Running Your Own Business: 17 Disadvantages/Drawbacks (Entrepreneurship…)

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

Would you like to run your own business? You get to be your very own boss, set your own hours, and you make money for yourself, not for your boss! Owning a business sounds like one of the most rewarding and liberating things you can do. But is it the right path for you? Are you prepared to commit yourself completely, make sacrifices, and handle all the challenges? Sooner or later, the drawbacks become apparent – and the dream of running your own business can quickly turn into a nightmare. 

As an owner of your business, you’ll have to work harder and longer, often leaving you with little time for your personal life. You’ll shoulder all the risk and responsibility, and sometimes you’ll just have to figure things out by yourself without anyone to guide you. 

Are you considering running your own business? To make sure you know what you’re getting into, consider the disadvantages and drawbacks listed below.

1. It’s more than full-time.

Are you’re planning to start your business to work less and have more personal time? If so, think again. You probably work something like 9-5 when working for someone else. But when you’re the owner of your own business – nights, weekends, or holidays turn into myths. You just work as long as it takes. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs wake before the crack of dawn.

Being your own boss does give you the power to take time off, but that doesn’t mean you can get away. You constantly realize that the fate of your business depends on you. Even when taking a much-needed break, a feeling of guilt nags you. Your business is continually running through your mind, and you feel like you could be doing something better.

A typical business owner works more than the 40 hours a week a regular employee works. In addition, business owners are contactable around the clock with phones and internet-connected devices, so there is no such thing as a “day off.” 

2. Financial commitment.

Starting even the smallest business requires some amount of capital. If you are starting a small business, personal savings, retirement funds, or investments are probably the primary funding sources. However, once you commit these funds into your business venture, they won’t be available for personal, family, or unexpected needs. 

On the other hand, when a business receives start-up funds through a loan, the entrepreneur needs to pledge personal assets to secure the loan. Assets can include one’s home, real estate, or any valuable property. And as you know, not all of us are willing to risk the loss.

3. Learning to handle multiple roles.

Get ready to be a jack-of-all-trades when you start your own business. As a business owner, you will find yourself learning new disciplines you never knew before, from filing to inventory control to production planning to market research to advertising, just to mention a few.

Business owners are expected to handle more roles than what would be required of a regular employee. Developing all the skills and filling as many roles as possible calls for a great deal of energy and can be extremely tiring and stressful.

4. Consistent pay is not guaranteed.

When you are working for a boss, you can rely on a set salary and payday. It’s not so simple when you have your own business. It’s not guaranteed that your income will be steady. There are days when hardly anything is coming in at all.

There’s indeed no limit on your potential earnings – that is, if your business does well. But owning a business always comes hand in hand with risk, and in a world of uncertainties, you never know what might happen next.

5. Seeking customers.

For business owners, finding customers is the number one job that can be very stressful. How can you run a business without customers anyway? Until your business is well-known and reputed in the market, you will find yourself desperately seeking customers.

As a business owner, you constantly need to think outside the box to advertise yourself to the audience. For example, do you need to print an ad in the local newspaper? Are those fliers catchy enough?

As a result, you assume the extra role of advertising manager, in addition to your many functions, including CEO, bookkeeper, office manager, and janitor. Furthermore, as your business grows, you will probably need to hire marketing firms to do the job for you. 

The modern world is furiously competitive, and a business owner must utilize many marketing channels available to bring about tangible results. For instance, online marketing is an integral part of any modern marketing strategy. Using Google and other search engines, blogs and videos help you stand out from the crowd. But the competition is ever-growing, and it doesn’t come without a cost.  

6. Employee problems.

Another familiar stress business owners face is attracting and retaining talented employees. If you are starting a small-scale business, you probably can’t afford a good work environment as those big companies do. As a result, hiring skilled workers can be difficult.

Similarly, employers need to be good leaders and be able to handle complex HR processes. The success of your organization depends on you and will impact your employee’s job security. In addition, employees rely on you and look to you to fulfill their needs.

So on top of worrying about your future, you will be taking the livelihoods of your employees on your shoulders entirely. This can be another source of added stress.

7. Needs a lot of self-motivation.

Running your own business is difficult without plenty of self-motivation. The zeal you started with at the beginning can soon be lost on the way. So when things hit hard, or it doesn’t turn out as exciting as you had thought it would be, it’s important that you believe in yourself and your vision. In those long and lonely, grueling hours and sleepless nights, the only thing that can help you push through is your passion.

8. Home business troubles.

If you’re starting a small business in your home, at least you don’t have to worry about rent. However, you are more than likely to be interrupted by family members, neighbors, and door-to-door salespeople throughout the day. On top of that, if your business grows, you’re going to soon run out of space at home.

9. Meticulous planning.

To run your own business, careful preparation and meticulous planning are crucial. Having a solid business plan will save you a lot of loss and heartbreaks down the road. For this, you need tons of research, enough capital, and realistic goals. To stay successful, you will also want to stay up to date and keep on top of the current trends.

10. Reluctant suppliers. 

You have more things to worry about when starting a new business. As you know, suppliers are cautious about extending credit to a company that has no trading history. This means that you’ll have to pay for your purchases upfront. On top of that, if you are giving customers terms of 30, 60, or 90 days, you will somehow need to fund the cash-flow deficit. 

11. Financial risk.

There is no guarantee when running your own business. When things go south, it isn’t as easy as picking up your bag and moving on to another job. Almost all companies have start-up costs and monthly bills, taxes. Often you have to take a loan to start a business.

Are you willing to risk all your life savings or even go into debt for your business? Do you have backup plans and other sources of income if you face a loss? Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint in heart!

12. Constant uncertainty.

So you did all your research, you planned every detail, but – yes, things can still go wrong. External factors can suddenly change and negatively impact your business. Things like illness, geo-political events, the rise of strong competitors, and shifts in consumer demand are always unpredictable. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs will have to face and tackle these potential changes in the business environment.

13. You’re responsible – for everything.

When you run your own business, you’re the one who is responsible for everything. Maybe the printer is jammed, or the power is out, and all the computers are offline. Perhaps your office is running out of paper. Even if you have workers, you still have to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Plus, you are the one who finalizes all the decisions, and let’s be honest – you won’t always make the right ones. But, as a business owner, you can’t blame anyone for your choices, and you will have to learn to deal with the outcome.

14. Stress.

No one argues with the fact that running your own business is one of the most stressful things you can do. There’s an overwhelming number of things to stress about – staff problems, dissatisfied customers, diminishing profits, bills, equipment breakdown, and hundreds of other things. Finding a stress emulation solution that works for you and your employees is vital to avoid being smothered in stress. 

15. Undesirable duties to fulfill.

Especially in the beginning, you’ll be in charge of doing or overseeing almost everything, including things that aren’t your job. You’ll find yourself rolling up your sleeves to sweep the floor or clean the toilets just to cut down expenses. You will also have the unpleasant responsibility of terminating employee contracts. Firing an employee can be as stressful as being fired.

16. Investment.

Nobody understands the term “investment” better than a business owner. Along with your time, money, and hard work, you are investing a piece of your life. Running a business is a path that requires total commitment, similar to that of being in a relationship. As a result, you’ll often have less time for yourself and put much of what you have into growing your business. 

17. No boss or supervisor to guide you.

Being your own boss may seem ideal, but you can start to miss having someone to look to when things start going wrong. Having independence comes with the cost of feeling isolated, confused, and frustrated.

Learning to be a good boss is a process of trial and error. And at the end of the day, you need deep faith in yourself and your vision. 

In short

Are you ready to exchange the mundane 9-5 for a more independent pathway? Running your own business can be a rewarding experience, but it does have its drawbacks. However, you are bound for success with thoughtful planning, careful spending, and a strong vision!

JC Franco

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.