According to smallbiztrends, “one-third of business owners admitted that running a company is harder than they initially thought”. It would be unreasonable to think that challenges faced by small business owners only surface once the business is up and running. From inception, entrepreneurs are faced with challenges, of which some they did not anticipate.

Is it harder to start a business today than it was 10 years ago? Possibly, new technology and other advancements contribute to the convenience we enjoy today but it also adds a new set of challenges. These challenges are totally new and unique to this high technology era, but some challenges are common and totally unrelated to the advancing technology.

Unforeseen circumstances

When trying to develop an idea into a business, it’s only natural to think about risks and the challenges you may encounter. Forecasting these potential challenges helps you prepare better for them. However, good preparation doesn’t make you immune to unexpected challenges that may interfere with the plans you have for the business. This does not mean that a prospective business owner should not put in effort and take time to plan. Yes, unforeseen circumstances will most likely come up but having a plan will help you see how far you have deviated from it.

Giving up might seem to be the only way out when starting a business is a lot harder than you expected.

Unforeseen circumstances can come in the form of extra costs.  Raising the capital can take up a lot of time and effort, when you have finally raised enough money to get your business started, the last thing you want to hear is that there are extra costs that need to be covered. These sort of challenges require a level of mental strength.

Hiring staff

Hiring talented individuals to be part of your staff can fast track the success of your business. On the other end, hiring staff members that still need to be trained over a certain period of time before they are ready can be time consuming – or it might not be a problem, depending on your personal timeline for the business.

The process of getting staff members on board is hardly ever easy. Small companies may struggle to compete with big companies in terms of salary packages. Staff retention can become an issue. When skilled staff members gain the skills they need, they may leave their work at small companies to work for more established companies that will pay them more money.

Comparing candidates and having to choose the “best one” is a bit tricky. Having to choose between someone that’s highly qualified but doesn’t have a personality that matches the organisations culture, and someone that’s fairly qualified but has the right personally to match the culture of the organization, can be challenging. You don’t want to make the mistake of choosing incorrectly and having to live with the consequences. There are laws in place to protect employees, you can’t simply get rid of someone when you no longer want to work with them, certain procedures need to be followed.


Your first attempt at opening a business is usually nerve-wrecking. It only becomes less daunting when you are a more experienced entrepreneur – after having pursued other ventures. It’s your first shot at it, you might not believe that you have what it takes to run a successful business. You have left your stable job with a stable salary to become an entrepreneur. As if your own anxieties are not enough, people in your life keep reminding you about all the financial responsibilities you have to meet. In a moment of panic and anxiety self-doubt might start creeping in.

In order for investors, sponsors or clients to take your business seriously you need to be confident. If you don’t believe in your own idea it becomes hard for them to believe you, no matter how brilliant the idea is. A great idea needs a strong minded person to get it off the ground.

New entrepreneurs should guard against coming across as arrogant in an attempt shield their insecurities. It’s difficult to work with arrogant people but apart from that, arrogance comes across as over-selling and over-compensation. When you pitch for your business in an arrogant tone it sounds like you are over exaggerating the facts, you become less authentic and believable. When you are starting a business you need to find a balance and think carefully about how you present yourself.