Building Resilience as a Small UK Business Owner in 2023


Building resilience as a business owner in the UK is crucial to success. It’s not just that, in the beginning, this is important, but as business owners, we will experience setbacks and wrong turns at every stage of business growth.


As we enter 2023, the UK recession appears ominous, but now it’s more crucial than ever that business owners look to build resilience in the face of adversity. I recently completed a course at Strathclyde Business School, and part of the topic/content we talked about why small businesses fail and the current trend in UK business. How we challenge these setbacks and pick ourselves back up with resilience determines how successful we will be.


I am writing this article to share my experience and thoughts on how I nurture my resilience to avoid certain pitfalls.



Building Resilience in the Face of Adversity


As 2023 begins, small business owners in the UK face an increasingly challenging environment, with fears of a wave of company collapses due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.


“Resilience is not just about bouncing back from adversity; it’s about using those challenges to become better and stronger.” – Eric Greitens.


Whilst reading an article on the BBC website last week, I was shocked to read that thousands of UK businesses are going down the tubes in record numbers.


According to insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, the number of firms on the brink of going bust rose by more than a third at the end of last year, and this trend is expected to continue as firms repay Covid loans, consumers cut back on spending, and the cost of doing business continues to rise.


For Manchester-based brewery owner Paul Jones, the pressure has felt like a “never-ending nightmare.” Jones says his business has been in “survival mode” since March 2020, with high costs, debt, low consumer confidence, and post-Brexit trading problems all bearing down on the brewery. Despite his efforts to keep his business afloat, Jones says he has considered closing down “probably once a month since 2020” due to the toll it has taken on his well-being and his heart condition from stress.


Despite the challenges, Jones remains determined to keep his business going, recognising that resilience is critical to survival in today’s business environment.



I will explore the challenges facing small UK business owners in 2023 and provide practical tips and strategies for building resilience and navigating these uncertain times.



“Resilience is not what happens to us. It’s how we respond.” – Angela Duckworth.



As small business owners, we face a wide range of challenges every day, from competition and changes in market conditions to financial and operational hurdles.


To be successful and thrive in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, with the threat of the UK recession, it’s crucial to develop business resilience – the ability to bounce back from adversity and continue to grow and thrive, even amidst the cost-of-living crisis. We have done it before (COVID), and we can do it again…



Why is Resilience Important:

Increases your ability to weather challenges: The business world is full of uncertainties and unexpected events, from economic downturns and natural disasters to market conditions and customer preferences changes. Building resilience helps you to handle these challenges and setbacks better, allowing you to continue to operate and grow, even in tough times.


Enhances your ability to adapt: Resilience helps you to quickly adapt to changes in your business environment, enabling you to stay ahead of the curve and capitalise on new opportunities. Whether dealing with new competition, regulations, or technological advancements, resilience helps you be proactive and responsive rather than reactive and caught off-guard.


Improves your overall well-being: Running a small business can be stressful and demanding, affecting your mental and physical health. Building resilience helps you better cope with stress and reduces the impact of setbacks on your overall well-being, allowing you to perform at your best and achieve your goals.


Enhances your reputation: Resilience is a hallmark of successful businesses, and customers and partners are more likely to trust and work with companies that demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity. This can help you to build stronger relationships and grow your business over the long term.



Tips and Strategies for Building Resilience:


Plan ahead: Anticipating and preparing for potential challenges and obstacles can help you to be better prepared when they arise. This may include creating contingency plans for potential risks, diversifying your revenue streams, and having backup systems.


Maintain a positive outlook: A positive attitude can help you handle challenges and setbacks and see opportunities in adversity. Cultivate a growth mindset, focusing on learning and improvement rather than dwelling on failures and setbacks.


Seek support: Running a small business can be lonely, and seeking support from others can help you to cope with challenges and build resilience. This may include talking to other business owners, seeking mentorship, or working with a coach or therapist.


Take care of your health: Your physical and mental well-being is crucial for building resilience, so be sure to take care of yourself. This may include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep.


Cultivate resilience in your team: Building a resilient team can help you handle challenges and drive growth. Encourage your team to embrace change, seek new opportunities, and give them the tools and support they need to succeed.



Building resilience is essential, allowing you to handle challenges and drive growth, even in adversity. By planning ahead, maintaining a positive outlook, seeking support, taking care of your health, and cultivating resilience in your team, you can build a resilient, adaptable, and successful long-term business.



“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela.



At The Power Within, we help business leaders achieve a level of self-management and resilience that means they’re significantly more likely to overcome obstacles in a more clearly defined way and their goals in business and life, enabling them to lead others effectively and successfully.



We’ll show you how to develop all the critical self-leadership and resilience mindset and skills you will need to lead yourself and others, including using our world-first Motivational Intelligence (MQ) framework, which is an integral part of achieving effective self-leadership.



If you’re ready to take your next giant leap forward in personal and business development, then there’s no better place to start than improving your business resilience and leadership skills.



All our programmes – including our worlds-first Executive Diploma in Leading With Motivational Intelligence (MQ) and our Business Growth Academy – and our fully online Self-Leadership Development programme and multiple Executive, Team and Business Coaching have been created with passion and commitment to our mission.


If you’re a business leader looking for something different, training & development that creates an impact…then we can help.




James Fleming

The Power Within Training,

The Motivational Intelligence Company





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