8 Hurdles Entrepreneurs Commonly Face
Knowing that the overwhelming majority of new businesses fail within the first few years, there are still hundreds if not thousands of individuals in the United States willing to take that leap every day. There are many hurdles that almost all small business owners encounter at one time or another.
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1. Financing a new business:
Besides coming up with the ideas and plans for a small business, the entrepreneur is faced with a very common hurdle. How do you go about financing your new enterprise?
Investors: If you are open to sharing your company and if you can handle the pressure then investors might be a great way to go. If so make sure you have a presentation ready to go with actual samples of your product or demonstration of your service.
Loans: There are all kinds of small business loans both public and private, with or without collateral.
Alternatives: Today there are new sources of funding such as online crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Microventures, and GoFundMe.
2. Cash flow: Once you have your initial financing you have to make sure that you have ongoing adequate cash flow, especially in times when the economy or market might not be so good. Cash flow is a product of many things including but not limited to how you budget and account for spending, how well your products or services sell, what your overhead is and the quality of you and your staff decision making.
3. Competition: Who is your competition and what is the quality of their product or service as well as the quality of their staff? Knowing this information is vital to the success and survival of your business. Make sure there is enough differentiation between you and your competitors and that you know what that difference is and can sell it.
4. Hiring and Training: If you are going to hire staff you will also need to train them. If hiring and training are your skills, great. However if these are not your forte, don’t attempt to do it. No one can do everything themselves and no one has all the skills needed to run a growing business. Your gift as an entrepreneur will be to know when to let someone else do what you are not so good at.
5. The right business model: There are a variety of business models out there but there might only be one that suits you. It is a question of understanding yourself, what you are capable of and what model is best suited for your business field. Paying attention to the market will also teach you which business models are successful today.
6. Covering all business functions: Running your own business means having employees, dealing with laws and regulations, marketing, insurance, advertising, communications, taxes, risk management, sales and much more. Once again you cannot possibly have the skill to cover everything you need. You can either hire help or find alternatives in your community. Retired Senior Executives for instance offer consulting services to young entrepreneurs free of charge in many places.
7. Technology: Every entrepreneur will have to decide how much technology is needed. If all of your competition is using electronic payments and you only accept cash or checks, you will lose out on a lot of potential business. You can’t spend hours balancing the books when accounting is not your forte and you could be out selling your product or services.
8. Correct product or service: Sell the right thing – not what you want but what the market wants. Success is dictated by the market and how well you can position your product or service within the market. Do your homework once again.
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