Barriers to Business Success and How to Overcome Them

By Bruce Hakutizwi*

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Whether you are starting a new business or even looking to buying one, there are going to be obstacles that you are faced with. How you deal with these obstacles will determine whether your business succeeds or fails.

We have a look at some of these barriers to success and how to overcome them.


In order to buy or even expand on your current business raising finance can always be a challenge. Building your business slowly and steadily rather than all at once can minimise the need for large amounts of capital.

Focusing on generating small amounts of money rather than large lump sums can be a much easier task. You will also have time to develop systems and grow your customer base and, hopefully, fund yourself along the way.


Cashflow can become a problem in any business. Small businesses will, more often than not, need to keep an especially keen eye on cashflow.

Make sure that you know who your clients are so that you can be sure that you trust that they will pay. It can be difficult to turn customers away, particularly in the early stages. However, refusing to do business with a company with a dodgy credit history could benefit you in the long run.    

You must also always have well established payment terms and conditions in writing.

Hiring employees

Another challenge for business owners is the hiring of employees. It is a process that can takes days- or even weeks- and deciding on the people that you want to have working with you can be difficult.

There are so many factors that you need to consider and judging these from someone’s CV and interview is not always possible. And, once you have found the right person, there isn’t a guarantee that they will take the job or that they will stay with you for very long.

The best way to deal with this is to be as specific as possible with what you want from a candidate. Not only do you need to be sure about this in your mind, but you also need to convey this in the job ads that you post.

Include the details of candidate qualifications as well as the day to day work that the job will come with. Targeting the exact type of employee that you want can help you to avoid wading through a lot of less than ideal candidates.

Once you have interviewed and selected a candidate, you should be clear and open about what both of you expect from each other. If both parties know what is expected of them, there is more chance of a long-term and rewarding relationship.

Self-doubt and fear

Finally, the most threatening challenge to any business’s success is your own fear of failing. Doubting yourself will put you on the back foot before you’ve even begun.

Keep looking forward by setting goals. Having a list of short-term goals to accomplish can keep you from getting too overwhelmed. Perseverance is going to be one of your best tools as an entrepreneur.

Having goals and a plan will also keep you going in the right direction. Keeping to a plan will lead you to success. Remember why it was that you started this endeavour in the first place!

No barrier to business success is insurmountable. Approach each obstacle one step at a time and you will be able to overcome them.

*Bruce Hakutizwi is Director of North America for, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses.

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