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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

The Biggest Business Frustrations

Written By: Carol Roth | No Comments

Along with its incredible highs, running a business definitely can have its frustrations and low points. Sometimes, it can help to air those frustrations and know that you’re not alone. So, in that spirit, the terrific CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs have shared some of their biggest business frustrations. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Bureaucracy Never Helps

The thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are lean and nimble and can create amazing things based on your passion, while moving very quickly to exploit your market niche. That being said, the one thing about running a business that is most vexing is the endless rules and regulations from taxes, labor, manufacturing requirements, etc. that you spend way more time on that then you might like. It's frustrating, but it's life. In the end, you learn how to adjust!
Thanks to: Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks.

2. Not Knowing What Will Work!

I find this to be the biggest frustration, but also the fun part of running a business. There are always so many different options to pursue, but there's no straight path to success and it's often very daunting to be faced with the unknown.
Thanks to: Louise Hendon of Louise Hendon.

3. Please RESPOND to My Request!

As a business owner, I try to do it all. When I reach a block, I call in a professional. I get frustrated when my emails, phone or text messages are not answered. Just send me a reply that you are working on my issue! My business is very important to me and I understand, whomever I have hired, that you have many clients, but throw me a bone, alleviate my frustration and communicate back to me. Respond!
Thanks to: Haralee Weintraub of Haralee.Com Sleepwear.

4. Finding Time for Self

As a business owner, I find it hard to find time for myself and to turn the business "off." It is important to have "me" time with my family and friends. In order to do that, you have to add "me" time to your schedule, whether it is an early morning walk with the dogs or an afternoon swim. Add your time to your schedule and make sure that you stick to it, as it gives you time to regenerate your energy and focus on what really matters in life - other than the success of your business.
Thanks to: Becky Boyd of MediaFirst.

5. Listening is Learning...

I hate it when I know people can hear me... but do not LISTEN.

At least my dog tries to understand what I want... and my kids are honest... about ignoring me.

When I'm on the phone with clients, I'll warn them I often mute myself, because I want to listen intently and I don't want to interrupt them because I might lose the key piece to their business.

I've actually had people ask me "are you listening" because I listen with intent to learn and I do not interrupt!
Thanks to: Michael Bremmer of Telecomquotes.com.

6. Vendors: Help Me to Help You!

As a business owner who works with a lot of different vendors, my biggest frustration is having vendors that don't follow through. If I work with a vendor and I have a positive experience, I will definitely recommend them to others. However, I can't help them grow their business through referrals if they let my organization down with non-responsiveness, missed deadlines and incomplete or inconsistent product delivery.
Thanks to: Gaynor Meilke of Charisma Ink.

7. Maintaining Company Culture

Too many start-ups never take the time to focus on brand & culture early enough in the company's existence. They are so worried about being disruptive that they forget to ask who they are & what they really are about as a company. When you are small & nimble & just trying to get a product out, brand & culture thoughts may seem silly. However, as you grow, & new people are brought into the organization that do not have founder's vision, lack of defined brand & culture makes on-boarding difficult!
Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc.

8. Collections - Worst Part Ever

Collections are the ugliest part of owning a business for me.

When clients gripe about price or paying a bill after the services have been delivered correctly, I ask them if I can have their product for free. I'd love to get free venture capital or a commission free real-estate sale of my property.
Thanks to: Mark Mondo of MondoCRM.

9. Finding the Me in TiMe

Finding ‘time’ for the multiple hats we wear is a constant struggle; mom, wife, janitor, cook, marketer, accountant… the list goes on and on. In the midst of the reality of the ‘to-do’ list, finding the ‘Me’ in TiMe in by far one of our greatest challenges. A paradigm shift needs to occur, as we often equate me time with selfish time that will take away from our business and our families, while the opposite is true. Me time is the fuel that grows our business & builds relationships.
Thanks to: Lisa Baker-King of zebecs.

10. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

The most frustrating to me is when to or if to delegate. There are tasks I'm sure that I shouldn't be doing, but the time it would take to instruct/direct/teach someone to do for me, I could get it done. So, balance is important here or I'd end up doing it all, which doesn't make business ownership fun. Taking the time to delegate does free me up to do what I do best - not the minutiae.
Thanks to: Rosanne Dausilio of Human Technologies Global Inc.

11. How to Make a Customer Upset

One of the biggest frustrations I personally have in dealing with companies is trying to get through the endless selections of a phone tree to speak to a 'live" person and I move on and go elsewhere when I can. The solution is simple! Hire someone to answer the phone rather than someone to program the phone tree. Technology is wonderful, but not for everything, especially when it affects customers.

My clients love that I answer the phone 7 days a week and they rarely get a voice mail.
Thanks to: Alan Richman of CruiseOne-Richman, O'Hare & Associa.

12. Technological Snafus

Today, I cannot access my Skype account. The sign-in page is spinning and won't let me in. Whether it's Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, my online banking, ATT, Verizon, or another account that I use constantly, I've had problems with all of them in not being able to access my accounts at times due to snafus on their side. I think fast and work fast. Many times, this frustrates me. Other times, these snafus make me laugh. They are teaching me to slow down - whether I want to or not!
Thanks to: Randy Peyser of Author One Stop, Inc.

13. Sales People Try to Stick 'Em

I am always frustrated with potential customers who put up their guard because they perceive you're going to try and sell them something they don't want. There are those sales people who do that, but most times, sales people or business owners are just trying to educate the consumer about their product or service, not trying to stick 'em.

Instead, I ask non-threatening questions such as, what's the most important function to you in an XYZ product? Start a conversation instead.
Thanks to: Tom Scarda of FranChoice.

14. Finding Good Help is Painful

My biggest business frustration is finding good and reliable help in the form of freelance designers and marketing assistants. To grow a business, one must build a team. It becomes frustrating when many don't share that same sentiment and become unreliable, lack efficiency or simply disappear. My clients choose my agency because we are efficient and keep all lines of communication open. It's imperative that team members do the same.
Thanks to: Patrice Cokley of The Bassline Group.

15. Gatekeeping Successfully

A challenge I face each week is seeing my entire workload across the calendar, the correspondence, the service delivery, the priorities and the creative content tasks to avoid over-committing. I feel as a business owner, it's a constant gatekeeping process to keep only the essential work on your plate and allow your time (and energy) to be buoyant enough to accomplish it.
Thanks to: Jessica Manca of Managing Mindspaces.

16. Critical Eggs, Many Baskets

Relying on third party processes. The old adage is true; never place all your eggs in one basket. However, online, that's not always possible. If your third party payment processor suddenly takes a vacation or a sick day on Black Friday, you're in a lot of trouble. We've learned that the hard way over the years with fancy dress costume traffic peaking in October. We've learned that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong and to always invest in a contingency for all business processes.
Thanks to: Ronan O Brien of The Halloween Costume Shop.

17. Quick Fix Mentality

So many people are seeking the quick fix and then become frustrated when you as a small business owner will not support their mentality. From "I gotta have it now" to "I want the Cadillac, but at Yugo price" to 'Tell me how you are so well known, what's your secret?" There is no quick fix to building a business. You must be willing to work hard, work smart, work harder, work smarter. Consider how your quick fix mentality frustrates others and begin to change your own behaviors.
Thanks to: Leanne Hoagland-Smith of ADVANCED SYSTEMS.

18. Abandoning Great Ideas

My biggest frustration as a business-owner is having to abandon great ideas simply because our current workload doesn't allow for them to be fully explored. Our business was founded on having a great idea--that wedding cakes should be unique to the couple and romantic, not generic and impersonal--and this idea has taken flight. But every month or so, I stumble upon an idea that I have the utmost faith in, but no time to execute it faithfully. Active minds let go of great ideas all the time.
Thanks to: Brandon Baker of Loveletter Cakeshop.

19. Too Many Tools

There are so many tools available in my field that I could spend all day jumping from one to another. Between paid, premium, and free accounts, depending on the business I'm working for, I could use up to 10 tools in a day if the business doesn't pay for a single CRM platform. Ultimately, all of these costs could add up to more than the cost of a monthly CRM platform subscription.
Thanks to: Anna Daugherty of Email and Inbound Marketing.

20. Ignoring Bright, Shiny Objects

There are so many smart entrepreneurs around these days. They invent so many new things, especially things having to do with online and social media marketing. Some of these things- new tools, new platforms and the like, are difficult to ignore- especially when they're getting emailed to me on an almost-daily basis. It's frustrating because as good as some of these bright, shiny objects are, they take me away from the things I need to be doing for my business. It's really frustrating!
Thanks to: Joel Libava of Franchise Business University.

21. Delegate or Kill Your Business

Not able to let go and delegate! Business owners are often bogged down by transactional activities instead of focusing on the big picture. It is crucial for business owners to focus on bringing the business to the next level, i.e. looking into the future rather than being slowed down by day to day activities. Key tip: do what you're best at and delegate the rest.
Thanks to: Elies Hadi of My Organic Powerhouse.

22. The Only Constant is Change

One of the most difficult challenges encountered upon becoming an entrepreneur was the recognition of what I did not yet know. While sales is my core talent, I knew nothing about marketing, a personal brand or branding, nor much about technology. And social media apps continue to evolve. Meanwhile, building credibility and trust leads to sound relationships. Combining these translates into sales. Embracing continued education is essential in order to truly succeed and enjoy the Smooth Sale!
Thanks to: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale.

23. Anybody Hooooome??

Nothing drives me more nuts than when people do not respond in any way... whether from a phone call, e-mail, or any other capacity. I find this practice to be beyond disrespectful, and especially when the 'offending' party is the one coming to us! It's very sad to realize that so many people seem not to have any courtesy, integrity (or both). Wish I knew how to fix this problem... Any ideas?
Thanks to: Kendra Kroll of PortaPocket by Undercover Solutions.

24. Sorry No Unsolicited Proposals

Biggest Business Frustrations:

1) “Sorry, we don’t take any unsolicited proposals”

2) Sales Calls...When nobody calls you back...
Thanks to: Robert Barrows of R.M.Barrows Advertising.

25. Communication is Key

Some of the most frustrating aspects of owning a business are late payments, communicating your business mission and value, and the constant change and unpredictability of working with customers, clients, and employees.
Thanks to: Tony Tembunde of Network Guarantee.

26. Finding the Best Talent!

One of the most frustrating challenges I face has been to attract good talent. While large corporations can offer hefty compensation & brand names, smaller firms can provide rapid growth, strong culture & innovation. That can be a hard sell when seeking talent. We have built an innovative and collaborative culture from day one. Based at the Harvard Innovation lab, our team from Harvard, MIT, and Princeton, has worked hard to focus on attracting top talent and will continue to do so.
Thanks to: Desmond Lim of QuikForce.

27. My Biggest Frustration

My biggest business frustration is responding to dozens of Haro queries, only to not be picked up by any of them.
Thanks to: Edward Sturm.

28. Don't Hire With Resumes

When hiring, you will go through many broken people to get to great people. I’ve been disappointed so many times. I thought it was the wrong hire, it was. I thought it was the right hire, it wasn’t. To get great people on your team: 1) Use video. I don't look at resumes to save time. Tell them you love their resume, now send in a 60-second video; 2) If they make the video cut, say, “Show me how to do what you say you can do.” Put them on the spot for whatever they claim to be able to do.
Thanks to: Grant Cardone of Cardone Training Technologies, Inc.

29. Being a Nobody

As an entrepreneur: Being a nobody competing in a world of somebodies.
Thanks to: Joanie Connell of Flexible Work Solutions.

30. We're Not Amazon and Nordstrom

Customers now expect services from small business that are provided by huge "outlier" businesses.

For example, customers now almost demand free shipping, like Amazon gives to orders over $35. But Amazon loses tens of millions of dollars per month, in part by offering free shipping! We can't stay in business by losing money.

Similarly, stores like Nordstrom, with HUGE lifetime customer values, accept returns unconditionally. But, small merchants with single products can't do the same.
Thanks to: Steven Sashen of Xero Shoes.

31. Having No Audience

One of the biggest frustrations for web-based businesses is the need to publish new content daily when nobody is really reading.
Having no audience to appreciate your hard work will test your motivation.
Thanks to: Rui Carreira of Instageeked.com.

32. Death By 1000 Cuts...

I would trade 1000 small tasks for 5 large tasks that can be scheduled and prioritized effectively. Unfortunately, that's rarely how reality works. Endless to-do lists fill up and even the best laid plans to schedule those in get hit with interruptions & emergencies. As a fellow entrepreneur once said to me... "You come into the office with every intention of focusing on that one important task you know you need to do... and then the printer breaks & before you know it the day is gone".
Thanks to: Andrew Whitford of Mint Domains.

33. Optimizing Short Vs. Long Term

It’s difficult to constantly optimize between the short term and the long term, and hard to place what turns out to be pretty substantial bets, without complete or statistically significant data.
Thanks to: Rob Biederman of HourlyNerd.

34. It's Hard to Go it Alone

I love what I do, don't get me wrong, but sometimes working for myself, from home and staying positive, upbeat, and committed can be a challenge. The truth is, even though I own and operate my business by myself, I don't have to be lonely.

To stay connected with the world, I started a Business Networking Group and Book Club through Meetup. I'm also teaching a 14-week Entrepreneurship course. I'm reaching out again personally and virtually and now, I'm not so alone anymore.
Thanks to: Jennifer Martin of Zest Business Consulting.

35. Doing One Thing at a Time

I am in the middle of writing a really engaging blog post and a customer walks in, chats for a while and when I sit back down, I forget what I was saying. Or, I am working on answering emails and the phone rings. Or maybe an order comes in and I realize we are sold out of the smaller size in the same scent. This is my biggest frustration. Finding a way, every day, to not stray from the task at hand. Wearing many hats can be rewarding, but it can be difficult as can be, at the same time.
Thanks to: Roberta Perry of ScrubzBody™ Natural Skin Care.

36. Enlisted in Basics Training

We trainers are trying to help! Businesses must understand this and invest in themselves. Bullies grow up and go to work just like everyone else, so an office that contains one (or more) is hemorrhaging money. Businesses have to invest in their employees to make them a better team for the long term. Call it "front-end loading"; the more management does it, the more money they save, as they skip costly rectifying of problems. A preemptive strike, if you will. The cost-savings will be worth it.
Thanks to: Anthonette Klinkerman of Courtesy Bootcamp™.

37. Frustration - No Vacation

While there are many wonderful reasons to own a business, the biggest frustration is the difficulty in taking a true vacation. You never know when problems will occur or how big they will be. As the owner, it is your responsibility to answer questions and solve problems whenever they arise. Your business can not stop while you are away and delays can result in lost opportunities. Vacations require you to keep your phone handy, especially when the business is in its infancy.
Thanks to: Jared Heathman of Your Family Psychiatrist, PLLC.

38. Juggling Between Roles

A business owner plays many roles, especially in the initial period of the company life. The challenge is when two or more of one's roles start colliding with each other. In my journey, that started becoming the most frustrating aspect of my daily schedule where I had to be the designer, the SEO, the CRM, maintain the website, social media, door to door marketer, etc. Managing and switching successfully between these was hard and frustrating when the volume of work increased and finances were limited.
Thanks to: Srajan Mishra of TSI International.

39. Defeated by Distraction

My greatest business frustration: Distractions that hijack my focus away from my priorities. It causes priorities to lose their status as urgent matters and the distractions win. This detour squanders hours of long-term strategic planning with perspective, and when stress is high, I don’t have the discipline and focus to get back on track quickly enough. This, in turn, leads to disappointment in myself... another distraction!
Thanks to: Deborah Goldstein of DRIVEN Professionals.

40. Shut Up & Listen

As an entrepreneur in a service related industry, I accept that frustration comes with the territory. Rather than think of it as frustration/negative, I re-frame it as a challenge/positive. My frustration is finding my ideal client. That is, someone who is focused on the value of the services rather than pricing. 3 things I've learned: Not everyone is my client; that is okay. Ask open-ended questions; enable the prospect to describe their pain point. Educate through questioning; offer ideas, value.
Thanks to: Denise Levine of Outside In Organizer and Makeovers.

41. The Sounds of Silence

Why do people fill in a query form, then ignore the response? If my services cost too much for them, why is it so hard to write back "Ooh, sorry. Out of my budget"? Or if they are not ready to proceed yet, to simply say "OK, I'll keep this information for future reference"? Or even just "Thank you"?
Thanks to: David Leonhardt of THGM Ghostwriters.

42. Smaller is Tougher

The biggest frustration I face is the size of our team. With only 12 full time employees, everyone is critically important. On one hand, having everyone play a pivotal role has the positive effect of each employee being able to contribute in a meaningful way and feel a sense of ownership. However, with only 12 employees, we feel the effect of every sick day and every vacation day. Any unexpected (or even planned) absence can be extremely disruptive, and having two people out can be overwhelming.
Thanks to: Greg Geronemus of smarTours.

43. Biggest Business Frustration

My biggest business frustration is not being able to ever completely detach from my business. If you want your small business to be successful and don't have a team of employees, you cannot take a true vacation or day off. Unlike an employee, a business owner will not receive a paycheck if the business is not making money.
Thanks to: Laurie Olsen of A Stars & Stripes Flag Corporation.

44. Working on a Shoestring Budget

Our biggest business frustration is marketing on a tiny budget. To help to overcome this problem, we write and pitch stories/articles of interest to niche magazines that our target audience reads. Having editorial coverage helps to increase our exposure on a shoestring budget.
Thanks to: Jill Bong of Chicken Armor LLC.

45. Do I Work In or On My Business

The single most frustrating factor is striking a balance between working in my business as an employee, or on my business as the owner responsible for driving more business. The more we grow, the greater the time spent in my business managing the operations, which comes with the obvious cost of new business.
Thanks to: Kyle Thompson of Big Fish Consulting.

46. Cancelling Commitments

My biggest business frustration is the number of people who do not honor their commitments. In the first year of business, I was surprised to discover how many people pulled out of confirmed engagements and deals at the last moment with barely any warning or explanation.

I was given the explanation that 'It's just business' but I do not think that justification suffices, as it is important to treat other people's time with respect. Frankly, it should be standard business etiquette.
Thanks to: Michelle Elman of Mindset For Life.

47. What Gets Measured Gets Done

Often, the business leaders we work with get too busy ‘doing’ to figure out what strategic steps must get done in order to capture mid and long-term success. This is frustrating.

Our solution: an annual one day meeting focused on building a concise strategic plan with our clients that addresses three goals to exceed in the next 12 months. In addition, we designate time each month to track their progress. The results have been remarkable. Further proof that what gets measured gets done.
Thanks to: Kelly Isley, Author of Adapt Now.

48. The Taxing World of Sales Tax

Sales tax collection, filing, and remittance is a huge frustration for businesses of all sizes. No business owner enjoys playing the role of pseudo tax collector for state and local governments.

Understanding where to collect sales tax and putting a process in place to file with the state is complicated, confusing, and takes time away from building a business.
Thanks to: Ryan O'Donnell of Avalara TrustFile.

49. The Enemy of the State

One of the biggest frustrations I have as a business owner is the state that you're supposed to be conducting business with (in my case California) is so business unfriendly that they have made it almost impossible to do any business at all. They wonder why so many productions have moved out of state. Small business cannot thrive this way.
Thanks to: Eric Knight of Persistent Management.

50. A Joyful but Difficult Staff

My biggest business frustration is in handling staff. We have a system in place to handle monthly wages and payments, as well as a full system on how to handle deadlines, submissions, file formatting, software usage, and similar.

We've laid it all out in a detailed way, but we still have issues with staff management and we frequently waste time to sort them out. Although the systems we have make sense, we have difficulties enforcing them without ruining a relaxed work environment.
Thanks to: Ratko Ivanović of EnCoCreative.

51. I'm Not Your Prospect!

My issue is sales calls from other businesses who don’t do any market research. It seems that once you get a biz license, you end up as fair game for every business telemarketer on the planet to call you when there is no way that you would be a good prospect for their services. We’re a web design company where everyone works remote from their home… so why does every janitorial service in our area call us? I’ll tell you why. Because no one does any market research anymore… (except us).
Thanks to: Alan Canton of NewMedia Create.

52. One Bad Apple Hurts the Bunch

Employees are a business owner's greatest resource and biggest headache. When you have good employees, morale is strong and projects are collaborated on and get done quickly. However, if you have one negative employee, they kill off the morale of the team and often bring others down with them.

Hiring the right people for the right positions is tough enough. No business owner should have to add to that the frustration of bringing in a negative Nancy over a positive Paul.
Thanks to: Rich Kahn of eZanga.com.

53. Supply Chain Issues

My biggest business frustration is supply chain glitches that can impact peak holiday shopping and delivery times, such as cotton supply issues, logistical issues from port closings, strikes, or any data breach from a global retailer since it makes online shoppers concerned.
Thanks to: Kristina Michniak of Spreadshirt.

54. Continually Changing SEO Rules

SEO is our biggest frustration. As an Apple product repair company, we live and die by our ability to be seen on the internet. The search engines have their "rules" for ranking higher in organic search. What's frustrating is following their recommendations and not seeing progress. Or losing your progress when they change their algorithm. We would love to see a support division of Google for small businesses so we can stay ahead of the game, instead of always feeling like we're playing catch up.
Thanks to: Jeff & Deadrea Clemmensen of MiPhone Doctor of Fresno.

55. Show Me the Money!

Lack of payment can be one of the most frustrating aspects of running a business. As a business owner, the last thing we want to be is a collections agent.

These steps may help strengthen your position:

1. Ensure clear contract verbiage including deliverable holds, late fees or interest assessed for delays.

2. Require 50% payment up front in the case of larger projects.

3. Contact your local county clerk's office to see how they support small businesses with small claims actions.
Thanks to: Sue Koch of Soaring Solutions, LLC.

56. Watching Others Burn Bridges

Strategic partnerships have proven effective in my business and it's surprising how many sales pitches I get from companies that could be a good strategic partner.

The problem is that they are focused on selling, when adopting a "let's help each other" approach would have got them plenty of referrals from us, rather than trying to sell us something we weren't ready to buy yet.

The truth is that people don't like to be sold to unless they're in a position to buy. So help first, sell later.
Thanks to: Adam Connell of UK Linkology.

57. Employee Engagement

My biggest frustration as a business owner stems from employee engagement. I’m incredibly connected and thoughtful about fulfilling my company’s mission, so it’s terribly frustrating to see people come into work and treat their position as a “job”. I find that hiring the right people who take pride in any work that they do has more to do with being successful in my company than having prior experience. People who are engaged tend to care about their work, regardless of the task at hand.
Thanks to: Haj Carr of TrueLine Publishing LLC.

58. Patent Applicants Must Know

The patent process can be frustrating, costly and time consuming. To avoid costly mistakes and save time, patent applicants must know this:

-What is actually patentable
-Less than half who file actually receive a patent
-Free help, or help at little cost, is available
Also how to:
-Keep your product confidential
-Steer clear of bad guys
Thanks to: Leon Cooper of 90 Day Wonder Publishing.

59. They Don't Feel the Love

My biggest 'business owner' frustration is when customers are not able to see the full value & care we put into everything we do. There is so much dedication & hard work that goes into every single aspect of our business, that when someone just isn't able to see that & as a result, interacts with us in a very undercutting way by trying to cut costs, etc. it's very frustrating. With a high volume of clients, it's bound to happen sometimes, but it's still the thing I take most personally.
Thanks to: Louisa Levit of Reliable PSD.

60. No Crystal Ball!

My biggest frustration is being able to fully predict when sales and marketing efforts will bear fruit. I know I'm planting good seeds, but much of the process after that is outside my control.

Wish I had that crystal ball!
Thanks to: Elene Cafasso of Enerpace Executive Coaching.

61. Bite Your Lip

Not every customer/client is going to be a sweetheart. In business, we need to acquire as many happy satisfied customers/clients as possible. We need them to recommend us to others and help us grow. The frustrations come in when we are forced to bite our lip because the person standing in front of us or confronting us on the phone is not nice. In fact, sometimes they can be downright insulting, but we have to do what we have to do. We bite our lip, smile and say thank you (you dirty no good...)
Thanks to: Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press.

62. Focus and a Clear Mind

With so many distractions in the modern world, from the inbox to the chatter in our mind, one of the biggest challenges in business can be shutting out the noise, focusing on the top priorities and re-prioritizing throughout the day.
A meditation or yoga practice can help with all of these challenges, helping us to get re-centered, calm, focused and energized.
Thanks to: Tanya Veleva of Wellness Thriver.

63. 'Look, But Don't Buy' Syndrome

Our biggest business frustration is having so many people marvel over our product, but very few of those people become customers. Getting comments and notoriety is nice, but the bottom line of business is making money, and getting people to spend money is
extremely difficult. It takes time, patience, and relentless pursuit to turn a fan of your product into a paying customer. I suppose people are just terrified of commitment these days!
Thanks to: Terry L. Raimey of Black Streak Entertainment.

64. The Fault in Scaling

The most frustrating aspect of business ownership is when​ ​entrepreneurs hit a ​wall​ after year(s) of trying to scale the business.

Most entrepreneurs can build a business that bring​s​ fixed income home​. But the frustration is that​-​ even after years of time investment, they ​still ​aren't able to scale it to a higher level.​
Thanks to: Anant Mediratta of WiseCalvin.

65. 'Toys Out of the Cot' Moments

I am, after 24 years in the fashion industry, so tired of the ‘toys out of the cot’ moments and I absolutely believe people are getting worse. We are held to ransom by people’s worst behaviors and the media’s appetite for this simply gets bigger and bigger.
I am also frustrated by the mindsets of people; whether working in the organization or supplying goods and services to us and the inability of people to converse adequately.
Thanks to: Annah Stretton of Annah Stretton.

66. Limited Global Connectivity

As a business owner operating in China, one of my biggest frustrations is the unstable internet conditions and blocked websites that regularly impact our day-to-day work. China not only blocks key websites, such as news sites and Google, but also limits the overall bandwidth to overseas servers. We are forced, every day, to use workarounds and in many cases completely avoid important media and technology outlets. Whilst frustrating, challenges like these drive us to find creative solutions.
Thanks to: Andrew Reich of InTouch Manufacturing Services.

67. Focus, Focus, Focus

The one most frustrating aspect of being an owner of a home-based business for me is remaining focused on business and resisting distractions. As a strong extrovert, I miss having contact with colleagues and it’s easy to get off track by having phone calls take longer than needed or to overdo attendance at networking events. The solution I’ve found, for me, is to create clear goals and remain focused. This aids in creating the balance needed between meeting business and professional goals.
Thanks to: Mary Anne Kochut of Champions for Success, LLC.

68. Don't Wear All of the Hats

I learned the hard way not to wear too many hats. It was hard having to learn every aspect of the company, including sales, marketing, operations, bookkeeping, and even tour guiding. I wasn't able to be great at everything and I couldn't develop the company enough with so little time doing everything, and not having the full experience of every position.
Thanks to: Georgette Blau of On Location Tours.

69. Never Ending Stress Ball

The most frustrating aspect of business ownership is the never ending stress of everything riding on your shoulders. There is no substitute for the drive and determination of a business owner to keep things going. Even in good times, there is a level of underlying stress that a business owner carries with them at all times. The weight of responsibility and the never ending specter that things can change at any moment: losing a large customer, a technical failure, you name it, it's always there.
Thanks to: John Kinskey of AccessDirect, Inc.

70. Adapting to Millennials

Companies are finding frustration in adapting to their Millennial employees’ work style. Millennials grew up in a fast-paced, technology-driven world and bring their own style to the workplace. Companies can combat this hindrance by learning about their outlook on life and how it translates into the way they work. These employees are motivated, easily incentivized and a bit impatient. Nonetheless, by understanding their mindset, executives can turn a frustration into a benefit for the company.
Thanks to: Roger Franklin, CEO of Crystal.

71. I Am the Business

My single biggest source of frustration is that employees often don't understand that their work is a direct reflection on me. I AM my business. If they don't do their best work, then I'm not doing my best work. I can't tell a client "Well, that was one of my employees..." As the owner, I have to be accountable for everyone, and it can be hard to get employees to understand that.
Thanks to: Jim Hoddenbach of Disciples of Flight.

72. Good Ad Response, Less Clients

As a startup company of furniture and with tight budgets, we have been trying different ways to market ourselves. But the marketing costs are so high and with low liquidity in market, there have been times when we advertise to reach to customers, but end up spending for the marketing calls and other ad groups who are willing to offer us similar services and/or more services for which we have clearly not budgeted for. So, it's quite a frustration to let go of opportunities to control cash burn out.
Thanks to: Surender K of Furniture48.com.

73. Frustrations with the Cloud

In a StratoGen survey of UK business managers, a third revealed that they host less than 10 per cent of their applications in the cloud. Highlighted reasons for this include: 74 percent experiencing frustrations in using cloud hosting applications, 16 percent believe there is a current lack of IT support when any issues occurred and 17 percent believe that there aren’t enough applications available. There remain areas for improvement in what can obviously still be a business frustration.
Thanks to: Kate Southgate of StratoGen.

74. Can't We Just Get Along?

After 30 years as a business coach and hundreds of conversations with business owners, it's clear that the most frustrating aspect of business ownership is dealing with employees. Owners have expectations and intentions that are never fully fulfilled, leaving them frustrated and disappointed. But the real problem is that the only model for dealing with this is a confrontational, right/wrong one which almost always leaves both parties frustrated and angry. Eventually, the employee quits or gets fired.
Thanks to: Scott Hunter of Unshackled Leadership.

75. Talent, Talent, Talent

The biggest challenge in most businesses is not getting great talent at the right price. I, personally, like employees who are self-directed, entrepreneurial, business minded and can make smart decisions. It's common to find hard-working employees who just follow instructions and do nothing else; this is better than finding someone lazy and stupid. But eventually, these employees will drain you out because you're the only one thinking and coming up with suggestions. Hire Right!
Thanks to: Vinil Ramdev of CEO Hangout.

76. The Pain

The biggest frustration in any business is the manager of the bank that the business has an overdraft with. If you have a good manager that listens to you, accepts your needs and will help you, then you will succeed, but most managers... Ycchhh.
Thanks to: Jacob Singer of www.jacobashersinger.com.

Do you have a business frustration that wasn’t included? If so, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

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Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth