New Business Blues – 4 Common Hurdles New Business Owners Face (And How To Overcome Them)
Starting a new business can be exciting, challenging, and nerve-wracking. It can also mean you spend a lot of time with your head in your hands, wondering how to tackle the next step. Take heart because you are not alone. To prove it, here are four hurdles that almost every new business owner will face on their path to success.
Cash flow crisis
In any new business, juggling cash flow and maintaining positive profit margins is a challenge. New business owners often feel the pinch at home and work as there is rarely enough money in the establishment phase. If you do find yourself googling “quick loans” after realizing that you don’t have enough to buy groceries this week, look for lenders with low rates who are transparent about fees and have flexible payment terms.
At work, make sure you find yourself a reliable financial consultant to help you establish a healthy cost structure within the business. You need to come up with a plan that details all of your costs in the first six months and includes realistic income projections. This plan will ensure you have enough cash to pay your suppliers and that you know when you will become financially solvent.
Hiring competent staff can make or break your new business, so it’s crucial to get your recruitment process right. The first step is to consider what the bare minimum is for you to get started. Because cash flow is always tight in this early stage (see the previous point!), you will most likely need to prioritize your staffing needs.
When you are interviewing potential employees, look for the right attitude and cultural fit as well as the skills that you need. It’s much easier to teach someone how to use a coffee machine than it is to have them develop a work ethic and humility if they don’t already possess these qualities. Depending on the industry, you may be able to offer people a one week trial to see if they are the right fit. In an office environment, set them a task to see how they perform. Another option is to hire contractors. This approach brings you experienced professionals on an hourly basis while you are scaling up the business.
Another challenge you will face is determining the best software and hardware for your needs. Choosing the right technology to support your business is crucial as it will underpin your customer service and delivery process. It also plays a vital role in staff satisfaction – there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to do your job because of a technological glitch or breakdown.
You might start by reviewing what technology your competitors use, and then considering best practice, both within and outside your industry. Some companies use technology to give them a point of difference in the market, so invest a bit of time into thinking about what’s right for your business.
Getting the word out
Finally, you need to think about your marketing strategy. How will you get the word out about your new business? Building a website and developing a social media strategy are great places to start. You may also consider an introductory offer to get potential customers to give you a try!
Starting a new business comes with an ever-evolving list of challenges to overcome. But it can also be hugely rewarding, both personally and financially. Make sure you have a solid plan in place and surround yourself with the right people, and you will be well on your way to success.