The Unforeseen Nuts and Bolts of Owning a Small Business

When you go to business school, there are many aspects of theory and practice for which you are prepared. You may know everything there is to know about a balance sheet, how to find the best talent on the market, or the ins and outs of savvy tax code wrangling.

But there is a whole other side to owning a business, one which will inevitably put you in uncharted waters. Being mentally prepared for the unforeseeable will help you improvise successfully in these situations. Here are a few examples of things that could happen out of the blue for which you’ll be unprepared. Your situation will be different, but you’ll at least some of the things that might happen.

Say no to sexual harassment

1. Workplace Scandals

If we’ve learned nothing from 2017, it’s that sexual misconduct in the workplace is more prevalent than we once allowed ourselves to think. So what happens if you find that such a problem is brewing in your office, but because of your small size you don’t have the personnel or HR department to handle the problem for you? Each situation is different, but there are some general rules of thumb.

Generally speaking it’s best to remove the offending party sooner than later, as supporting a negative presence can cast a shadow over the whole workplace. This can also help insulate you against legal ramifications of not handling a scandal such as this ethically. Consult legal help if in doubt.

Moving to a new office
photo credit: James MacAulay / Flickr

2. Moving Offices

Moving offices shouldn’t be a big deal, so why is it such a pain in the neck when it happens? Business doesn’t stop when it comes time to move. For this reason, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the daily goings on of your business, only to realize that you are totally unprepared when moving day comes.

You might not know a lot about furniture shipping services but these are better and more affordable than they’ve ever been before. If you’re running up against a moving deadline, a service like this can get you out of a tight spot.

Conflict in the workplace

3. Dealing With Untruths and Bad Information

In the world of business competition, there will be many instances when you have to deal with people who may not be telling you the complete truth, or at least withholding certain information that would give you an advantage that they don’t want. It’s important for business owners to be able to develop the skills necessary to spot these people, or at least to employ people who can help you do just that.

Having a good gut instinct about when someone isn’t providing you with good information is sometimes what separates a good business person from a great one.


There are loads of circumstances that will require a new business owner to step outside of the theoretical framework they prepared for themselves during their education. Working with people is inherently unpredictable. Stay on your toes and be aware of the events that are occurring outside the formal purview of your workplace.

If it affects your business, it’s your business, and it should be your business to know what to do.