As an entrepreneur, you’re going to hit a lot of road blocks, honey. You’ll probably doubt yourself at some point, fail to meet certain objectives, and struggle more than you expected or care to admit. It’s no wonder only 4% of startups survive beyond ten years, or that half of startups fail the first five years.
Some of these challenges may be beyond your control, but you can avoid being part of these statistics with some knowledge ahead of time.
You must assume that the road ahead will be difficult, but by considering the following five factors upfront you might be lucky enough to avoid one of the many challenges entrepreneurship throws at you.
1. A Business Idea
A business idea is the foundation of all businesses. Not sure how to start brainstorming? Offer something that no one else can. If you can’t create a new product, think about improving what is already on the market with enticing features and low prices.
Even unique and attractive packaging can make your business stand out. Always remember that a business is started to offer a solution to its customers. If there’s a gap in the market, be the brand that fills it for customers.
2. Expertise or Knowledge
It’s impossible to deal with a product or service you don’t understand. So, before you start a business, consider what you are knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate about. If you have to deal with something you aren’t conversant with, you can research more about it before taking the first step. You could also explore hiring a specialist who can hold your hand.
3. Demand or Market
Having a brilliant business idea alone is not enough to make you succeed. You may have the capacity to create a unique product, but the question is, who will buy it? Will you get enough recurring buyers to sustain the startup?
Before starting a business, conduct thorough market research to identify your customers and their needs. You also need to find out whether the customer base will grow or remain stagnant. If you want to operate internationally, find out the rules, laws, and regulations in the countries where you plan to operate.
4. Start-up Budget
Starting a business requires a lot of cash. Consider the total amount you require to start and maintain it before making any tangible returns. For example, consider the rent, licenses/permits, salaries, utility bills, transportation, registration, and other overheads.
You must also factor in the cost of bringing your first stock and have some backup for emergencies. The last thing you want to happen is for your business to fail due to poor financial planning!
5. Other Factors
Other factors you have to consider include:
- Technology. It’s advisable to use modern technology to gain an edge against your competitors.
- Staff. The staff you hire must be qualified, experienced, certified, and passionate about their work.
- Location. Where you get setup matters a lot. The location must be easily accessible to your customers/clients.
- Competition. You have to analyze your competitors to learn from them to improve on what they are not doing well.
The factors discussed above are crucial to all business owners, no matter the company’s size or niche. Before moving forward, you must consider how these factors could impede your growth and create solutions to work around potential problem areas in budgeting, staffing, mission statement writing, and market evaluation. It also pays to hire a consultant to help you in all stages of your business.