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Six Small Business Roadblocks and How to Avoid Them

By Alexandra Gavril - September 30, 2015


Thinking of starting a new business? Make sure you’re prepared as there are numerous problems and roadblocks that can obstruct your route to success. From lack of time and money to getting your site online with no technical skills, there are many barriers to small business success.

Here are the top six challenges that small businesses will face when starting out and ways to overcome them.

1. Balancing starting a business with working a job

Even if you ultimately plan to run your business full-time, starting on a part-time basis can offer many advantages. It reduces your risk as you can rely on income to sustain your living expenses until your business starts generating a profit. Plus, you can use the income from your full-time job to help fund your new business.

So many small business owners have started their businesses this way. While this is a common method to get a business up and running, keep in mind that it takes hard work and long hours. However, starting a business at the same time as keeping your full-time job is not only doable, it’s often a wise decision.

Here are a few tips for starting a business while keeping your day job:

  • Know what you’re getting yourself into so that you don’t burn out while working nights and weekends (which you will be doing).
  • Commit time in advance to work on your new business. Put together a schedule and try to devote a set amount of time each day to your new business.
  • Know that you’ll have to make sacrifices. Be prepared to give up your social life as your new business will require lots of time and effort. But don’t get discouraged as it will pay off in the long run.
  • Focus on better time management and minimise distractions when you’re working on your business. You’ll have plenty of free time once your small business grows and you’ll have left your full-time job.

You can find more small business time management tips in this guide.

2. Insufficient funding

A lack of funding is the most common reason why people don’t start a business. However, there are numerous solutions to this problem. First, you can start saving up and working on your new business as a side project while keeping your full-time job. While this requires a great deal of dedication, it’s a common strategy that works.

Alternatively, you could get capital from banks, government agencies, angel investors to help you kickstart your business. No matter which option you choose, make sure you have a solid pitch ready. No one’s going to fund your new venture unless you’re clear about what you’ll be offering, how you plan to break into the industry and how you plan to market your business. So prepare a great pitch and stop fretting about not having a nickel to your name.

3. Getting a website online without technical skills

With so many tools available, getting your site online has never been easier even if you don’t have any design or coding skills.

Here are a few options that you can use you get your site up and running with no technical skills:

  • Use a website builder. With our website builder you can quickly build and launch your site without having to worry about learning to code. This will also give you access to a nice collection of responsive themes, which means that your site will show properly regardless of the device people use to visit your site, whether it’s a PC, a laptop, a tablet or a mobile device.
  • Hire a professional. You can always hire a professional to design and implement your new website. While you might get a nice-looking site with all the bells and whistles, this option can prove to be costly and time-consuming. A cheaper option would be to get a free website template and then hire a freelancer to implement it for you.

4. Doing everything yourself


Delegating tasks is a huge problem for a lot of small business owners. You might be tempted to do everything yourself simply because you think you’re the only one who can do everything right. That’s a very common mentality. You might think that it’s faster (and cheaper) to do it yourself than to show someone else how to do it properly. The problem with this is that it does not help your business grow. You won’t be able to free up time to focus on more important tasks like building a strategy to grow a successful business.

Fortunately, you can easily outsource energy-sapping tasks to freelancers. Check out this post that explains where and how to get quality work done even with a small budget.

5. Customer shortage

That’s a common roadblock, and not just for small businesses, but for businesses of all sizes. Never have we heard someone say “we have too many customers”. Here’s the main reason for this roadblock: you have no “hook”. Entrepreneur Jon Goldman calls it the “Big Zig”. Seth Godin calls it the “Purple Cow”. This is your unique selling proposition or USP and it’s something that’s unique to your business.

So if you want to get more customers, you need to be unique and not like every other John out there. Watch this fantastic webinar on how to develop your small business brand that also explains how to differentiate your business from others in your industry.

6. The prospect of failure

This is another common roadblock: fear of failing. No one wants to fall short of their dreams and have to start over, so why bother trying in the right place, right? Wrong! Many small business owners face failure every day, but it’s the successful ones that believe that they’ll succeed. And you should too! If you’re passionate about your business and what you have to offer, and if you’re determined to overcome any challenge, you’ll likely make it to the promised land and open a strong business.

Wrapping up

There will always be challenges to overcome in business, no matter which stage you’re at. But these hurdles are part of the fun, that is if you don’t let yourself get consumed by them. Stay motivated and you’ll be able to overcome all these challenges and take your small business to the next level.

So, there you have it. Six deadly roadblocks for small business owners. Which one is your nemesis?