Small Business Nightmares Entrepreneurs Fear

It’s that time of year when all of the focus is on the scarier, darker, and more terrifying things in life. No, not because of the presidential election but because it’s nearly Halloween 😉 And as we all know the holiday isn’t just about treats — it also holds it’s fair share of tricks.

In the spirit of the season, USA Today recently ran a piece by Rhonda Abrams highlighting some horrifying things that all small businesses fear (or should fear). Here are a few of their top nightmare scenarios:

Inability to fill orders

On of the worst problems to run into as a business owner is receiving a large order that you’re simply unable to fulfill. Not only does that make a bad impression on your customer but also could lead to a major loss of profit. In fact nothing says “amateur” quite like failing to deliver when you’re given an opportunity.

There are a few different reasons why these types of failures happen. One possible issue is, just as you’re letting down your customer, your vendors are also flaking on you and leaving you without the materials or products you need to complete the order. Another possible scenario is that you simply don’t have enough capital in the bank to cover the expenses up front. If that’s the case you may want to consider taking out a small business loan or line of credit in order to avoid having to decline the sale.  

Hiring an awful employee

Sometimes certain employees just aren’t a fit your business… and then there are others that don’t seem to be fit for any business. Dealing with unproductive, unreliable, or just overly negative employees can not only be frustrating but could actually poison morale among your team. While you should do everything you can to work with the employee and try to help them improve, you shouldn’t be afraid to let them go if there is really no other option. However be sure to document all of your performance counselings with the employee in question to avoid a potential wrongful termination lawsuit down the road.

Recessions and other changes in your market

Like many things in life you can’t really control what will happen in your industry or with the economy in general. For that reason it’s important to be prepared by holding onto a reserve of capital and consistently looking for efficiency improvements you can make to save money. Additionally it’s always a good idea to keep up on what’s happening in your industry and devise a plan to pivot or diversify your business if the market is headed for trouble.


In any small business there are likely to be times that are downright terrifying. From running out of cash, dealing with employee headaches, or weathering an economic storm, there is undoubtedly plenty to worry about. That being said the key to surviving these nightmares is to be prepared and be ready to fight your way through with a solid plan. Here’s hoping your October and beyond is more treat than trick.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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