4 obstacles you might face when starting a small business

One person is holding it "Open" Sign on the front door of a small business.

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These are common challenges, but you can overcome them.


Important points

  • Starting a business is not an easy undertaking.
  • It’s important to be realistic about the challenges you may face (such as funding and staffing) and find ways to overcome them.

Starting your own business can be a very rewarding prospect. But it may take some time before you can really reap those rewards.

In fact, many small business owners struggle in the early stages of their ventures. Here are a few obstacles you might encounter – and how to deal with them.

1. Not being able to get funding

You may need to take out a small business loan to get your business off the ground. But what if you keep getting rejected? It’s not that uncommon a problem, but you may need to get creative when it comes to securing funding. That could mean applying for a personal loan or home equity loan if a small business loan isn’t an option for you.

2. Difficulty hiring staff

“No one wants to work anymore” is a common mantra among small business owners today. But the reality is that people do want to work and they have to work – they just want a decent wage for their work.

It can be difficult to hire staff if you are only willing to pay low wages. So instead of sticking to this plan, research payroll data in your area to come up with a figure that’s respectable for workers and affordable for you. (There’s no harm in actually asking local business owners how much they pay their employees.)

At the same time, don’t underestimate the power of flexible planning and benefits. You may find that workers are willing to accept a lower wage if you offer the opportunity to do some work remotely or set their own hours to better meet their childcare needs.

3. Not turning a profit immediately

It’s often the case that small businesses don’t really make money until they’ve been up and running for months—sometimes longer. Try not to let this lack of income get you down.

At the same time, however, you still need to eat, so make sure you have a way to pay your bills to account for that missing income. Having a well-stocked savings account is a smart thing to do when you’re about to build your brand and build a loyal customer base.

4. Find time for yourself

Small business owners tend to wear a lot of hats. And while you may enjoy overseeing various aspects of your business, you may also find that you are constantly pressed for time because you are doing everything.

That’s why it’s so important to set boundaries early on. The last thing you want to do is work and burn out every waking second of the day. Create a schedule and hire additional staff as needed to ensure you can function—and tear yourself away from your desk when you need to.

Starting a small business is definitely not a painless thing. And you might find it’s harder than you expected. But if you are aware of the challenges small business owners face, you can find ways to deal with them and overcome them.

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