9 challenges entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them

9 challenges entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them

Because every developing business faces difficulties.

Together with the decision of having your own business, several challenges emerge. These are the entrepreneur challenges. 

So, if you are thinking that you are going to make money overnight, with no effort during the process, you can abandon that idea and roll up your sleeves, because you will have a lot of work to do.

On the other hand, you now control your career and if you do everything right, you can make more money as an entrepreneur than in your conventional job. Sounds like a good deal, right?  

But rest assured because we are here to help you in this new phase: learning about the 9 main challenges faced by the beginning entrepreneur and learn how to overcome them!  

Abandoning another career

Starting a business requires a lot from the entrepreneur: you need to create a product, promote it, contact people, create profiles on social networks, answer client questions, i.e., it is almost impossible to balance this routine with your job that takes up at least eight hours of your day.  

In the beginning, you can manage your business over the weekend, but from the moment that your idea generates profit and demand for your product/service increases, you will need to decide if that money is only to supplement your income or if you want to live solely from that activity.   

Of course that giving up on a career isn’t easy, nor is it recommended that you do so without planning emotionally and financially.

Something that can help you during this transition is to seek the help of a coach to assess your current professional moment. This profession can help you understand if you really like your job or if it is merely a means of livelihood. The answer to this and other questions might be the trigger that was missing to start your entrepreneurial journey.

Financial planning

If you abandon your previous career, this means that you won’t have a guaranteed monthly income, your “salary” will now depend on the number of sales you make.

Therefore, financial planning is an essential part of your new business. It will ensure that you will have sufficient cash flow to maintain your operations until you start earning money.

But how do you know how much money you will need? Actually, it is impossible to know the exact amount, but it is possible to have an approximate idea.

In the case of digital products, this calculation is simpler because you create the product only once and make it available online, while physical products require constant production.

Let’s suppose that you have decided to create an online course on a subject that you master. In this case, your planning shall consider: production costs (recording, editing, etc.) + amount invested in the promotion of the product (ads, the creation of a landing page, website, among others) + your personal expenses (water, electricity, phone, Internet).

Choosing the right niche

Enjoying an activity doesn’t mean we’re good at it. And to have a business, you need to be really good at what you do.

There are those who love fashion, but can’t design clothing or create a specific product about it.

Therefore, instead of choosing randomly, make a list of activities that you like doing and another one with the activities that you do well or those with which people often ask for help.

Ideally, the choice of your niche should arise at the intersection of these two lists, since your new business will take up a lot of your time and therefore, needs to be about something with which you identify.   

Another important aspect to be observed is if the chosen niche has enough demand to generate profit; after all, it’s no use creating a quality product or service if few people are interested in using it.   

To find this information there are tools like Google Trends, which show the subjects that are searched the most on the internet, according to a certain period. Our tip here is that you search for the last 12 months, in order to avoid the pitfalls of choosing subjects that were only searched over the last month, and which may be specific demands.

Google Keyword Planner is another free tool used to find the volume of searches for several keywords. This information is useful to identify if your subject matter is relevant to the audience you want to reach.

>>> Learn more about niches.

Lack of market knowledge

No one is born knowing how to do everything, so it is only natural that in the beginning, you will make a few mistakes due to inexperience, even if you are very good at what you are doing.

In order to minimize these errors, it is important that you carefully research the market you are entering: who is your persona; which companies compete with your; search in forums and websites, such as Reclame Aqui (Complain Here), what are the most recurring consumer demands, and who you can meet them with your product/service.

It is worth mentioning that this research work is constant because it is through it that you will be able to find opportunities to improve your business, to offer more value to your audience.

Let’s agree that from now on, tools such as Google Analytics are now your best friends, ok?

Validate your idea

Before investing your savings in creating a business, you need to know if your idea works in practice. And the best way to do that is by testing.

There is a concept known as MVP (minimum viable product) that consists of creating a “beta” version of your product, with all the functionalities it will have, and testing people’s reception. Although there will be some hard work, this test will save you time and trouble in the future.   

To be considered a good idea, your product must solve a problem, be easy to understand, be something that people would pay for and consequently, have the capacity to generate income without increasing the production costs, in other words, it should be scalable.

Self-employment

Generally, beginning entrepreneurs work alone and this is a major adaptation challenge for those who are used to working in teams or crowded environments.

If you are a very sociable person, choose a day of the week to work in co-working spaces. This way you extract the best of both worlds: working on your own and avoiding loneliness.  

Another challenge of the home office model is finding the hours when you are most productive. One thing that can help a lot, if you still don’t have any experience with remote work, is to establish a routine. Have a fixed bedtime, wake up and schedule short pauses during the day so you don’t get overwhelmed.  

Over time, you will know what hours are the best to work and you will complete your activities with more quality.

People with nocturnal habits for example, can reserve the morning shift for personal appointments, such as going to the bank and having lunch with the family, and working during the afternoon and early evening.  

Just be careful not to spend long hours of the day working. If on one hand, this is good because it shows that you are taking your business seriously, on the other, a long workday might compromise the quality of your service.

You need to find a balance between your clients’ demand and the time you need to deliver a solution of value to them.

Build a client base

The secret to having a long-lasting business is to build a solid client base, and in order to do so, you should focus on creating relationships with these people before thinking about sales.

I bet you read this part and became confused since you’ve always been told that the performance of a business is measured by the money it can generate. But think of it this way: do you prefer a successful launch or having a product whose consumption is perennial? We are sure that you chose the second option.

And if you did choose it, brace yourself for a major challenge because gaining people’s trust isn’t easy, you need to generate value before you extract value. This requires major investments in quality content and a good lead nurturing strategy. We will talk about relationships later in this text.

Lack of stability

In addition to their fixed salary, many people cling to their jobs because of labor benefits, because when you become an entrepreneur, you lose your FGTS, unemployment insurance, maternity leave and annually paid vacation rights.

What these people don’t understand is that by having their own business, they have a chance of making much more money that if they worked a normal job, which would compensate the absence of these benefits.

However, not everything is perfect in the entrepreneur’s life. You have to be careful since the economy is constantly changing, which means that your income will fluctuate a lot.

Always keep cash flow for emergency expenses and avoid spending too much, especially at the beginning. The financial planning that we mentioned above is essential in this aspect because it will help avoid panicking prematurely.

Also, remember to formalize your business. When you become an individual micro-entrepreneur, not only do you secure a few social security rights as well as differentiated taxes, bigger lines of credit and you can look more trustworthy to your consumer with the issuance of invoices.

Building authority

Professional authority is in reference to a certain subject, which is sought in cases of doubt or for the solution of problems. Have you ever thought of being the first brand that comes to the consumer’s mind when he/she thinks about a product?   

This sort of fame isn’t easily built, but by following our tips you can speed up this process.

Create a blog (and keep it updated)  

Having a blog isn’t mandatory in order to work with internet sales, but you will see that this is the best way of delivering quality content about the product you are selling. If what you share adds value, little by little your blog will become a reference in the subject and will begin to attract traffic organically.

Record videos

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index report, videos will be responsible for 82% of all internet user traffic by 2020. In other words, companies and entrepreneurs who don’t invest in this format are already subject to a loss of engagement, which may also result in financial loss.  

Deliver quality content for free

Remember that story of generating value before extracting value? Rich content is basically about this! When you deliver high-quality material without any additional cost, you trigger your consumer’s reciprocity, which makes him/her find it easier to pay for your product in the future. And even if the sale isn’t made, you will have that user’s contact information and more time to create a relationship with him/her; it is a win-win relationship.  

Don’t forget about social networks

For a long time now, social networks have stopped being merely entertainment channels to become another tool to communicate with your audience and build a business. Analyze the social networks where your consumers are and develop a communications strategy focused on these channels. The ideal proportion is 80% of content and only 20% to talk about your brand.

If you can overcome these challenges, you are already halfway towards building a solid career as an entrepreneur. If you’re starting out in the market now, read our complete guide on how to make your first sale online.

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