant equipment company, where sudden leadership change led to internal conflict. Through impartial business valuations and leadership training, we stabilized the company, ensuring its continued growth and success.

Inexperienced Inheritors

Taking over a family business can feel like stepping into a pair of shoes that are too big. An architectural firm faced significant challenges in securing new contracts and managing project costs. By introducing a sophisticated pricing tool, we streamlined their bidding and cost management processes. Revenue surged, profitability increased, and the firm regained its competitive edge.

Lack of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Without KPIs, managing a business is like driving blindfolded. A leading Spanish pharmaceutical company faced this issue, struggling to measure productivity, production, and costs. Implementing KPIs transformed their operations, enhancing efficiency and reducing waste. Their market position improved, and they achieved operational excellence.

Administrative Struggles for Technical Experts

Technical expertise doesn’t always translate to administrative prowess. A Chinese e-commerce giant was hindered by logistical challenges that impeded growth. By optimising their logistics network and integrating predictive analytics, we reduced delivery times and operational costs. Customer satisfaction soared, and profitability increased.

Financial Illiteracy

Understanding financial statements is crucial for making informed decisions. Many business owners lack this expertise, leading to poor financial management. Training programs and strategic advisory services can bridge this gap. For example, a Belgian retail chain experienced a turnaround through enhanced staff training and inventory management, leading to significant revenue growth and improved customer satisfaction.

Resistance to Change

One of the most significant barriers to growth is the resistance to change. Businesses often cling to outdated practices that no longer serve them well. For example, a traditional European fashion house struggled to stay relevant with a changing demographic. By integrating modern design technology and revamping their product line, we helped them appeal to younger consumers and significantly boost sales.

Digital Transformation

In an era where digital presence is crucial, many SMEs lag in adopting new technologies. A regional travel agency faced severe financial challenges due to inefficiencies in its reservation system. Implementing a state-of-the-art reservation tracking system drastically reduced booking errors and financial losses, leading to improved customer satisfaction and business recovery.

Market Expansion

Breaking into new markets can be daunting, especially for SMEs. A Chinese solar panel manufacturer needed to expand internationally to sustain growth. Through comprehensive market analysis and strategic partnerships, we facilitated their entry into European and North American markets, doubling their international revenue.

Employee Retention and Morale

High staff turnover and low morale can cripple a business. A Belgian retail chain faced these issues, leading to declining sales. By redesigning store layouts, upgrading inventory management systems, and enhancing staff training programs, we improved employee satisfaction and customer service, resulting in increased sales and reduced turnover.

Sustainability and Regulatory Compliance

With increasing pressure to adopt sustainable practices, many SMEs struggle to comply with environmental regulations. A Swedish manufacturing firm needed to overhaul its operations to reduce its environmental footprint. By transitioning to renewable energy sources and adopting circular economy principles, we helped them achieve significant cost savings and improve market competitiveness.

How Consulting Can Help

Consulting offers a fresh perspective and expertise to identify and address root problems hindering business growth. Through strategic guidance, tailored solutions, and implementation of best practices, consultants help businesses achieve their goals. Key areas include:

• Identifying Inefficiencies: Analysing existing processes to pinpoint and recommend improvements.

• Strategic Planning: Developing strategies for growth, market expansion, and operational efficiency.

• Training and Development: Enhancing skills and knowledge of employees and leadership through targeted programs.

• Technological Integration: Implementing advanced tools and technologies to streamline operations and improve productivity.

• Financial Management: Providing expertise in financial planning and management to ensure sound decision-making.

• Change Management: Guiding businesses through transitions to adopt new practices and technologies effectively.

• Market Analysis: Research new markets to facilitate expansion and growth.

• Sustainability Practices: Integrating eco-friendly practices to meet regulatory standards and improve brand image.


Transforming an SME from struggling to thriving requires strategic insight, practical solutions, and ongoing support. This article series will delve deeper into specific challenges and showcase detailed case studies on how consulting services can unlock your business’s full potential. Stay tuned for our next article, where we will discuss strategies to combat stagnant revenue and declining profits.

For more information on how Inachus Ventures can help your business, contact us today. enquiries@inachus.Ventures