So you’ve finally made the decision to start your own business… That means a “congratulations” is in order, right? Yes, but before you start planning your business launch party, it’s important you’re made aware of what you’ll be facing on your entrepreneurial journey.
This isn’t an attempt to put a damper on your excitement of entrepreneurship, but more so to give you a realistic outlook for better chances of success. As an up and coming entrepreneur, the reality is that you’re going to have some challenges along your entrepreneurial journey. You may have already known that, but most don’t understand the real severity of the statistics.
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail by the end of their first year of opening. For businesses that survive into their fourth year, 50% of them typically end up shutting down by the end of their fifth year.
Those statistics are very real and intimidating, but they should also be motivational for you to do everything in your power to make your business succeed and not become part of that statistic. Preparation is key and knowledge is power.
The more knowledgable you can become about the challenges you’ll face along on your journey to entrepreneurship, the better prepared you’ll be to face them head-on and overcome them. As an up and coming entrepreneur, here are a few of the biggest challenges you’ll face and the best solutions to overcome them.
Challenge: Establishing Your Brand Identity
Establishing your brand identity is going to be quite challenging for any up and coming business simply because it’s ultimately your brand against the world. Your brand identity is crucial in starting your business because it’s the very thing that positions your business in the world and it’s the representation of how you want the world to see your brand.
This is something you ideally want to get right from the very beginning because it’s the very first impression you’ll have to make on your target audience and potential customers. An effective and solid marketing plan is key here. But if you’re anything like lots of budding small business owners, you may not know exactly where to begin.
For one, you need to identify your niche. In identifying your niche, you’re establishing what makes your brand special and what sets your products/services apart from competitors. You’ll also be determining who your products/services are for.
Secondly, in order to establish your brand, people need to know about it, and online marketing is going to be your best tool and resource. Online marketing can be accomplished in many different ways too. Some of the best ways to market your business include:
- Social platforms
- Create a business site
- Start a blog
And the best part about your marketing solutions is that even if you have no clue how to do these essential tasks, there are experts who do know how and you can hire them to do it all for you. Depending on what you’re wanting to accomplish, these services can be very affordable and effective.
Challenge: Having the Right Systems in Place for Scaling
In running your business, you’re going to be processing lots of information like customer data, inventory management, and financial data. There are different applications for different business processes and lot of entrepreneurs just starting out will typically go for the “free” applications that have you running one part of your business here, and the other part there… One miscalculation in one application can completely throw off your numbers in another application.
All this jumping from one application to another is just extra and unnecessary work, especially as your business starts to grow. If you find yourself running a business that’s growing at a rapid rate, you’re going to have to step away from free, aka cheap processes… To really support your growing business, you’re going to have to invest in it.
You need a system in place that allows you to process all business information in one place. This will drastically reduce your chances of errors because all your information and data will be located in one central system.
JD Edwards software is your one-stop-shop solution for automating repetitive tasks and ultimately streamlining your business with room for substantial growth. As your business grows, you’re going to need a system in place that will be able to handle the mass amount of information that would need to be processed.
Challenge: Hiring the Right People
“Good help is hard to come by these days,” is a common statement among many small business owners. But the question is why is it so hard? True enough, some people will just apply to a job despite knowing they’re not qualified for the position… But could it also be something business owners aren’t doing as to why they’re getting under-qualified candidates?
Whether you’re looking to form the best marketing team or just need a group of freelancers to work on a particular project for you, you have to be transparent and open about your expectations.
If you’re using a job board, let potential candidates know where you are in your business (established or just starting), be upfront if extra hours will be needed, and exactly what you’re trying to accomplish by hiring them.
You especially want to be upfront and honest about your pay rate because let’s be honest here… you’re trying to make money through your business and you don’t have time to waste because time is money; Potential candidates will look at your hiring process the same way in the aspect that they don’t want to waste their time working with you if your price isn’t right for their skill set and years of experience.
Again, transparency is key here. With transparency comes potential negotiations that can indeed give you a solution and lead you to a qualified candidate.