Aspiring entrepreneurs are often tempted by the glitzy, money-making potential of startups. But unlike the stories found in Hollywood movies, there are plenty of challenges that must be faced before an idea can become a successful business.
This blog will detail the challenges every startup faces in its lifetime. From obtaining funding to establishing team culture to marketing, these lessons will help you better understand what you’re getting into and prepare for all that lies ahead.
For the overwhelming majority of startups, funding is the number one challenge. Unfortunately, the process is lengthy, unpredictable and you are at the mercy of investors.
When starting, entrepreneurs often have limited funds to invest in their idea. This means you must make every dollar stretch as far as possible. One way to cut down on expenses is to work out of a home office rather than leasing larger office space and hiring employees. But while working from home may save on overhead costs, it will also come with its challenges: distractions — telephones ringing, friends stopping by — and limited workspace. You must address these factors, so your home environment allows for maximum productivity.
The importance of equity funding is paramount to startups. Unless you’re an ideal candidate for venture rounds, you must build your value outside of investment capital. It’s essential that your company is autonomous and that you gain the trust of potential investors.
Fundraising for startups takes more time and effort than for large companies. Nevertheless, traditional methods (e.g., private sales meetings with investors, attending trade shows) can be helpful to approaches to generating interest in your sector and may lead to more profitable exits at some point down the road. But until you’ve established a track record and proven yourself as a viable company, it’s best to skip out on such marketing efforts (and good luck if you try anyway).
Your startup will require comprehensive knowledge of the market and a team of enthusiastic, passionate individuals. To make your business thrive, every member of the team will need to be dedicated to your company’s success.
To establish a strong working relationship between colleagues, you must build trust and share ideas with both staff and investors. A strong culture can be established by encouraging open communication among employees and fostering open dialogue between management and staff. Once this foundation is in place, strong working relationships will lead to better business performance and increased morale amongst staff members.
Some sacrifices must be made when it comes to team culture. For example, some companies have a “live and work” culture, while others have a “work from home” environment. Both work well for startups, so long as your team is aligned on its goals and everyone works towards a shared vision.
You will have to overcome many obstacles through your startup journey to reach the finish line open for business. One of the biggest obstacles any startup will face is marketing. In its early stages, a lack of funds can be an issue, but there may not be any reason to expand operating hours once the company becomes profitable.
Marketing is essential for startups. It creates awareness of your business, which in turn can lead to growth. There are many ways to promote your business’s name and ensure it’s heard. From displaying posters on walls in public areas, it was distributing flyers or sending out emails using social media marketing. With more marketing campaigns comes an increasing demand for new products and services, which are the fuel that will drive the startup forward.
It will require perseverance to get your brand out there in front of potential customers. Knowing that you’ll have to invest time into advertising won’t be easy, but once you’ve paid off some of your startup costs, it may be easier to make the decision.
Leases and Business Licenses
In the beginning stages of your business, you’ll need to find a location for your startup. But finding a suitable place to set up shop will be difficult since it requires securing a lease and finding a business license.
Once you’ve established your company, the possibility of relocating may be ever so tempting; however, while your office space may change in size or structure throughout its lifespan, you must maintain constant communication with landlords and city officials. Being aware of what’s going on around your location can help you avoid other problems such as rent increases or zoning changes that might slow down expansion plans.
Some entrepreneurs wait until they start hiring to obtain a business license. However, it’s wise to get one as soon as you begin your business venture. Having one will help you with all the paperwork and legal processes that come with your business. Depending on what documentation you need to open up shop, this process can take anywhere from a day to years.
How do you feel about the challenges every startup faces? Are there any lessons we missed? Let us know in the comments below!