The best and worst of running a small business

1 year ago

When you commit to a life of self-owned enterprise, you accept into your life a number of possible experiences that you might otherwise have never encountered.

The best of being in charge of a small business

Being in command

When you run a small business, you commit to making hard calls. The successful small business owner relishes the role of being the final arbiter on tough decisions.

Hand-in-hand with this is the feeling of being the master of your own destiny – the small business owner is not beholden to a board or investors, so is free to make the decisions he or she feels is best.

Winning contracts

Securing a contract gives you the feeling that the belief that you have in your business’s capacities is shared by others. Winning a contract involves securing a rapport with a fellow business, getting together the evidence of your ability, and using everything at your disposal to sell yourself successfully.

Seeing satisfied customers

The customer is the focal point of your business. They provide the cash flow needed to keep your business alive, after all.

But there’s something else you can get from your customers: the joy of seeing them satisfied.

A satisfied customer is a sign that you’re doing your job well, and that your business has helped improve someone’s life in a material way. The positive glow this gives is something you’ll feel time and again in the course of your business – and it never gets old.

The worst of being in charge of a small business

The responsibility

As much as taking command of your destiny can be an invigorating experience, it has a darker side as well.

The pressure inherent in taking responsibility for a business, as well as the livelihood of your employees, can be a hefty burden. It’s for this reason that many small business owners cite responsibility as a major downside of running their own business.


Your employees are the lifeblood of your business, but that doesn’t make managing them easier.

While employees can be a joy, from the owner’s perspective it can often feel like they’re babysitting employees who fail to be proactive. This can prove to be a psychological drain on top of the normal operations of the business.

Work load

Perhaps the greatest struggle of any small business owner is managing the workload.

If you’re a small business owner, your business is almost undoubtedly your passion – and this means that you’ll drive yourself harder than anyone else to see your vision succeed.

In real terms, this means working overtime and often on weekends, just to make sure that things go smoothly. And while your business may benefit from this strategy, your personal life will often suffer.

This problem is illustrative of many of the problems and benefits of small business ownership, however. Balance in these ventures is key – whether it relates to your management style, risk taking and indeed your workload.