5 challenges facing SMEs (and how Gridfox can solve them)

Beth King

15 Jun 2022 · 6 mins read

5 challenges facing SMEs (and how Gridfox can solve them)

Businesses were forced to change as a result of the pandemic, from pursuing new customers and markets to adopting technology that would enable them to continue their operations. Almost a third of businesses, in fact, admit that they’ve had to change their business plan for 2022 because of the pandemic. 👩‍💻

Yet after the ‘lifting of restrictions’ and the ‘return to the office’, small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) continue to face challenges. In this article, we look at some of the main challenges faced by SMEs today and how they can overcome them. 

Digital skills gap

Over a ¼ of small businesses and ⅓ of medium businesses cite insufficient skills as a barrier  to adopting transformative technologies, according to a BT survey. As traditional working processes have been flipped on their head, businesses are in need of digital skills more than ever. 

With limited financial resources required to provide training or even hire new employees, SMEs are at a dead end when it comes to satisfying the demand for digital skills. In order to continue operations, small and midsize businesses are desperately seeking a balance between offering incentives for skilled employees and having sufficient funding to support operations.💼


Find digital solutions that are intuitive, accessible and easy-to use. While there’s no shortcuts for developing transferable skills, the right software can save the valuable time and resources that would be required to train someone in full.

Gridfox prides itself on being user friendly and accessible to all. Businesses can get started right away by choosing a template from our vast library, which spans industries and use cases. Slashing the time usually taken to train employees, Gridfox enables employees to begin managing data right away. ⌛

Often referred to as citizen developers, these employees are able to work with sophisticated apps without any prior coding experience. Empowering non-technical staff professionals to customise these applications opens your skills pool and ensures everyone is capable of contributing to projects. 


Many businesses have welcomed new technology over the past few decades, many are still lagging behind with older, outdated solutions. Spreadsheets, for example, remain a tool of choice for many SMEs. 

Research from our whitepaper shows that 98% of SMEs continue manage business 

Information using spreadsheets. Whether it’s recording employee (25.6%) and customer data (29.7%) or tracking projects (28.9%) and sales opportunities (27.7%), many businesses continue to rely on Excel or similar for important activities. 

The dynamic nature of modern business cannot be accommodated by this software. It is not only incapable of managing multiple users or large data sets, but it is also prone to security risks and has been targeted by hackers.❗


The best software for your business boils down to one principle — all you need and nothing more. Off-the-shelf software fails this test because it often includes features you do not need and working methods that do not suit. Spreadsheets are, similarly, ineffective in managing dynamic data sets, as we have shown.

SMEs are, instead, turning to a number of tools to improve their operations; Project management tools, CRM software and sales trackers are just a few examples of this powerful tech. Now imagine a tool that can do all of this in one! 

Gridfox is a flexible work management tool that is capable of satisfying SMEs’ needs - whatever their industry may be. Starting from one of our many templates, businesses can begin managing their data securely and effectively. 🔐

Managing Workflows 

Time is particularly valuable for SMEs as they look to efficiently and effectively grow their business. Lost time nearly always equates to lost profit. All of this points to the challenges of managing workflows; those routine activities that make up your operations. 

It remains a challenge for SMEs to streamline their workflows with spreadsheets and other tools that are incapable of automating their business functions, resulting in additional employee time spent on finding, consolidating, and modifying information. ⌚

A distributed workforce only adds to these challenges. As businesses become decentralised, it becomes increasingly more difficult to monitor existing workflows (especially when these are manual processes!) 


Automation can sound like a scary word for SMEs looking to improve their operations. In reality, this concept isn’t just big budget AI projects or complex Machine Learning technology. 🤖

Small-business owners can use workflow automation to free up their time and focus on their core competencies by automating their processes. Using a work management platform like Gridfox, businesses can automate regular tasks, freeing up their time so that they can focus on growth. 

Gridfox Workflows allow you to automate actions for Records in your Projects. By doing so, SMEs can save time on tasks like employee onboarding and training, whilst reducing the risk of human error that often comes with manual processes and managing information in spreadsheets. 


A business must be able to scale its operations if it wants to consistently increase revenue. SMEs often struggle to achieve this growth because of the inept software solutions that are holding them back. 

As a result of the financial crisis SMEs have found themselves in, scaling existing solutions to fit their growth plans is out of the question. The result, then, is businesses who are caught between ambitious growth plans and inflexible tools.  

When you’ve outgrown a spreadsheet or a range of disparate applications but you’re not ready for an enterprise solution, a flexible work management tool is the answer. 🦾


Creating a well-thought-out plan which anticipates all possible scenarios is the most effective way to be secure and grounded as your business grows. 💹

It is imperative for businesses to develop a plan that is focused enough to drive their actions. This data should then be gathered using a tool that is flexible enough to allow you to update it as your growth journey progresses. 

Gridfox not only offers a space to record this plan, but is also flexible enough to be scaled up or down, according to your business needs. With the ability to add, edit and remove features, businesses can rest assured that they can scale their solutions in unison with their growth strategy. 🤝

Outfox your challenges 

For every cloud, there is a silver lining. That’s why for every challenge discussed in this article we have shown how Gridfox can tap into an effective solution plan for SMEs. Whether you’re looking to automate processes, manage workflows or scale your operations, Gridfox is here to help. 

Want to find out more? Get started today for free here.

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