Not What You Signed Up For? The Downsides of Owning a Business

3 Mins read

Running your own business is about so much more than just money. It’s about freedom and flexibility, job satisfaction and earning money doing something that’s meaningful to you. However, it’s not always a walk in the park and there are of course some downsides to owning a business too. While it shouldn’t put you off, it’s good to be aware of them so you know what challenges you might face and how certain issues could be avoided. Here are some examples of when things can go wrong.

downsides of owning a business

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By YP_Studio

Marketing efforts that don’t work

As a naive new entrepreneur, it’s easy to completely overlook the importance of marketing. You might be under the impression that if you build a great business then people will come but it’s not the case. With so much competition, you need a way to get out there. Putting a few flyers through doors or dabbling with Google Ads when you have no real experience of how it all works is likely to lead to failed attempts. Do yourself a favor and build a marketing team, professionals with experience who know what they’re doing. Otherwise you could outsource to a third-party company with expertise in working with businesses like yours.

Accidents and injuries

You might have assumed that accidents were only a major issue when it comes to more dangerous industries- construction, laboratories or warehousing where there are people in vehicles and working at heights. However, even in your nice safe office or shop, workplace injuries can be an issue. Slips on wet floor, trips on carpet or boxes or due to bad lighting. Falls down stairs, injuries can and do happen in all kinds of workplaces even if your employees are only sitting at a computer for most of the day. Make sure you have the right employee liability insurance in place to protect you in case the worst were to happen.

Employee issues

Speaking of employees, there are numerous other issues that can occur as a result. They might claim you have been neglectful in some way, there might be instances of workplace bullying, there could be fraud or theft from your business. Carefully select everyone you bring in to work for you, conducting full background checks. Make sure staff are taken care off, pay fairly and make sure there’s a system in place to report workplace bullying. Be an attentive boss, be open and prepared to listen to your workers.


No one goes into business expecting failure, but unfortunately it does happen. Sometimes it’s due to things out of your control, economic instability like Brexit and the recession for example. Other times, it’s a result of your inexperience, making mistakes such as budgeting errors that you’re unable to recover from. The thing to bear in mind when it comes to bankruptcy is it doesn’t have to be the end for you as a business person. Lots of people that now run successful companies have had failures in the past, it can be a massive knock to your confidence but you can use it as a learning experience. Once the bankruptcy has been discharged, you’re free to set up another venture, but just go into it with your eyes wide open. Getting some education on business as a subject or maybe working as an employee for a similar kind of company first will help you to understand everything better. That way, you’re less likely to make fatal mistakes and improve your chances of getting through that first difficult year. If you reach the stage where you need to declare bankruptcy, sell everything to pay down as much of your debt as you can; this involves physical assets such as computers and desks as well as things like trademarks and even pending patents. The more you can clear off, the quicker you’ll be able to get back to normal.

What would you say some of the pitfalls of being a business owner can be?

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About author
Ryan Kh is a big data and analytic expert, marketing digital products on Amazon's Envato. He is not just passionate about latest buzz and tech stuff but in fact he's totally into it. Follow Ryan’s daily posts on Catalyst For Business.
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