11 Challenging Aspects of Being a Small-Business Owner (and Why It’s Worth It)

challenging aspects of being a small-business owner

Owning a business is one of the most challenging endeavors a person can take on, and owning a small business is no exception. From strategizing to delegating and everything in between, there are many difficulties that small-business owners face, yet most of them would say that it’s all worth it in the end.

To offer their thoughts on why facing such trials and tribulations is worth it, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members answered the following question:

“What would you say is the hardest part of being a small business owner? Why would you encourage others to do it anyway?”

Here are their best responses.

1. Trusting Others and Sharing Control

“You have to trust others and share control and responsibilities. Small-business owners have to understand, usually the hard way, that growth and risk reduction are possible when you share both with others. It is easier to get through hard things if you distribute the weight. And it is easier to build a colosseum with a team than on your own.” ~ Dmitrij Zatuchin, DO OK

2. Balancing Downstream and Upstream Activities

“Balancing downstream and upstream activities is always a challenge. Downstream activities such as driving sales and reducing risks and costs are often seen as the sources of value creation, but upstream activities such as setting the strategic vision are increasingly the reason for customer loyalty. The pace of change is constantly moving a business’s center of gravity, but the reality is that owners need to do both.” ~ Ryan Stoner, Dendro

3. Working Long Hours to the Point of Fatigue

“The hardest part of being a small-business owner is the fatigue. You have to put in a lot of work and hours to keep things running. This can take a toll on even the most passionate individuals. Fatigue often leads to making rash decisions. To keep your business humming, you need to find a pace that doesn’t grind you down. But it’s all worth it if you consider all the financial rewards it entails.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Dealing With Self-Doubt at Random Times

“For a small-business owner, one of the hardest parts is dealing with self-doubt, like the thoughts of ‘Am I good enough?’ or ‘Is it worth it?’ Plus, it will pop up at the most random times. The truth is, you are good enough. The decision of if it is worth it is a personal one. But if you are having fun and truly believe in your concept, it probably is worth it. Enjoy the challenge. It is worth it!” ~ Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

5. Dealing With Every Customer

“The hardest part of being a small-business owner is dealing with every customer the best you can. You can pour your heart and soul into making an excellent product or service, but there will always be a handful of negative reviews to deal with. Though it may seem unfair, you need to resolve their problems with a smile. But when your product is good, there’ll also be a ton of love from customers!” ~ Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO

6. Knowing What to Do First

“For small-business owners, the hardest part is knowing what to do first. They have to figure out how to make a profit while still providing quality and unique services and products. However, I would encourage others to start their own businesses because it is incredibly rewarding. It gives them the opportunity to create their own work and make their own hours.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

7. Balancing Quality and Growth When Scaling

“The biggest challenge of being a small-business owner is balancing quality and growth. As your business starts scaling, you might be tempted to compromise on your quality. But you can’t do that if you have to establish yourself as a trusted brand in the long run. So no matter how challenging it may be, you must find ways to balance the two.” ~ Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

8. Putting Your People Ahead of Yourself

“The hours that come with it and the fact that, as a leader, your people should always come first are two of the hardest things. Then again, it also comes with lots of rewards in seeing others succeed under your guidance and being able to make someone’s life better with what you’ve chosen to do. Moreover, you are in charge of your time. Yes, you’ll probably have to put more than 40 hours a week into it, but you’re living your dream.” ~ Alexandru Stan, Tekpon

9. Finding Qualified People to Fill Roles

“The hardest part of being a small-business owner is finding the right team. You’ll spend a lot of time researching candidates until you find the qualified people to fill your available roles. I think you should do it anyway because a well-matched team is one of the cornerstones of a successful business. Collaboration, communication and project management all benefit from a tight-knit group.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

10. Being Responsible for So Many Priorities

“For a small-business owner, one of the hardest parts is the number of things you are responsible for. There are many hats that one must wear and even more stakeholders that are ultimately depending on your decision making or delegation to fulfill your promises to them. Nonetheless, if one is working on something that truly fulfills them, bearing this weight is much easier and more fulfilling.” ~ Akshar Bonu, The Custom Movement

11. Coming Up With Creative Ideas for Growth

“One of the hardest parts of being a small-business owner is constantly coming up with creative ideas that will help your business grow. But to set up a successful business, you need to do it anyway, no matter how hard it might appear to be.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.