How to Persevere Through Small Business Pitfalls

Every small business is different, but you have more in common with other startups than you might think. Here are three of the most common small business pitfalls and tricks to help you persevere.

Starting and running a small business is a bumpy ride. There are hurdles and pitfalls that you’re bound to run into along the way, and they can make it pretty hard to stay motivated. But if there’s one thing that’s absolutely key in entrepreneurship, it’s finding a way to remain driven through the ups and downs.

Every small business is different, but you have more in common with other startups than you might think. Here are three of the most common small business pitfalls and tricks to help you persevere.

Typical Small Business Pitfalls

1. Too Much Growth, Too Fast

If you haven’t been there, this can sound like a great problem to have — and it is — but that doesn’t make unexpectedly quick growth any easier to deal with. When growth surpasses your resources to fulfill demand, that’s a problem. Your dreams are coming true, but you’re not ready for them — and that can be overwhelming and discouraging.


  • Hire some help. The simplest way to meet additional demand is to bring on more hands to do the work. You can hire a full-timer, or — if you don’t think you’re ready — look for a contractor or freelancer to help out until you get your feet back on the ground.
  • Be selective about clients. Turning away business may not seem like the ideal solution. But when customers are lining up at the door, you can afford to be choosy about who you work with. Invest your limited time into the most fulfilling, lucrative, and easy to work with clients.

Stay Motivated: Remember that acquiring customers is the hardest and most vital step in starting a business. If you have prospects beating down the door, you’ve already jumped the highest hurdle.

2. Not Enough Capital

When you don’t have enough money coming into your business, it’s easy to feel like the sky is falling. You can’t cover the basic costs your business needs, much less focus on growing your business as a whole. It can seem like every startup is getting tons of venture capital money, but not having enough capital is probably the most common problem facing small businesses.


  • Get creative. It’s hard to imagine limited funding as a blessing in disguise, but scarce resources can force you to find some creative solutions. Think about how you can pay for the goods you need with your services and where you can save a few pennies here and there.
  • Look for other sources of funding. Sometimes you just need more money, plain and simple. If what you’re doing isn’t enough to support your business, look to other sources. Maybe you have a bank loan but could be crowdfunding, or you’re bootstrapping but could ask family and friends to support you.

Stay Motivated: Some of today’s most successful companies — TechCrunch, GoPro, and eBay, to name a few — were bootstrapped. There are benefits to being tight on cash, but it won’t last forever. If you keep pushing forward and creating an awesome customer experience, revenue will come.

3. Overly Simple Revenue Stream

Sometimes you have an awesome product and a great customer experience… but your growth plateaus. This can happen for all sorts of reasons — an economic recession, market saturation, and even competition — but it can be more than disheartening when your star product begins to falter. When the time comes, it’s important that your business can make money in more than one way.


  • Diversify. The simplest way to create additional streams of revenue is to diversify your product offering. That doesn’t mean your coffee shop should start selling designer handbags. Look for related ways to offer more products that are related to your core offering. So your coffee shop might start serving tea or smoothies.
  • Compete on quality. There are plenty of ways to make a product competitive — from price to options to features. But to ensure the most stable source of income, compete on quality. Competitors can easily change their prices or create additional products, but quality is hard to copy.

Stay Motivated: Sometimes your growth is stunted and it has nothing to do with your core products. It might spell more work up-front, but having a diversified revenue stream will allow you to sleep a little better at night while you weather changing trends and economic cycles.


Running a small business is bound to have some hiccups — it’s just a part of life and business. But if you can stay motivated to find creative solutions to pitfalls in your business, you’ll be able to persevere through the hardest of times with a smile on your face.

This article is contributed by Kiera Abbamonte. She is the Content Marketing Specialist for Grasshopper, the entrepreneur’s phone system. She loves a good New England fall and finding new ways to make content awesome. Catch up with her on Twitter @kieraabbamonte.

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