The entrepreneurial career path is not always a glamorous lifestyle as been hoped for by would-be startups. Just like life and anything a man dedicates himself to, there would always be challenges. Many startups’ survival during these trying times is largely dependent on the founder’s personality and outlook of life. Just as a child struggles with many falls to crawl and then walk, so is a startup enterprise. The challenges may be daunting but the end result is always priceless. The corner retail shop owner day-dreams of one day competing with giant stores like Shoprite and move to the malls or giant stores, but first, he must battle with keeping a regular inflow of the few Nairas that come his way. Here are some of the challenges a new startup may be facing, and possible ways to overcome them.
Learning To Reject Offers
Leadership without restrains is nothing. As the manager at the helm of affairs, to a large extent the business is you, and you are the business. Your weaknesses are not to be transferred to this new enterprise. You must learn how to cut back on those shopping sprees, turn down invites that won’t add to your business growth, and at times learn to say no to a business prospect/partnership whose end you are not too clear about. These things require discipline. Which is one of the key words of leadership. Some offers may look too good to be true, and in most cases they really aren’t true. Many had allowed their lofty entrepreneurial pursuits fall by the way side simply because they kept an open policy to all kinds of clients and customers. A budding entrepreneur should know that not everyone is your client/customer, some are merely window-shopping and thus deserve less attention.
As a startup, the idea is to be everywhere, be in your clients’ subconsciousness,have the best of work place environments, the best hands in the industry and be made reference points in business building. Yes, these dreams and more, are achievable, but as a new startup, one of the major challenges you’ll face is managing your finances. Even if the support and partnership provides adequate financial backup, it is usually advisable to balance the cost of keeping the business afloat. Expenditure (which may be very necessary tangibles) should not always exceed income, except it is to bring in a more direct inflow. You don’t want to hire over-qualified staff that may end up putting a h*** in your purse. And use heavy equipment for less work. Your office rent should be something very feasible and reasonable to meet with, because businesses don’t just boom at once, you’ll go through the teething stage, at that stage are you prepared to carry overburdened costs?
As the boss, you wear a new toga of leadership which you may not be used to. There is this air of seriousness that permeates everywhere you go and things you do. Everyone just expects you to be business minded. This is actually cool if you are at work, but then, you cannot be too serious and not be able to share a joke with a member of the team. The analytics may be reading low and a bad day is looming, but who says you can’t still be positive with a ‘happy hour’ mood with your team members, clients or customers. Some great ideas have been born out of the little informal social interactions we have with people who may not matter much to us. Keep it simple, keep it real.
‘A merry heart doeth good like medicine, but a broken spirit, who can bear?’ Says the bible! Even if your clients and prospects aren’t returning your mails and calls and everything seems wrong, and your morale is very low. It happens to everyone, but hey! You are not ‘everyone’. You are now the face of a new startup, a multi-national enterprise in the making! Gloominess is not a word in the dictionary of leaders, Never! You can’t afford to spread the virus to the team members, you just have to hit your high frequency. Spice up your mood before working. Be self motivated. Inspire your team. Productivity begins with you. You can not afford to lose out to mood swings. Get up and get it right!
Balancing Work And Life Outside Work
As the leader of a new startup enterprise, your new life requires the huge lifeline of attention so you give to it. Lots of it. Except your line of business is intertwined with your informal lifestyle, you may be on the verge of losing people close to you. Many business moguls have had to sacrifice their family, marriage, long term friendships for the sake of their business build up. But at the end, will it be worth it? You don’t buy valuable relationships with money. Its PRICELESS. You don’t want to be a slave to your enterprise and lose those that really matter to you. Strike a balance. Work should work. Home is home. Never bring work home. Don’t overburden your emotions with work. It will work out if you work it out. But if you walk out of your real life outside work, it may not work out again.
A lot of times, it is important to always point out our errors, to mark them and work them out. The business world is tough, very tough, and may be a drain on you emotionally, financially and otherwise, but how you deal with the numerous challenges is what makes your business stand out and strong. Cheers!