Thanks to the digital age, there has never been a greater time to become an entrepreneur. Technology has made starting your own business extremely accessible, while social media beckons a global audience. Being an entrepreneur can often be portrayed as the dream job, however, more often than not, it is an all-consuming, overwhelming journey. Here are five challenges that every entrepreneur will face – and how to overcome them.
1 A lack of direction
Once you make the leap into the wonderful world of small business, you can quickly lose sight of your end goal. Bills start piling up and your to-do list is seemingly endless, leaving you feeling fearful about your decision. With so much to do and so little time in the day, most entrepreneurs can feel a lack of direction at some point. It’s important to always go back to your initial idea and original mission. Write it down and refer back to it when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Let it become your daily mantra.
2 Losing control of your finances
Being a small business owner is completely different to being an employee. One minute you have your employer looking after your pay, your tax and your super, the next, it’s all on you. Not only do you need to worry about finding capital as an entrepreneur, but if you hire staff, you’ll need to know your obligations as an employer. Get on top of your finances from the start by organising cloud accounting software and tracking your ingoing and outgoing expenses immediately. Also, read up about your tax obligations as an employer and don’t forget about super – yours or your employees.
3 Finding the time to network
One complaint often felt by entrepreneurs is a sense of loneliness. In the beginning, most entrepreneurs are flying solo and can feel isolated, not just in the day-to-day running of the business but also in vision and direction. It’s really important to find people who can come alongside you and help you on your journey. Networking is a great way to find like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors who can encourage you and offer valuable business advice. While it can be hard to find the time to network, it’s important to prioritise this aspect of your business.
4 Getting customers in the door
Once you’ve created your product or finalised your service and are ready to hit the market, the challenge will be finding the right customers. This is why it is so important that entrepreneurs have a well defined target market and a detailed launch plan. Once you know exactly who you are trying to reach, you can then figure out the best way to reach them. Take the time to work on a marketing and brand campaign. You’ll need to work hard to find the right customers – but the payoff will be worth it.
5 Staying motivated
There’s no doubt that starting your own business can be quite a rollercoaster ride. While there’s little wins along the way, there’s also a whole lot of hard work. When business gets tough or you’re simply tired, it can be hard to stay motivated. Self doubt creeps in and you start to wonder if it’s all worth it. Take a break, remember why you started and pick yourself back up again. If you’re seriously struggling with motivation, lock in time with your mentor or fellow entrepreneurs – don’t go it alone.