Starting a business is not easy. As an entrepreneur, there are several things you need to consider to become successful in the trade. Your concept needs to be unique in order to stand out amongst competitors, financial resources should be liquid and highly available, you need to dedicate sufficient time in order to manage everything, and marketing strategies should be well implemented to favor growth.
Just because you have a wonderful idea doesn’t mean you can effortlessly turn it into a profitable business. Keep in mind that the market is so tough that success doesn’t come as easy as counting 1-2-3. Along the way, you will encounter obstacles and challenges that if not addressed properly, could lead to permanent closure of your startup business. Luckily, there are proactive measures you can take to tackle these difficulties.
Below are some of the most common solutions to the challenges facing entrepreneurs. Followed correctly, these will lead to a growing business that is stable and highly lucrative.
Manage your time
One of the biggest problems facing most entrepreneurs is the lack of time to accomplish things, and not just simple things but a whole lot of responsibilities. Being the owner, most are busy supervising people or taking over responsibilities like manning the store and preparing invoices. It is a common scenario to see owners running here and there since they have mountains of loads of tasks to deal with.
While you tend to wear many hats at work, you know for a fact that time is of great essence and you can’t accomplish all things in just one sitting. Managing time isn’t easy, but seeing time like money and spending it wisely will do wonders. You have to be smart on how much time to devote, and where to dedicate it. To manage time efficiently, you should:
- Create a goal list and break it down into long term and short term objectives.
- Disregard tasks that prevent you from achieving your main objectives.
- Delegate responsibilities that can be completed by someone else.
Raise capital and track financial activities
Not every business owner has the means and resources to financially support a business. While there are industries that don’t require too much capital, you’ll definitely need some monetary funds to innovate and grow your business. If applying for a bank loan seems to be too complicated and stringent, you can always resort to alternative funding options such as Guidant Financial that help small businesses start right away.
It is also important to keep track of your financial activities to determine where your money goes. Having a great cash flow management system in place will help recognize the cash inflow and outflow of your business. Remember that you need to have a sufficient amount of cash to maintain operations until you start yielding profits. Follow these tips for well-planned financial management:
- Use accounting tools to track your expenditures and incoming payments.
- For products and services in terms, always require down payments to cover expenses.
- Improve billing, send out invoices as soon as possible to expedite payments.
Choose your marketing strategy
Another challenge that entrepreneurs face is not finding the right target market. Not everyone will like your products and services, and defining your customer base is essential for the success of your business. Once you have established the right market, you need to build a long lasting relationship with your clients – through effective marketing strategies.
Even if you have the best services in town, or the newest product the market, without proper marketing strategies, no one will know about your business. Your goal is to maximize and exhaust all possible channels to advertise your company. Though, careful research and planning is needed to ensure deliberate outcomes. Discover who your business endeavors are, find out consumer demands, and make your business stand out. For your marketing strategies to be effective:
- Create marketing plans that are feasible, flexible, and attainable.
- Consider marketing as a constant duty, as needs and demands are ever changing.
- Outsource your marketing if you can’t properly execute this segment.
Overcome the unstable environment
Not everyone is born to be an entrepreneur. Most stick to their 9-5 jobs due to regular salary, employee benefits, annual vacation, unemployment insurance, and paid leaves. However, being in the world of entrepreneurship allows you to make more money as opposed to working in the office. You might not have all of the above-mentioned benefits but through your small business, you have a higher chance of earning more than the usual.
But in every advantage comes a disadvantage, being an entrepreneur doesn’t guarantee success and outpour of money. Due to the constantly changing economy, business income is always fluctuating. Some are good days but there are moments of breakeven and dead season. To overcome the unstable market environment, always:
- Keep a liquid cash flow for emergency purposes and sudden expenses.
- Avoid spending too much especially during the first months of opening.
- Formalize your business to establish a trustworthy image with your customers.
Remember to disconnect
Last on these solutions to the challenges facing entrepreneurs is to disconnect whenever you feel burnout. Most, if not all, entrepreneurs are passionate about their business, especially if they love what they are doing. Unfortunately, too much love and dedication can also lead to downfall. If you stay focused and plugged in 100% of the time, you run the risk of being consumed and exhausted.
Take a break and go on a vacation, treat yourself with something that will halt your daily routine. It doesn’t need to be far and expensive, as long as you are checking out completely from work and having a good time, it will serve its purpose. To ensure long-term business success, don’t let your own passion become your worst enemy. Here are some tips to help you disconnect from work:
- Plan your vacations ahead of time and keep everything in order before you leave.
- Follow the 80/20 rule when you’re out of office; 80% for vacation and 20% for work.
- Use cloud-based apps to monitor reports and progress while your away.