Top 7 Obstacles To Overcome As A First-Time Business Owner
Younger entrepreneurs can meet with a number of challenges due to their age. Along with all the stress and difficulties of developing a new business, young entrepreneurs may encounter biased attitudes or be branded as a stereotype by older people they have to deal with. This can form additional barriers to becoming established and respected in the business environment.
Here are the top 7 challenges you’re likely to face as a young entrepreneur.
1. Financial Issues
The major challenge for most startups is acquiring the funds to launch the business and sustain it until profits start coming in. Getting financial help from lenders and investors requires strong business plans and often a good deal of persuasion. Business growth without financial help is certainly possible, but often difficult. Younger entrepreneurs may still be paying off student loans or have shaky credit.
Many entrepreneurs expect to be making profits from day one. But few companies starting out on a limited budget will see significant returns in the beginning. It can take up to two years to establish yourself and acquire a strong customer base. With a new business, it’s important that you set aside funds to allow for operating at a loss for the first few months or even longer.
2. Dealing with the Age Stereotype
Operating as an entrepreneur, younger people are likely to be regarded as a stereotype of youth. You may be seen as immature, unreliable, inexperienced, and even lazy. Older business people are liable to view you as a bad risk, or even fail to take your business seriously.
You can show others your maturity by acting professionally, even if they don’t. Other people’s unfair judgments shouldn’t deter you from your dream. If you have confidence in your talents, consider them minor road bumps and keep pursuing your goals.
3. Social Rejection
Your less-ambitious relatives and associates may not believe in your vision. Being an entrepreneur can become lonely and discouraging if you don’t have the faith of those that matter to you. Being obsessed with your work can also lead you to neglect friends and family. Try to touch base with them when you can and communicate your dedication to your new business.
If you find yourself getting depressed and frustrated, connect with other young entrepreneurs to get some sympathy and encouragement. Try to build relationships with those who can help you in your plans and benefit you later on.
4. Facing Criticism
Those around you may be skeptical of your choices. Some people will regard entrepreneurship as too risky and try to persuade you to give up and find a good job. Even established business people may caution you about the challenges and odds of failure. People may doubt your potential without knowing your abilities. A few people will simply resent you for the possibility of succeeding where they failed or feared to go.
Not all advice is good advice or even well-intentioned. Don’t let negative or worry-prone people dissuade you. If you’re truly dedicated, opposition should inspire you to work harder toward your objectives.
5. Dealing with Stress and Self-Doubt
As a young entrepreneur trying to build a successful company, the burdens can add a lot of stress to your life. Most new small business owners can’t even be sure they’ll make enough money to pay the bills. Don’t torture yourself with doubts every time something goes wrong. Stress is a major obstacle both physically and mentally.
Include ways of de-stressing into your routine. Exercise, meditation, or time enjoying the outdoors can help. One good way to reduce the stress of your work is to develop the habit of making lists and schedules for everything you need to get done. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, focus on completing each task so that you get a little closer to achieving your dreams.
6. Hiring Employees for the First Time
It’s essential to build the right team and the right company culture to sustain your business. You may find it difficult to hire people with the right skills and attitude for a new company. More job-seekers migrate to the city, leaving a shortage of skilled workers in smaller communities.
One solution is to look for top candidates in another city, state, or even a foreign country. Modern technology makes it easy to connect with remote employees. They will also save you money on office space and utilities.
In every job posting, make it clear what you expect for that position in terms of qualifications, daily duties, and responsibilities.
7. Finding Customers
Finding and retaining customers is one of the challenges that every new company faces. It takes time to build visibility. Consumers tend to be wary of spending money on an unknown business. They are more likely to go with a brand they know and trust, regardless of price. If you develop a unique brand that offers quality and excellent service, people will be drawn to you.
In summary, young entrepreneurs may encounter cynicism from others who see only youth instead of ability. Don’t let this attitude spoil your dreams. If you have the finances and motivation, you can develop your own strategies for hiring, marketing, and other challenges. Tackling each chore with positive energy and confidence will overcome stress and doubts. With planning and practice, you’ll be able to put together a unique business model that leads to a resilient and prosperous company.
Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie