Running a small business – what it’s like, the challenges and way forward


People often confuse small business with entrepreneurship. Although both are interlinked but they are different in some aspects. Shortly put, we can say that all entrepreneurs are or were small business owners but all small business owners cannot be entrepreneurs.


A small businessman is the one owning a small entity, dealing in existing and known products & services and aiming for limited growth and sustained profitability.


Having known who Small Business Owners (SBOs)are and what they do, let’s check out what does it mean to them about owning a small business, instead of working in an office from 9-5:


1. Being Flexible

Would you like to be tied up with a traditional 9-5 job? Or would you like to be flexible enough to work at your own leisure? Owning a small business can help you do the latter.


2. Complete Freedom to follow your dreams

A majority of the small business owners feel that they have full freedom to passionately pursue all the dreams by having a small firm to run. There are no limitations, and people can set their own boundaries, allowing them to make their dreams come true.


3. Being your own boss

According to a Survey, more than 50% of the SBOs start their own business to become the boss of their own. For some of them, it is about controlling their own destiny. They can choose the projects of their liking enabling them to be the decision maker of their own and guide the destiny in the direction they want.


4. Being a witness of the hard work getting paid off

In a typical 9-5 job, one’s income is more closely tied to performance than others, but the corporate life can make it tough to actually see the fruits of one’s hard work. A small entrepreneur’s success of the business is more clearly reflected in his/her take home salary and parameters like increasing profits & revenue.


5. Becoming an inspiration

The pluses of becoming an SBO are transferring from one generation to next, with many SBOs becoming an inspiration for their younger ones to do something similar. This could prove to be a change in the way, the next generation thinks about shaping their careers.



One of the major challenges facing the Indian SBOs, is the lack of credit facilities from the banks and financial institutions. More than 90% of the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) are self-financed, which is preventing them from growing.


Another challenge for SBOs is to hire and sustain good employees because of its low payout and lack of trust for job continuity. Managing cash flows is another big challenge that the SBOs face due to their lack of experience.


There are many other such challenges to be faced by SBOs, but once they find solutions for these, they can prosper in future.


The Indian Scenario:

In India, the small businesses account for 45% of the manufacturing output, 40% of the total exports from India, contribute more than 8% to the GDP and generate more job opportunities than large scale organizations.


Way Forward for Indian SBOs:

For small businesses, investments in technology is the key going forward. Without technology, innovation is hard to come by and to stay competitive small businesses must innovate.


Also, with the current boost by government to promote digitalization, it is imperative that SBOs understand the importance of technology, and with GST in the view, the small businesses are expected to benefit since most of the indirect taxes would be merged into a single tax system, providing ample of opportunities to the SBOs to grow.


As an SBO, you are much more agile and responsive to the changing circumstances, hence you have a very good opportunity to adapt to the changes in future and also overcome the above-mentioned challenges that come in the way of growth and development.


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