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Few things are more quintessential to the American dream than starting your own business. This country was founded on the idea of free enterprise and entrepreneurship continues to be one of the driving forces behind its success. But as any business owner will tell you, the sailing isn’t always smooth.
4 Challenges You May Face
As a first-time business owner, the only way to learn is to get thrown into the fire so that you can figure it out firsthand. And regardless of how successful you may be, challenges will emerge. In particular, don’t be surprised if you encounter some of the following:
Lack of Cash
Most self-funded businesses have trouble with cash at one point or another. These challenges are notorious for emerging in the middle of growth – at the exact point when you can’t afford to be without money.
The good news is that you have options for how you can deal with a lack of cash. If you’re looking for a quick infusion of money, a personal installment loan from an online lender could provide you with up to $5,000 in a matter of hours.
Competition From Major Brands
If you have a particularly good product, you’ll notice that other established brands with larger pockets will come in and try to flick you off the map. And if you aren’t prepared, you’ll quickly succumb.
This is something serial entrepreneur and billionaire Richard Branson has seen happen quite a few times with his business. When he first started Virgin Airlines, British Airways tried to sabotage his upstart using dirty tricks. Coca-Cola did the same with his popular soda, Virgin Cola. In the first case, Branson was prepared to fight back (and won). In the latter situation, he was forced to bow out.
Competition is something that is to be expected. You should prepare for how you’ll respond before you find yourself in the moment.
Growth vs. Quality
Growth for the sake of growth isn’t a good idea. But if your business is successful enough, you’ll feel the pressure to scale up. The key is to balance growth versus quality. In other words, you need to find ways to scale up without hurting the quality of your products or damaging your relationships with customers.
If you can’t continue to meet or exceed customer expectations, you have no business scaling up. Growth should occur as a natural result of increased demand. It’s not something you do in hopes of creating more demand.
There’s a huge difference between being an employee of a company and being the company. When you’re an employee, you have the freedom to physically and mentally clock out at the end of the day/week and enjoy yourself. When you’re the business owner, you feel the pressure to always be present (whether literally or figuratively).
If you’re going to survive as a business owner, you must learn how to strike a balance between your business obligations and your personal life.
“One of the very best ways to achieve balance is to figure out the best time during your day that you are most productive and schedule your day around this,” Padgett Business Services explains. “Give yourself permission to be unconventional about your work hours. If you work best in the morning, start your day early and cut yourself off when you’ve reached your saturation point. This also applies to you night owls.”
You’ll also find value in delegating non-essential tasks to others. By removing certain obligations from your plate, you free yourself up to focus on the elements of your business that truly matter.
Survival at All Costs
When you run a business, there will be periods of time where substantial growth occurs. There will also be periods where you seem to be hanging on for dear life. In these latter situations, survival becomes the goal. The good news is that you have options for how you can deal with a lack of cash.
Dig in and make smart decisions that give your business the best chance of being successful – both now and in the future. Sometimes they’ll work and other times they won’t, but you can always rest easy knowing you gave 100 percent effort.