Why is starting a business so hard? If it is so stressful, is it even worth opening your own company? These are essential questions every aspiring entrepreneur needs to answer for themselves.
Starting a business is hard work. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a unique set of skills, including salesmanship, people management, financial acumen, and emotional strength. To make your business launch easier, I recommend that you learn new skills, get additional support, and hire specialists and expert consultants.
You see, I have launched a few small businesses and want to share with you my toughest challenges and how I made entrepreneurship easier and ultimately more prosperous.
Let’s explore if becoming a business owner is right for you and if you are ready to take on the challenge of business ownership and make it work for you.
What Makes Starting a Business Hard: Entrepreneur Tips to Make it Easier
To become a wealthy entrepreneur, you have to overcome multiple challenges from the marketplace, finances, employees, and even within yourself, such as your fears and ego blind spots.
Here are some of the most challenging parts of founding your own brand that I found and how to make it easier to be an entrepreneur.
Not enough money
It’s expensive to start a business, and it can be tough to get funding or investors if you cannot provide your startup funding. Then you will need to get creative about ways to find the money for your new business funding.
Yes, there are ways to start a business at a low cost. Check out my list of the best low-cost business ideas here. And sometimes you can even start with no money (there are a few almost zero cash startup ideas on my list too!). However, most businesses will require investment for rent payments, workers, inventory, and marketing campaigns.
It isn’t easy to get a business loan from a traditional bank these days, so I suggest entrepreneurs look at these 17 proven funding sources as ways to find the capital you need to get started.
There are many money challenges in business ownership – that don’t end after you secure early funding. You will need to learn how to manage your firm’s money, calculate product pricing with healthy profit margins, negotiate advantageous supplier deals and hire help at competitive rates.
One of the most important financial management skills you will need to learn as an entrepreneur is managing, monitoring, and correcting your cash flow position. First, you should check your cash flow report, which will forecast how much cash you have after paying for expenses, rent, and inventory.
Negative cash flow is one of the most dangerous situations for any small business to encounter. Therefore, I always checked my cash flow report and compared actual to forecast weekly, and made essential adjustments and decisions to remain cash positive at all times.
Too much work
Business owners have more responsibilities than the average person because they have people to manage and their tasks. There’s only one of you, so it’s easy to get burnt out
Starting your own business is hard because you must work long hours. Most entrepreneurs work over 60 hours per week – and those hours are often outside of the normal business day, nights, and weekends.
Owning a business means being responsible for everything – from paying taxes on your earnings to making sure your employees are happy at work.
You can’t just do what you want when you want. As a business owner, you are no longer responsible only for yourself; you’re accountable to your employees, customers, landlord, banker, and investors. Don’t be fooled into thinking that opening a small business will increase your leisure time. It will not.
If you’re not willing to work hard, then don’t bother trying. You will probably be better off getting a job in building your career that way. I suggest you read my article on comparing starting a business to getting a job here.
As the president of your company, your brilliant mind and positive emotions are your business’s greatest assets. So protecting and strengthening your mental health is an integral part of your business activities. But, unfortunately, entrepreneurs suffer more significant instances of depression, anxiety than career executives.
Here are ways I found to help you stay strong and happy during the stressful early phases.
Learn to take care of yourself, and you’ll be able to perform better at work.
Don’t push yourself too hard – learn when to stop working and leave your office.
Take frequent breaks even if you have an upcoming deadline. Know that it’s essential for you to rest your brain, so take regular breaks from work. For example, I find that going for a short walk outside or listening to my favorite music alone in your car resets my mind and boosts my mood and productivity.
Make your office a fun place, so you enjoy being there during all those long stressful hours! You can add decorations that make you happy, get exercise equipment like balls or weights, hang up pictures of yourself doing something silly with friends – anything to make you smile.
Don’t hesitate to get outside help. Talk with a therapist, wise friend, or spiritual mentor when you feel that your work is getting to be too much for you. For example, I found that just talking about my business situation was a huge stress reliever and help me to gain much-needed clarity and an improved perspective.
Personal Life & Family
If your relatives don’t support your decision, it can create conflict and relationship issues. So please be sure to get your family members, especially those who will be directly affected by your business income, to agree with your entrepreneurial decision. Securing them is a vital part of preparing for your small business launch.
I have seen too many entrepreneurs proceed without people’s support, ultimately resulting in their failure. Having a spouse or parent who will negatively comment on your small business decision and undermine your confidence is a significant hindrance to entrepreneurial success.
Starting a small business is hard because you have little to no life balance while getting it off the ground. When you’re building your firm, you must work long and hard hours to get it up and running.
You may be tempted to skimp on critical stress-relieving activities like socializing and exercise. Based on my own experience and mistakes, I urge you to follow these tips for maintaining your personal time and energy levels when running a business:
Spend quality time with friends and family regularly
Set aside at least one time a week for socializing. The hours spent away from the office will refresh and revitalize your mental batteries. Allowing you to come back to the office with fresh new ideas and a strong desire to succeed. The time away is an essential part of keeping the proper perspective.
Get enough sleep (7 hours per night)
don’t burn the midnight oil every night. You will do your business, your life, and your health more damage than good by overworking. Sleep is a vital part of a balanced and smart entrepreneur’s lifestyle.
Stay Healthy by Eating Well & Exercising
Keep in good physical health by eating well, exercising often, and avoiding stressors like alcohol or drugs that can take away from the mental clarity needed to run a thriving small business.
Lack of Skills and Experience
The idea of starting your own business is overwhelming. There is so much you need to know about, from financing to sales to negotiation. Even if you are well skilled in your industry, such as a chef, you must have an excellent working knowledge, adequate skills, and some experience in business functions.
Many of my entrepreneur clients are experts in their craft but amateurs in small business.
Do not go into business without learning more about business functions and improving your management skillset.
There are many inexpensive and even free government business education classes available in your area – find your local program here. Before you decide to launch, take a few entrepreneurial business classes at your local SCORE or Small Business Development Center.
Spending a few hours after work or on the weekend learning about what it takes to be a flourishing business owner will teach you valuable business skills you can use to build your own firm.
Another way to increase your experience bank without adding years of industry experience is to work with an industry professional mentor such as the SCORE. They will bring their decades of experience to your management team, typically at no cost.
Alternatively, you could bring on a partner who has the experience and skillset that you lack. Check out my ways to find a good business partner here.
Remember, it is far easier (and cheaper) to learn new skills yourself, hire consultants, or outsource tasks than it is to bring in a partner who will want equity and a percentage of your profits.
In profitable industries, there are tons of other people who want to start their businesses too.
If your desired industry is super competitive and how can you beat the competition?
Follow my proven tips below:
Analyze your industry: Look at the market and decide whether you should be entering it and a product or service gap that needs to be filled. Next, think about your target clientele, is there enough demand for what you are proposing?
Finally, put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients – how would they view your product/service, and what do they look for before buying an item.
Study the market to see if there is enough demand for your product or service. Here are my best ways to test and research new business ideas
Find a good opportunity: Decide on a niche, industry, or product line that the existing products and companies don’t offer; but also meets your customers’ needs and makes them want to buy. Businesses tend to fail when they cannot stand out from their competitors in their target market.
Know who your competitors are: You need to know there will always be inherent competition in an industry, but this doesn’t mean that it is not a good idea to launch your brand. Find out who your competitors are and what they offer
Seek industry feedback: talk to people in your industry before opening your business, especially ones who have started businesses themselves. Meet these types of business owners at in-person at industry conferences, trade shows, or meetups or online on niche-focused forums and Facebook or Linked in groups.
There are so many great ideas out there; it can be hard to determine which one is best for you. Wondering which business idea to start first? Then read my article on how to select the right business idea to launch.
The risks involved with starting your own business are high. They will affect many aspects of your life, both now and in the future, including your financial situation, personal emotions, and family dynamics.
Personal risks include leaving school early, quitting your job, spending your savings account, and investing lots of time into a company that may not succeed. However, one of the most significant personal risks is your confidence and emotional well-being by stepping out into entrepreneurship only to fail.
You could risk your career options and business reputation by founding a venture that ultimately fails can be professionally damaging and embarrassing within your industry.
Starting a small business is expensive; you need to be ready for this. In addition, your credit score and long-term financial future will be negatively impacted by small business failure.
Top 3 ways to reduce risk in your new business venture
Start small – begin your product line as a side hustle part-time during weekends to get your feet wet and learn about your industry and yourself as an entrepreneur.
Reduce costs – Slash your initial setup costs to reduce your need for capital funding, reliance on outside financing, and unobtainable payment terms with suppliers and landlords. Keep in mind that every dollar you reduce your startup costs is another dollar added to your profit bottom line.
Research and plan – take time to do thorough market research and competitor analysis to ensure the marketplace dynamics and the available opportunities.
Go ahead and write a detailed business plan with detailed financial projections. You will spot many problematic issues and resolve them early while drafting this document – this will better ensure your profit. It is far better to find faults in your business model on paper than in your door.
I hope this blog post has given you a lot of clarity in your decision to become an entrepreneur.
As you’ve seen, business owners face lots of challenges as an entrepreneur. I’ve helped build and grow some successful businesses over the years, but it wasn’t always easy. There are a lot of challenges that come with starting a small business – everything from getting started to being able to scale your business.
The good news is that there are many solutions to these hurdles if we’re willing and able to work through them. If entrepreneurship sounds like the right path for you, then it’s time to make your decision with confidence.
So what do you think? Are you ready to take on this challenge?
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.