Becoming an entrepreneur is not easy, and it is not for everyone. The learning curve is great, but at the same time, significantly rewarding. Knowing ahead of time what challenges are in store can better equip you for success and help in navigating the dynamic business environment in store.
- Relinquishing Another Career- "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." --Andre Gide
It is almost impossible to take an idea from its infancy to fruition while simultaneously managing another career. At the beginning, it may be possible to work nights and weekends, but scaling will cause undue stress. Adequately devoting your time, money and resources to your new business endeavor will determine the overall success.[i]
Abandoning a steady income and the security offered by fulltime employment can be frightening, but let your logical sense and gut instinct guide you. In order to validate your new project certain sacrifices will be necessary. With a little ingenuity and a lot of resolve you will prevail.
- Financial Capital- Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that. --Norman Vincent Peale
Breaking into the realm of entrepreneurship, most businesses will need some sort of initial capital investment. A very few projects can be boot strapped, operating without a cash injection, but it is rather rare.[ii] Experienced entrepreneurs have a greater advantage here. They already have an established network, potential investment, and/or a steady stream of revenue already from an already established venture offering cash flow that can be capitalized.
In the information technologies industry, people put a lot of weight on investment and do not always consider all their options. These include:
- Donations via crowdfunding
- Using a funding company, that of which, there are many
- Leading a Team- "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adam
Hiring the right team and having a positive team dynamic can affect the direction your business goes. It is not enough to just pick the right candidate to fill the specific positon, but a leader must calculate the cost employees will have on their business, how they fit into the culture, and what added value they offer the establishment.[iii]
Once the team is in place, it is the job of the founder and CEO to be the visionary, to inspire, to make decisions and drive the company forward. When faced with competition and problems, it is important to be calm, collected and able to respond to business demands effectively, encouraging the team along the way.
- Planning the Business- "Good business planning is 9 parts execution for every 1 part strategy." – Tim Berry
Business planning has gotten a bad rap as of late. The question today, is whether it is worth it or obligatory to write a formal business plan or not? The main purpose of the business plan is to identify the challenges and pitfalls a business could potentially face and plan a way to maneuver around them, as to not cause unnecessary stress and hardship from the outset.
Do take into account, everything will not go as planned. Long term plans will be uncertain as new developments will shape the future. If you are in it for job stability, think again. Dealing with business volatility is one of the hardest parts about becoming an entrepreneur.
- Loneliness- "You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect." -Rosalind Brewer
Rarely does anyone talk about the loneliness associated with starting a new business, but as the sole owner in the pinnacle role of building the project from the ground up without teammates to fall back on, individuals often feel isolated. Constructing and pursuing your vision will take time and lots of it. In order to reach certain milestones, you will have to wager your priorities and often the cost is limiting the amount of time you have with family and friends.
Employees will be forced and should be kept at a distance in order to main the hierarchical structure of the business. You are the boss, act like one. It will not be all fun and glory, when it is time to be the "enforcer," not everyone will like you, but they will respect you. This is the hard realty many entrepreneurs are not prepared to face.
It is important to keep these entrepreneurial challenges in the back of your mind and to have patience when faced with the reality. Establishing a business does take sacrifice, but with an open mind, ingenuity, and determination success is within reach.
The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship offered at GBSB Global Business School is an advanced graduate degree that provides students with the tools to acquire the skills and competencies needed for successful entrepreneurship careers in a dynamic global business environment. It is an exciting program designed to equip students with a specialized understanding of the field of entrepreneurial management.
The MsC in Entrepreneurship is not simply a set of different management disciplines but it is based on promoting creativity and entrepreneurship skills. Students benefit from close links of GBSB Global Business School with industry professionals through industrial visits and interaction with professors– experienced entrepreneurs themselves. They shed light on the problems entrepreneurs face, ways to manage adversity and solutions how to overcome them.
By Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager
[i],[iii] Alton, Larry. The 8 Biggest Challenges for New Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254721
[ii] 31 May 2013. 5 Biggest Issues Faced by First Time Entrepreneurs When Starting a Business. The Social Media Hat. Retrieved from https://www.thesocialmediahat.com/blog/5-biggest-issues-faced-first-time-entrepreneurs-when-starting-business-05312013