There are many challenges startup owners are faced with on a day-to-day basis. While some of them are easy to overcome, there are others that can seriously jeopardize the entire business. The key thing to do, in order to stay afloat, is to identify the ones that are particularly harmful and see to it that they are fixed as soon as possible.
So, if you’re a fresh startup owner, and even if you’re not, here are some of the most common challenges every startup is faced with at some point and, of course, the best ways to tackle them.
Unfruitful marketing efforts
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is a marketing guru, ninja, wizard or some other type of miracle-worker. However, not every one of them is truly an expert in the field. So, if you notice that your marketing efforts are not bearing any fruit, try to find out the cause behind the problem. More often than not, the problem will be the lack of experience of the abovementioned expert. Also, it is most commonly caused by poor market research. Therefore, if you’re faced with such a problem, do the research of your own and find a marketing agency (or individual expert) that actually knows what they are doing, to help you repair the damage. Note that marketing services are not cheap, so you should be ready to pay a bit extra if you want your marketing efforts to truly pay off.
Next, a problem almost any business is faced with is retaining profitable customers. Here, you need to know that not every customer is worth going above and beyond for. Therefore, you need to identify your most profitable customers and see to it that you keep them happy and coming back for more. You can achieve this by implementing some of the post-sale-follow-up techniques, as well as making the best of your email marketing efforts (notify them about any sales, new products/services…). Finally, you can make a special trust program and offer your most profitable customers great bulk deals or special discounts. However, keep in mind that you should do this only for the top-paying customers as they make up nearly 40% of your entire profit.
Cash flow management
The next major problem that usually shows its ugly head is the inability to maintain the desired cash flow. As you already know, launching a startup is extremely costly and reaching complete self-sustainability can even take up to two years. Therefore, you will have to be prepared to constantly make certain adjustments to keep your business operating. One of the things you can do is determine if there are things you can do to reduce your overhead expenses – this includes reducing the number of company-provided business lunches/dinners, unnecessary business trips and so on. However, if your expenses are already minimal, but you are still struggling to break even, you should consider the option of applying for quick and easy loans when you’re really in a tough spot.
Reliable and diverse workforce
Finally, you should be very careful when choosing employees for your startup. Yes, some may look like a better choice than others at first glance, but you should consider everyone’s strengths and weaknesses well before you make a final decision. For example, a young male worker might seem like a better choice than a young female worker – because of the possibility of a young female worker becoming pregnant and taking a paid leave, which will raise the necessity of finding a temporary worker to fill her place for at least a year – but, you need to know that a young female worker who wants to become a parent one day is looking for permanent business solution. This means that, if your female worker is happy working in your company, she likely won’t decide to leave you for a slightly better salary or a more relaxed working environment. So, you should do your best to try and identify the workers that will stay loyal to you and your startup no matter what, as employee turnover can significantly damage your business efforts.
These were, of course, just some of the most common struggles every startup is faced with. There are numerous others out there, but the key to overcoming them is keeping your head cool, thinking your every move through and finding the best solutions possible.