Without doubt, a business benefits from its owner being fresh and enthusiastic about it. The boost that a motivated entrepreneur can bring to a business is phenomenal, and conversely a tired, demotivated business owner can end up dragging the business down without realising. So, it is vital that we explore some of the common problems that business owners suffer from:

  • Becoming a bottleneck – if I was to choose just one issue that limits both businesses and entrepreneurs, it is this. Often a business owner will want to become involved in every little detail of the business. Whilst it is important to understand the workings of the business, it’s also important to remember that there are only 24 hours in each day, and by becoming personally involved in every single process, the business is limited by the time and effort that you can put into the business.
  • Not having sufficient separation between personal and business life – a quote that I have heard is that the best part of being an entrepreneur is that you can choose which 18 hours per day that you work! The very nature of running a start up means that you have to cut costs wherever possible, and this often means that you will be working from the dining room table. Add to that the pressures of starting a business – with a lack of staff, and the additional promotional efforts needed – and you have the perfect recipe for long days (and nights) slaving away at a business.
  • Irregular income – it is understandable that the biggest fear that most people have about starting their own business is the lack of a secure pay cheque, and to many business owners the shift from a regular monthly income to perhaps an irregular income (or worse still, no income) is a very difficult change to make. This is compounded by the additional pressures that running a start up can put on an entrepreneur (see above).
Working outside the skill set of the entrepreneur – although a business owner may be highly skilled in what they do (whether that’s a technical skill, a sales skill, or a management skill), they may not necessarily have the other skills required to run a business. These include areas such as negotiation, decision making, leadership, in addition to those skills more commonly seen in employees. Often, these skills can’t be learned from a book or a seminar, and as such the business owner has to learn by experience. Along the way some mistakes will be made, and the stress that can occur from these is yet another pressure for the entrepreneur.

By Carl Reader, author of The Start Up Guide and The Franchise Handbook