6 Major Challenges Every Entrepreneur Faces and How To Overcome Them
In the extremely competitive business environment of today, entrepreneurs encounter numerous challenges.
The lure of freedom, wealth and the power to create an ideal lifestyle has given rise to a new age of entrepreneurs.
But the majority of entrepreneurs nowadays struggle with many challenges, especially during their initial days, and even more when they plan to expand their business.
If you are an entrepreneur, the possibility is you may have already encountered some of the 6 problems we have listed below.
Continue reading to discover the reasons behind each obstacle as well as tips and solutions that can help you operate your business successfully and profitably.
1. Deciding What Product/Service To Sell
Arguably, the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is questioning yourself and being sure of what kind of product or service to sell.
The question is of monumental importance since the answer you’ll give yourself will set up your business for either great success or failure. And, this is one of the six major challenges aspiring entrepreneurs face.
There are several factors that you need to consider as an entrepreneur, such as your target market, the market you wish to serve, your competitors, any potential competitive advantages that may exist, whether your target market can sustain the product, and many others.
How to decide what business to start?
There is only one way to overcome this problem in business: thorough research. A thorough business strategy that you can uphold against any prospective investor or partner is a requirement.
Your study should thoroughly outline your target market and offer practical strategies for how you can become lucrative, not just wishful projections based solely on hope.
You need to be brutally honest with yourself while doing self-assessment. If you feel you are not skilled enough or have too much on your plate to be able to devise a strong business strategy, then you may hire a research agency for the task.
A research agency with prior experience in the industry you’re thinking of diving into- e-commerce, service industry, publishing, etc.
Ask them to perform market research and produce a report summarizing prospective niches, supported by profit margins and a thorough SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).
Once they submit the report, you might consider the recommendations to see if you agree
Taking this step now can save you a lot of time, money and hassles later — not to mention your entire business and livelihood.
Similarly, you must also evaluate yourself to determine if you possess the necessary abilities and strengths to see the business concept through to the end
2. Time Management
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend”, Theophrastus, an Ancient Greek philosopher.
‘Why can’t there be 48 hours in a day?’ Let’s be honest, we all always want more time. Unfortunately, all of us share the same number of hours in a day.
Speaking of which, time management might be the biggest problem faced by entrepreneurs, who juggle many roles at one point.
You will need a lot more planning than you can imagine if you aim to build a fast-growth startup.
And that raises the question,
How to manage my time efficiently as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, you must make sure that your time is focused on the most crucial duties and must refrain from doing every task at hand. You can easily delegate tasks among your team members.
By reserving this time, you may concentrate on the more important concerns, such as how to steer your business in the right direction for better growth.
Some tips you can follow to manage your time effectively-
- Make a list of your goals: Your long-term goals should be broken down into annual, monthly, and weekly categories. Afterwards, strategically set daily tasks to achieve your weekly goals. By doing this, all that’s left to do is to continue working towards your life goals.
- Eliminate any tasks that do not support your objectives.
- Delegate any duties that do not require your immediate attention.
It’s a given that while trying to build a startup, you’ll be doing things you never expected to accomplish and wearing numerous hats.
However, don’t let that prevent you from living a full life as well. You’ll not get back lost time when it comes to relationships and family.
Keep in mind what is most crucial and utilize your time to the best of your ability.
3. Acquiring the right talent
If you’re an entrepreneur who wishes to grow you must hire smartly. You can’t do it all by yourself after a while.
While it might seem simple, finding the right team members can be challenging, especially in the early stages before your firm has its in-house human resources department.
The ability to recognize and evaluate the types of people you need, as well as how to integrate them into your company, is crucial to avoid them becoming “subservient cattle” who need constant guidance.
How to hire the best candidate as an entrepreneur? Be precise
In all normality, you will come across one too many job descriptions that are too vague regarding the skills and qualifications required of the applicant, their job role and responsibilities, and the schedule and the compensation as well.
Rather than losing your way in a maze of unqualified resumes, create a detailed job description that clearly outlines the ideal candidate, their compensation, and any quirks they will receive.
By using excellent targeting, you can approach your employee hunt in the same way you would approach your brand’s marketing campaign.
- Once you have a list of potential candidates, you can schedule a walk-in interview and have more personal and clear communication.
- Encourage them to be honest about their expectations and aspirations- Do they seek occasional time off? The wish for holistic growth? Better CTC? The freedom of creative management?
- An amicable approach will benefit both parties and will lay the groundwork for a rewarding, long-lasting employee-employer relationship.
4. Delegation of Tasks
“If you are trying to do everything all at the same time, all you’re doing really is setting yourself up for burnout,” Jess Van Den
Many successful business people and budding entrepreneurs face significant difficulties with delegating tasks.
They might advocate it but often forget to practice what they preach.
But by trying to act as an expert in every possible task, they simply create setbacks for their own business. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must avoid being one of them.
In other words, you would not be able to build a startup that would disrupt their industry as a result of your inability to delegate tasks to the experts at hand.
How to get the best results out of every task? Get reliable help
For starters, find qualified team members (see above) or freelancers’ for the task you want to complete.
Next, be clear about what you want to accomplish with the task. It will take a little longer at first, but be sure to provide all the specific instructions you want your helper to follow. Don’t assume the other person will be able to think by themselves immediately and rely on them blindly.
Therefore, instead of telling them to “write an advertising copy,” say instead, “write a fun-themed copy around a festival sales offer,” and so forth.
It might seem like overkill, but take the time to give specific input, and allow your team member to give the best possible output.
Remember, in most cases, your input will decide the output of the task. Also, let the expert use their creativity and do their thing instead of imposing your own will on them as a CEO.
As an entrepreneur. you may be tempted to do everything yourself, but this is not productive and can limit the growth of your company.
Maintain a balance between monitoring the business and letting others handle the details.
5. Marketing and Branding
“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand,” Howard Schultz, Billionaire, Former CEO of Starbucks
Having a groundbreaking product or service means nothing if people are unaware of its existence. That’s why the right marketing and branding are important.
When you decide on what product or service to sell, you must also assess if you are capable of making it reach the right people at the right place.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of placing ‘marketing and branding’ low on their list of priorities while building their company.
The result? Well, the flickering flame of your business smothers away before reaching its true potential.
How to do proper Marketing and Branding for your business as an entrepreneur?
Without beating around the bush, if you aren’t proficient at creating marketing and branding strategies, you may want to consider outsourcing your branding and marketing strategy to a reputed branding agency.
An effective marketing plan will create top-of-the-mind awareness amongst your target audience and motivate sales.
You need to define a budget and notify your marketing agency about the same.
Designing a marketing plan that effectively utilizes the budget to produce profits is what your chosen marketing agency needs to do.
Meanwhile, when it comes to branding your business, you may want to be involved in creative decisions. As ultimately your business should be branded amongst the general audience as you intend it to be.
Collaborate with the branding agency to create unique brand entities such as logos, taglines, slogans, etc. that will help people resonate with your brand on a personal level.
Remember not to waste any time on experimentation. You can do that later after you’ve established a foundation for your brand that works.
6. Raising Capital
As an entrepreneur, you will need decent money to start your business and an even greater sum when you decide on expanding it. Raising capital is one of the biggest problems you’ll face in your entrepreneurial journey.
It is especially important if you are starting on your own and do not have strong connections to wealthy angel investors.
Warning- A lack of funding can force your business to meet an abrupt end.
How do you overcome this problem and deal with it positively?
There are several ways to obtain funding, including conventional bank loans, Kickstarter campaigns, and self-sustaining growth models.
To attract investors, you must have an organized and detailed plan and also must work on creating a positive impression of yourself and your business.
Spend small- Instead of trying to establish a multimillion-dollar company overnight, focus on your early core clients.
While you should always try to attract new clients, you should also strive to keep wowing your existing clients. Eventually, word-of-mouth will help you find more clients.
Plan your next five years based on where you want to be. Would you be able to get there on your own, even if that meant temporarily stalling progress?
Lastly, should you require big financing, consult a lawyer to ensure that you are not sacrificing too much of your company.
Be organized- Being organized will help you sail steadily through the wildest tides in your entrepreneurial journey. Being aware of your plans and goals beforehand will empower you to adapt to unplanned circumstances.
Build trust- Network with as many people as possible – those who strive in your areas of interest – and build an amicable relationship with them. You never know when one of them might turn out to be your teammate, business partner, or investor.
Work smart- Remember, it’s better to work smart than to spend hours on something and bear no results. Delegate tasks to the experts and focus on what you can do to help your business grow.
Prioritize marketing & branding- In this era, more than ever, businesses are thriving on innovative ways to market and brand themselves and their products or services. If you believe you are not equipped enough to create buzz-worthy campaigns, don’t shy away from hiring a branding agency that excels at branding strategy, digital marketing, campaigning, etc.
Believe in yourself- Before everything else – your product, the funding, marketing, sales – you must believe you can see it all through to the end. Throughout your journey, you will receive a lot of criticism, but don’t let it break you. Instead, take what’s constructive and construct your dream business.