When it comes to today’s generation, more people are becoming entrepreneurs, according to a study by America’s SBDC.
Millennials that are starting to shape this workforce are paving their own way, independently. And while this trend is very exciting, there are several struggles that all business owners will face in their lifetime.
From internal complications ranging from finances to keeping up with trends, entrepreneurial firms need to know how to recognise and solve these problems as they come.
Here are five challenges that today’s entrepreneurs are set to face and, more importantly, how they can overcome them.
1. Raising capital
Having a successful corporation starts with having the funds needed to support the goals of your company.
One of the biggest questions startup founders ask themselves is: ‘How should I raise capital to grow?’
Firstly, you will need to examine your business internally and ensure that you properly manage your initial funds to make sure you will have enough to sustain your business as you start to raise more money and collect revenue.
Doing that requires you to start with making market projections for your product or service.
In doing so, you will need to consider how supply, demand and potential competitors will influence your revenue over a given period of time, and where you want to fit into the economy.
When this is done you will turn your focus to gaining capital.
An increasingly popular option is crowdfunding, where you raise money by having a large group of people donate or pay small amounts of money in exchange for early access or information about your product.
By crowdfunding, you can not only raise funds relatively quickly, but you can also establish a group of consumers who want to use your product right from the get-go.
There are over 600 crowdfunding platforms globally — such as Birchal, Kickstarter or Indiegogo — that raise billions of dollars annually.
2. Remaining current
As a growing corporation, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with current trends.
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In this generation, you need to be upskilled with technology, or outsource that task to a professional that has skills you don’t.
For many businesses, technology is a key competitive differentiator, so you need to keep reinventing yourself and offer services that are in demand.
An example of this is social media marketing.
Social media is now a key factor that drives this generation. The amount of traffic your social media pages get or the number of views on Youtube all play a huge role in your company’s online presence.
Being able to constantly evolve and adjust the image of your brand will help you stay relevant to new generations of customers by making your company and product accessible to them.
3. Create brand awareness
How did brands such as McDonald’s and Nike get to where they are?
Well, it all starts with asking most people questions such as: ‘How does the McDonald’s jingle go? Or: ‘Can you draw the Nike logo?’
These big corporations have become cultural icons by emphasising their growth through public relations, marketing and communications.
Aiming to be a trusted and recognisable brand is an incredibly important part of having a thriving company.
Having a target market that has an established relationship with your brand is invaluable.
These consumers are key to increasing your customer base and sales. They will become both the biggest advocates for your brand and the consistent users of your offering.
So when it comes to creating brand awareness, there are several approaches that you may take: from getting influencers to feature your product or having a unique spin on an established market, to making your unboxing experience unique, or focusing on social media, to using SEO research to ensure you’re one of the first results in an internet search.
The majority of small businesses and startups begin with an idea.
The problem is sometimes that idea will grow to a point where you may have saturated your initial market. What do you do then?
The answer is that you have to consider how scalable your businesses can be.
To ensure your business continues to grow you may need to look at new sales markets or potentially promote your company abroad.
Often, these endeavours will cost a fair amount of money, but scalability is all about investing money in order to grow and then reaping your rewards multiple times over down the line.
It’s also crucial that when scaling your firm, you focus on building a solid starting foundation that will drive growth and expansion to ensure your business grows profitably.
5. Retaining your staff
With all corporations, employees come and go.
One day your prized employee or manager will leave for another job and occasions like this just prove that nothing lasts forever.
While it’s important that every entrepreneur learns to not be dependent on just one or a few key people, they also need to be actively having systems in place that will allow new staff to be easily acclimated to the business without spending too much on retraining.
Furthermore, keeping and motivating people to stick around can also establish a strong sense of cohesiveness within your business.
Having a constant base of people familiar with how your business operates and your company values will help establish a positive business culture and a positive work environment.
Also, having a good human resources team is crucial in ensuring your new hire feels comfortable immediately.
A happy workspace promotes good business.
Determined and patient
Being an entrepreneur can be a long, frustrating journey for new business owners.
As more people take the leap into being their own boss, there are challenges that face them on the road ahead.
But you must remember that the world’s best CEO’s are those who are determined and patient.
Although there are the success stories of people who started from nothing and built incredible businesses, there are just as many stories of entrepreneurs whose ideas have failed, and it is very easy to get discouraged looking at that split.
But the ones who overcome these challenges and continue to keep pushing forward, despite the many businesses they’ve seen not succeed, are those that are most likely to thrive.
Following these tips above hopefully will be the map you need to overcome the roadblocks you may face and navigate you to become a successful company owner.