Think before you speak and before launching your start-up

Content provided by a guest contributor.

Becoming an entrepreneur is quite an achievement. It’s a gutsy thing to even consider. There are many challenges that entrepreneurs face when taking the plunge and many of these obstacles are known from the outset. However, there are some that are overlooked, and consequently, not tackled correctly which can result in the failure of the enterprise.

Here are three challenges that entrepreneurs inevitably face but don’t always think about when starting out:

1. Managing cashflow

Cash is king in just about every business entity but more so in small start-ups. Cash is what’s needed to cover bills and pay salaries – many times entrepreneurs are willing to downsize their lifestyle until they get their business of the ground. But even if a profit is made within the first month there are absolutely no guarantees that the months following will be the same.

What’s more, a client base might be built up but if any of them are late payers then their payment is unreliable or non-existent and there is no real way to guarantee payment from these clients. This is why acquiring funding or venture capital is imperative and looking into asset finance is a must – many times, infrastructure and equipment needs to be in place before business can boom.

2. Battling brain drain

Being mentally drained and physically tired is probably something that all entrepreneurs expect to feel but actually going through it is another story altogether. Most dedicated startup owners can be found burning the midnight oil in the hope that their business becomes a burgeoning success.

The problem though is that this type of obsessive working can only last for a small period of time and when burnout and fatigue sets in, business owners are in the danger zone. Mental fatigue can lead to bad decision-making, poor customer relationship management and eventually a loss of motivation. Keeping a good pace is possibly one of the most difficult challenges for small business owners to face.

3. Quality versus quantity

Generally a successful start-up is one that has identified a need in the marketplace and has an innovative and creative solution that both satisfies the need and pleases the targeted consumer.

What’s more, success is mostly and simply measured in how many paying customers the company has. But having too many customers and not being able to offer them a stellar experience in every interaction is not a win. In fact, it’s about the most damaging thing that a company could do. When a company drops in their quality of service or product, they place their reputation on the line.

There are, of course, many different challenges that are faced by entrepreneurs but most of these can be handled if acknowledged right from the get-go. Creating documents like a robust business plan and automating various parts of the business can greatly assist new business owners with these challenges and others.


The content in this article was provided by WesBank – a leading Vehicle and Asset Finance provider and part of one of the largest financial services groups in Africa. WesBank is a division of FirstRand Bank Limited.

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