Starting a business isn’t easy and with more people trying to launch their own business every day, it is only getting more competitive. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue your start-up dreams.
One thing that will seriously increase the likelihood for start-up success is knowing the issues that are commonly faced in the early days of setting up your business and what options are available to you in remedying them.
In this article, we take a look at 4 of the most common challenges start-up businesses face and how to tackle them.
Start-up founders will very quickly realise that good marketing is not just about having a sexy website or sleek business cards, but encouraging the right people to visit that website and finding the right people to hand those business cards to.
Being unknown is a significant start-up killer.
You may have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody knows about it you are never going to be able to sell it and make the profit needed to maintain your business for very long.
Do your research and find out where your customers’ attention is. This may be on specific social media platforms, websites or even key events. Once you know where they are, find the best way to make a big impact in those areas to earn yourself the attention you need to succeed.
Having the right connections
Finding the right people for your business is crucial at the start-up phase. These people may be investors, suppliers, customers or even mentors who can help you navigate the early stages of your business.
Networking is a great way to meet the people you need to succeed. You could do this online through platforms like LinkedIn, but meeting people at networking events is by far the best way to build a personal connection.
Check out local networking events to see where your customers are hanging out. The Federation of Small Businesses run regular, quality networking events across the UK including Manchester.
Access to cash
They say cash is king and this is never truer than in the start-up space. Without cash, you will not be able to cover start-up expenses, develop your products and services or beat your competitors.
But cash is also at its least available during the start-up phase of business, as you have not yet had the time to build up a solid cash reserve. That is why many start-ups use other ways to access the cash they need.
The most common way to do this is by taking out a business loan. This can be a good idea when you know exactly what you need and when you need it, for example, to purchase key equipment. You may also approach investors to access crucial funding, but you must weigh up whether you are happy to exchange part of your business for cash.
Often in the start-up phase, there will be an immediate and unforeseen need for cash. Getting hold of cash this quickly can be difficult via traditional methods. However, using a credit card, or even taking out a payday loan is a quick and easy way to borrow money for a few weeks, and can help avoid crippling cash-flow problems.
Not understanding the customer
Not understanding your customer can be a sure-fire way to fail as a start-up business. Too often start-ups focus on the product or service rather than focusing on how that product/service is solving a problem for the user.
This can often lead to customer alienation and significant resource being focused on taking your business in an unprofitable direction. This is damaging for all businesses, but never more important than when small and relying heavily on just a handful of customers.
Creating detailed customer personas based on actual conversations with current and potential customers is a good way to make sure that you always act with your customer in mind.
Knowing the common issues that start-ups face is a good way to increase the chances of spotting them before they occur. The advice we have laid out in this article is a good starting point to ensure that you know what you should be doing to stop them occurring in the first place.