Starting a business is exciting, but it can also be a challenge. Sometimes along the way you’ll face obstacles, but they can be overcome. Here we will cover the main obstacles that you may encounter as you go through the business startup process.
Finding a Business Idea
You may still be in the brainstorming phase, trying to come up with a great business idea. Opportunities abound, so there are many that you can choose from. There are many resources online that you can consult that can help. Step by Step Business covers plenty of business ideas with specific guides about how to launch them.
You can also choose an idea that relates to what you’re good at or where you have experience. Even hobbies can turn into businesses, and many have become very successful.
Here are a few other tips:
- Look for a problem that needs to be solved in the market.
- Look for market gaps. For example, maybe your area needs a cool coffee shop.
- E-commerce is booming. Maybe building a strong e-commerce site from home could be for you.
- Brainstorm. Go to a high foot traffic spot and be observant. Many great businesses started out as “napkin ideas” written down in a café.
Naming Your Business
This can be more challenging than it sounds, but it’s important to make the right choice. Your name should be short and easy to remember but reflect what you do. Come up with a list of options and ask your family and friends for feedback and suggestions.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, you need to see if the name is available to use. You can do a business name search in your state, usually on your secretary of state’s website. You should also visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure the has not already been trademarked. You should also search a site like GoDaddy to see if the domain name is available.
If you find that it’s already in use, go back to the drawing board.
Funding the Business
This is a big obstacle that many entrepreneurs face because startup funding can be hard to come by. You should investigate the questions: how much does MVP cost? First of all, you need to know your options.
- Bank loans: This is often the best option, but you’ll need a strong business plan and credit history.
- SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration guarantees certain loans, and bank approval can be easier with an SBA-guaranteed loan.
- Government grants: Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
- Venture capital: Venture capital investors take an equity ownership stake in exchange for funds, so keep in mind that you’d be giving up some control over your business. This is generally only available for businesses with high growth potential.
- Angel investors: Reach out to your entire network in search of people interested in investing in startups in exchange for equity.
- Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your business. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
- Crowdfunding: Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
- Personal: Fund your business with your personal resources.
Bringing in That First Dollar
Once you have everything set up to run your business, you want to start making money. It can take time to acquire customers and for your business to gain traction. You need to be patient, but you also need to be very proactive.
First, start with your own network. Make sure that every single person you know is aware of your business. You never know who might be interested in what you’re offering. Also, people know other people, so they can get the word out for you.
You also need to get online. You can start with social media. Think about your target market and which sites they’re likely to be on. A younger demographic is probably on TikTok and Instagram, while more established people are likely to be on Facebook or LinkedIn.
In addition to free advertising, you can spend a little money on paid ads on social media or pay-per-click advertising on Google. You can also use search engine optimization strategies (SEO) to help your site come up higher on organic Google searches.
If you are selling to businesses, you can start making direct calls, either by phone or in-person, to business owners. You can also attend business networking events, such as chamber of commerce events, to meet other business owners.
Once you get a few customers, the word will start to get out and you may get referrals. Just remember, it can take some time to gain traction, so don’t give up.
As an entrepreneur, you will face challenges and obstacles – it’s inevitable – but almost every obstacle can be overcome. You just need to work hard, provide a good product or service, and forge ahead. Always keep your goals in mind to motivate you and keep pushing forward to success!