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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
- Keeping up with trends and changes in the industry. Trends can make or break a business. Seasoned entrepreneurs are aware that trends are friends and they swiftly work to adapt to the latest trends in the market. Spotting and then exploiting trends presents a unique challenge business owner must master, and the most successful businesses are the first to twist trends and steer them to their own benefits. Be an industry leader; don’t follow in others footsteps.
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.
Each one of us has skills, knowledge and experience and anyone can turn these assets into a lively and profitable business. Anyone with these assets can start a service business. Other people are willing to pay for these specific skills in the form of a service. Anyone with a need or desire to earn extra money can sell a service, regardless of age, education or experience.
The biggest advantage of starting your own service business is you become your own boss and take full control of your future. Self-employment gives you freedom and independence which is difficult to achieve when you work for someone else. You get an opportunity to earn much more money than what you earn when working for others. You can hire employees to increase revenues. You have liberty to open new branches of your business and offer services to new customers. You can’t do these things when you work for others and if you do, it is more likely to benefit your boss than working in your favor.
You can cover-up the areas where you lack some business skills like time management, accounting or effective advertisement. You can learn and master these skills by practice and experience. Any skill that you possess can be your best marketable asset. Do you know how to safely walk a dog? Are you capable of planning and throwing a party? Can you sell products and services on line? People are willing to pay you for these skills.
To have more knowledge about starting a service business, read James Stephenson’s article: Visit:http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/businessideas/article80686.html
As a business entrepreneur – particularly when starting a new venture – you need to adjust ways of working and maintain schedules that work best for you. If you are an entrepreneur, balancing various tasks – an office, a home and a family – you might end up making an unplanned commitment with your scheduled tasks. Some proven ways to make schedules work for you are:
- Block off certain times of the day for completing parts of any large task.
- If your business requires meeting clients – pick one or two days of the week to fix a client meeting schedule and focus only on clients appointments.
- Consider mixing other important family tasks with your office work schedule (a school pick-up or drop-off, doctor visit or a grocery pick-up etc).
- You may have a relation building day if someone wants to schedule a lunch or coffee.
- If you write articles or blogs choose most relaxing or quiet times for your writing activities.
Stick to one task/project on a particular day.
Sometimes you may need to plan your work schedule around someone else’s schedule. Planning work schedules and keeping them can certainly help you complete different projects smoothly. Get more information on this topic, visit:http://www.womenentrepreneur.com/2010/12/when-you-need-to-avoid-going-insane-the-importance-of-schedules.html
Achieving $1 million in sales is a dream of every business firm. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, approximately 80% of all U.S. firms fail to achieve this figure. Getting to $1 million in sales is reaching a level of sustainability. Most businesses fail because they commit three major mistakes when they are starting and developing their business.
- Most entrepreneurs spend a lot of time in research and development, building a product without validating the idea with their prospective customers. One should consult as many prospective customers as possible by making cold calls to validate the idea of launching a new product. Discuss what exactly your product is meant to offer and how do you plan to solve their problems with your product.
- Arranging for adequate capital to meet the growth needs of your company is the second priority after your sales start gaining momentum. The most common type of financing comes from friends and relatives. Understanding the structure of investment and inviting equity partner needs serious consideration for the right growth of your company.
- Third major mistake that most entrepreneurs make is Reckless Hiring. Hiring expensive employees should be avoided to prevent drainage of funds. It is advised to seek a working partner for equity who will have the required skill and can offer useful advice when you are wrong. Outsourcing is the best option to find network of workers on as and when needed basis.
- Want to know more about these useful tips from Sramana Mitra, consultant and author of theEntrepreneur Journeysseries of books” Visit http://www.bnet.com/blog/entrepreneurs/how-to-build-a-million-dollar-business/747
Many entrepreneurs just keep surviving by postponing their expenses and other essential traits of growth like hiring and long-term goal setting. Their focus is on cutting costs and saving money by laying off employees and tightening profit margins. Growth strategy is something different. Here an entrepreneur is expected to reinvest profits and follow certain expansion programs with a long term perspective. It is vital to consider whether your present team can handle new projects. Assess their capabilities and their collective mind-set. Developing pro-active attitude among your team members and shedding reactionary thinking from their mind is crucial to make your expansion programs successful. Your work-force is your valuable asset who can make significant contributions in shifting your business from a survival mode to path of progress. Get some useful tips for shifting from short-term thinking to developing new growth oriented strategies,