The primary objective for running a business is to provide a need while making profits. For many new entrepreneurs, the latter can be quite a challenge, especially because they are yet to learn more about the rugged business terrain. Overcoming these challenges can be a mark of your business tenacity. But what happens if you fail to pull through and end up adding to the 10% of new businesses that don’t make it past the first year? You can learn more about some of these common challenges below.
1. Poor financial management
According to data collated in 2019 and 2020, 60% of startups in the US were culprits of various forms of questionable financial management. As a startup, your success in the short to long term depends on how well you manage your cash inflows and outflows. Unfortunately, several new entrepreneurs who face this tend to have an insufficient financial management background. Sadly, the trend continues and contributes to why the startup failure rate in the US increased from 75% (2016 stats) to a whopping 90% in 2020.
Indeed, when your startup company succeeds, it means you’re probably doing more than breaking even. Profit and revenue mean a great deal for businesses. The more money you make, the more responsibility you have to put it to good use. Unfortunately, many startup owners fail to put the money back into the business. In the long run, coupled with unaudited accounts, the company runs to the ground.
Another pertinent issue under poor financial management is the failure to separate personal and business accounts. According to statistics, about 45% of new entrepreneurs do this. So, if you’re reading this, it is worth noting that poor financial management can destroy all the hard work you put in from scratch.
2. Fierce competition
If put to good use, competition can be a motivating tool to propel business growth. However, it seems not many startups can steer smoothly through the stormy competitive waters. Unfortunately, this fierce opposition in the business world usually favors companies that withstood years of haggling. As a startup, the odds may seem against you, but it will be in your interest to turn it around.
The 21st-century business world thrives on digitization and a robust online presence, and you can use that to your advantage. It is in your interest to use all the tools the digital age presents to propel your startup to the front row. Whether you like it or not, competition in the business world is rife and can be pretty ugly. Admittedly, the latter can happen when competitors employ underhand moves to kick startups to the curb. If the events are too much to handle, it may be the right time to sell the startup to a more experienced entity.
3. Poor planning
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This famous saying holds so much truth, probably even more than many will admit. For a business startup, planning is everything. Remember that the business world is crowded, and you cannot afford to ignore proper preparation. More so, it is vital to ensure that all your bases are covered. When you plan, it becomes a guideline for you to follow. Sometimes, as you run the business, specific opportunities may arise that enable you to add on to the old plan.
While at it, it is crucial to subject your plans to periodic reviews. The truth is, many internal and external factors can negatively impact your business. The coronavirus pandemic is a typical example of an external influence that impacted businesses worldwide. As countries tried to fight the ripple effects of the pandemic, businesses with backup plans sailed through. Unfortunately, those with weak or no backup plans went under. Remember that events can take an unexpected turn, and that explains the need to plan.
Last year alone, identity theft and data loss accounted for 1.4 million cybercrime complaints in the US. Cybersecurity is a critical issue that America and the world continue to grapple with. This can be even more challenging as a startup, mainly because it can destroy your small business. Moreover, if you lose crucial client data, you could face costly lawsuits that make it impossible to rebuild the business.
As a safeguarding measure, it would help if you invested in high-grade online security systems. The truth is, becoming a cybercrime victim can cost more than what it takes to protect your online systems.
To conclude, startups have more pressure to make it to the top. It explains why they face a myriad of challenges in the first five years.