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These are the biggest challenges faced by NorthEast Entrepreneurs.
- 1. Money
- 2. Marketing
- 3. Lack of Planning
- 4. Finding Right People
- 5. Time Management
- 6. Scaling Up
- 7. Unwilling to push yourself beyond the comfort zone
- 8. Competitors
Lets discuss sbout it now
Yes, you need money. Unless you’re remarkably lucky and the cash flows in straight away from sales or investors, you will be in trouble. Cash flow issues will hit you hard, either delaying the roll-out of products, hiring key staff, or fitting out new offices.
Getting a bank loan is never quite easy especially since the credit crunch lingering from the financial crash of 2008. Even with the crowdfunding schemes and other options floating around, funds are still not readily available to all entrepreneurs. Instead, it’s lumped together to fund only the biggest and most promising businesses. It can be really discouraging to new entrepreneurs, especially as it artificially limits the pool of potential innovators who could be driving the economy forward.
For entrepreneurs who founded a startup and then ran out of cash: “As leaders, it’s our job to manage the time and money needed to get to the next level without running out of either one.”
Marketing a start-up is a different ball game from marketing a traditional business or corporation. For starters, you don’t have any brand recognition to get you in the door, your budget is usually limited and most times, you’re dealing with your potential customers in an intensely competitive atmosphere.
It’s important that sound content is put out there to sell your business in the best light to your target audience. Most start-ups don’t see the need to hire creative professionals solely for quality content creation. Most times, you find yourself struggling with writing business plans, sales pitches, articles, essays for major publications all in the bid to put your business out there. Thankfully such roadblocks can be scaled with the help of advanced writers who better communicate your message to your potential clients.
It’s a false economy to put your faith in customers discovering you unless you make a concerted effort to grow them with a properly structured plan to promote your startup. It’s money well spent.
3. Lack of Planning
It’s amazing how many startups falter because they forgot to plan. Or perhaps they did, but just never covered all the bases. Key areas ofsales, development, staffing, skills shortage and funding should be part of your business plan or be flexible enough to cope if events take an unexpected turn.
There are everything from staff contracts and health and safety policies to marketing materials and websites to develop and the longer this takes the longer the business takes to be established and the higher the financial risk becomes. The owner will become responsible for everything from the grunt work to the office managerial responsibilities.
Contingency planning is vital, but so is a proper business plan. If your plan is all optimism, and fails to allow for surprises – and you can bet your life they’re just around the corner – then you’re heading for big trouble. Get the details right, no matter how small.
4. Finding Right People
Certain skills are crucial not only for your business to survive, but also to grow. Knowing the exact skills needed – and how to get those essential people – may determine how well your startup thrives. Delays in finding the right personnel will not only eat up valuable time but also lead to severe bottlenecks, perhaps delay the rollout of new products or services. These are delays no startup can afford. Seeking the help of trusted agencies could also help solve that problem.
You may also have hired the wrong people, and their deficiencies may be more apparent as a startup grows, especially if they are in the wrong roles. This happens when a startup expands and the cracks suddenly appear. However, as John Laven, CEO of Currency Cloud, wrote, finding the right people can also eat up valuable time that could be spent on other areas of the business.
5. Time Management
There’s never enough time. There are a million and one decisions to be made and, last time I looked, there are only 24 hours in a day. So, start by eliminating or minimizing distractions – anything that gets in the way of running your business.
Prioritize decision-making. Ask yourself what is important and what can be postponed until tomorrow? What is stopping your company growing? Deal with those answers today.
6. Scaling Up
Lucky you. Your products or services are experiencing phenomenal growth – and also causing you lots of headaches. It’s not just a question of adding a few extra employees: they must be in the right areas – perhaps HR (you suddenly have a lot more staff), administration, payroll, support, perhaps even developers.
You may also need a larger office space, or to set up offices in other cities or abroad. Such is the price of success. If you have a plan and the cash to fund all this, great. If not, then prepare for a painful process.
7. Unwilling to push yourself beyond the comfort zone
The founder or CEO may think he/she has all the answers, but do you really have what it takes to think – and act – outside your comfort zone? Ask yourself how much can you push yourself: Can you make a convincing pitch to potential investors when you need funding?
“The competition is fierce, because the barriers to entry are relatively low, and there is plenty of access to [venture capital] money,” says Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science, a leading ad-tech company that assesses and reports value of each ad opportunity to help media buyers and sellers maximize return on investment.
The ‘build it and they will come’ approach doesn’t always work, so are you prepared to put in the hard yards to make your startup thrive?
No one ever said it was going to be easy, and despite your product or services being great, it’s a crowded marketplace. New rivals may have altered the playing pitch, so having the right strategy, or being able to think on your feet quickly and adapting to the new reality will define your success – or failure.
Tim Cadogan, CEO of OpenX, a global leader in ad-tech that uses a monetization platform to deliver the highest revenue across all digital outlets, suggests looking for ways to enhance the products and services of other companies rather than compete with them.
“Find ways to complement existing products and companies so you don’t take on unnecessary battles but embrace and extend everywhere and everyone except for your core area,” he says.
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