Launching a business is exciting, and can also be a little scary. But knowing what kinds of challenges startups typically face can help solve and overcome them. Here are 7 commonly cited challenges to prepare for when opening a new business.
Owners of new businesses pride themselves on being indispensible. But if a business is too dependent upon one indispensible individual, and anything happens to that person, the business will falter. The role of the owner is to oversee, make decisions nobody else can make, and strategically focus on the bigger picture. Don’t get bogged-down in micromanagement. Learn to delegate as much as possible.
There are many one-time costs needed to launch and establish a business. But during that phase it probably hasn’t yet hit its stride in terms of revenue and cash flow. So one of the greatest challenges for a new businesses is funding. Owners can apply for affordable SBA loans, available startup grants, seek partnerships with private investors, or even utilize crowd funding.
Payment Processing and Financial Analytics
When payments are processed too slowly, the business can become cash-starved. If they aren’t processed securely, the business suffer a data breach or theft. Customers want to pay online and from mobile devices, using a variety of payment options. There are numerous challenges. But the right turnkey mobile payment processing system can solve them all, while offering PCI-compliant security and surcharging technology that allows businesses to pay zero merchant fees. That can instantly boost net profitability.
When hiring, many new businesses managers fail to calculate how those individual hires will work as a cohesive, collaborative team. Look for the right mix of skills, talents, and personality traits to intentionally design teams that will far exceed the value of the individual employees working separately. That guarantees that the investment in human resources generates rapid, profitable returns.
Even when offering a brand new product or service, it’s critical to accurately gauge market demand and target the ideal customer. That’s why pilot programs, selected focus groups, and targeted consumer surveys can be extremely insightful. It is also useful to gain as much understanding as possible about what it is that potential direct competitors do to successfully attract consumers.
Supply Chain Management
A business may have customers lined up around the block, but it’s to no avail if the shelves are empty due to a supply chain bottleneck. Today’s customers want to hit a “pay now” button and receive their order lightening fast with flawless customer service. Take time to carefully map out all business processes and supply chains from end to end. Do tests runs and troubleshoot problems. Then launch the business with confidence.
The best way to overcome common challenges is to learn from the mistakes and successes of others. Launching a business is much less stressful, and owners feel far less isolated, when experienced mentors are there to help. They can act as confidential advisors, lead brainstorming sessions, and hold new owners accountable. A resourceful mentor or business coach can also introduce businesses to professional networks and vendors.
When the top challenges have been identified and overcome before opening the doors for business, sustained success and predictable profits are much easier to achieve.