00 million of the world’s population are currently working as entrepreneurs - that’s 1 in 18 people owning their own business. Clearly there’s something highly rewarding in this startup career path.
But, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted! Launching a new business can be the rollercoaster ride of your life, with entrepreneurs working 16-hour days, 7 days a week to get their idea positively to market.
We break down some of the key challenges facing the budding entrepreneur:
You’ve got your great idea, now what? Getting things moving in the early stages can often be the hardest and it can boil down to a number of different reasons why.
Founders may already be committed to another project or employed within another job. Leaving that to start a new may feel like you’re abandoning a career or giving up on something else, and, without the assurance of guaranteed success on the new path, making the switch will always be difficult.
To start a new venture takes courage, strength, belief and guts. And entrepreneurs are uniquely geared up to evaluate the right timing and take the leap of faith to move from one path and carve out another. Support from those around you is always helpful in these crucial early stages, to alleviate any concerns or doubt.
Entrepreneurs may have sold another business, or have investments or revenue sources from elsewhere to fund the new venture, but there are still challenges with financing a startup regardless of your situation.
Making contacts and building up a network is helpful, in order to find people who can help with fundraising at various stages of your journey. It can be challenging to bring on new investors or venture capitalists later on into your venture and takes time to build that level of trust and a strong relationship. Therefore, any groundwork that can be laid out in the early stages, as you launch your startup, can be significant later on.
In the meantime, entrepreneurs have to practise the art of good finance management while building their business. Founders often struggle with expenses and deciding what is beneficial for the business versus what is just frivolous and unnecessary. Being able to take care of bills and make smart financial decisions is critical, as every penny counts in these fragile early beginnings, and particularly before your new business begins to make a profit.
Building a team
Whether you have brought on a team from another venture, or you’re starting from scratch, it’s vital to have the right people in place to support you from the very start.
Labour costs money, lots of it too, so a new founder will have to decide what personnel are important to have and build a list of necessary hires accordingly. They will look at skillset and personality – both are important to ensuring a good fit and a successful working relationship.
To reduce costs, entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to facilitating remote working, but this leads to a whole new area of challenges. Making sure you have employees that are not only enthusiastic, skilled and share your vision, but are committed and trustworthy enough to motivate themselves and work hard even when out of an office setting and not able to be monitored by managers.
Loyal workers, dedicated to their founder and his/her objectives, are worth their weight in gold, so an entrepreneur will also be mindful of overall job satisfaction and taking steps to retain their passionate employees.
The idea’s created, the money’s available, and the team is ready – but how to go about selling your business in the most effective way is a real challenge.
With social media playing such a vital role in the way a business markets itself, it’s important to have a right strategy to get your business online. Entrepreneurs can often be brilliant in the invention and creation of a business idea but lack the skills to manage a successful social media campaign, and many founders miss out on reaching a wider audience because of it. Hiring an expert or outsourcing for extra assistance can get your startup onto a larger stage, visible to an ever-expanding global network.
Even with a strong marketing campaign, in whatever unique form that takes, an entrepreneur will need to keep their ideas refreshed and come up with creative new plans to ensure their business is positioned in the most effective way.
The road to launching a startup business is a highly emotional one, which is why entrepreneurs carry a distinct set of personality traits.
Dedication is paramount. They will be working round the clock, coming up with new ideas, responding to market changes, customer feedback, competitors and general barriers to entry. Without any kind of job stability and facing a whole lot of unknowns, it’s tough working in these conditions. Entrepreneurs can suffer fatigue, loneliness and mental exhaustion from the pressure of making decisions, enforcing rules and dealing with the indefinite.
A successful entrepreneur however will revel in this pressure cooker. They will work hard to keep themselves calm, collected and positive. They will remain the visionary leader and keep enthusiasm levels within the team at a high at all times.
An entrepreneur who displays the personal drive, passion and spirit, all whilst handling all the individual operational components of their new venture, can herald success and launch profitable startup businesses to market. Why not?