Going into business for yourself offers a lot to be excited about. It also presents a lot of anxiety. There are numerous challenges faced by new entrepreneurs. Typically, the new business owner excels at one or a few aspects of a trade; for example, marketing, prospecting, and sales fit a people-person well. However, the extrovert who enjoys the thrill of the chase may lack the skills to effectively manage finance and operations. In some cases, the inability to manage the more mundane tasks leads to failure. Before assuming the risks of ownership, consider the following obstacles faced by almost every individual who decides to go it alone.
The first doubt that comes to mind for many people who start a company revolves around money. There is concern as to whether there is enough cash to get started and if there will be enough to continue. It is a legitimate worry. One of the main reasons for failure is poor financial management. In 2013, Canada witnessed a net decrease of 4,810 small- and medium-sized enterprises, with 3,187 companies filing for bankruptcy in that timeframe.
You have a great idea, but that alone won’t line the coffers with cash. A crucial element of success involves developing a comprehensive business plan and sticking to it. While you are the person at the helm, you don’t need to do it all by yourself. Enlist the help of a business consultant. These professionals can design a plan to pull all the pieces of your business together, especially the areas in which you lack expertise.
You’re used to a 40-hour work week and the ability to spend a good amount of time with friends and family on the weekends. When you start a business, that will likely change. The first year in business occupies a lot of what was once free time. While you may establish hours of operation, expect those hours to be extended by unforeseen circumstances. Computer systems go down and customer meetings last longer than expected. Make the most of your leisure time. Initially, you won’t have as much freedom as you once did.
Bringing employees into the fold is a big risk. Not only do their wages eat up a good chunk of your budget, there is also a good chance they won’t perform as you hope. Implement a thorough interview process, and contact references, and conduct background checks. If money is a concern, consider hiring an unpaid intern. There is little financial risk, and you can use local colleges for candidate recommendations.
Dedicated servers and information technology professionals are expensive options for a new business. Doing it yourself proves to be more affordable, but mastering software applications can be difficult. Don’t panic. Most basic functions can be learned on the fly, allowing you to allocate more time to creating marketing and sales plans. Most of all, know that your fears are valid but not unconquerable.