Entrepreneurship is thrilling, exciting and one of the hardest things someone can do. It takes a lot of motivation — an intrinsic drive to push for the creation of something that often only you can see. It requires a willingness to take risks and be versatile.
Many don’t make it; in fact, almost 20 percent of businesses fail within year one. Having a great idea is only a portion of what it takes to create a business venture that lasts beyond the startup stage. Some challenges that many entrepreneurs face in the first two years are:
- Lacking a growth plan
- Trying to do it all
- No systems
Let’s examine these in further detail:
1. NO GROWTH PLAN
You may have heard of a business plan, but just in case, this is a roadmap that outlines a business’s objectives, products and costs. A growth plan answers the question, “What’s next?” Once the business is operating, what will be the plan to expand, add additional locations or hire staff? Take some time to write a growth plan along with the action steps needed to get there.
2. TRYING TO DO IT ALL (AKA BEING SUPERWOMAN)
Hustle culture dictates that we should be doing it all. It’s a badge of honor to wear every hat in the business. However, that also means someone with limited experience or knowledge is handling key business functions that an expert could do far better. Invest a portion of your profit back into the business so you can hire a bookkeeper, marketer, salesperson, etc. to lend their expertise to your areas of weakness. This will give you more time to focus on your strengths.
3. NO SYSTEMS
Digital technology is everywhere – literally. We use it when asking Siri about the weather or texting a friend, but it is underutilized as a business efficiency tool. Do you use a system that follows up with past and potential clients? Does your invoicing platform automatically distribute your invoices along with automated reminders, or do you have to remember to do that? Is your inventory automatically updated in your point-of-sale system when an item is purchased? Systems save time, effort and money.
This list is, of course, not exhaustive, but it offers a few areas to evaluate so you can create a business that will thrive for years to come.