Starting a business these days is thrilling, but it can also be incredibly challenging. There are so many different factors that need to come together to get it off the ground. The good news is that for every big challenge, there are opportunities for growth.
To prove this point, let’s take a look at six common challenges and how to overcome them:
1. Looking Professional Without an Office
Many startups want to look professional, with a nice office to present to potential clients and somewhere to hold stock and work on the business. Office contracts are expensive, though, so how do you present professionally without that all-important office contract?
Savvy startups use a virtual office service to secure a business address, phone answering services, local meeting rooms, and more. For stock storage, they might use something like self-storage instead of a warehouse contract. Consider these services to get all the space you need at a lower price and with far more flexibility.
2. Getting Customers on Board
Building a brand is challenging, especially without a customer base in place. This will take time, but with lots of social media interaction and a focus on creating a great customer journey and maintaining high standards of service, you can win new customers and build loyalty. The key is to stay consistent.
3. Facing the Competition
Another common reason startups fail is because of tough competition. The good news is that if you remain open and aware of the competition and fight to claim your share of the market, it doesn’t have to be a reason for failure. If anything, it is healthy to have competition because it gives you an easy way to elevate yourself as a market leader.
4. Thinking Sky-High While Things Are Ground Level
There is nothing wrong with having big dreams and reaching for the sky, but you must be realistic. Success does not come quickly or without challenges. Building a business takes time, but thankfully, you’ll gain invaluable experience throughout the process.
To work your way up, you need to remain aware of market changes, your ability to grow, finances, risks, and more. It is a challenge to remain grounded after early success, but it’s important if you want to achieve true longevity.
5. Combating Cybercrime
Startups are particularly vulnerable to cybercrime because they don’t have the funds to create iron-clad online security systems. Cybercrime is such a threat that it will cost the world $10.5 trillion dollars annually within the next few years, so startups can’t ignore it, but they also can’t just pay for the best systems in the world at the drop of a hat.
The best thing to do is build your business with cyber security in mind so your systems are never on the back foot. Many simple measures provide ample protection against cybercrime. And by staying abreast of new threats, you can tweak and change rather than overhauling an entire system or dealing with a cyber breach after becoming aware of the threat.
6. Hiring New People
Though it’s necessary to spur growth, taking on employees is expensive and a little bit scary for many small business owners. The best way to overcome this challenge is to avoid hiring permanent staff and to utilize freelancers and contractors instead – it is cheaper, quicker, and delivers the flexibility you need as a startup.
With the six tips above, you can overcome common startup challenges, hopefully surviving your first year of business and going on to thrive as a market leader in your industry.