Startups are emerging everywhere these days. Today, startups area flooding the entire marketplace and everywhere, students are even advised in schools and other educational institutions not to look forward to graduating and eventually looking for a job, but rather to work as much as possible while in school to make names for themselves by investing their time in startups and business innovations.
Today, tales and stories of startup entrepreneurs and business owners seem to be on the front page of every newspaper and magazine issue, serving as an encouragement or incentive for more people to brainstorm and come up with ideas which, according to them, are worth investing in.
People see technological breakthroughs as something that could revolutionise the entire world and open people up to more abundant opportunities. Because of this fact, more funds and resources are being readily made available for the beginning of feasible startups and businesses.
The untold truth about startups is this;
Launching and maintaining one is not nearly as easy as successful entrepreneurs make it look. As much as there are more avenues being made available for startups to emerge and bloom, there are still some challenges that continue to persist. As an aspiring startup entrepreneur, you should expect to face some time-tested challenges and roadblocks.
Startups face challenges at different stages and various rungs up the ladder to success. Issues may differ based on the difficulty experienced in executing various goals and objectives and the capability of the entrepreneur(s) to handle various problems as they come is a huge advantage. Startup entrepreneurs make mistakes, depending on the type of startup or the group of people (if any) working together. However, there are some challenges that are facing startups on a general level today.
Here is a list of the top 5 challenges that your startup will face and how you manage them will go a long way in determining whether your startup will succeed or fail:
The big issue comes first. Funding remains one of the major challenges that emerging startups face. It’s a really dicey issue in the sense that every investor prefers to put their money somewhere they know it will be safest. Hence, they usually invest their money in already established and successful startups. Logical as it is for the investors, it also limits the number of successful startups that are available today. Truly, there are some startups today that if given the appropriate funds, will go on to become serious trailblazers in their fields. However, they lack the readily available funds simply because investors prefer to be ‘logical’ and invest in the established, most prospective startups.
Lack of Innovation
The desire to build startups and make money quickly and easily has sadly created a few norms in our minds. This said, most startups are simply ‘knock offs’ of old, more successful ones. The innovation is extremely lacking in entrepreneurs today. When investors and clients see these, they become reluctant to invest as they generally fail to see the difference between these new startups and old ones.
A major method for attracting funds for a startup is to have at least one unique feature; something that makes you stand out from the immeasurable amount of startups that are related to, or similar yours. People usually embrace re-imagined ways of doing things rather than favour completely new and innovative methods. The consequence of this is that innovation is generally trumped.
It’s always helpful and advantageous to set goals for your business. Goals give your business a direction, provide a means of measuring your business’ growth over time, act as a means to assess the success (or otherwise) of your business and serve as a method of pitting your business against other businesses in your fields.
In running startups, it is important that your startup surpasses (or at least meets) your set goals; it shows that you’re on the right track for future successes. However, where most startups get it wrong is the goal setting part. Most times, upcoming startups set goals that are simply unrealistic, giving their structure and size. Also, following a huge success, startups tend to ‘raise the bar’ and in the process, they set goals that stretch them too thin. For consistency, it is important to set high but controlled and generally attainable goals and objectives, given a level of resources and your capability of meeting those goals.
This challenge is mostly faced in businesses that have multiple owners (I.e, partnerships). While partnerships are great as they offer a greater capital base, these businesses are usually made up of owners who come from various backgrounds and who have differing (sometimes conflicting) business orientations.
These differing orientations greatly affect decision making. In running a startup, it is essential to be able to make decisions fast, especially when the window of time you have to act is very small or when the opportunity that presents itself to you is about to close. Some partners might have no qualms with taking certain risks while some feel it won’t be ‘safe’. A partnership lags here because no decision can be taken without everyone’s consent and without accommodating every partner. It’s vital that you get used to making (sometimes) tough decision, and quickly.
No matter how great your business management skills are as an entrepreneur, sooner or later and no matter how small, you’ll still need a team to work around you. Finding the right team members can be a bit of a challenge; you have to select people who have the same passion as you and people who are capable of handling the hardships that come with the job.
The right personnel will greatly help you; their skills will eventually help in relieving you of some of the work. Choosing the right personnel is a task that must be done with utmost care and impartiality. You can easily be tempted by a person’s character and hire them, only to discover that you’ve made a mistake and hired the wrong person. Other biases (nepotism, attraction, etc) must also be avoided when selecting the right personnel for your startup.