7 Challenges of first-time entrepreneurs

Therapy with an entrepreneur

Starting a business can be tough. Having the business idea is obviously a great start, but getting that idea off the ground, making it a success and maintaining that success is a real challenge. As an entrepreneur, you’ll come up against a whole host of hurdles – some that can be worked through relatively easily – but some that are especially difficult to overcome. If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, or you have a business idea that you’re keen on running with, you should be prepared for these challenges:

Financing

First and foremost it’s financing. How you finance your business is key to its success. Money is the be all and end all to any successful business, and it’s not always easy to build cash, encourage investment and keep the money flowing.

So as a starting-out entrepreneur, how do you stump up the cash? You should start out by researching into the best business loans on the market. But before you go feet-first into the nearest bank, you should make sure you have a well-thought-out business plan to present your case. Your plan should include:

  • What your business will do
  • The products and services it will provide
  • How customers will obtain your services
  • Product pricing information
  • Long-term and short-term objectives

When writing your plan, you should be clear, honest and realistic.

Decision making

In terms of stress, this could be the biggest challenge for an entrepreneur. As the head of the business, every decision you make is pivotal. No matter how big or small, decision fatigue can affect entrepreneurs, especially in the early stages. So establish the most important questions that need to be answered and prioritise those, and try not to deliberate too much over the minutia.

Marketing

Ok, so you know the basics of social media marketing, but that will only get you so far. Having a great business idea won’t guarantee its success. You’ll have to invest in long-term marketing for it to be a hit. Know your customers and tailor a marketing plan to directly engage your target market. As Bill Gates once said, ‘Content is King’, and he wasn’t wrong. Investing in a strategic content marketing company could be a great direction for your business to take.

Finding a merchant service

If your business relies on the efficiency of quick and easy payments by customers, establishing a good merchant service provider is key. This isn’t as easy as it sounds to sort. For example, if you’re a young entrepreneur or this is your first business venture, how can you convince a merchant provider that you aren’t high-risk? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several steps that you can take to help to get approved for a merchant business account:

  • Ensure you have good credit rating
  • Be transparent about your business, past finances and your previous merchant accounts
  • If possible, you should be willing to pay higher fees to accommodate your low credit rating or lack of successful business evidence
  • Shop around. This is the most beneficial and cost-free action you can take.

Securing a commercial mortgage

Renting your business property is perfectly normal if you haven’t the cash for a commercial loan. However, it won’t save you money in the long-run. Owning your business property has many benefits:

  • It brings stability
  • You mortgage repayments will be lower than your rental payment
  • Interest payments on commercial property is tax deductible
  • Control and flexibility over property alterations
  • An increase in value will increase your business capital.

And that’s not everything. In fact, when money is tight, a commercial mortgage can offer significant cash flow. It gives you great flexibility, allowing you to release equity from an existing building and pump it back into your business. Knowing the best commercial mortgage rates on the market can be vital to gaining as much capital as possible to support your business. So do your research.

Legalities

If you want to trade legally and stress-free, you should know the ins and outs of trading laws. When incorporating your business how do you want to structure it? Sole proprietorship? Partnership? Corporation? LLC? Knowing your options is vital to starting out on the right foot. It’s worth booking some time with a solicitor for legal advice if you’re unsure.

Next comes the licenses and permits to your type of business. For example, you will need to establish whether you’re permitted to trade in certain areas. A simple call to your local council should clear up that query.

Falling under the legality umbrella comes patents and trademarks. If your business is particularly unique, you should really think about patenting your idea to prevent a copycat company selling in your product at a cheaper price. Protecting your business is a must, and should be dealt with from the outset.

The unknown

Entrepreneurs can be rational, logical thinkers. This can be especially hard when dealing with the unknown. If you have a successful business or a great idea for a start-up, chances are, there’ll be some other bright-spark with the very same idea. Dealing with this unpredicted competition can be tough. To overcome this you’ll have to think outside the box and have an edge over your competitor. Investigate that competition, know your customers, step up your marketing, target new markets and don’t forget to look to the future.

As you can see, being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint-hearted. You have to be thick-skinned, constantly on the ball and prepared to take the rough with the smooth. But as an entrepreneur, you’ll know that challenges are there to be beaten, and nothing can match that rewarding feeling of success.

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