Thinking of starting a new business? Make sure youâ€™re prepared as there are numerous problems and roadblocks that can obstruct your route to success. From lack of time and money to getting your site online with no technical skills, there are many barriers to small business success.
Here are the top six challenges that small businesses will face when starting out and ways to overcome them.
1. Balancing starting a business with working a job
Even if you ultimately plan to run your business full-time, starting on a part-time basis can offer many advantages. It reduces your risk as you can rely on income to sustain your living expenses until your business starts generating a profit. Plus, you can use the income from your full-time job to help fund your new business.
So many small business owners have started their businesses this way. While this is a common method to get a business up and running, keep in mind that it takes hard work and long hours. However, starting a business at the same time as keeping your full-time job is not only doable, itâ€™s often a wise decision.
Here are a few tips for starting a business while keeping your day job:
- Know what youâ€™re getting yourself into so that you donâ€™t burn out while working nights and weekends (which you will be doing).
- Commit time in advance to work on your new business. Put together a schedule and try to devote a set amount of time each day to your new business.
- Know that youâ€™ll have to make sacrifices. Be prepared to give up your social life as your new business will require lots of time and effort. But donâ€™t get discouraged as it will pay off in the long run.
- Focus on better time management and minimise distractions when youâ€™re working on your business. Youâ€™ll have plenty of free time once your small business grows and youâ€™ll have left your full-time job.
2. Insufficient funding
A lack of funding is the most common reason why people donâ€™t start a business. However, there are numerous solutions to this problem. First, you can start saving up and working on your new business as a side project while keeping your full-time job. While this requires a great deal of dedication, itâ€™s a common strategy that works.
Alternatively, you could get capital from banks, government agencies, angel investors to help you kickstart your business. No matter which option you choose, make sure you have a solid pitch ready. No oneâ€™s going to fund your new venture unless youâ€™re clear about what youâ€™ll be offering, how you plan to break into the industry and how you plan to market your business. So prepare a great pitch and stop fretting about not having a nickel to your name.
3. Getting a website online without technical skills
With so many tools available, getting your site online has never been easier even if you donâ€™t have any design or coding skills.
Here are a few options that you can use you get your site up and running with no technical skills:
- Use a website builder. With our website builder you can quickly build and launch your site without having to worry about learning to code. This will also give you access to a nice collection of responsive themes, which means that your site will show properly regardless of the device people use to visit your site, whether itâ€™s a PC, a laptop, a tablet or a mobile device.
- Get a team of online experts to build it for you. 123-reg offers a Make Me a Website solution that takes all the hassle out of getting your site online. With this option, everything is done for you.
- Hire a professional. You can always hire a professional to design and implement your new website. While you might get a nice-looking site with all the bells and whistles, this option can prove to be costly and time-consuming. A cheaper option would be to get a free website template and then hire a freelancer to implement it for you.
4. Doing everything yourself
Delegating tasks is a huge problem for a lot of small business owners. You might be tempted to do everything yourself simply because you think youâ€™re the only one who can do everything right. Thatâ€™s a very common mentality. You might think that itâ€™s faster (and cheaper) to do it yourself than to show someone else how to do it properly. The problem with this is that it does not help your business grow. You wonâ€™t be able to free up time to focus on more important tasks like building a strategy to grow a successful business.
Fortunately, you can easily outsource energy-sapping tasks to freelancers. Check out this post that explains where and how to get quality work done even with a small budget.
5. Customer shortage
Thatâ€™s a common roadblock, and not just for small businesses, but for businesses of all sizes. Never have we heard someone say â€śwe have too many customersâ€ť. Hereâ€™s the main reason for this roadblock: you have no â€śhookâ€ť. Entrepreneur Jon Goldman calls it the â€śBig Zigâ€ť. Seth Godin calls it the â€śPurple Cowâ€ť. This is your unique selling proposition or USP and itâ€™s something thatâ€™s unique to your business.
So if you want to get more customers, you need to be unique and not like every other John out there. Watch this fantastic webinar on how to develop your small business brand that also explains how to differentiate your business from others in your industry.
6. The prospect of failure
This is another common roadblock: fear of failing. No one wants to fall short of their dreams and have to start over, so why bother trying in the right place, right? Wrong! Many small business owners face failure every day, but itâ€™s the successful ones that believe that theyâ€™ll succeed. And you should too! If youâ€™re passionate about your business and what you have to offer, and if youâ€™re determined to overcome any challenge, youâ€™ll likely make it to the promised land and open a strong business.
There will always be challenges to overcome in business, no matter which stage youâ€™re at. But these hurdles are part of the fun, that is if you donâ€™t let yourself get consumed by them. Stay motivated and youâ€™ll be able to overcome all these challenges and take your small business to the next level.
So, there you have it. Six deadly roadblocks for small business owners. Which one is your nemesis?