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Identifying The Pain Points Of Today's Entrepreneurs "It is important for entrepreneurs to understand that the process of starting a new business is significantly different from expanding it."

By Harsh Mariwala

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Over the last few years, we have witnessed a huge surge in the number of people aspiring to be entrepreneurs. The trend is extremely positive and holds the potential to alter the financial map of the country. Having lived through such a journey myself, I can with experience say that although the promises of entrepreneurship appear to be glorious, it also brings in its own set of challenges. While the list of challenges is a long one, following are the key challenges that are most common amongst today's entrepreneurs.

Ability To Change Gears From Time To Time

To begin with, if one takes a closer look at the journeys of successful businessmen, one pattern that would remain consistent is the ability to change gears from time to time. For many entrepreneurs, this remains a huge challenge. Being nimble and adaptable to the changing business environment is a necessity.

Handling Teams And Building Team Spirit

Another area where entrepreneurs face challenges is while handling teams and building team spirit. I have seen many entrepreneurs getting agitated while interacting with people. My advice is while dealing with people try to be patient. This attitude definitely does not develop overnight, however, plays a critical role in the growth of an entrepreneur.

Identifying And Recruiting The Right Talent

It is also important for entrepreneurs to understand that the process of starting a new business is significantly different from expanding it. Running a small business is a relatively easier option as there are many things an individual can accomplish on their own. However, as a business venture continues to grow, several additional factors come into play. Sometimes, entrepreneurs don't realise the importance of identifying and recruiting the right talent, the art of effective delegation and most importantly trusting their own team members.

Decision Making

Another area where I see many entrepreneurs struggle is when there are more than two people who are decision makers. With more than one leader, there is more scope for challenges in equations with stakeholders, investors, partners and family members. This is one aspect that should not be taken lightly and if identified at nascent stages, entrepreneurs can work towards finding compatible solutions to mitigate the conflict involved.

Raising Capital From External Sources

Lastly, resources are of prime importance to a growing business. The ability to raise money from external sources is directly dependent on the nature of one's business. If the business follows a "me too" kind of a model, which does not have a competitive advantage, it can be very difficult to acquire funds. Entrepreneurs need to understand that the key to attracting investors is to convince them with a proposition which has a strong "Right to Win" attitude, back it with a strong team and ensure that the business will be viable over time.

The Role Of A Trusted Advisor In The Journey Of An Entrepreneur

I have often mentioned that the road to success as an entrepreneur can be very lonely. Different aspects hold an entrepreneur back if asked to talk about one's business venture. The fear of idea theft, the lack of trust, challenges related to scalability are some of the basic fears that an entrepreneur faces. One way of dealing with this is to approach a trusted advisor, which is the traditional model in many ways. Another approach which is slowly gaining momentum is frequent interactions with peers on a regular basis. Such measures makes entrepreneurial journey less lonely.

(This article was first published in the April issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Harsh Mariwala

Founder, ASCENT

Harsh Mariwala is the Founder of ASCENT and also the Chairman of Marico Limited.
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