7 Major Challenges Entrepreneurs Face
Are you an entrepreneur or do you want to become one? I know everyone is striving toward entrepreneurship but I want to ask you, ‘are you ready for the battle ahead?’. In case you don’t know, becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you are settled for life. In fact, becoming an entrepreneur means you have just begun another phase of life entirely.
Entrepreneurship, using Robert Frost’s poem to describe it, ‘is the road less traveled by’. To be frank with you and from my experience, entrepreneurship is not for everybody. There are challenges and tricky situations that we entrepreneurs face almost every day in our business life, and we don’t find it funny at all.
Sometimes it just feels like we should give up and just live a normal life like others are doing. I can vividly remember helping a friend of mine to start a business where she sells clothes and shoes from online stores to her friends via WhatsApp taking advantage of discount offers and cheap delivery.
In the beginning, she was very happy as her friends were patronizing the business. But, as the business progresses, I started getting messages from her stating that she is tired and had lost some money as a result of wrong transactions.
I smiled and told her, ‘welcome to the club, and be ready to lose more’. There was a time I called her at night to check on her and she told me that the only thing that entered her stomach for the day was just a bottle of Fanta. That she has been very busy doing pickup and delivery and trying to calm her customers down.
At this point, her voice wasn’t sounding like how she felt when she started.
But, that is business for you. The unexpected does happen when you don’t even expect them to.
Nothing can give you a feeling of accomplishment and empowerment like owning and running your own business. But, have you thought about the downside of entrepreneurship?
Are you ready to lose money?
Are you ready to feel stupid about your decision?
Are you ready to sleep late and wake up early?
Do you have the qualities it takes to become an entrepreneur (very important)?
Now, I am not trying to discourage you from pursuing your dream as an entrepreneur, I just want you to have a second thought about your decision and that is why I am writing this post.
If you have made up your mind towards becoming an entrepreneur, I want you to read this post very well as it reveals to you what you will be dealing with as an entrepreneur and if you will be able to cope with them.
I want to share with you 7 major challenges entrepreneurs face, and I want you at the end of this post to ask yourself if you are still sticking to your decision or not. Let’s get started…
7 Major Challenges Entrepreneurs Face
Challenge 1: Not knowing how to Plan the Business
Yes, do you know how? I am not talking about writing a business plan here. I am talking about physically planning your business. The true value of planning is to identify the challenges and pitfalls and plan around them before they happen, rather than getting blindsided by them when the business has already been set in motion.
Every entrepreneur is faced with this challenge whenever something unexpected happens. If you stay with me, you will surely notice that I spend most time just sitting calmly alone. What am I doing? Thinking about the future of my business. I don’t want to be caught unaware by either the economy or by my own flaws.
Challenge 2: Cash Flow Management
Most entrepreneurs don’t know how to manage business funds. They don’t know how much is going out and how much is coming into their business. They don’t have a book of account for their business and they think that any money their business makes is their own.
Lack of financial management can lead to failure and bankruptcy. You must learn how to keep your books, bank account, and make financial decisions wisely if you must survive as an entrepreneur.
Challenge 3: Employee’s Headache
Can you handle people without yelling at them? If you cannot, you will be tag as a bad business owner by your employees. If you know what I go through to manage my team of writers, you may not want to have employees in your business.
Humans are the hardest creation to control and manage I must confess. It is one of the headaches that come with being an entrepreneur. Whether your kind of business involves employees or not you must deal with people.
Either you are dealing with suppliers or you are dealing with customers or clients. If you don’t know people’s management, it will be wise you invest money buying books that talk about it as it will help you just like it did help me.
Challenge 4: Customers
The next terrible people to deal with are your customers. Sometimes, most customers just make it look like they are helping you by patronizing your business (Partly true). If you have been there before, you should know how it feels. If it has happened to you before, never allow it to repeat itself.
If it feels like you are trying too much to convince a client into buying your product or service and the client is giving irrelevant excuses, let them go.
Anyway, that is just one aspect of the challenges faced with customers.
Another is getting and retaining customers.
You should always know that there is a difference between finding customers and retaining customers. You must be good at both or else you will be having difficulties in your business.
How good are you at marketing a business? Are you the kind of person who doesn’t like talking, persuading, or convincing people into making a commitment? Then you can’t run a business because there is no business without marketing.
This marketing post from Susan Solovic will teach you the best methods to market your business on a slim budget.
Challenge 5: Dealing with the Unknown
Every entrepreneur has to deal with some uncertainty for the initial years for his or her business as there are many things that can’t be predicted. How long will your business exist? How profitable will your business be? Will customers like your product or service? How much will you be making from the business? How long will this business last? Are you considering moving your business online? Can you manage it yourself or will you be employing someone to manage it?
Dealing with all the unknown in business is one of the hardest parts of becoming a new entrepreneur.
Challenge 6: Loneliness
People hardly mention this challenge and many entrepreneurs aren’t ready for it until it happens. Being an entrepreneur is a singular position. You will be working so hard that you won’t have time for your friends and family members as often.
Challenge 7: Handling Disasters
And lastly, most entrepreneurs think business would always run smoothly and they will never deal with any major problem because they have thoroughly planned everything. If you also believe this perception, then you are wrong.
Every business has its own contingency situation like lack of finance, losing customers, friends that were supporting you leaving, and so on. In most cases, these problems can’t be predicted. Are you ready for this?
In conclusion, lay all your cards on the table from the very start; check your desire, expectations and skills, and reach a conclusion so that you don’t regret halfway through the journey.