Starting a new business is never easy but this should not dissuade entrepreneurs who want to try their luck. If you have a great idea along with a feasible plan of action, sufficient funds and lots of enthusiasm, just go for it. At the same time, you must be aware of the challenges that you may encounter. Being aware is the best approach to avoid nasty surprises. It also enables you to have a plan to overcome these challenges and move ahead towards achieving your goals. Let us list some common challenges that every startup entrepreneur should watch out for.
Challenge #1: Shortage of funds
Money is the lifeline of any business and its shortage is the biggest challenge for any bootstrapped startup. Unless you are extremely lucky, getting cash for your business right at the start will be tough. Inadequacy of funds is a reality that every startup needs to cope with and proper planning helps. Having a plan to procure sufficient funds at the start is important, whether you arrange them yourself or get external investment. Don’t rely on sales as you may not get them instantly. Instead, have enough to sustain through the initial period.
Challenge #2: Fierce competition
Another challenge that no startup entrepreneur can ignore is the fierce competition in the business landscape. There will probably be several competitors selling a similar offering and many of them could be established players. You get no margin of error when it comes to beating others to survive and thrive. The best way to do it is by thinking innovatively and offering something that competitors don’t. It could be in the form of a differentiated product or value-adding services. Whatever you do, just be better than the rivals!
Challenge #3: Building a great team
When you start a new business, your team serves as the core. However, building a great team is easier said than done. Onboarding skilled and experienced people may not be possible when you are pressed for funds. Young and inexperienced resources, on the other hand, may not be dependable enough. The best thing to do would be to start small, with a team of people who are skilled and passionate. Decide the roles that you must absolutely have and find perfect fits for them. Gradually, you can grow the team size and keep bringing in new resources.
Challenge #4: Neglecting online marketing
Startup owners tend to focus less on online marketing, which is the biggest mistake they can make. The internet is critical as a marketing channel as it generates awareness about your product and brand on a wider scale. Rather than relying only on traditional and word-of-mouth channels, you need to have a consolidated plan in place. Try to understand the kind of digital marketing tactics that every startup should invest in. Don’t ignore them at any cost because the internet is where the customers are.
Challenge #5: Lack of proper planning
The absence of proper planning is something that can land you in big trouble. People often become overenthusiastic and jump in without proper preparation and planning. In fact, this is the most common reason why startups falter. Every single process will gather speed only if you take a planned approach. So you must have a plan in place, covering the entire aspects including sales, marketing, product development, recruitment and more. Also, include financial planning and risk coverage in your plan. Don’t forget to plan for contingencies and surprises as well.
Challenge #6: Unrealistic expectations
Being unrealistic in their expectations can be another major hindrance that new businesses come across. Entrepreneurs are bound to be optimistic about their ideas and expectations often run high. This usually happens because there are numerous success stories floating around. However, visualizing booming success within a short time span is the wrong approach. Sustainability is what matters more for startups as you need to focus on getting established first. Growth happens subsequently at its own pace. Being realistic with your expectations is the key, whether it is about growth figures or timelines.
Now that you know all about the challenges you may encounter as a startup entrepreneur, setting it up will be easier. Your objective as a new business should be to win the trust of the customers as they matter the most. At the same time, you need to focus on building credibility for your brand. Beyond the strategic aspects, you need to cultivate patience and perseverance in your personality. Resilience and self-belief are equally important for new entrepreneurs because failure and challenges are integral parts of the startup culture.