The 4 Biggest Difficulties Every Entrepreneur Faces
Here are some of the most common challenges entrepreneurs should expect to face, along with tips on how to overcome them.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The path to success as an entrepreneur can take many different forms, and no matter what path you choose, difficulties will always exist. It's easy to become a bit of a skeptic when it comes to doing business. The truth is, it's not easy — and it's not for everyone. It takes hard work and determination to succeed, no matter how cliché it sounds.
You also have to recognize challenges as bottlenecks — not as signs of failure, but as obstacles to be overcome. To prepare yourself for any difficulties you might encounter along your entrepreneurial journey, here are some of the most common challenges you should expect to face, along with tips on how to overcome them:
Related: Entrepreneurship Is All About Overcoming Obstacles
1. Cash may run out, but it's not the end of the world
Cash is one of the most challenging elements of running a business. You have to ensure enough cash is coming in to keep everything and everyone up and running. Companies often go through periods of low cash flow, during which they may have to delay or cancel projects, hire less staff or even shut down entirely.
Why do entrepreneurs end up low on cash? Well, most of the time, it is a result of a slowing economy, but it can also occur due to a client going bankrupt or because marketing efforts aren't working as well as initially anticipated. It could also be that they might not have predicted the amount of money they would need for various aspects of their business.
When you find yourself in any of these scenarios, managing your cash flow should be your top priority. You can always get a line of credit from another bank or finance company that charges very low-interest rates. Managing your credit, however, is a different topic we'll get into later.
2. You can't please everyone, but you can always learn from naysayers
Try to be on the right side of your own decisions. If you are doing something that you're passionate about, then it's easy to convince yourself that people will want what you have to offer. You need to make sure that every decision you make is made with confidence and conviction.
It's also important to understand that it's normal for people to be indifferent toward a certain idea or person. Perhaps they have a preexisting opinion about you or your business that prevents them from considering it fully.
Besides preconceived notions, consider that naysayers' lack of interest might also be caused by familiarity, ignorance and fear. You must uncover what causes them and provide a solution.
Having doubters doesn't mean your idea or business isn't good — it could mean that it just needs more work! DOUBTS ARE GOOD! They mean that something is missing from what would be perfect.
Related: How to Maintain Motivation When Surrounded by Naysayers
3. Clients are not here to stay — so give them more reasons to
In the world of entrepreneurship, there are many ways clients can influence your business. They can be a great source of knowledge, especially if they're interested in what you're doing and how you do it. In this way, clients can be valuable resources for your company.
However, it's important to remember that they are also customers who will want things from you. So, while they may share information and provide valuable feedback, they may also expect different things from you than they did before.
The difficulty here is that it's up to you as an entrepreneur to make sure that their expectations are met and that they feel satisfied with their experience with your business. As an entrepreneur, having strong relationships with your clients is the key to remaining competitive while growing your business.
4. Credit is tough to manage until you're left with no choice
Entrepreneurship is a risky endeavor, and credit can be a big problem. But it won't be a big problem if you know what you're doing.
The credit system is a lot like a double-edged sword. On one side, it can help entrepreneurs get the resources they need to start and grow their businesses. On the other side, it can be a hindrance when it comes to keeping your business afloat.
For example, if you have a loan or line of credit with a bank, your business will have to pay interest on that loan every month. This means that if you don't pay your bills on time, the bank will take more money out of your account than they're supposed to — and then charge you more in interest for the money they took out of your account. This can lead to serious financial problems for you and your business.
To overcome problems with credit and keep your business running smoothly, you'll need to have an understanding of all the options available to you and then make sure you take advantage of them.
Related: 3 Tips for Young Entrepreneurs on the Power of Credit
Having a lot of cash on hand might seem like a good sign, but you must also strike a balance between having an excessive amount out of precaution and not having enough. When you have too much cash, you may be missing out on investment opportunities that could increase your profits.
Instead of letting naysayers scare you away from making progress, focus on finding out where the holes are and filling them in before moving forward.
Give your clients a sense of ownership, and acknowledge the importance of the role they play in your company's success.
Be smart when it comes to credit, and be aware of all the options available to you.