Arguably, nothing is more rewarding than becoming an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur can take charge of his or her own destiny and set a course that can be highly profitable or rewarding through giving back to the community. Taking that first step toward entrepreneurship could be the most difficult, but there can be other challenges that lie in wait beyond that first opening day of your business.
Challenges of Entrepreneurs
Limited human resources – often entrepreneurs are the sole employee of the company as it starts. This can be viewed as a benefit in some ways because there are no hassles with managing employees. However, it can cause a business owner to be stretched very thin. Time management and organizational skills are essential to make the most out of the one resource that you have.
Finances – small business loans are available, but not everyone can qualify and not all entrepreneurs wish to start off in debt. Saving up to start the business means delaying your dream for a period of time. Also, it is very important to plan your financial requirements carefully and set aside funds for emergency situations. Consider also credit lines with your suppliers and your payment terms with your customers to make sure you have adequate cash flow in place.
Setting your own hours – this could be a dream for many people, but it can become a real burden for an entrepreneur. It becomes far too easy to be demotivated, come in late or leave early. Avoid this by setting appointments and calls on regular schedules and force yourself to keep them.
No real plan – establishing a business plan is essential for any entrepreneur. It is far too easy to breeze through a plan without applying any specifics. This can cause you and your business to lose focus, take on too many initiatives or take on too few. Establish a plan with very specific events and ensure that it is measurable with dates. Stick to the plan and then revisit the plan every 6 months to start, and then each year after you are settled into a rhythm.
Flexibility – your business will need to adapt and change regardless of the industry that you choose. The world is changing rapidly with technology, communications and simple negotiation practices. While sticking to your business plan, you should also be cognizant and ready to adjust according to the winds of change so that your business can keep moving in the right direction. Lack of change can cause your customers to move away from you instead of moving towards you.
Technology – from establishing a web site to marketing, accounting and inventory software, technology can consume a great deal of time for an entrepreneur. Start small and keep your processes simple at the beginning. Consider a technology plan as part of your overall business plan to make sure you do not overspend on technology that you are not ready to use just yet.
Entrepreneurs have many opportunities to start a new business based around their dreams. While times have been difficult economically, there are many incentives in place to become an entrepreneur. Be aware of the challenges before they occur and you will be one step closer to the success that you have always wanted.