Entrepreneurs begin with a solid knowledge of their service or product and a strong desire to make it on their own. But handling everything in a new business can be overwhelming at first. Running your own business requires attention to those crucial background challenges that must be met to succeed.
Most entrepreneurs put their own money into their business when starting up, but often, it’s still not enough to cover initial expenses, development, and expansion. You may be looking for additional funding, either from investors or through a loan. You should thoroughly investigate each and consider the pros and cons of each option before deciding.
Investors take on some risk, but they may also expect to share decision-making and profit. Still, you might also be able to benefit from any expertise or connections your investor has. Business loans can also provide instant cash, and the profits and control of the business remain yours. Yet, the loan application process is burdensome and if things don’t go right and you default, it could hurt your future credit.
Developing a Good Company Culture
Good company culture begins with respect for your clients or customers and your employees, which builds mutual trust. A team spirit and an openness to listen will inspire your employees to feel invested in your company’s mission and take care and diligence in their contributions to it.
Mostly, you will lead by example. Whatever you say, people will take more note of what you do. Handle both successes and problems in a positive manner, and work to build morale through small gestures of kindness and understanding.
Hiring employees takes time, effort, and money. Once you have the employees you want onboard, you should take measures to retain them. Although your budget may be tight in your early years, fair and competitive compensation is necessary. The benefits you offer will also incentivize employees to stay. In addition to the usual perks, think about offering flexible schedules and work-from-home options, if possible.
Offering employee development will also help with retainment and benefit your business. When you give employees the opportunity for professional growth, it’s a win for all.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Entrepreneurs are known for their hard work, but avoid letting your work become all-consuming. Entrepreneur burn-out can have negative consequences for your physical and mental health, as well as for family and loved ones. While you will need to work hard, it’s imperative that you regularly set aside time for yourself to completely disconnect, even if it’s just for a few hours a day.
Delegate some responsibilities to a trusted employee who can cover for you when you take time off. Avoid checking your email and discourage work-related texts during your personal time. Once you’ve had some rest and recreation, you’ll be even more energized to get back into your business.
Outlasting Your Competitors
By ten years, only 30% of owners are still running their businesses. Many businesses fail because entrepreneurs don’t pay enough attention to their competition. try to stand out from your competition by offering something they don’t or can’t: a unique product, an expanded service area, better customer service, or higher quality.
Keep an eye on what your competitors do, and learn from them. Watch how they respond to your business’s entry into the market; if they’re making changes, that could mean they consider you a threat, which is good news for you.
Developing a consistent brand message is your first step in successful marketing. You’ll need a recognizable logo, colors, and slogan, all of which should be placed on your website, social media accounts, and any communications. Use keywords on your website so that it appears in searches, and keep your website up to date, perhaps through blogging.
Advertising online is also an effective and cost-effective way of marketing. Google, Facebook, and other social media have advertising partner programs.
Among the biggest challenges in a new business is maintaining a steady cash flow. Keeping careful records and planning a budget can help, but in the early years, there may be sudden, unexpected expenses or a sharp drop-off in income.
While some changes in income may be seasonal, there is also the problem of customers who don’t pay promptly. To prevent this, make sure to have customers sign contracts and charge late fees for missed payments. Discontinue relationships with troublesome customers.
Responding to Growth Opportunities
Most entrepreneurs are looking for ways to grow, whether it’s expanding a product line or market share or establishing another location. Business owners must always respond to a growth opportunity by weighing the benefits vs. the risks.
Before jumping on an opportunity, take a thorough look at your own finances and your target market. Perform a SWOT analysis to take a close look at the expansion plan’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Consult an Attorney to Limit Risks
Consulting a business attorney is necessary to ensure your company complies with all state and federal laws in operations, taxes, and any special regulations applying to your specific business, whether it’s licenses or permits, or environmental concerns.
The attorney can also help minimize your personal liability by helping you create a limited liability corporation (LLC) and draw up any contracts, trademark your brand, and apply for patents.
Even if you don’t always feel confident, your words and actions can project it. To build confidence, focus on your successes and understand that mistakes and failures are temporary setbacks.
Remember that confidence is contagious. When you are confident about your business, your customers, your employees, and any associates will have more confidence in you. With confidence, you can more easily respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
The first years of a business are the riskiest, but you can overcome the obstacles you encounter and succeed. You will struggle with many aspects of your business, but that is normal. The key is being prepared with strategies to handle them.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation. We want to help you build your brand and set you up for success!
Read this next: How to Make Your Home-Based Business Appear More Professional