There is no doubt that starting a business is an experiences which comes along with a vast array of emotions and challenges. How well you cope with these in the first place can end up playing a big role in whether your company gets off to a killer start or whether it starts its downwards trajectory early. If you are considering starting a business at any point in the future, it is worth being fully aware of the obstacles in front of you so that you are prepared to deal with them in the most effective way possible. So, here is an overview of just some of the little battles which you are likely to face when taking the plunge and starting a business.
- It is a lonely business. Many of the greatest businesses have started with a single person working hard in their office or garage – but having to do all of this all by themselves. Your hours are likely to be antisocial and you could find yourself having to sacrifice some of your other life commitments in order to make things work. The best way of getting through this initial lonely stage is to continue reminding yourself that it is only temporary and you will get through it as you start adding new members to your team and forming the new partnerships which are involved in any successful company. But this leads us onto another potential challenge…
- The pitfalls of partnerships. When you start a business with a partner, you often do so with the best intentions. It could be a friend or family member that you have known all your life. And while you may think that everything is going to move along swimmingly, the stresses and strains of starting a business can start to open up some cracks in your relationship which never existed before. Both of you may have contrasting visions of where you see the business heading and your own individual roles in this process. So, you should try to iron out as many of these cracks in the first instance as you can. And consider putting in place some more official backup plans such as insurance in case things do start to take a turn for the worse at any point. Start a business checklist which includes all the things that you need to do any your own individual responsibilities. Also, the simple act of talking through each and every one of your issues can go a long way towards making sure that minor issues don’t become major ones further down the line.
- Money can be tight. No matter how you choose to finance your company, there is every chance that money is going to be tight to begin with. You need to be prepared to make the sacrifices which are involved in giving your business the best possible chance of succeeding. Budgeting is one of the most important actions that you can take when you are in the early stages of launching your company. You may find that you are saying ‘no’ a lot more often – particularly when it comes to your social life. Self-discipline is one of the most important actions which you can take to give your company the best chance of getting off to a great start.
- You have to do the boring parts too. When you are first starting in the world of business, it is likely to be a whole lot less glamorous than the entrepreneurs that you see on TV. You have to do the boring parts as well – admin and filing are just as important as striking new deals and making presentations! You should prepare yourself for these boring parts as soon as you can. Rather than seeing them as obstacles, you should try to switch your mindset so that you take pleasure in the fact that every part of your business, knowing that everything adds up to you achieving the level of success that you are looking for.
- You have to overcome intense self-doubt. As well as dealing with the naysayers, you also have to overcome the doubts which echo around your own head. There are bound to be times when you wonder whether or not you are doing the right thing. There will be times when you wonder why you didn’t stick to a ‘normal’ job. But you need to remind yourself that you are dealing with enough other obstacles out there without piling on more challenges of your own making. You need to try to identify negative thinking patterns so that you are able to replace them with more positive ones. Try to surround yourself with the kind of people who are only going to raise up your spirits rather than knocking them back down again.
- Planning only takes you so far. Of course you want to have a detailed plan in place before you start a business. But you also need to be well aware that there will be plenty that happens along the way which is not according to plan. You are going to have to learn to adjust as necessary to the ever-changing world of running a business. You need to start to gain an instinct for when you need to stick to your guns and when you need to make a major adjustment in your activities. The best businesses are the ones which adapt to the changing times and move forward accordingly.
As you would expect, you are bound to face a whole host of other challenges as you start a business, but if you are prepared for them, you are much more likely to be able to face them all head on. And the further down the road you go, the more challenges are likely to occur, so don’t expect everything to be smooth sailing even once you have moved past the initial obstacles of starting a business. But this is the path you choose when you become an entrepreneur!
Note: this post contains contributed content.