Challenges Entrepreneurs Face and How To Solve Them

Challenges Entrepreneurs Face and How To Solve Them

Starting a new business is exciting, especially when the idea you’ve held for a long time finally manifests. But also when the idea is guaranteed to meet people’s needs. But let’s face it, having your own business is an uphill task.

Even when you take all the right steps — selecting a business model, writing a detailed business plan to attract potential investors, leveraging social media to build a customer base, and focusing on cash flow — your small business may still struggle along the way.

Here are six of the biggest challenges new entrepreneurs face, even with extensive planning and determination. Don’t be afraid of these common challenges. Almost all successful entrepreneurs overcome them at some point, and you can too.

  1. Lack of support

We all start businesses with the hope that people will support us. But what happens when we don’t get support? Do we give up on the dream? No, we continue to pursue the dream business. We become our biggest cheerleaders in order to succeed. Being your biggest cheerleader means, you become your most vocal and enthusiastic supporter. 

If no one is giving you the support you hoped to get, get a mentor or business adviser. These people have a lot of wise counsel to offer you to better your business. Also, talk to other entrepreneurs, they can provide support because they have experienced some of the challenges you might be facing and found a way out. Their journey can inspire you to keep going and carve your path out as an entrepreneur.

  1. Lack of money

It is a known fact that most entrepreneurs don’t take a paycheck for a long time until the business `starts to make money.’ This can be daunting as there are bills to pay, staff to be paid and scaling up of the business. You might lack money to start the business, or even grow the business.

As an entrepreneur, work at generating the revenue you need for the business. Build that product(s) and get into the market.

Keep a small /lean budget which can be stretched to do what you have to do for the business. Strive to operate the business with little money to help you stay afloat and continue with the practice even when revenue rolls in. In short, be frugal with your finances.

According to NewYork essay, To overcome the challenge of raising capital, an entrepreneur must develop the ability to sell their idea and vision to potential investors. In the game have a good story to tell; backed by a strong business plan and good persuasion skills.

  1. Lack of confidence

The feelings of doubt can creep up on you when you don’t get the support you hope to get from friends and family. But also there is a new phenomenon, imposter syndrome which many entrepreneurs are struggling with.

According to Havard business Review, Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that overrides any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.

It’s easy to succumb to self-doubt because of your own worries, criticism from others, or lack of support from friends and family. You may wonder whether you’ll be able to succeed. These feelings may also creep in when your target audience doesn’t respond as enthusiastically as you thought they would or if external factors slow your business growth.

To overcome feelings of self-doubt and lack of confidence, focus on your achievements.  Look at how far you have come. List them all down to remind you of your previous successes and the hurdles you have overcome. Be inspired and rejuvenated to continue on this journey.

  1. Lack of a clear pathway
Handsome late 20s black man with pencil on chin thinking isolated on a white background

According to John Boitnott, despite having a clear vision, you may reach a point where you don’t know how to align your business goals with that picture. There’s also a chance that you’ll be hit with something unexpected and have to deal with problems that you didn’t think would ever happen to you.

Always try to stay calm and address these issues as soon as possible. Focus on moving ahead, don’t stay in the past. Analyse your business plan to see where you are and where you want to go.

Get into the habit of reviewing your timelines and strategy to clarify your pathway. Ask yourself questions; what do I need to change? What is not working? How do we make the product better? Should we conduct more market research? With answers to these questions, it will be easy to move the business in a new direction. There is no shame in changing the course of your business. What matter is that the business is still on a healthy course.

  1. 5. Lack of experience and knowledge

Life is about learning and unlearning. As an entrepreneur, you will face an experience and knowledge gap at some point in your life. For example, you may not know how to create a budget; you may lack negotiation skills; lack the ability and experience to hire the right people or talent; how to create an effective market plan; or social media marketing.

You will feel inadequate. Get frustrated and feel like throwing in the towel. But remember this is a process. Running a business is a journey that has ups and downs. Take time to learn how to do the things you don’t know. Take on a course in management, and marketing. Or ask for help from your mentor or business advisor. Ask how to hire the right talent. Learn from other entrepreneurs about how they are manoeuvring the issues you’re facing. Like the bible says, there’s nothing new under the sun. Seek help from others. Be open to practising what they are already doing and in turn tailor it to your business.

Eventually, you‘ll hit a point in the learning curve where you feel clueless. Maybe you don’t know how to create an effective marketing strategy or how to develop a new product. Maybe you lack experience making a budget, negotiating, hiring talent, or balancing the books.

On solving the knowledge and experience gap, John Boitnott says, “other ways to build your knowledge include taking online courses, attending a workshop, or participating in an industry conference. Some entrepreneurs watch every YouTube video they can find on a subject and learn that way. Work one-on-one with your team members, like your developers, to better understand what they do. You can absorb that information to make better decisions about investments, tactics, and roles.”

  1. Mental stress

Mental stress has been on the rise due to COVID-19 which changed the world. With business owners losing their businesses, lack of capital to sustain a vision, failure to start, etc. Many entrepreneurs have fallen prey to mental stress.

According to an article published in April 2020 on intracen.org (https://intracen.org/news-and-events/news/ugandan-start-ups-part-of-the-solution-during-covid-19), “Increasing market uncertainty has meant decreasing revenues for many small businesses.”

To overcome this, seek help immediately because if you`re unwell, it will reflect in your business. Seek therapy. Talk to a friend or fellow entrepreneurs. Destress with activities like running, walking,journalling, hanging out with friends, swimming, etc.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Kyusa offered small grants to their alumni under the Micro-Grant project to help them sustain their small businesses. This help no matter how small sustained the business and allowed the entrepreneurs to put food on the table while keeping their hope alive.

There are so many challenges entrepreneurs will face at different stages of their journey. The above solutions offer a step in the right direction.