It’s an exciting time to consider starting your own business, as the climate has never been this welcoming of innovation and new leaders in every industry. However, the business world is far from being all rainbows and unicorns, as such a rise in startups leads to ever-growing competition among them to deserve the attention of the public. But even before you reach the status of calling yourself a business, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to launch one.
From finding the best possible sources of funding, continuous research of your market and audience, to hiring the right employees, and all the way to delivering stellar content on a regular basis, it’s no easy feat being a startup in the world of aspiring businesses. In order to overcome these and many other issues, and protect your sanity in the process, you can utilize the following tried and tested strategies based on the most common challenges encountered by startups today.
1. The dreaded budget
Acquiring enough starting capital is one of the greatest issues that future business owners have to face. Considering the level of competition and the fast pace of industry development, chances are that nailing the right investor from the get-go will be a real endeavor. Very few companies can start earning a profit from day one in order to be self-sustaining, so you need to have a solid budget plan in place, as well as a few strong contingencies, in order to ensure success.
This is one of the most vital steps you need to make well before you launch your startup. Check with your friends and family for possible investments, check online platforms such as Kickstarter which are very popular across the US, but are also gaining traction in other regions of the world. They are especially needed in Asian regions such as Hong Kong, where more tech startups are popping up, and are in need of funding options.
2. Setting a sound structure
Starting a business in a competitive industry often means meeting exceptionally high expectations, and you cannot meet them unless you have a solid foundation for your business. To put things in perspective, Hong Kong has started developing six more industries to grow its economy. As such, it has become a highly fertile ground for environmental changes, tech innovation, and education improvements, making them highly competitive industries for any newcomer to conquer.
Since no business can become a self-proclaimed expert in any field, more startups seek help when it comes to essential ESG reporting in Hong Kong and similarly thriving regions in order to keep their business in line with legal and environmental requirements. From meeting market needs, ensuring employee equality, all the way to ensuring that your business respects the latest environmental goals of the region where you operate, it takes expert guidance to meander through these complex corporate waters.
3. Chasing after the perfect employee
For the modern employee, the startup culture is often the most desirable one for starting their own careers, as it offers plenty of advancement options and opportunities to grow and contribute through innovation and creativity. However, that often means that you need a very specific skillset from your team in order for your business to truly thrive.
Look outside of your “comfort zone”, and explore remote freelancers as one of your options. You can also look into hiring an HR expert for developing a solid recruitment process and onboarding your first several people. Do your best to screen your candidates thoroughly and hire not just for their experience, but for their potential, as well.
4. Wearing too many hats
Much like you cannot possibly expect yourself to become an overnight expert on corporate policies if you’re a fashion designer or a pastry chef, filling too many roles in your startup may prove to be the least productive way to spend your precious time. It’s in the interest of your business for you to stick to what you’re best at, no matter what that may be, and delegate the rest of your business needs to employees, or outsource to agencies and experts.
Too many modern startup owners enter the playing field thinking that can indeed be jacks of all trades, while time will tell them that your mastery will then suffer from the time and energy you waste on everyday chores instead of on the core of your business purpose.
Many forward-thinking startups are prepared for growth challenges, finding and landing new customers, as well as marketing issues. Few of them, however, take into account the possibility of fast growth. You’d be surprised how difficult it becomes to handle your business if the demand is far greater than what you can offer to supply.
From the very first moment you start planning your business budget, your marketing efforts, and your office space, consider this possibility. That way, you can plan for scaling your business more efficiently in case you do grow beyond your wildest expectations without losing customers in the process. Plan ahead, even if you never use those contingencies, as they might someday rescue your business from breaking under the pressure of growth.
Starting your own business is the dream of many modern visionaries, and if you recognize yourself in such a role, by all means – go after your dreams. Just make sure that you take every precaution before you take the leap, so that you can give your business a fair fighting chance in this very competitive, fast-developing ecosystem today.