The Challenges of Starting a Small Business
Starting a business can present numerous but not insurmountable challenges. Becoming knowledgeable through research, learning to heed the advice of successful entrepreneurs, and becoming proactive in all operations will assist small business owners in facing these challenges.
Here are some of the main challenges entrepreneurs face and strategies to effectively deal with them.
- Developing an idea and vision. As Benjamin Franklin once so aptly put it, you must possess the ability to see what others cannot see. Developing a business idea and plan is the first and most important challenge faced by every entrepreneur.
- Raising capital for startup. To overcome the omnipresent challenge of raising capital, you must develop the ability to sell your idea to investors. Note, however, that convincing an investor about something that does not yet exist presents a challenge within itself. You must be persuasive and have a good story backed by a fortified business plan if you wish to attract investors and capitalists.
- Putting together a strong business team. By team, I do not mean employees; I mean a business management team that will meet routinely to brainstorm and discuss the direction of the business, long and short-term goals, and different strategies to expand it. A business team is a vital, yet largely ignored key to raising capital and getting your business on its feet.
- Finding the right employees. Finding ambitious, trustworthy and loyal employees is extremely difficult. Even if you do find individuals who meet your expectations, if they work poorly as a team, it is in vain and will yield nothing but stagnation. Remember, employees are a reflection of your business its values, culture, and ethic. Hire slow and fire fast.
- Overcoming competition. From an outsiders perspective, competition encourages innovation and production of quality products; it’s a benchmark of creativity. Adopting this view, you should embrace competition and use it to stimulate your creative juices, so to speak.
- Unpredictable business challenges and expenses. As the old saying goes, expect the unexpected. If not handled promptly and with care, these can potentially lead to business failure. Some challenges include:
- Inability to make payroll
- Unexpected resignation of staff
- Bad customers
- Poor working capital
- Oscillating government policy
- Unpaid bills/taxes
The above are several but not all challenges every small business owner must face as they begin their journey as an entrepreneur. Overcoming these challenges is quite literally the difference between success and failure.