Archive August 2017

These Are Your Biggest Challenges as a New Entrepreneur

Never go into battle unprepared. For startups, this means being prepared to face the challenges of starting your own business. As a new entrepreneur, you should be aware of the pitfalls and obstacles involved in setting up your own enterprise even before you make proposals and sales pitches. This way, even when you encounter landmines and get caught in a crossfire, you have a better chance of survival.

Every entrepreneur has undergone his or her share of challenges, and each may be unique for every business owner. But for new startups, most, if not all, are faced with the problems.

Acquiring Funds

Some new entrepreneurs are lucky enough to have an established network, partner investors, or readily available cash to finance their startup. But others have to start from scratch. If you belong to the latter, you have to work very hard in searching for all your funding options. But money problems aren’t limited to entrepreneurs in your group. Even those who already have funding to get the ball rolling will eventually encounter financial difficulty.

Private investment, angel investors, crowd-funding, grants, and loans are just a few of the many financing options you can tap. After knowing who to approach for financial support, you then have the difficult task of convincing them to fund your business. This process involves a lot of sweat and heartbreak, and may take a lot of time before bearing any positive results.

Hiring the Right People

During the infant stages, it may seem plausible to do everything on your own. However, if you want your business to really grow, you have to bring other people on board. And not just any people, but the right people.

First, you have to identify what tasks and roles you need help with. The next step is to find the right candidates to fill those shoes. There are plenty of qualified individuals out there, but skill and expertise are not all you should look for. You should also look for someone who would be a good fit for your business. Does this person have the same business values as you? Can he or she contribute to bring your company closer towards its vision and goals? The right hire results to growth and success, but the wrong one could derail everything.

Marketing Your Business

Acquiring customers is on top of your priorities as a new entrepreneur. But achieving that is easier said than done, especially if your business belongs to a very competitive market. Some entrepreneurs shove marketing down their list of priorities, when in fact they should prioritize building their brand. Remember that you are the new kid in town, and you still need to build relationships and gain the trust of your potential clients, and this could take some time.

Afraid it’s going to cost you to lose revenue? Make sure to allocate a budget for marketing in your business plan so that it is already included in your expected monthly expenses and won’t take anything from your profits. With so many advertising forms available today (social media, online marketing, SEO), you can work on your brand building at a reasonable and affordable cost.

Don’t give up. Find help.

For new entrepreneurs, challenges can be harsh, but they can also be rewarding. So don’t give up so easily on your business dreams. Know that there are other entrepreneurs out there who are facing the same or their own unique problems. Try to reach out to them, or find a mentor who has been through similar experiences. Having someone to talk to about your challenges can be a good release and a way to discover solutions.

Connect with me

Add me on social media for updates

3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need Mentors

3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need Mentors

What is a common thread among all successful leaders? They have mentors. And their mentors had mentors, and these mentors also had mentors before them. Mentoring is an essential element for anyone looking to succeed as an entrepreneur. Just ask Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and other billionaire entrepreneurs who have credited their mentors as having roles in their success. If that isn’t enough reason for you, then here are three more reasons you should have a mentor.

1. They Can Teach You What You Can’t Learn from Books, Articles, Theory, or School

Educating yourself as much as you can about entrepreneurship is advantageous, without a doubt. But there are certain skills required to build and manage a business that can’t be taught in a classroom or online course. These skills and knowledge can only be learned through experience, and a mentor who has gone through the process and hardships of starting their own business will have a lot of that. These people have already gone through the dilemma of acquiring and losing funds and handling risks. They have experienced how stressful it really is to own and manage a startup, and have mastered the art of how to remain calm and think clearly on their feet during difficult situations.

2. They Can Help You Achieve Success

If you look at startup statistics, the numbers don’t look very promising. More than 50% of new businesses fail in the first four years. As someone who has dedicated so much time, energy, and money and who has made a lot of sacrifices to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true, you definitely want to succeed. But starting your own business has a lot of challenges that giving up will be tempting. It is during these hard times that you will appreciate a mentor even more. There will be someone to listen to you, support you, advise you, and even help you find solutions to overcome your problems. Mentors can be the critical link to holding on and pushing through, or giving up and losing everything you’ve worked so hard for. Seventy percent of small businesses with mentoring survive longer than five years (www.sba.gov).

3. They Will Help You and Your Business Grow

Mentors have the advantage of ‘been there, done that’. They have already acquired their own network and contacts. They have grown their businesses, built partnerships, and made a name for themselves in the industry. All of this can be beneficial when you want to build or grow your own business. Remember that when you are starting from scratch, you won’t have the connections for funding, hiring, production, marketing, and so on. Your mentor can introduce you to his or her connections, opening up opportunities and a wealth of resources you might have needed years to gather and tap on your own. Aside from that, your mentor can help you become more competent in creating business programs and strategies, dealing with people, and organizing your structure.

Find Your Own Mentor

It is not only statistics that prove how much of a difference mentors make when it comes to the success or failure of businesses, but also the testimonies of top entrepreneurs who credit their mentors for their success. Of course, finding the right mentor for you is a crucial ingredient in getting the guidance and help required for your unique needs.

“Mentors are not there to make us ‘happy’. They are there to guide us to the best of their knowledge.”

– Samira DeAndrade, Senior Account Executive of Diesel