Starting a new business is an exciting and challenging journey, and let me tell you, it's not for the faint of heart. As a startup founder, you'll come across a number of obstacles that you'll need to overcome in order to be successful, and if you're not careful, you might just find yourself on the brink of insanity. But fear not, for I am here to guide you through the trials and tribulations of the startup world from the basics.
Here are the main obstacles to starting a new business you may come across:
Lack of funding: One of the biggest challenges that startup founders face is securing funding to get their business off the ground. According to a study by the National Small Business Association, 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems. Some available solutions for funding are: seeking out investors, applying for grants, or even crowdfunding.
Finding the right team: Building a team of skilled and motivated individuals is essential to the success of any startup. But let's face it, finding the right people can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. That said, it is no secret that one of the top reasons for small business failure is the inability to manage and develop a team. To overcome this challenge, try networking, using online platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Upwork to find the right people, and offering equity in the company as an incentive.
Competition: With millions of viable and market worthy startups being launched every year, competition can be quite fierce (think surviving in a jungle full of hungry lions). To
overcome this challenge, focus on creating a unique value proposition and finding ways to stand out in your market. What you are selling, how you are selling it, the people you are selling too etc., should be niched and specific, otherwise you stand the tragedy of getting lost in all the online noise.
Time management: Starting a business takes a lot of time and effort, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. It's like trying to juggle ten balls at once. According to a survey by RescueTime, the average worker is only productive for about 2 hours and 53 minutes out of an 8-hour workday. To overcome this challenge of simply having 'no time', try setting clear goals, prioritizing tasks, and delegating responsibilities.
Legal and regulatory compliance: Complying with legal and regulatory requirements can be a daunting task for any startup founder. But having a legal advisor is a life saver, failure of which you may as well be trying to navigate the startup maze blindfolded. in fact, 63% of small businesses usually fail due to legal and regulatory issues. Solutions to this challenge include seeking out legal and regulatory advisors and staying informed about the latest laws and regulations.
Failure: Failure is a common part of the startup journey, and it can be difficult to bounce back from it. Some of the top reasons for startup failure are:
Lack of passion
A pivot gone wrong
Running out of cash
No customer traction
Losing business focus
Having the wrong team
Poor marketing strategy
Poor product development
Lack of a clear business model
No market need for one's business
Not able to scale the company in time
To overcome this challenge, try learning from your mistakes, staying positive and persistent, and being open to feedback. Just make sure you don't end up like the guy who tried to make a business out of selling pet rocks (Google it).
Starting a business is a challenging journey, but by being aware of the common obstacles and having solutions in mind, you will be better equipped to overcome them. Remember to stay focused, stay positive and always look for ways to improve. And unoriginal and cringe-worthy as this may sound: honestly, the most important thing is to never give up on your dream and always strive to achieve your goals for the day, week, month and year. With the right growth mindset, a well thought out business plan and a bit of luck, you can overcome numerous common obstacles and reach success.
If you fail? Put your ego aside, learn from the experience and try again, much wiser. And if all your best efforts still don't work time and time again? Well, then maybe it's time to consider a new career as a professional juggler, or a stand-up comedian, as both require similar skills of quick thinking and resilience in the face of failure.
On the other hand, that's why business mentors and coaches were created.
If you're ready to turn your business idea into a reality, let me be your guide.
As a business mentor, I will help you navigate the challenges of starting a business and set you on the path to success. If you're ready to make this the year you become an entrepreneur, don't wait any longer - reach out to me today and let's get started.
About the Writer
Jan Okonji is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and Founder of the Pan-African accelerator BGS – Business Growth Solutions.
He is passionate about helping employees transition safely into entrepreneurship whilst turning their great ideas into profitable businesses and has helped entrepreneurs collectively grow their revenue to over $ 10 Million in the course of running BGS.