Obstacles to Starting Your Business & How to Overcome Them

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By Debbie Gregory.

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There are a large number of people that consider starting their own business but simply give up before they get anything off the ground. They become paralyzed or stuck by their fears.


Five Biggest Business Obstacles & How to Overcome Them:



Many potential entrepreneurs stop before they even begin due to self-doubt and the fear of failure. Don’t allow self-doubt to stop you from making your dreams a reality. If you need assistance getting started, it is always a good idea to reach out to support groups or mentors to help you overcome these mental blocks and provide you the encouragement you need to keep going.



Most people start a business because of an idea and not necessarily because they are fantastic business people. There are so many resources available today to help anyone start and run their own business. You can easily take online courses to learn what you need begin.  You can also watch tutorials, consult with a mentor in the industry, join support groups, hire people who have the knowledge you lack, or use software to take care of certain tasks.



Legal considerations and legal fears are a significant hurdle for some people.  These obstacles can easily scare away potential entrepreneurs. You do need to be aware of any potential legal problems and prepare for them but it doesn’t have to be so daunting. There are plenty of online resources that can help guide you, sites such as the U.S. Small Business Administration or Legal Zoom.



Financial fears are the number one issue that stops people from even starting a business in the first place. It is also the major reason for a business closing its doors. Funding fears are everything from the fear of not making enough money to draining your savings account to try to stay afloat. Most people are comfortable with a steady paycheck from a larger corporation and do not want to take a chance on the fluctuating income of their own small business. It can be frightening but success can bring huge rewards and put you at the helm of your own ship controlling your destiny.


Ways to Generate Funds:

  • Start the business on the side of your normal 8-5 job and keep the security of your paycheck
  • Work part-time as a rideshare driver to generate additional regular income
  • Offer consulting services
  • Begin your business by selling online before transitioning to a brick and mortar storefront and avoid these costs until you generate revenues
  • Rent a room in your home for income
  • Rent your entire home out through services like Airbnb.



Marketing your business takes planning, proper administration, and a bit of know-how. The main marketing tool your business will need is its own website. You can opt to hire a pro to put your site together or you can utilize the multitude of do-it-yourself options. Most eCommerce platforms have very nice drag-and-drop templates that you can use. A lot of the website hosting companies do as well. Take the time to do a bit of research before you choose where to build your site and pick the option that works best for you.   A website is a “work in progress” and you will improve and grow your web presence as your business and revenues grow.


Too many people let these obstacles hold them back from starting and running their own business. There is always a way over or around any problem you may face. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams. Remember you often must fail before you succeed.


Remember these quotes:

  • Winston Churchill: “Success if walking from failure with no loss of enthusiasm”.
  • Thomas J. Watson: “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really:  Double your rate of failure.  You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all.  You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes.  Make all you can.  Because remember that’s where you find success.”


Don’t Let Your Company Outgrow You

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By Debbie Gregory.

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If you take your role in your company for granted and simply assume you “own” that role you are in danger of being outgrown by your company.   There will always be more people entering your field including people who are more eager, people who don’t stop learning and growing.


It doesn’t matter how long you have been with a company or what you have done for them in the past.  You must consistently demonstrate that you are an asset to your company. If you stop learning, unable to adapt to change, too rigid and stuck, your company will outgrow you and replace you.


Tips to Keep Pace with Your Growing Company:


Put in Office Time: 

We all have a limited amount of time everyday and too many responsibilities. As you climb the corporate ladder, the tendency is to spend less and less time physically in the office connecting with peers and employees. However, office time and connecting with your team is what brought you to the position that you are in. Removing yourself can make you lose the ability to keep pace with your company.  Someone else can pick up the pace. that someone else is certainly picking up.


Build and Maintain Relationships:

Never stop building and fostering relationships. This holds true regardless of who the person is including your boss, your employees, your vendors, your suppliers, etc. You need to make sure that you are communicating proactively and effectively as well as making sure that you are continuously adding value to these important relationships and to your company.


Keep Learning:

Everyone can benefit from learning something new or learning more about something they already know. Keep up by reading specific books or trade magazines and take time to study other businesses’ successes and failures. Make sure that you stay on top of new trends, new technologies, and shifts in your market or customer base.


Add Value to Your Peers:

Take the time to develop relationships with other managers and peers. Make sure that you groom and teach your new employees in the company.  They can also teach you Learn more about other divisions and units and see how you can add value beyond your specific role.



Even if you have worked hard at your organization, your company will continue to grow with or without you. Remember to continue to impact the company.   They need to be reminded of your value.


What Attracts & Retains Top Employees Today?

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Today’s employees have much more sway when it comes to their work environments, benefits, and job perks than ever before.


If you are looking to find, hire, and retain top talent in any field, there are some expectations from the candidates that you need to meet:

  • Flexible schedules
  • Flexible and adaptable workplace design
  • Connected to nature
  • On-site health and wellness


Flexible Schedules:

This is one of the number one issues and benefits that employees today demand.  Flexible schedules also ranks amongst the top two reasons why employees will stay with an employer.


Flexible scheduling can be accomplished in numerous ways and you may consider offering:  

  • Flexible hours
  • More paid time off
  • Days that can be worked from home


Flexible and Adaptable Workplace Design:

The days of endless rows of cubicles are in the past. Today’s employees do not want to sit in a small area with fluorescent lighting surrounded by their fellow workers in their cubicles.   You need to think outside of cubicles when planning your workspace areas.


You might consider offering your employees a variety of individual and group workspaces including:

  • Lounge areas with laptop tables
  • Sit-to-stand workstations that are becoming very popular with lounge areas
  • Conference rooms available for general use at any time
  • Informal meeting rooms with comfortable chairs
  • Casual work areas with high-top tables and barstools


Many progressive employers also include pool tables, ping pong and games in the workspaces.


Connected to Nature:

Employees are tired of being kept in workspaces that have artificial lighting, heating and cooling in a cubicle type setting They want to enjoy the hours they are required to be indoors at work. Many employers are shifting to more natural light sources with better outdoor views, more plants and outdoor space.  They are finding that the time spent outdoors dramatically increases employee happiness and productivity. Keeping in mind the importance of nature and natural elements in the workplace really increases employee morale.


On-site Health and Wellness:

More employees expect their employers to care about and help foster their well-being, including their mental health and well-being.   This is a win/win for both. Happy and healthy people are more energized and engaged with their work.  This increases productivity and can even reduce the overall cost of healthcare.


Some examples of ways your company can do to help promote better health:

  • Offer mental and financial wellness education, through literature, seminars, and webinars
  • Offer on-site flu shots, biometric screenings, and massages
  • Many large companies have their own medical team with one or more Physician Assistants and/or Nurse Practitioners making it simple and convenient for their employees.
  • Offer healthy food and beverage options if you have a stocked break room or cafeteria.
  • Try to add a regular catered lunch that includes healthy foods, vegetarian options, and salad bars
  • Try adding some fitness challenges that are focused on promoting holistic health
  • Build a wellness room with exercise and stretching equipment including offering classes such as Yoga and Pilates.


Utilizing forward thinking and a bit of creativity when planning your workspaces, employee benefits work schedule, and more will go a long way towards attracting and capturing the eyes of top-performing employees that are excited to work for you.  They will be more productive and will stay with the company putting forth their very best work.  Healthy and happy employees are a recipe for success and avoid the financial of other costs of employee turnover.

Fostering Success

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Some success is carefully and meticulously planned for over the long haul.  Other successes can come unexpectedly in the form of surprises. Either way, success in any part of your life, requires that you work hard both to achieve it and to keep it going.


Ways to Foster More Success in your Life


Be Open Minded and Optimistic:

This can be very challenging especially during times when you are going through a rough time.  We all often tend to feel a somewhat negative or defeated when things aren’t going our way. However, if you work at being both open minded and optimistic it will assist you to see opportunities and attract these opportunities that you might have otherwise overlooked.   There is nothing closer to attaining success than a positive attitude and being open to new things.


Ask for A lot but Expect Nothing:

In order to get what you want; you need to be bold enough to pursue opportunities.  You also must have the ability to be able to ask for more opportunities from those who can offer them to you.  At the end of the day, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.   At the same time, do not have huge expectations and expect anything to come from it. Just because you have asked doesn’t necessarily mean that you will receive.


Add Greater Value:

You cannot sit around all day wishing for opportunities to drop into your lap and expect that they will.   This is not reality. You must consistently demonstrate your value to others in order to be rewarded with better opportunities. Give more, do more, say more.  This means staying connected and networking most of the time.  Sitting on autopilot and hoping for something to plop into your lap does not work.


Become an Expert:

Not every path to success is clear or easy to figure out the route. If you excel at something, invest the time and energy to become the best at it and an expert and/or authority. Share your expertise with others. You never know what opportunities can come from it.


Generally speaking success = opportunity + preparation. Success can also be achieved through personal growth which in turn invites unexpected success into your life. Put in the work to create more opportunities for success in your life and you will never regret it.


By Debbie Gregory.

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This year has gone by too quickly and it is amazing that we are approaching the holiday season. VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association wants to wish our members, fans and followers a happy and healthy holiday season with quality time to relax and enjoy.


Soon it will be 2020 and a new year. VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association for military and veteran business owners including Service-Disabled Veteran Business Owners.  We have over 7,000 members nationwide in every type of business.  Those who serve our country have the discipline and skill to become entrepreneurs and run their own successful business. They also are your shopkeepers, butchers, bakers, mechanics, repair people and more.


As we approach the holiday buying season, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about Veteran and Military Business Owners.  I’d also like to provide you some compelling reasons to patronize their businesses. They are service oriented and are dedicated to putting forth their best efforts for you. This means they want happy and satisfied customers who will return. They want to earn your business and take pride in doing the best job possible and accomplishing their mission.


This Saturday, November 30th is Small Business Saturday. It is a day to support and celebrate small businesses and all they do for their communities. American Express began this tradition in 2010 and it has grown to become enormous. In 2018, more than 95 million consumers shopped on Small Business Saturday.


This day has been recognized by the Senate and elected officials in each state as well as being promoted by local communities. Please support all small businesses and especially Veteran and Military Small Businesses that are neighborhood champions that rally and are dedicated to their communities.


Small business is the engine that drives our nation’s economy.  Veterans and Military play a significant role in our economy. To provide you an idea of the impact of Veteran Small Businesses, below are a few statistics to share from the last census. I believe in the next census, these numbers will dramatically increase:

  • 52 million Businesses in the United States are Veteran majority owned.
  • 442,485 Veteran-owned businesses have employees
  • 08 million Self-employed Veteran businesses (without employees)
  • 1% is the percentage of all United States businesses that are majority-owned by Veterans
  • $1.14 trillion is the total annual revenues of Veteran-owned businesses
  • 03 million is the total number of employees of Veteran-owned businesses
  • $195 billion is the annual payroll of Veteran-owned businesses


Those who have served along with their loved ones have made many sacrifices up to and including writing a blank check for their lives. They have served so we can be safe in a dangerous world and live and prosper.


When you are buying gifts now, on Small Business Saturday or anytime, I encourage everyone to patronize a Veteran or Military Small Business. When you need some type of service, go to a business owned by Veterans.  Not only will you obtain superior products and awesome service, but it is a sincere and tangible  way to say thank you.