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Business Bondage

A feeling that business owners experience when they feel trapped or imprisoned by their company

What is Business Bondage?

Business bondage is the feeling that owners of a business experience when they feel trapped or imprisoned by their company. The term essentially describes the feeling that business owners experience when they start to get overwhelmed by the complexity of owning and running a company.

 

Business Bondage Theme

 

For the most part, it is small business owners and entrepreneurs working on startups that experience the feeling of business bondage.

There are a lot of reasons why business owners can start to feel caged in by their businesses. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Growth of competition within the market that the business operates in
  • A personal lack of experience or inexperienced employees
  • Major changes in the market or economy
  • Unstructured or failing business plans or operational procedures

 

Business Bondage Example

A small business owner begins as an entrepreneur with an idea for producing custom-made hats for both men and women. The business owner has experience with textiles and fashion design, however, she has never actually made hats before. Because of her limited funds, she is forced to hire people who don’t have a lot of experience making hats either. Initially, her business is successful. She begins to take in a lot of new orders because her clients have been very happy with the hats they ordered.

Eventually, the business owner takes on more orders than she can fill because:

  • She and her small staff of workers are strapped for time
  • She doesn’t have enough experienced employees to work on orders and complete them in a timely fashion
  • She doesn’t have enough funds to purchase all the supplies she needs to complete the orders

 

They cause the business owner to become overwhelmed and start feeling trapped by her company. She wants to be involved in creating the custom hats. However, because of all the overwhelming orders and financial issues, she spends most of her time on paperwork, phone calls, and trying to find ways to get more capital to complete orders. This overwhelming, trapped feeling is business bondage.

 

Causes of Business Bondage

As indicated before, business bondage results from a variety of things. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that staying busy and working harder mean that they are accomplishing something. In many cases, business owners – especially those of small businesses – work hard instead of working smart. They don’t work and run their company efficiently and the company’s actual accomplishments suffer.

A lack of leadership is also a major cause of business bondage. Quite often – as with the example above – small business owners want to be doers instead of leaders. They want to be physically involved in every aspect of the business. It can lead to a great deal of micromanagement, which, for many companies, slows the flow of the company’s production and ends up putting the business behind in productivity and revenue.

Several things within a company can cause a business owner to feel trapped by their business. Lack of capital and lack of a clearly established business model and operational procedures are two major causes of the business bondage phenomenon. Establishing solid management, setting up a strong business model with solid structure and clear procedures, and accepting the role as overseer are goods ways for business owners to avoid the feeling of business bondage.

 

Related Reading

We hope you enjoyed reading CFI’s explanation of business bondage. CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. See the following resources to add to your financial education:

  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Impostor Syndrome
  • Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Sense of Purpose at Work

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