Financing is probably one of the biggest challenges every startup faces but other equally significant issues could hinder your growth and gradually kill you new business.
One of he biggest advantages for startups is the ability to adopt and change as quickly as possible when things are not going as planned. But startup founders and the entire team can sometimes lose their hunger, commitment and urgency to make it work.
If you are loosing the dynamism, hunger and the urgent working environment, take time to access your current strategies and fix what could be going wrong with your business.
Failure is real and greater percentage of new businesses fail in the first year, but with the right strategies, others make it past the first year. These are other hindrances that can slow your progress and kill your entire business.
1. Launch stage: Finding customers BEFORE you start your company.
Finding new customers who can trust and sign on to a new product or service is a difficult process to overcome. Most prospective customers have too many stable options to even consider your less than a year old product.
The good news is that if you are solving a real problem, your chances of landing a few first clients are high. Even after launch it could still take several months before you can land your very first customer, hence access your prospects before commit fully into your business.
2. Transforming into a stable company.
Your first 12 months in business is probably the biggest test of your ability to start a business that could eventually become a stable company. Evolving from being a doer to a leader of employees and then eventually to a manager of managers takes time and proper planning.
3. Focusing on the FIRST reason you started the business
Having the discipline to maintain a narrow strategic focus has always been a challenge for growing startups. You started your business to solve a problem you have identified in the industry, loosing that focus could spell doom for your business.
Don’t try to solve all the problems in a single product. Be the best at solving one problem and you will be noted for that. Manage your customers expectations. Customers always want more, but it’s your duty to manage that and let them know why they signed onto your product in the first place.
4. Building a team that can work well together
Your first few employees can make or break your business. You are either running towards the big picture or you are on the wrong path as a team. Your top priority is to get the right people right from the beginning.
5. Running out of funds
Are you managing cash flow effectively! If you are fortunate to have some funds to keep your going, do your possible best to manage that fund to keep you in business as long as possible. Don’t spend if you don’t have to. Make the most of free resources available because the day you run out of cash is possibly the beginning of your end.
6. Founder conflicts on roles and tasks
If there are two or more co-founders, you are likely to run into role conflicts. Most founders start off by wearing multiple hats to get work done efficiently. There is nothing wrong that if you have a way to manage roles. As you grow your tasks should begin to be clear for each founder.
You don’t want to spend time discussing who should do what when you should be doing the actual work that will get you ahead of your competition.
7. Sticking to Product schedule
Forget the business plan, nothing works as scheduled in a startup. Requirements will change in the middle of a product cycle. Milestones will not cleared in a very long time.
There will be delays in milestones delivery. Make a practical schedule you can actually complete and focus on getting tasks done in any productive day.
8. Finding enough customers willing to pay for a service/product
When you are a startup, you will probably work twice as much to close a deal, convince a prospective customer, sell your product to customers. You can have the best idea in the world, but until you find someone besides yourself that wants it, it’s not really a business.
Some people deceive themselves and think they are running a business, until no one is signing on to use their products or services. Solve a real problem people have and you will not struggle to attract users.
What are some of the biggest challenges your new business is facing today?