Owning and running your own business is one of the most rewarding, albeit the most challenging, experiences one can have. Entrepreneurs forge new paths, relying on themselves and their creativity, innovation, and experience rather than on what has worked in the past.
That being said, entrepreneurs obviously face unique challenges. While some of these obstacles must be overcome by all professionals, entrepreneurs are in a particular situation where they themselves are their biggest and most easily utilized resource.
Below are five common challenges that entrepreneurs new and old constantly work to overcome. Keeping these obstacles and goals in mind when planning or reviewing your business plan can help give you and your brand an edge.
Keeping Themselves Motivated and Inspired
Entrepreneurs are the engines behind their businesses. In order to keep up with the competition, they must always be looking for inspiration and ensuring that their motivation and passion for their work stays high. Many professionals report that learning something new is one of the easiest ways they rejuvenate their affection for their craft. In our fast paced and tech-centered world, there’s always something new to master and a million ways to learn. Whether it’s gaining skills in Photoshop, learning a bit more about business planning, participating in a workshop, or taking an online course, adding to your toolbox of skills is always an advantage.
Building a Routine or Schedule
When entrepreneurs wake up in the morning, many of them don’t have anyone telling them what to do. They don’t necessarily have a 9:00 – 5:00 schedule to keep, and some of them don’t even require physical offices to commute to or work from. While the flexibility and freedom that comes along with owning your own business is one of the major benefits of being an entrepreneur, it also means that you have to take full responsibility for structuring and utilizing the time you dedicate to work. Many entrepreneurs – especially those that work from home – find that sticking to a routine and planning out their work days helps them stay focused and productive.
Valuing Their Time
It is up to entrepreneurs to set their own rates for the products and services they offer. One thing that many new entrepreneurs forget is that, when pricing, you must take into account all of the time that you actually put in. In other words, don’t forget to allow yourself a “salary.” Every minute of an entrepreneurs day is valuable – there are always things to do, places to be, and people to meet. Running a business is a time consuming endeavor. Ensure that you are financially valuing your time in a way that is sustainable and worthwhile to you and your business.
Networking as a Business Owner
Networking as a business owner can be a different experience than networking as a professional who is part of an organization. Not only do your personal characteristics reflect directly upon you, but others’ impressions of your business and brand do as well. For this reason, many entrepreneurs at networking events feel like they are “putting it all on the line” when they try to network and promote themselves at conferences and workshops. Having a strong idea about what you and your brand stand for can help build your confidence as a business owner who knows how to successfully market themselves and their work.
Managing their Social Media Presence
Managing and upkeeping their business’ social media presence is an eternal battle for entrepreneurs. It is a task that must be monitored and attended to consistently. Utilizing social media platforms is undoubtedly one of the best ways you can reach out to and connect with your customers. Many business owners start out believing that social media marketing is something that they can manage on their own, but typically end up hiring an expert once the task grows too time consuming. Regardless of whether you manage your own presence or hire a marketing or media consultant, maintaining a strong online presence should be at the forefront of your mind as a business owner.
What are some unique challenges that you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?