10 Potential Challenges Your Startup Will Face and How To Deal With Them
Managing startups, like anything else in life, takes some learning curve. This is especially true if you are new to the business. Some of the foremost concerns and challenges that startups face have to deal with money, shortage of planning or creativity, talent acquisition as well as retention and full-on survival.
Obstacles are inevitable, and you must address them properly so that your job is made easier. As a business owner or leader, it is your job to make sure that your resources, especially time and money, are always more than enough to help you level up in the game.
Watch out for some of these issues startups typically have to face and know how to deal with those that might pop along the way in your entrepreneurial journey.
Money is always the trickiest thing at the onset of nearly all business ventures. Sooner or later, there will be issues when it comes to cash flow either because of sales or your investors. When this happens, it could be a challenge to manage your finances and delay key business moves like talent acquisition or launching a new line of goods in the market.
Plan ahead and draft an outline of strategies, studies, and all other important information that you will need prior to diving in. Your plan must account for major costs like skills development, hiring, benefits, and various funding concerns that apply to your venture. Every dollar will count, so you must do all you can to avoid accounting mistakes that could cost you more in the future if gone undetected.
The lack of strategic planning
Surprisingly, strategic business planning is something that a lot of startup business owners completely miss or do a poor job on.
One major rookie mistake that could pose challenges to your business operations include overestimating product or service demands, which could lead to overspending or overstretching work staff to breaking point. Or maybe the opposite just might happen, and you might end up either underpricing your offerings. If you do not make enough, you could run out of capital and close down your business sooner than you could think.
Another challenge you might face if you are a startup looking for funding and a good partnership is finding the right venture capital. Some rush to raise funds with clear cut objectives, which makes them settle for the bigger checks, but not for companies that could provide a strong long-term partnership.
All these and more can be avoided if you study your options and start drafting up a business plan. Think of these strategies as a roadmap to where you want your company to go.
Birthing and fostering a nurturing yet challenging company culture
All the people who work in your company contribute to the kind of company culture you have. These different influences grow over time in force and in number as your company expands, which might be a challenge to the way you regulate your organizational culture.
If you have the dream startup team composed of knowledgeable, self-driven individuals, do everything you can to keep them in your orbit. It is always good business practice to retain your best talent, and then continue searching for potential employees that can contribute and grow with your company.
Talent hiring and retention
Once you have established your company culture, you should do what you can to keep the best employees, and to choose individuals that will fit right into your world.
As your business grows, it will become more and more challenging for you to keep a healthy level of shared purpose across your company. This is why you should be creative in finding ways to keep your young employees productive and get everyone in your talent pool engaged in their jobs.
Hire and retain great employees by offering competitive salary and benefits, being honest about your expectations as well your business operations. Transparency ensures that you get to hire the right employees from the very beginning. Constantly paying attention to solving your employees’ pain points is also crucial, along with having the mindset of a true leader that inspires trust and confidence.
Not having enough time in a day for everything
Time is money, and money is time. Unfortunately, for most new business owners, both are in shortage when you’re running a startup. Staffing could be limited, and this might lead you to try and do everything on your own.
You’re excited, you’re pretty distracted, and there are so many things to learn, which might make you anxious. Trying to do everything all at once might burn you out, as you will find that you do not have the skills to wear all those hats. If you do not have the expertise or time to do all those tasks well, it could hinder or delay your path to maximum profitability.
You could remedy this by carefully assessing your skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Outsource other tasks that you are not really keen on doing, and focus on channeling your efforts on the most important things that you could accomplish well. Be sure that you set significant and measurable goals so you could monitor your progress easily.
Not having an optimized company website
Recent research indicated that close to half of small business owners don’t have a company website. Or, if they do, it isn’t fully optimized for today’s digital-first landscape.
It could be a challenge figuring it out on your own, but there are professionals who could help you take it off the ground. If you have no expertise in the IT field, there are web-hosting companies everywhere that offer quality services. These solutions include web hosting, website design, maintenance, and even ongoing marketing campaigns for your brand.
Maintaining and Fortifying Cybersecurity
Securing sensitive information could be quite the hurdle, as hackers get craftier with their ways and means of attacking vulnerable databases. Usually, it’s only the bigger corporations that are able to afford powerful IT infrastructure. This is why over one-third of cybercrimes are being aimed at small businesses.
If you do not have the capacity to protect your business as well as client data, you could outsource data protection services from various companies or individual specialists. Cybersecurity experts will help you solve issues on system maintenance, compliance, as well as various other requirements.
You might fail to draft written contracts or agreements
In your haste to get started, you forget to go over all the necessary details. To avoid misinterpretations that could lead to lawsuits, make it a habit to create written agreements and contracts from the get-go.
Doing so will help you keep tabs on what both parties are entitled to, because it is something you could refer to when misunderstandings arise. Before you provide goods or services, as well as entering into any kind of business relationship, written contracts must be thoroughly reviewed and agreed upon by all parties concerned. Have a lawyer go through each clause to ensure that all is ironed out as planned.
Scaling up the ladder
If you have been in business for some time now and are already experiencing revenue growth, you might be faced with issues involving scaling efforts to match the higher demand.
Don’t burn out before you get the chance to truly shine. It might be beneficial to hire new employees, or you might need to realign some things so you could strategically prioritize staff members that have maximum impact. Think of the big picture and see which functions within your organizational chart need a boost.
It might be a long and tedious process before you could scale up, because there will be more spending along the way. Perhaps you would need to expand your physical office, or secure an office location to launch your brand in other regions.
Creating an efficient marketing budget
Marketing budgets should be stretched and used wisely. It is an inevitable expense if you want to truly want your business to have a fighting chance at making it to the top.
Remember to always take account of accurate return of investment (ROI) data so you could maximize your marketing spend. Your marketing strategies should be data-driven, meaning you refer to actual information that will dictate your action plans. Make the effort to know your sales funnel from inside out, and then find strategies that would optimize the process further.
It is always a good idea to delegate the tasks to qualified professionals, especially for those tasks that you cannot confidently accomplish on your own. Getting others to take care of these little myriad concerns will give you the space to focus on business aspects that match your strengths.
Once you lay the groundwork and keep the fire burning with continuous industry study and analysis, you could overcome problems beyond your startup era. Always be in tune with your prospective market’s and your clients’ pain points, interests, and needs, so you could keep offering relevant solutions to them. Every step forward will bring you closer to the dream of being a globally recognized organization.
Chris Legaspi is a Content Writer at Globe myBusiness Academy and a contributing writer to various business and finance blogs. He is into running and challenges people at the park to stare down contests in his free time.