Welcome back to the blog friend! In today’s post, we are going to go through some common challenges entrepreneurs face and some tips on how to deal with them. I am very new to the entrepreneurship world but in my short time of running my own online business, I have been through a few of these challenges and have learnt a lot along the way as well.
And, yes this post is entitled, ‘challenges new entrepreneurs face’ but don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being an entrepreneur and there are tons of benefits in owning your own business. However, I would like to share a bit of my journey with you and some lessons learnt in hope that you will find encouragement and motivation in it for your own entrepreneurial journey. Let’s dive in shall we?
Challenges new entrepreneurs face #1: Money Management
Let’s just deal with the elephant in the room… money. Why do people get into business? To make a profit. Yes, you may be passionate and super talented at what you do but you want to make a profit. If not then it’s not a business and you’re not an entrepreneur, point blank. Now, if you don’t have a background in finance then this might be a struggle for you. It certainly was for me. I did not know how to price my services to ensure that I was making a profit and being fair with the prices. Nor did I know how to document my income and expenses properly to know if I was making a profit or not. I did not know the first thing about taxes (still don’t). I did not know how to properly allocate profits to cover expenses, reinvest back in the business, and put in savings. Clueless is what I was! And that was okay because it was a learning opportunity (as all of these challenges were) and I now have a little system in place to adequately manage my finances.
Now for the tips:
- If you are an aspiring or new entrepreneur, start with excel. You don’t need to try learning a complicated accounting software just yet. I literally have a sheet for client billing, prices, income & expenses.
- For your invoices, you can use free Word or Excel templates.
- Keep a file folder for all the invoices you send out and a folder for all the receipts and invoices you receive.
- Back up everything! My computer crashed a couple weeks ago and I lost all my files because I did not back them up. Luckily, I have all my invoices I send to clients in the clouds (because I actually had to send them) but I lost everything else. The good thing is that it wasn’t a lot lost.
Challenges new entrepreneurs face #2: Time management
When you are just starting out, you wear most, if not all, of the hats in your business. In being a jack of all trades, it is pretty easy to lose track of time and even allocate too much time to certain tasks. I know, it is a lot but your time is very precious and if not managed and used wisely, you are going to see very little fruit for your labor. This can lead you to feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, thinking that you’re not progressing or growing when in truth, your time management skills are just poor. I know it sounds a bit harsh but it is just the truth. Let me give some advice that has worked for me.
- Treat your business as if it is a full fledged company. You are the CEO… and every other role…..but what I am advising that you do is compartmentalize your business. So, you are going to create departments for your business as needed. For example, you would have an admin department, an accounts department, a marketing department, a production department etc. You can then segment your days to work in each ‘department’ of your business or theme your days so that you work on a particular set of tasks on a given day. For instance, Mondays could be your admin day or if the entire day is not necessary then maybe delegate the morning to it. You get the picture. This way, you are ensuring that all bases are being covered and you can better stay organised and allocate your time properly.
Challenges new entrepreneurs face #3: Delegating tasks
This is a huge struggle for new entrepreneurs because your business is your baby and you do not want anyone to mess it up. You probably don’t even know where to start looking for the right person to outsource certain tasks to. Let me just say this, there is going to come a point where you are going to need to ask for help, whether it is paid help or a favor. No man is an island. Don’t be afraid to delegate a task that you have no clue on how to get done, despite all the research, or you simply do not have the time to devote to it right now.
Shameless plug: I am the CEO of my very own Virtual Assistant Business, Tropical Tide Virtual, where I offer administrative and social media services, virtually, to small business owners worldwide. For more information, visit my services page or check out my Instagram.
Now, how to know if you are ready to outsource. Ask yourself these few questions.
- What are the things you cannot or don’t know how to do? For example, it could be graphic designing or drafting up legal documents for your business.
- What are the things you hate doing? For example, it could be posting on your social media pages.
- What are the things you love to do? This is the meat of the matter, the bread and butter of your business.
Reflecting on your answers, you need to ask yourself a few more questions.
- Can you afford to make the investment to pay someone to do the things you can’t do? If so, then do it. If not, set a goal to save a certain amount so that you can.
- Are the things you hate doing time consuming yet necessary tasks? Do you realize that you spend a lot of time on these tasks? Then these are what you want to delegate. And again, if you cannot afford to, then get very strict with you time management and handle them until you can afford to outsource these tasks.
These three challenges are super common in entrepreneurship and I have definitely experienced them first hand. Don’t worry, you are in good company and it does get better. Are you an entrepreneur that has struggled with any of these before? How did you overcome them? Do leave a comment below and share your two cents. I would LOVE to hear.
There are, of course, other challenges that I could have talked on so if you would like a part 2 to this post then definitely let me know in the comments.
And that is all for today’s blog, friend. I hope you enjoyed and got value from it. Share it with a friend (it’s free). Don’t forget to cherish your gift of time and use it wisely.