Hurdles Entrepreneurs Must Overcome
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
That eureka moment finally arrives, and you realise that you have a solid plan and the foundations of a great new business. You have spotted a gap in the market and recognise a customer pain point that you can’t wait to solve. The idea germinated from your past experience in the field or has grown from a hobby or passion for exploring new avenues of possibility. Perhaps your success has caught you by surprise, the market is moving at break neck speed and you don’t want to be left behind. You find yourself needing to scale up the business sooner than you were expecting.
In short, you have arrived at the gates of entrepreneurship!
Exciting as this milestone in your business journey is, it is often the moment when the panic sets in as you realise you face many challenges ahead. This is a time when you often face a lot of risk and lack both resources and the self-confidence you need to propel yourself forward. You need to be everywhere at once, networking and meeting potential clients is paramount, but who is going to take care of the day-to-day and keep the proverbial machine well-oiled?
As overwhelming as this might seem there are so many smart ways you can take your plan to the next level – but the first step towards success is recognising the hurdles that an entrepreneur must overcome.
1) Lack of Finance
Those early months and indeed years can mean you are working to extremely tight margins financially. Turning a profit could be some way down the line and managing your seed fund wisely in the early days is crucial. Even if you have a rock-solid business plan, past experience in the field and bring your extensive network with you, remaining out of the red while trying to scale up can be a fine balancing act. Most businesses need to invest in marketing, and you will have some idea how it all works but knowing how to navigate the multitude of channels and having the in-house expertise to invest wisely in marketing and key tools or training can be difficult early on.
2) Hiring and Firing
Research has shown than 23% of startups fail because of an inability to get skilled support – whether it is tricky to find the right skillset or recruit team members that share your vision and values, hiring and firing can be notoriously difficult. You might not have experience hiring or managing people before and you will have to learn how to delegate. Not easy when you are presiding over your brainchild. Employing staff is a major investment and setting the ground rules and creating a company culture potentially problematic and time-consuming.
3) Calling the Shots
From day one you are the key decision maker, and as you transition and grow each decision you make has an impact on the future of your business. Ranging from branding and marketing to business process and people, you will call the shots. In isolation making decisions is a rational function but often as you start to scale up you are faced with a multitude of colliding judgement calls that could impact your bottom line. Not being afraid to call the shots and determining a clear roadmap can help navigate the choppy waters of uncertainty.
4) Muting the Naysayers
As if avoiding self-doubt wasn’t hard enough you will have to learn to untangle constructive advice vs the critics from the get-go. You might be breaking new ground, challenging the status quo and disrupting the norm so knowing your business and having the ability to mute the naysayers crucial. Taking the time to communicate your vision effectively can be challenging and requires strategic clarity – you are an entrepreneur now though, so remember why you are doing this, and dig deep!
"Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” ― Steve Jobs
5) Image is Everything
Building an authentic brand that your clients come to trust can be a huge mountain to climb when embarking on your startup mission. Demonstrating how you are different from the competition and conveying the value you bring is only just the beginning. Understanding how to reach your target audience and identifying opportunities through the buyer journey and beyond the customer lifecycle a complex process. You will need to become an authority in your field and clients should be in no doubt that you are the go-to firm for your products and/or services.
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