Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 3 challenges for a start-up

For many entrepreneurs, starting and growing a business is an exciting adventure – until you come across almost insurmountable obstacles that can break up your company. After speaking with a few entrepreneurs, investors and executives, here are some of the challenges that business owners face when growing their companies.

Not having partners to help share the load

There have been very few successful companies that have been started by just one founder. And those that have succeeded always attracted a good team who were there from the beginning. Why can’t a single founder start a company? Many entrepreneurs say it’s because starting a company on your own is just too much for one person. With daily pressures and multiple areas that you are responsible for, there are not enough hours in the day to deal with them. Even if you could do all the work yourself, you would still need a team behind you to vet ideas, strategies and opportunities. By working with partners you will be able to share the workload and be able to bring the final product to market quicker.

But most importantly, having multiple founders allow the team to help support each other through the most challenging times. When going it alone, trying to manage the daily stress will be difficult. Having a team around you to lighten things or spread the load is immeasurably beneficial.

Losing focus and spreading yourself too thin

This can be a big problem for companies who want to do everything for everyone. If your start-up is growing quickly, it is common for many founders to start adding new markets, and expand too quickly through acquisitions. Don’t try to solve problems that are not part of your niche as this will pull you away from what brought your company success in the first place – your core market. What you should do is tightly define who your target is, focus on what you can offer them and create an action plan that solves their problems.

Not enough cash

Cash is king. You’ve heard this before from various people, however, in a business environment it speaks volumes. How much cash do you have until you hit your next milestone? If your company is an idea, then how much money does it require to create a product/service? If you already have a product, then how much cash does it take to launch? So when you set your financial goals, make sure that you’ve accounted for how much cash it would take to get to the next step. Without sufficient cash flow, any downturn can end your business before it has a chance to fly.

With proper planning and foresight, you’ll be able to overcome any of these challenges and be well on your way to success!