Jun 18, 2024
Travis Palmer

Small Business: A Cut Of from the American Dream

Small businesses are often seen as the backbone of the American economy, embodying the entrepreneurial spirit and the pursuit of the American Dream. However, many small business owners face significant challenges that can make this dream seem out of reach. This article explores the barriers that cut small businesses off from the American Dream and offers insights into overcoming these obstacles.

1. Economic Challenges

Market Competition

  • Large Corporations: Small businesses often struggle to compete with large corporations that have more resources and market influence.
  • Economies of Scale: Larger companies benefit from economies of scale, allowing them to offer lower prices and more extensive product lines.

Economic Downturns

  • Recessions: Economic downturns can hit small businesses harder, leading to reduced consumer spending and lower sales.
  • Financial Instability: Limited financial reserves make it difficult for small businesses to weather economic storms.

Rising Costs

  • Labor Costs: Increasing minimum wages and labor costs can strain small business budgets.
  • Rent and Utilities: High rent and utility costs, especially in urban areas, can make it difficult for small businesses to maintain profitability.

2. Regulatory Hurdles

Complex Regulations

  • Compliance Costs: Navigating complex regulations and compliance requirements can be time-consuming and costly.
  • Industry-Specific Regulations: Certain industries face stricter regulations, adding to the burden on small business owners.


  • High Tax Rates: Small businesses often face high tax rates, which can reduce profitability and hinder growth.
  • Tax Complexity: The complexity of tax codes and filing requirements can lead to errors and penalties.

Licensing and Permits

  • Bureaucratic Delays: Obtaining necessary licenses and permits can be a lengthy and frustrating process.
  • Varying Requirements: Different local, state, and federal requirements add layers of complexity.

3. Financial Barriers

Access to Capital

  • Limited Financing Options: Small businesses often struggle to secure loans and financing compared to larger corporations.
  • High-Interest Rates: When financing is available, it often comes with high-interest rates and unfavorable terms.

Cash Flow Management

  • Inconsistent Revenue: Fluctuating sales and seasonal trends can create cash flow challenges.
  • Late Payments: Late payments from customers can disrupt cash flow and financial planning.

High Overhead Costs

  • Inventory Management: Managing inventory efficiently to avoid overstocking or stockouts can be challenging.
  • Operational Expenses: High operational expenses, including insurance and maintenance, can erode profit margins.

4. Technological Disadvantages

Digital Presence

  • Limited Resources: Small businesses may lack the resources to build and maintain a robust digital presence.
  • Online Competition: Competing with well-established online retailers and marketplaces can be daunting.

Technology Adoption

  • Cost of Technology: Investing in the latest technology and software can be cost-prohibitive.
  • Training and Implementation: Training employees and implementing new technology systems requires time and investment.

5. Workforce Challenges

Hiring and Retention

  • Skilled Labor Shortage: Finding and retaining skilled employees can be difficult for small businesses.
  • Competitive Salaries: Larger companies can often offer more competitive salaries and benefits.

Employee Turnover

  • High Turnover Rates: High employee turnover can disrupt operations and increase recruitment and training costs.
  • Work-Life Balance: Small businesses may struggle to offer the same work-life balance and benefits as larger corporations.

6. Strategies for Overcoming Barriers

Leverage Community Support

  • Local Networking: Engage with local business networks and chambers of commerce for support and resources.
  • Community Engagement: Build strong relationships with the local community through events and sponsorships.

Explore Alternative Financing

  • Crowdfunding: Use crowdfunding platforms to raise capital from a broad base of supporters.
  • Microloans and Grants: Seek out microloans and grants specifically designed for small businesses.

Embrace Technology

  • Digital Marketing: Invest in digital marketing strategies to reach a wider audience.
  • E-Commerce Platforms: Utilize e-commerce platforms to expand sales channels and reach online customers.

Optimize Operations

  • Cost Management: Regularly review and optimize operational costs to improve efficiency.
  • Lean Practices: Implement lean business practices to reduce waste and increase productivity.

Focus on Employee Satisfaction

  • Employee Development: Invest in employee training and development to build a skilled and motivated workforce.
  • Competitive Benefits: Offer competitive benefits and work-life balance initiatives to attract and retain talent.


While small businesses face numerous challenges that can cut them off from the American Dream, there are strategies to overcome these barriers. By leveraging community support, exploring alternative financing, embracing technology, optimizing operations, and focusing on employee satisfaction, small business owners can navigate these obstacles and build successful enterprises.

Ready to explore your funding options and secure the right financial solutions for your business? Get offers today! Fill out an application with Approvd and discover the best funding solutions for your business. For more business, credit, and financial insights, visit our Approvd blog page.

About the Author

With over 20 years of experience in the business loan marketplace at Approvd, our expert has helped countless small business owners navigate the complexities of securing the right funding. Passionate about empowering entrepreneurs, our expert combines industry knowledge with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by small businesses today.

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