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The 5 Words Small Business Owners are Sick of Hearing

As a small business owner, you’ve heard it all. You field dozens of questions, demands, and criticisms every day, and we know there are certain words that put a special kind of twitch in your eye. Here are five of them.



Loan officers, landlords, health department officials, prospective customers, the IRS—the “no’s” a small business owner hears come from many places. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a little more “yes?”




As in, “I just love how committed you are to your hobby.” To a small business owner, hearing their livelihood described as a “hobby” is like nails on a chalkboard. Situations like these are a great opportunity to do a little gentle bragging about the seriousness (and success!) of your business. Go ahead—remind your friends just how profitable that “hobby” has become!




Did this past tax season send your fellow business owners into an audit frenzy? Small businesses are especially susceptible to audits and intense scrutiny from the IRS. If you’re a sole proprietor or a small LLC, an audit could be in your future. The good news? There are lots of great resources out there for small business owners preparing to sail smoothly through an audit.




These days, we’re inundated with theories on how millennials shop, what they want from their jobs, or how they’re changing the workforce. Perhaps millennials are your target customers, or maybe you’re a millennial business owner yourself. Odds are high that millennials affect your business in some respect—the term has become so overused, and it now refers to a swath of our population so huge, it’s become nearly meaningless. Learn to separate valuable research from thin, jargon-laden speculation, and we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief.




To an outside eye, the obstacles to getting a business off the ground might seem reason enough to call it quits. But small business owners know: When they vent their frustrations to friends and loved ones, they’re simply offloading natural stress—not entertaining a career change! Reassure your concerned listener that you’re in it to win it, and that you don’t plan on quitting anytime soon.

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood
  • PoshPublic

    lol. love it. esp the millennial one. We spent a lot testing markting dollars on them. it’s a myth.

    • meredithfundera

      Haha, great to hear! It was a fun one to write :). Glad you enjoyed it!

  • So cool that this will be covered tomorrow on Seth David’s Friday Morning Hangout from Here’s the link!