Entrepreneurship has its many rewards, but it inevitably includes numerous frustrations that business owners must quickly learn to manage and overcome. While the industry in which you find yourself can present unique challenges, entrepreneurs everywhere will always face similar roadblocks in their path to success.
Whether providing conference call services or medical imaging equipment or any other product or service, we are all in the same boat! Here are some of the major difficulties you can expect to face as a new entrepreneur and a few ideas on how to mitigate any negative impact.
Lack of Payment
As an entrepreneur, you do not want to waste time chasing your clients for payment. It can quickly become an administrative drain. More importantly, cash flow problems may occur and you can quickly find yourself in a difficult financial strain.
Try the following:
- Inform clients of the billing due dates and always be on time when sending them the invoices
- Give clients different options for ways of making payments
- Be proactive: if a client is progressively making payments at a later and later date, contact the client and see what you can offer them
Being an independent business owner will force you to make decisions in virtually every area of your company. While large corporations can afford to hire experts in their field to fulfill major positions, sole business owners do not have that luxury. This can mean being forced to take decisions without the benefit of personal business experience.
What to do:
- Make a list of your weaknesses and don’t be afraid to pay for the services of an expert. In can save you time and money in the long term while also getting the job done better.
- Manage your time religiously and always expand your skill sets. Having even cursory knowledge in many fields related to running a business can help better prepare you and lessen the likelihood of making bad decisions.
Getting Around the Competition
Another major hurdle for entrepreneurs is being able to compete against the industry leaders. How do you successfully gain a foothold in an industry where you are competing against adversaries with seemingly limitless advertising budgets, bottomless price quotes and endless corporate resources?
Get it done:
- Always go back to the example of Walmart: how did they do it? As an entrepreneur, you need to remember that you may not be able to beat the big players at their own game. That’s why you need to have a clear and identifiable competitive advantage. What do you do different or better than everyone else?
- Besides a clear competitive advantage, you also need to start thinking local. Even if you offer a similar product/service at a similar price, you can offer that service in a geographically-linked area, which makes your company a specialist in its field. You can also decide to focus on one aspect within your service industry and specialize in that.
- Another option is to do business differently. If the service offers no obvious competitive advantage, how about the way you deliver that service or the way you communicate it to prospective clients?
Lack of Resources
This is another big hurdle we all must face. With limited time and start-up capital/financing, how do we move forward with our business while ensuring that we have access to the resources we need for sustained growth?
Give it a Try:
- Work your network. Even before becoming an entrepreneur, you should have been busy compiling a list of contacts and suppliers. Now is the time to call up some favors and use your business network to help you access the resources you require.
- Develop a relationship with your local financing institution. Banks often have a plethora of resources available to you as an entrepreneur and can help you grow your business. If you have developed a relationship with a trusted adviser, they can become an important resource for you.
- Governments generally encourage entrepreneurship and for good economic reason! Examine all government resources available to you, both at the local and national level.
Entrepreneurs are a hard-working breed of people and entrepreneurship can be quite challenging. But with the right approach, most problems can be greatly mitigated while never being completely avoidable.
Business owners will undoubtedly continue to face critical challenges to their success; lessening any potential negative impact will go a long way towards ensuring that proper conditions exist for that success.