Jumping aboard the entrepreneur bandwagon is no easy task. Presented with a host of challenges, entrepreneurship is a time-consuming affair, and if done wrong, it can result in huge losses that can take years to overcome.
For a growing business or an experienced entrepreneur, the challenges can be different.
But for a newly launched entrepreneur, the challenge is to establish a new brand, stay ahead of the league, and make the business profitable in the long run. Thus, while launching a business, it is the essentials like- funding, capital, understanding the market strategies, etc., become of utmost importance.
Let’s have a look at the most common challenges faced by entrepreneurs globally, and the aptest solution for each, to help you operate an efficient and successful business.
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Apt solutions for the common challenges faced by entrepreneurs
1. Finances and Capital
No matter how top notch your business idea may be, if you are a new entrepreneur with no prior experience, you are going to experience a fair share of trouble gathering the required funds and capital. Any lender requires a collateral against their loan, and since you neither have an established business, or a guaranteed return, investing in your business idea will be considered as a humongous risk.
In such a scenario, the ideal solution is to approach banks that are operated by the government, as they have specific loan schemes designed for entrepreneurs. Although bank loans are an option, it is always advisable to have a self-fueled growth model, where you build your business gradually by focusing on your primary customers. Rather than launching a grand business and expecting it to grow returns overnight, take baby steps into business growth.
2. Cash Flow
Constant cash flow is what keeps any business running. But for a small business, cash flow is what keeps it surviving. A delay in the client’s payment of even a month could result in delay in the immediate infrastructural costs, employee salaries, mortgage, or pretty much any other expenses that needs to be incurred on a monthly basis. Delays in cash flow can occur due to various reasons. But the main reason stems from delayed invoicing. So, the primary solution is to ensure that all invoices are sent on time.
But in addition to that, it’s proper planning and budgeting that is essential. Not only should you be asking for a down payment each time you receive an order, but you must also have a clear deadline for your clients to clear the invoices.
Once you are clear on these two aspects, depending on the rapport you share with your vendor, you can fix your payments at a later time. In this way, even if your client delays in the payment, you still have time to clear your payments.
3. Hiring Employees and Delegating Tasks
The entire process of hiring can be daunting for a new time entrepreneur. Since a newly launched business has several core tasks to be adhered to in any given day, reviewing several resumes and conducting interviews not only becomes tedious, but can also be highly time consuming.
While posting requirements on online job sites is one possible solution, the other is to contact outsourcing agencies to do the needful. You can either hire remote staff or even opt for offshore employees; depending entirely on the budget of your project. You also have the option of conducting a walk-in interview, where a day is set aside to review the various candidates at one go.
Once the employee is hired, delegating tasks can be another challenge for a new entrepreneur. If one has a fairly good team of employees, this task becomes an easy affair. If not, outsourced agencies can be used in such cases as they will ensure that your requirements are met in a timely and efficient manner. As long as you are clear with your specific requirements, this is a cakewalk.
4. Understanding the Market and Competitors
As an entrepreneur, although you may have a fair understanding of the market trends, analyzing it thoroughly is essential if you wish to succeed. Key aspects such as being aware of the best possible ways to market your product or services, how to maximize your ROI, how to implement targeted marketing, the best medium to reach out to your targeted audience, etc. can and is challenging for an inexperienced businessman.
This is the reason why hiring a market expert is considered to be the ideal solution to understanding all your marketing needs. Several SMEs also outsource their marketing needs who not only prepare a marketing budget but also work out an efficient marketing plan. Remember, marketing research and strategies are not the platforms to experiment. Relying on an expert is your proven route to success here.
5. Time Management
When it comes to a regular job, time management can be easy as you’re only taking care of a few tasks. But when it comes to a business, you are taking care of every single task, right from the core tasks to the most meagre of affairs.
Thus, managing your time efficiently can be a huge challenge if you do not complete all your tasks in a limited time frame. Although time management isn’t a skill you can acquire overnight, here are a few tips to help you along the way.
- Divide your goals into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks. This will help you stay on track throughout.
- Be diligent when you are allocating your time. Understand the core tasks that require your immediate attention and work your way downwards. Working on a priority basis will solve all your immediate business needs.
- The tasks that do not require your personal attention need to be allocated to either your in-house staff or your outsourced employees. As your business grows, the essential tasks will increase as well, and you will be thankful you utilized your time efficiently and allocated the non-essentials to your team.
6. Self-doubt and Stress
You may have launched your business with an ample amount of confidence. But as you proceed further, there may come a phase where you lack confidence and wish to quit. And these minor pitfalls that shook your confidence can eventually lead to huge self-doubt, making you question if starting a business was in fact the best decision you took in life. This is a phase that every entrepreneur has faced in his life at one time or another.
But the fact that they were able to overcome this self-doubt is what led them to become successful businessmen. While having the right amount of support from your family and friends is essential, the most important aspect is for you to take a look at your goal list.
Picture the ultimate goal that started off in the first place, and work your way towards each goal, one step at a time. Stress and self-doubt is not only an essential trait for every entrepreneur, but this is the one aspect that will also help you draft a realistic plan and help you learn from your mistakes as your business grows.
To conclude, the decision to become an entrepreneur is not an easy one. And the fact that you decided to follow your dreams, sets you aside from the vast majority who are too fearful to take the first step. But remember, there is a thin line between confidence and over-confidence.
While most entrepreneurs tend to leave their regular jobs and jump into entrepreneurship head-on, it is always advisable that you have a steady income to fall back to until the time your business takes off successfully. Since money is necessary for survival in today’s world, and since a business cannot achieve overnight success, nurture your business to success as opposed to letting your need for money drive it to failure!
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