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So you are willing to quit your 9-5 job to become an ‘Entrepreneur’. But remember becoming an Entrepreneur is not a cakewalk. It has its own set of challenges, which you may encounter before becoming a successful entrepreneur. When a businessman first starts his own venture, they are responsible for doing number of things from long working hours, and juggling between numerous projects to constantly coping up with new ideas. They are often considered as a one-man army. However, once you learn to overcome these challenges, you will be able to reap the rewards.
Entrepreneur India interacted with few emerging entrepreneurs to find out the challenges faced during the course of their entrepreneurial journey till date. We are penning down those challenges here to make your journey an easy ride:
1. Courage to start your own business: Starting your own venture is not an easy task. You need a lot of courage and strength to quit your job and start your own business. One needs to be determined and confident towards his/her goals. You need to convince yourself that there is a need of such product in the market and you are the best person to build it.
“Having the courage to leave everything else behind to pursue something you are passionate about is what people lack the most. Particularly, if the business plan is something most people do not believe in. It's much easier to follow the definite plan than to venture out into something new. In this world, courage is harder to find than intelligence,” shares Alok Arora, Founder and CEO, LingosMio.com, a language learning platform.
2. Is your idea big enough? Idea is the most important challenge which every entrepreneur faces. What are you planning to go for? What type of business you are going to deal in? Who are your target audiences? Is your Idea really worth giving a chance? These are few questions that would come up in your mind and you need to find answers for them. “A lot of the times one can go into a thinking phase before starting up because there are so many questions one needs to answer. One can get stuck in the midst of the question marks and never take any action,” explains Arora. Before ideating, always remember that if your business doesn’t provide solutions to the consumers or doesn’t give something that they want; then you are going to fail as an entrepreneur for sure.
“When we were ideating about KartRocket, we knew that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. But our only concern was whether the problem, which we are trying to solve, is big enough or not. And that should the first question that every entrepreneur must answer. You will get a lot of ideas, but picking that one idea is a big enough challenge, but this will define your success eventually,” recalls Saahil Goel, Co Founder & CEO, KartRocket.com, an end-to-end e-commerce solutions platform.
3. Raising Capital: Money is another biggest challenge faced by an entrepreneur. Now you have to decide when, how and from whom you are going to raise the required capital. At times, people need to bootstrap their start-up for a longer period of time.
“Things you normally take for granted or tend to overlook could turn into the biggest nightmare. One may know all about their business, but not understanding the regulatory hurdles for incorporation, ongoing compliance, managing routine administration functions like accounting, legal, and tax etc., in a simple, easy cost effective and systematic ongoing manner is like a ticking time bomb,” reveals Kanika Tekriwal, Co-founder and CEO, JetSetGo.in, an online marketplace for private jet and helicopter charter flights.
4. Hiring right talent: After you have decided to start your own venture, you need a team. Behind every successful business is a dream team - be it finding a right co-founder or the founding start-up team. Getting someone, who believes in your idea/venture as much as you, to make it work is always difficult, but yet the most crucial.
"During the earlier days of our start-up, the biggest challenge was to find the right team who share a common vision about the goals and work towards making that a reality,” says Azhar Iqubal, Co-founder and CEO, Inshorts.com, a mobile news app that provides top news stories of the day in 60 words.
5. Effective marketing on limited budget: Being a start-up it’s very essential to create visibility among your consumers. You need to reach your target audiences by using effective marketing techniques.
“Creating brand recognition without having access to a big marketing budget is a constant problem. It also becomes essential to measure the effectiveness of each rupee spent on marketing against tangible parameters. We try to use out of the box solutions like co-partnering with other start-ups and rely on social media to create the buzz around our products/services,” opines Neeti Patwa, Designer, Oropel, an online jewellery store of finest diamonds and gemstones.
6. Financial Security: For a start-up to be a successful enterprise one needs to answer two most important questions – ‘Do I have enough savings to ensure my family’s financial security?’ and ‘Does the company have enough funds to ensure at least a year’s runway?’ If you know you have enough savings for the family, then you can easily focus on the start-up that you are building. Along with it, if your start-up has enough working capital, then you have the ability to take bigger risks.
7. Dealing with stress: It is correctly said ‘No pain no gain’. Entrepreneur has to go through many stresses – whether it is related to its business or family. To run a successful business one needs to be very strong and clam. So if you are starting up your own venture, then be prepared to deal with the daily stress.
8. Facing Failure: It’s not necessary that every idea of yours will work. With launching of new products and scaling new markets comes the notion of “failing fast”. If you’re trying a lot of new things, not everything will work and you will not succeed at each of those ideas.“The biggest challenge that I see most entrepreneurs face is the fear of failure. The education system in India rewards success and penalises failure. One then grows up with these fears built over time, which become a hindrance to take risks required to start-up. It is extremely important to have a non-shattering belief in your vision, and work towards your goals with perseverance. Overtime, the fears would disappear and give way to a strong self-belief that anything is possible," Rakesh Kalra, CEO, UrbanPro.com, an online local services marketplace for hiring professionals in India.