Setting up and running a business is hard work, especially if you are starting from scratch. You have never managed a company on your own before, hence you are not fully aware of the scope of your responsibilities. It is easy to second guess your potential or overestimate your capacity when you are experiencing the newly found rush of entrepreneurship. Many sleepless nights and paradoxes lie ahead, so buckle up. If you’re lucky, the struggle might only last the first few years; on the contrary, it might end sooner with your startup.
If you have recently joined the ranks of a startup entrepreneur, prepare to deal with the following challenges:
1. Time Management
There’s never enough time, but you always have to make time for the things that matter. When you’re the boss, you are in charge of deadlines. You are going to decide the pace of work and make sure that everything follows through. If a person is not capable of managing their time, it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve set goals. Many startup entrepreneurs struggle with time management because the concept of it gets stricter up the hierarchy. You might have to make a dozen big decisions the same day, and understand your priorities if you don’t want to crash and burn.
2. Financial Management
Most startup entrepreneurs have a limited budget, which is why they are supposed to cut corners wherever possible. However, many fail to invest their money in the right places or get distracted by shiny things they don’t need. All it takes is one little success to lose focus and go all out as if you won a billion dollar lottery. Many startup owners are unfamiliar with the concept of ‘rainy days’, or they simply choose denial when the red flags appear. If you have enough money to support your entire business for one whole year while it brings you zero revenue, it’s a good start. If your startup is already deep in debt, maybe you should look up Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
3. Online Presence
Online presence is everything today, which means that your startup is practically invisible if it doesn’t have a dedicated website. If you cannot afford a professionally built webpage for your business right now, you can start small by creating a Facebook page. It is also crucial to engage customers, clients, and/or subscribers through all the leading social media platforms. A large number of startup entrepreneurs believe that they will get discovered on their own, which is a big mistake. You have to build your brand before people start looking for you. Your startup will become a ghost if it has no digital footprint.
Online presence and digital marketing go hand in hand. If you want your product or service to sell like hot cakes, you need to employ some exceptional marketing strategies. Online and offline marketing are various techniques to reach out to your target audience and convince them that they absolutely need what you are selling. Many startup entrepreneurs are not enthusiastic about adding a marketing expert to their team or granting sufficient resources to launch a proper marketing campaign. They believe that advertising is overrated or not worth the returns, which are clearly ridiculous assumptions. The biggest brand names today spend millions of dollars on marketing for a reason.
5. Building a Team
Your startup is nothing without a reliable and hardworking team, but finding the right people is the actual challenge. More than often, the resume and a formal interview is not enough to deduce the potential and loyalty of a recruit. The next step is building trust and establishing principles of team work. Your startup’s progress will be obstructed if members on your team are unable to collaborate and negotiate with each other. You are responsible for bringing them together, as their unspoken leader.
6. Acknowledging Competition
A handful of startup entrepreneurs are naïve enough to dive into the market without assessing their competition first. If your competitors are already offering high quality items for attractive prices, you won’t be able to keep up without doing your homework in advance. You cannot beat your competition if you do not know what they are capable of. Observe every move of your competitors before you approve any business proposition.
7. Communicating Ideas and Plans
Not everyone excels at people skills, but this is something you have to be good at if you hope to thrive as a leader. Your startup is going to suffer if you cannot even properly convey your morals, concepts, and objectives. You will need to convert your brainchild into a prototype and perhaps simplify theories to the level of a preschooler. You might have to use a separate tone or approach for certain team members to get them on the same page.
8. Welcoming Innovation
Startup entrepreneurs are smart and strong-willed people, but they are not always right. You are human and you will make mistakes along the journey. Some ideas will get old and operations will become outdated, thus you will have to let them go for the sake of moving forwards. If an employee or team member suggests something out of the box, give them a chance. Do not feel insulted or attacked if someone else comes up with an idea that is better than yours.
At times, things do work out according to your plans or the outcome exceeds your expectations. However, a positive response from clients and customers can also be overwhelming if you lack the resources to expand your startup’s operations. Business starts to crumble when the capacity to supply is not compatible with growing demand. You need to formulate a sound plan for up-scaling your startup when the time comes.
Startup entrepreneurs who never stop learning and growing are the most successful ones. You are obligated to sharpen your skills and further expand your skill set if you aim to make it to the Fortune 500 list one day. You also need to provide adequate training resources to your team, because your business can only rise if they learn to fly.
John Adams is a paralegal who writes about widespread legal and social issues. He helps readers overcome challenges and solve many personal problems the smart way, rather than the hard way. He is also a technology enthusiast, eager to learn new things in the niche and share his understanding with the world.