Business Bondage

What is Business Bondage

Business bondage refers to the state of feeling inexorably intertwined or even imprisoned by your business. Business bondage is frequently experienced by new entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Many factors can contribute to this feeling such as a lack of experience running a business by the owner; the financial stress of starting a business; macroeconomic events; the inability to lead or delegate tasks; inefficient or inadequate business systems; lack of experienced staff; and an increase in the competitive environment.

BREAKING DOWN Business Bondage

Business bondage is most often experienced by new entrepreneurs. Stress factors such as insufficient capital, late or non-paying customers, high interest new business loans, national economic issues, market fluctuations and many other factors can cause new business owners to feel trapped by their business and leads to a poor work/life balance. According to the Small Business Administration, business startups fail at a rate of roughly 50% within the first five years. In order to make a business succeed it requires enormous financial, emotional and physical commitment by the owner(s). The flip side of that commitment is the necessity to find life balance or else risk succeeding at work but paying too high a personal cost.

Example of Business Bondage

For example, Jane has started a business. She wears many hats and is in charge of new business development, bookkeeping, sales and product development. She has hired an assistant, but couldn't find one with much experience for the amount of money she was looking to pay. Jane also doesn't have a large amount of capital to invest in CRM systems or other technology, so she completes most processes manually. As a result, she spends a large amount of time working and keeping her business running. She's the only one doing most tasks, so if she takes a day off, she may miss opportunities. She feels trapped and is suffering from business bondage.

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  1. Small Business Association. "Frequently Asked Questions: About Small Business," Page 2. Accessed Feb. 2, 2021.

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