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What are the biggest challenges to starting a business?

Almost every entrepreneur out there at some point has to confront some of these challenges, especially at the start of their business. Those who do manage and to maintain focus and push through will reap the largest rewards. it will always take longer than you think and it’s always going to cost more so when you do the budget you do the timelines, add a factor to it and just know that it will cost a little bit more and take a little bit longer than you expected.  

One of the most important things for entrepreneurs, especially for younger ones who are doing this for the first time or early in their career, is to find a mentor and be among people who are willing to coach you and share from a position of experience to help you not to make the same mistakes. There are a lot of ways to find a mentor. It is really important to have discussion and formally establish that mentor relationship. You can find a mentor in successful companies in your community so reading the local blogs, local newspapers, business papers and finding people that have done it before and are willing to guide you.

If you as the entrepreneur can anticipate what you are guaranteed to face in the world of business, you have an edge

  • Self-doubt 

Most businesses fail because people don’t start them with full confidence. The self-doubt makes you think that you can’t achieve more but history shows that people can overcome their fears and doubts by determination and hard work. “You don’t have to see the end of the road to get in your car and start driving” as long as you know where you are headed, you can go through life one quarter mile at a time. 

You are working more hours than ever before and the future is still kind of blurry. Your self-doubt starts kicking in and you don’t know if you are going to make it. 

  • Sacrificing your salary/ security 

Once you get started on this road you will notice pretty quickly that it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. 

You have got to learn the 9-5 by sacrificing your salary. That is a challenge as when you go from having a salary that’s coming in, it’s warm, it’s fuzzy, you have got all the benefits like health insurance but once you decide to start a business you have to sacrifice all these comforts. 

Almost everything you make will go back into the business. Safety nets slowly fade away and the security of next month is long gone. 

  • Lack of resources 

It is easy to look at the established players and see how much equipment, resources and staff they have but they didn’t start everything like it is. Do not compare your level one to someone else’s level 60. In the beginning you may lack resources but if you have enthusiasm to test, learn and experiment, your lack of resources forces you to be creative and that is your competitive advantage

  • Shortage of capital and cash flow or capital management 

The way you manage your capital will allow you to stay in business long enough to make it as a business owner. It doesn’t matter if you are a real estate agent or running some sort of company you will need to know how to manage your capital yourself to stretch it out as long as possible. 

  • Maintaining a positive mental attitude

It is very important to maintain a positive mental attitude through the experience you will find as an entrepreneur that the highs are the highest and the lows are the lowest, it’s really important to kind of live in that middle ground. As an entrepreneur never believe your press clippings because you are never as good as they say and never as bad. So it is really important to live in the middle because you are going to experience extremes.

  • Processing issues 

You will have to process many unknown issues that you have never experienced before and you are in shock that how come nobody told me about this stuff before. That is going to happen and you have to deal with it so if you don’t know how to solve for x, these situations you are going to go in, you are going to have a hard time with it. But you need to anticipate there will be many issues, unknown issues that you need to solve that no one else is going to prepare you for. 

  • Lack of real support from those around you 

Everybody around will encourage you to pursue your dreams because that’s the nice thing to say to someone who has just started a business but they are all monitoring your evolution and many of them are waiting for you to crash. Your family love is irrational and your real friends support you but they have their own journeys to figure out. You are in this by yourself and in crises you are the one who has to figure out how to move forward. Everyone wants to be there when you celebrate but they will also show sympathy for your hardships and failures. 

Mostly in hard times you have no one to call, no parents, no friends because you decided to become an entrepreneur, they didn’t force or suggest you to risk everything and start a business. So you are alone in this process, there will be many lonely nights and lonely decision making processes. 

If you want to support someone who is just starting a business don’t ask for a discount or a free service, instead pay full price to encourage that person. 

  • Vision 

Casting a vision where you want to be a part of in one year, two years, five years or ten years down the line and my own goals and desires can become a reality based on the effort I want to put in. it makes it easy or motivates you to move closer and closer to your goals. And if you can’t cast the vision, you are going to lose the best type of talent. 

  • Ability to multitask 

New entrepreneurs are under the impression that you will be in your workplace overseeing everything that might become a reality later down the road but in the early days you will be doing everything. You are the sales agent, you are the manufacturer, and you are the distributor, the support, the manager and the in charge of keeping it all together. At this point most people just give up because they lack the ability to segment, create processes and delegate work. It might sound complicated but every business needs to do it. Being a one person show just is not sustainable in the long run 

  • Industry changes 

Your entire livelihood could be threatened by the change in the algorithm or by new laws or regulations. This happens all the time in fast moving industries. You have to be prepared for the worst but be ready to play the cards you will be dealt.

This is probably the most intimidating part of the journey, these people almost speak a different language from everyone else. Rest assured that every entrepreneur goes through this. Every fresh entrepreneur gets confused in the beginning but as with everything you start to get a better understanding of a process as time goes by. 

  • Hiring good employees/ Team building 

While starting a business it is very important to bring solid talent, operations, systems, sales, technology, compliance and you can do all this by team building. You will face this challenge when you realize you can’t do it at all and it comes down to how well you build a team. 

  • Technical know how 

In the start of every business setup you have no idea from where to start, you learn through trial and error but fortunately the internet is filled with tutorials and walkthroughs helping you to navigate this terrain with ease. It’s like a giant community of people holding each other’s hands as you try new things. Technical knowhow may be intimidating at first but with time and practice you will learn how to use the tools at your disposal. On top of that it’s never been easier or cheaper to start from scratch and build something. Most of the tools available now are exponentially easier to use than ever before. People start multimillion dollar businesses from their homes and they do this by leveraging the tools billion dollar companies put at your disposal. 

  • Having a good business plan 
  • Coming up with the great product or service 
  • Sticking to it 
  • Working more than you expected
  • Getting through the frustrations of being constantly rejected by customers 
  • Knowing when to fire bad employees
  • Having to wear so many hats 
  • Managing your time
  • Maintaining some kind of work/life balance 
  • Keep up to date with clients and trends 

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