Let’s face it – starting a business in this day and age and in this economy can be scary, even downright terrifying. There’s so many “what ifs” to think about which seems to deter millions of people of taking the plunge. Here is a list of the top 5 challenges and struggles I have faced, which no doubt anyone can face, while starting their own business.
My biggest challenge was Fear
Will I be able to bring in enough money each month? How can I attract clients, and will they keep coming back? Did I make the right decision to pursue this full-time? Will people think I am crazy trying to start a business in this economy? I assure you, all of these feelings are absolutely normal. I found that in time I thrived on fear the most because I was more fearful on quitting and giving up then actually succeeding.
Determining your market and then finding your “niche.”
Finding your market is one thing, but determining your niche within that market is a little more difficult. Clients will be scared away if your market is too broad or generalized so definitely narrow it down to a specific product or service you are offering. Also, stake out your competition and do some real market research. You’re probably not trying to re-create the wheel here, but check out what your competition is doing and see how you can innovate the business to make it different or better with your “stamp” of creativity on it.
Discipline and Time Management.
This is very difficult if you are not used to being your own boss and working from home. Many countless hours are spent at home where people think you are just goofing off when in all reality you are putting in the most crucial part of your business – planning and brainstorming. Do you have a business name, logo, and website? Are you on social media sites such as facebook and twitter? How will you be doing your advertising? I made a checklist of these beginning steps and felt such a sense of accomplishment when I crossed one of them off my to-do list. This part should actually be the most fun because it is your business you are coming up with – your name, your brand, so be creative! If you are passionate about it then I’m sure you already have a name picked out. Juggling with competing priorities both personally and professionally can be very taxing at times as well. However, if you are surrounded by people who love and support you then I’m sure they will understand how much time is needed to start a business. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “If you have a full-time job and you’re home at 6 then you have time to quickly eat before you do what you love from 7 – 2 in the morning.” Passion is the name of the game here.
Maintaining your Integrity.
I know that in the beginning you can be very desperate for work. But by no means does this give you the permission to lower your prices just to get a client/sale. This will lead to bad business habits and a potential bad word of mouth reference where anyone thinks they can talk you down in price. If you truly believe you are offering an honest price for your service or product then stand by it! If you believe in yourself and your work then other people will too.
Do your Homework!
You needed it to do well in school, and the same goes for starting a business. Start listening to Business Podcasts such as The Struggling Entrepreneur and Startup Nation. There are endless amounts of resources available these days via the internet, radio, magazines, websites, and television, that there is no reason why someone can’t stay constantly informed.
These are by no means the only struggles and lessons I’ve faced, just the top 5. I am sure I could add 10 more to this list. However, what matters is at the end of the day if I am happy. I answer “yes” to this question every night which makes all of these hurdles well worth it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Alaina Ostroff, Founder/Owner of Tutor Champ. Find them on Facebook. Tutor Champ’s mission is to raise the USA’s 24th math place ranking in the world and offers private math/science tutoring sessions to high school and college students for the following subjects: SAT/ACT Prep, Algebra I & II, Geometry, Pre-Calc, Calc I – IV, Chemistry, Statistics, Differential Equations, Physics, Numerical Methods, Engineering Math I & II, Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Fluid Mechanics.