Starting a new business is not an easy choice. In your brightest moments, your business idea may seem like a surefire road to success, while the failure rate statistic can easily get all your hopes down.
The truth is, entrepreneurship can be rewarding, but these rewards come only to those who learn how to face the challenges and overcome them.
Here are the six most common hurdles to starting your own business, and the ways to successfully prepare and jump over them.
1. Finding the Right Funding Option
Funding finances for the startup of your own business is one of the first challenges you’re going to face when starting your own entrepreneurial journey.
Especially if you’re a novice in this matter, you can be quite surprised by the number of financing options you have (or don’t have) at your disposal.
Crowdfunding, venture capital, angel investors, different types of loans – this all can seem too confusing for someone who is just entering the world of entrepreneurship.
However, data shows that 63% of the new small business owners use their personal funds to start their businesses, while 27,6% use income from another job. The rest usually comes from friends and family, as 78% of new entrepreneurs don’t even try to seek outside financing.
After you’ve created a detailed financial plan, study your funding options thoroughly. Each of the options has its own advantages and disadvantages, and before you’ve made your decision, do your best to make it a well-informed one.
Sometimes you feel like the weight of the whole world is on your shoulders when faced with the decisions you need to make.
As an entrepreneur, you will be making hundreds of decisions daily, both the minor and the major ones.
This is soon to become the most stressful part of your journey, and the only way you can fight it is by learning how to advance your decision-making skills, prioritize your decisions and narrow down your options.
When it comes to decisions that don’t carry a lot of weight for the future of your business, you can simplify your options to ensure making a choice does not take too much of your time. You won’t lose anything if you go for a suitable option that covers your essential needs.
When you have a tough decision to make that can have serious and long-term effects on your business, give yourself more time to gather all the necessary information. It’s advisable to set yourself a timeframe nonetheless so that you don’t fall into analysis paralysis, which can be harmful to your business.
When it comes to making big decisions, one of the first that you’ll have to think about is separating your personal and business finances. Not only is it essential for keeping track of your incomes and outcomes properly, as it would be difficult if not impossible to untangle things later on, but also in order to protect your personal assets in case something goes wrong with the company.
Another thing that you need to take care of is your business address – if you don’t have a permanent office space and don’t want to list your home address for privacy reasons, you can sort it out by opting for a virtual address service.
3. Managing Your Time
It will probably take a while for you to realize that money is not the most valuable resource for starting and succeeding with your business.
It’s actually your time.
With the intention of saving their money for more important things, new business owners tend to take on too many responsibilities instead of hiring professionals.
More often than not, they do their own bookkeeping, file their own taxes, do HR, payroll and marketing, etc. These tasks consume a great deal of their time, which they could otherwise spend dealing with more creative and high-value matters and generating profit.
Apart from the obvious loss of their precious time, new entrepreneurs sometimes fail to recognize what tasks they need to delegate to experts, in order to avoid the possible negative consequences.
Outsourcing your accounting is a great way to free up your time and save your energy for your core activities while avoiding all the potential legal and financial complications that may result in penalties and fines.
Marketing is crucial for the success of your future business too, so unless you’re an expert in this area, consider leaving it to a professional agency.
4. Hiring the Right Staff
For the success of your business, you need a dedicated team, fully committed to achieving your business goals.
Every part of this equation will be complex and challenging when you’re starting your business for the very first time. It’s not just about finding the right employees, who will fit the role with the winning combination of their knowledge, experience, professional and interpersonal skills.
It’s also about determining when the time is right – the moment when the benefits that new team members bring to your business outgrow the costs of hiring them.
Keeping your staff satisfied and engaged with their work, so that they are productive and efficient at the workplace, is a whole new set of challenges you will need to learn to overcome.
5. Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
Starting your own business is often just like taking a leap out of your comfort zone. Unless you’re fresh out of college, it probably means that at a certain moment in the near future, you’ll need to abandon your current career, the one that secures a long-term steady income and trade it for an unpredictable future.
Most often, such a move gives rise to the fear of failure, which can take many forms – you might be afraid that you’ll run out of money, make wrong decisions or lose your clients. Sometimes, this fear may be strong enough to paralyze you and turn you into your own greatest adversary.
Accept that the fear of failure will always be there as a reminder of hard choices you have to make during the entrepreneurial journey. Learn how to make the best use of it, by minimizing all the risks you can think of.
6. Finding the Right Support
You may not realize now but you will soon, that being an entrepreneur can get lonely. Your business may have many employees, and you may function as a team, but you will be the one making all the tough decisions, and carrying the responsibility of every choice.
Your newly found business will also influence your work-life balance, so you’ll be spending less time with your family and friends.
When it gets tough, you’ll need support to get through the hard times easier.
From the early days of running your business, dedicate your time and your efforts to making connections and meaningful relationships in the entrepreneurial space.
The support of the ones that have experienced similar challenges is an invaluable resource for resolving them.