Should you run your own business, you probably don’t need us to tell you about some of the struggles that face startup owners. From a lack of finances to dealing with the larger competition, the road to success is not an easy one.
However, despite the obstacles in the way, there are ways to overcome them. In this article, we will list some of the common startup struggles, with a few handy tips to help you should you relate to them.
Startup Struggle #1: Money (Or The Lack Of It)
Coming up with a business idea is one thing. Having the financial clout to make it work is another! Money is needed as capital to get a business started, and money is needed to keep the business going. As any startup owner will tell you, sales can be slow at the beginning, so there may be a serious cash flow problem within the business. This is one of the reasons why many startup owners don’t make it past their first year in business.
Tip 1: Before starting your business, it is important to find ways to finance it. From approaching potential investors to securing a business loan, there are some ideas here which may be useful to you. You might also want to commit to paid employment when starting your business, even if it’s only on a part-time basis, as this will give you extra income before and after the start of your business. Australian readers may also be interested in these startup grants, but no matter your locale, your local government may be able to offer you the same.
Tip 2: Especially in the early days of your business, it is important to save money where you can. Resist the urge to splurge on fancy new equipment, and opt for quality second-hand or refurbished alternatives instead. You can market your business cheaply, which is useful for both getting the word out (which is vital if you want to see profits), and for cutting costs. And across your business, find ways to save money where you can, committing to research online for ideas for every aspect of your business.
Startup Struggle #2: Time-Management
If only there were more hours in the day! Sadly, there aren’t, and this can be an inconvenience if you are working on your own. There is much to do, from marketing your business to answering the phone, and with only one pair of hands, and with only so much time to complete the various tasks ahead of you each day, you are probably going to struggle. However, there are ways around this.
Tip 1: Prioritise what you do each day. There will be some tasks that need to be urgently completed, and others that can be left until the following day. Using a task-management app, you can easily schedule your day, prioritizing and categorizing the jobs you have to accomplish.
Tip 2: If you don’t have the funds to employ others onto your team, be that part-time or full-time, consider spending money on outsourcing. From accounting to marketing, there are firms out there equipped to help you as and when you need them. Consider freelancers too. Using sites such as Ozlance, you will be able to find specific people for any of your job requirements. Then, when profits do start coming in, consider hiring extra staff onto your team, even it’s on a part-time or temporary basis.
Startup Struggle #3: The competition
(image: public domain pictures)
At the beginning of your startup journey, you might feel like a little fish in a big pond. Your the minnow, and your more-established competitors are the piranhas and sharks threatening to eat their way into your potential customer pool. Just how are you supposed to fight back and make a name for yourself?
Tip 1: Work on creating a professional image for your company. You can start this with your website, perhaps paying for it to be professionally designed to give your business added credibility. And while there will be a further expense, you might also want to pay for a virtual address (especially if you are working from home), and a custom email address, using the services of Google’s G Suite, as an example. In each case, clients and customers will then have a better opinion of your company, and may be more inclined to consider you.
Tip 2: Research your competition. What is their pricing structure? Who are their customers? What do they offer that you currently don’t? If you can outrival them in any way, you can secure your chances in the marketplace. So, you might want to commit to green practices, for example, as this will give you an advantage over those who don’t. You could offer better shipping policies. And quite simply, you should commit to delivering a better product or service overall, as this will ensure success in the long-term.
Whoever said going into business is easy was probably lying! There are struggles ahead, but with drive and determination (and adherence to our suggestions in this article), you should be able to overcome them. Let us know your thoughts, and if you have further ideas for our readers, be sure to let us know.