Startup entrepreneurship poses a set of challenges that are unique to launching and owning a startup. To adequately prepare yourself to launch your own startup, you need to be aware of the challenges that lie ahead as well as the tools you have to combat them. Not only does this guide give you insight into the challenges faced by entrepreneurs when launching a startup, but it also provides actionable tips to meet those challenges head-on.
Common Entrepreneur Challenges
Lack of Work-Life Balance
One of the biggest perks of owning your own startup is that you get to create your schedule. However, due to the time-intensive nature of entrepreneurship, you will most likely be dedicating far more time to your job than you are at your current nine to five. Establishing a work-life balance while launching your startup can be challenging and sometimes isn’t possible until your startup is more stable.
Uncertainty and Stress
There’s no doubt about it — a fledgling business poses inherent risks. As an entrepreneur, there is no avoiding the uncertainty and stress of launching your own startup. Not to mention, these cautionary feelings are essential to making important decisions for your business.
While uncertainty and stress may not ever completely disappear during your entrepreneurial career, as you face the inevitable challenges of owning your own business, you will also learn the tools necessary to combat uncertainty with exceptional problem-solving skills.
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to struggle with self-doubt. However, when you’re spearheading your own company, it is common to feel self-doubt as you create a company based on your ideas, vision, and leadership. Fortunately, the best solution to feelings of self-doubt is building a stronger sense of confidence. When you’re launching a startup, you’ll be required to overcome daily challenges and, in turn, learn to trust yourself to make the right decisions for your startup.
As a novice entrepreneur, finding adequate support for your startup can be challenging and even a little intimidating. Recognizing the resources available to support your startup is crucial to building a network of support to move your business forward. Looking for local resources or finding the SCORE location for your area can help overcome this challenge.
Furthermore, many areas have government resources or independent organizations that are dedicated solely to helping entrepreneurs through each stage of the startup process, from formation to networking and everything in between.
Launching a startup has a lot of lucrative potentials. In tandem, it also poses a significant amount of financial risk. Whether you’re bankrolling your startup through bootstrapping or taking on investment through a venture capital firm — the risk of losing or owing money is unavoidable when launching a startup. While you’ll never be completely free of financial risk, there are ways to better prepare yourself to meet the challenge.
The first is calculating your startup costs and being realistic about the amount you will need in order to cover startup and overhead costs as well as goals that are attainable with this in mind. Secondly, search for and secure adequate startup funding that will empower you to launch and maintain your startup successfully.
The process of legally forming your startup can be a difficult one for anyone. Every state has different requirements and, depending on your location, this can entail different processes outside of filing formation documents such as filing name reservation or publishing an announcement of incorporation. While forming a business might seem like a daunting task, you can rest assured that there are plenty of resources available to make it easy.
If you’re up to the challenge of filing formation documents by yourself, you aren’t on your own. By utilizing our free guides on how to start a corporation or how to start an LLC, you can learn how to form your business no matter what state you’re located in.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional incorporation service to complete and file your formation documents for you. In addition, to relieve you of this challenge, there are several additional benefits of hiring a business formation service instead of doing it on your own.
Maintaining Your Corporate Veil
A corporate veil separates your personal assets from your company, keeping your personal savings, vehicles, and other assets safe if your company is sued or owes a debt. Maintaining your corporate veil is extremely important to protect you and your company. The first step to ensuring your corporate veil is maintained is to create an operating agreement if you formed an LLC or bylaws if you’ve formed a corporation to establish your company’s practices.
It is also important to separate your personal assets from your company’s. This means you will need to establish a business bank account and business credit cards that are completely separate from your personal finances. Additionally, hiring an accountant can help ensure that your corporate veil is maintained and mitigates the risk of your personal assets being at risk.
Next, you will need to ensure that your company is compliant on a federal and state level. First, by obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS — this essentially serves as your business’s Social Security number for tax purposes. You will also need to register for the business licenses and business insurance required at both a state and local level.
It can be difficult to relinquish control over every aspect of your startup. Understandably so, there is an immense amount of risk involved. However, the hard truth is that you can’t do it all — physically or mentally. Learning how to delegate tasks to your trusted partners, employees, or the services you hire is essential to the success of your startup, but that doesn’t mean it is any less challenging.
The key is to establish the aspects of launching and operating your startup that could be easily passed to someone else you trust to get the job done. Whether that is hiring a bookkeeper or trusting a tech-savvy employee to run your startup’s social media accounts, delegation may be challenging, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Marketing and Finding Customers
A huge part of launching a successful startup is establishing a marketing strategy that will draw in a substantial amount of customers. With scalability being an essential part of the startup fabric, marketing bears a heavy weight on the success of your company.
If you’re not sure how to begin developing a startup marketing plan to reach potential customers, you aren’t alone. Marketing can be especially challenging for a litany of entrepreneurs; using resources such as our guide to startup marketing can help you develop the right marketing strategy for your business.
Building the Right Team
When you’re launching a startup, you can’t just hire any team; you need to build the right team. This essentially means bringing team members on board that you can count on to stay true to your startup’s mission and help move the company forward — which can be a challenge.
Not only does the hiring process require time and resources, but you may not get it right the first time, leading to difficult conversations and tough decisions. To mitigate this, you will need to develop a hiring strategy that will attract candidates that align with your goals.
Discovering New Ideas for Growth
One of the traits that sets startups apart from other businesses is that they are designed for growth and scalability. However, this does not mean that you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to grow your startup. Startups are constantly evolving their business model in order to reach new customers. For this reason, you can anticipate dedicating a substantial amount of your time to developing new ways to attract new markets.