According to Linkedin.com, 90% of startups fail — often related to the lack of vision and proper planning of the business. However, whether an entrepreneur succeeds or fails, there are some common challenges that come as a result of owning your own business.
First, self-employment isn’t just about being your own boss. Owning your own business can be a major lifestyle change. While many of us strive to keep our work and home lives separate, many self-employed professionals find that the line between work and home is blurred more commonly than you’d think.
Often considered a benefit, the flexibility of making your own hours can sometimes prove to be more difficult. A person working on their own can sometimes feel they’re working from the minute they get up until the minute they go to sleep. With the ability to set meetings and appointments at their convenience, entrepreneurs can find they take on more non-work responsibilities that test their abilities to manage their time.
Those who start their own business find out quite quickly that there are a lot of things that they need to learn to be successful. You might have an appropriate amount of expertise in your particular technology discipline, but what about considerations for areas related to the actual operation of your business – something you probably did not have to worry about when working at a company.
One example for technology professionals is understanding supply chain management. Whether you’re selling a product or a service, having to coordinate suppliers and customers can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. You become more aware that even choosing the location of your office or warehouse can have direct effects on your bottom line.
In regards to other day-to-day operations, there are a lot of courses — in-class and online — to help you learn what you need to know regarding the latest tax laws or HR practices. Other options are to outsource these duties so that you can focus your time on the parts of the business where your expertise lies. Again, it comes down to prioritizing your efforts and having the financial resources to achieve it.
Finances is ultimately the biggest challenge when starting your own business. Knowing that it can sometimes take some time for a business to become profitable, entrepreneurs need to be prepared to handle the peaks and valleys related to finances.
You have the difficult task related to handling your budget. How much are you willing to spend on things like equipment or marketing? What prices do you set for your product or service? Are you prepared to chase clients who are behind on making their payments? When you know how long you’re able to operate efficiently, these types of decisions will determine your ultimate success.
As THE decision maker for the business, self-employed professionals operate with a higher amount of risk. While they can often find support through networks of other industry and business experts, the responsibility falls squarely on their shoulders. With all the challenges, many entrepreneurs have to occasionally step back and really ask “is this worth it?” And it really all depends on understanding the challenges and facing them head on.
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