You’ve Got 99 Small Business Problems. Time to Shake ‘Em Off.

small business problems

As a small business owner, you’ve got at least 99 problems (and your pitch is one).

According to solopreneur extraordinaire Guy Bieber, part of entrepreneurship is getting used to small business problems and just shaking ‘em off. Bieber would know. He served as CTO at Citrix and General Dynamics before launching Karmas LLC to help folks like us get more done.

In a presentation at PHX Startup Week this year, he offered up the following advice for shaking off five of the most common small business problems.

1. Shake Off the Perfect Solution.

If starting a small business was easy, more people would do it. Alas, there will be obstacles on your journey.

Fortunately, you don’t need the perfect answer. Almost every small business problem can be solved to some level of satisfaction by researching online and hacking to a solution – even if it’s held together by bubble gum and duct tape.

We’re entrepreneurs. We have limited resources but unlimited resourcefulness. Use it!

2. Shake Off Fear of Failure.

Even if you approach a challenge with the mindset that “good enough” is a solution, you’ll still come up short at times.

Your job is to take calculated risks, watch what happens, and learn from mistakes. Sometimes shit happens along the way. Don’t take it too hard. And don’t frame the setback as a failure.

As a small business owner, sometimes just keeping the lights on for one more day is a success.

3. Shake Off Technology Aversion.

When it comes to small business ownership, technophobes need not apply.

First of all, you need tools of the trade. For example, if you’re an online seller, you need an ecommerce engine or online store. You also need automation – including free small business apps like Hootsuite for social and Mailchimp for email – or you’ll be working all night.

4. Shake Off Shyness About Money.

Your small business is your passion and your means of putting food on the table. Money is not the end all be all. However, the exchange of cash for product is the outcome of your passion delivering value for your customer.

Price yourself aggressively but fairly. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth.

5. Shake Off Rejection.

In your personal life, one negative comment can wipe out the previous five compliments’ impact on your self-esteem.

As a small business owner, you better work on that ratio. After all, you may get just one yes for every 100 nos. Give the positive at least 10x the weight in your mind as the negative. After all, people are far less likely to offer compliments than criticisms, especially when leaving online reviews.

Got 99 Small Business Problems? Ha. Bring ‘Em On.

Guy Bieber says that the entrepreneur’s hypothesis is: I can create customer value, have more fun, and meet my financial needs by doing _____.

Fun is key. Entrepreneurship is hard so you better enjoy what you’re doing. So shake off those small business problems and go fill in your blank!

Share one of your 99 small business problems below!

About the Author

Matt Simpson

Matt is a freelance writer for The DRIVE blog with expertise in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. He's active in the #yesphx startup movement and has been recognized by AdWeek, Mashable, and more for digital innovation. Visit Matt's website or follow Matt on Twitter.


  1. says

    Problems are inevitable most especially in running your own business. The 5 tips you’ve shared on how to shake off these common issues are what exactly entrepreneurs need. I definitely agree when you said “We’re entrepreneurs. We have limited resources but unlimited resourcefulness.” Entrepreneurs should not keep all the problems to themselves. They should remember that there are people who could help them with the problems about their business. For example here in the Philippines, hiring business consultants or going to business consulting firms could be an answer. Take note, a person is a resource too!

  2. says

    #1 #2 and #4 were KILLERS for me Matt until I faced, felt and released these fears.Regularly. Not overnight, but every single day I was online. This was tough but ultimately, it was the only way for me to feel the fears and get rid of them for good. Once you are operating in that more fearless space your small business will grow like a weed. None of these fears will stop you in your tracks. Especially the money one because that fear around asking for the sale or being rejected by folks who fear spending money is a strong one. Much stronger than most of us realize. Get that fear squared away and you will have like zero issues making a nice chunk of change online while helping folks in the process.

    Brilliant post!


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