Are You Prepared for the Entrepreneurial Journey?

Entrepreneurial Journey

The 5 biggest issues facing entrepreneurs today and how to overcome them.

What are the biggest issues you’ll face on your entrepreneurial journey? EVERYTHING! However, that is not particularly helpful.

Roughly speaking, there are about 5 major categories of issues:

  1. Funding 

    Where to get startup money? How to prepare for Angel/Venture financing?

    Finding funding can be a daunting process if unprepared. Many people do not understand the types of funding available to entrepreneurs. Some jump the gun and start pitching too early without enough facts, resources, and data to fulfill an investors due diligence list. Others will burn through their current funds due to poor planning and strategy. Although each startup will have varying issues depending on their situation, no business will be successful without financial help along the way.

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  2. Budget and Finance 

    How do you create a budget? Manage cashflow? What about tax planning?

    Organization and planning can drastically cut down on common mistakes most entrepreneurs make in budgeting and finance. However, many people do not know how to create budgets to allocate their resources because they lack the experience to understand the correct methodologies. Confusion and frustration will set in, and businesses will falter without a proper strategy for their resources.

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  3. Human Resources 

    Where and how do you find and recruit the right talent? How do you find the right partners? How do you build an effective team?

    “A jack of all trades is a master of none”. Although many entrepreneurs believe they can do it all on their own, it’s just not realistic. Having a diverse team will breathe innovation and creativity into your business. Advisors and co-founders who are willing to challenge you in a positive manner will accelerate your success. Quality management gives credibility and integrity to the heart of a business. All of these elements are equally as important as the service or product your business develops.

  4. Marketing

    Customer Discovery: Finding and knowing your customers. Ensuring Product-Market fit. How do you create a marketing plan and implement it? How do you drive sales?

    The whole point of business is to do business with others. You will not find success if you do not understand your target demographic. Not only must you understand them, you must appeal to them. Customers, product-market fit, and branding will all affect the ability to drive sales and ensure a successful venture.

  5. Business Development

    What type of organization/business model should you use? How do you protect your intellectual property? How do you grow/scale your company?

    Business development is the equivalent of the bones in the body. They give structure, security, and allow the business to operate in unity. Faulty models, lack of patents, and unfinished paper work will all stunt the growth and scalability of a company.

While all of these are important, the most difficult issues facing an entrepreneur (at any stage of the startup process) are PERSONAL:

  1. Self-doubt

    How do you overcome the constant feeling that you are in over your head? Is there something you have forgotten?

  2. Loneliness 

    You live, eat and breath your startup. There is precious little time for family, love, or hobbies. When it comes to “life balance,” there is none if you are truly dedicated to your company.

  3. Risk Management 

    What (money/time/effort) are you willing to risk? When is the right time to leave your day job? Be honest about what you are willing to risk.

  4. Stress Management

    Everything sits on your shoulders. No matter what the issue (legal, finance, production, or marketing), it is up to you to solve it. You must become the leader of all.

  5. Time Management 

    There is only so much of you to go around. You constantly have to shift priorities. Ultimately, you will have to learn what and when to delegate.

Are you prepared for the entrepreneurial journey? Before you decide to start a company, spend some time thinking about the personal issues you will face. Evaluate them honestly. If you are prepared to take the leap – give it all you’ve got.

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Dave Clark

Dave Clark taught Strategy at West Point and is a co-founder of FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.