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Even the most prepared entrepreneurs can still get caught out by something they didn’t expect. The business world is constantly changing and you’ve got to learn to adapt to new challenges quickly. This is especially true for new entrepreneurs who are finding their feet and learning on the job.

With that in mind, here are a few things that commonly catch new entrepreneurs out:

Problems with cash-flow

Maintaining a steady cash-flow is important to any growing business. However, this is something that often hits small businesses too hard, forcing them to shut down in many cases if there’s no backup plan.

Cash-flow problems could be caused by unexpected expenses or clients not paying on time, not necessarily because the business doesn’t work. It’s important to keep a close eye on your finances and have backups or alternative sources of gaining finance should things go wrong.



It may be flattering that someone else is copying you but it can put your whole business at risk if they’re doing what you do better or cheaper. This is a problem that many independents have when competing against larger companies who can afford to do what you do for less.

In this case, it’s important to pay close attention to what your competitor is doing and see how you can find an edge whether it’s cutting your prices, changing what you do or broadening your services.

Clients leaving

In the beginning, you probably don’t have a lot of clients. In fact you might have an “anchor client” at some point, the one that’s a major source of your profit.

But what if they were to leave? Even if it feels like they’ll stick around forever, they might one day leave for a variety of reasons. In this case, you need to have a backup plan so that your business doesn’t go under with the loss of revenue. Make sure you’re always looking for new clients, even if the ones you have seem solid.


Starting a business is tough, maintaining a business that bounces back after hiccups is even harder. The bigger your team grows, the more you have depending on your success. Your employees’ mortgage payments rely on your ability to lead effectively so it’s a lot for anyone to deal with.

Many entrepreneurs try to ignore stress as they’re busy building their business and will most likely end up making it worse. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your stress levels and taking time to relax and rest.


It can get lonely at the top. If you’re the person in charge, there isn’t always someone you can turn to who understands or shares the same experience as you. Instead all your employees are looking to you to guide them.

When building and running your business, it’s going to be taking up a lot of your time and thinking. Sometimes this leaves you with little room for other things, like catching up with friends or family.

While you might be too busy at the beginning of building your business, make sure you don’t get in the habit of isolating yourself from people even as the business starts to stabilise.


Have you ever been caught out by something as a new entrepreneur? How did you deal with it? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments!

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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