Entrepreneurs - like you - dream of taking their independent venture to the next level, and while raw talent can get you far, building a business from the ground up is a winding journey filled with bumps in the road & rigorous challenges.
When running a startup, it’s normal to face troubles you never thought existed. Nevertheless, you can persevere through these hurdles by being proactive in identifying & learning the skills to tackle them.
There’s a saying, “A smooth sea never makes a skilled sailor” and when it comes to starting your own business, it’s a good idea to toughen up since the dog-eat-dog landscape can push you to the edge.
Problems are everywhere, but proactively identifying common blunders in preparation for growth can help strengthen your resolve and offer solutions to overcome the myriad of obstacles down the line. With that in mind, this blog explores some of the biggest hurdles you might run into as you grow – along with some tried-and-true guidance on how to avoid the pitfalls:
You may have the right skills, talent, and motivation to put in the hard work. However, these qualities are just the cost of entry. Without the capital to make things happen, your business won’t be able to find its footing, let alone stand on its own feet.
Being unaware of all your capitalization options when starting or growing your business can make you feel uneasy about taking the next step. Consequently, organizations that help foster growth like traction studios and incubators can be found frequently (nationwide) providing opportunities & mentorship to aspiring businesses. In fact, they act as central hubs for resources, guidance, support, prospecting, and recruitment - core elements you will need while scaling your business.
This is one of the many reasons why our team created Beanie & Blazer’s Test The Waters program . With proven strategies and guidance that connect businesses with traditional (or non-traditional) capital sources, we create a win-win for companies making an impact in their community. The idea is to turn your business into an attractive asset that encourages people to invest in it, even if you are not actively looking for them. We call it “investability”.
Traction Studios, like Beanie & Blazer, offer a medium to unlock the granular success metrics of your business via education, mentorship, and consulting to channel the company into becoming investable, capitalized, profitable, and scalable.
The success of your company cannot be accredited to one person and, most definitely, is a result of teamwork. It’s people that keep your organization productive, so it’s crucial to take extreme precaution when making your first key hires. Your goal should be to build a team with complementary strengths and weaknesses to create a healthy, balanced working environment.
Attracting and selecting the right type of people can be a daunting task. You might consider utilizing personality tests during your recruitment process - something many companies have turned to. These types of tests can help you understand potential hires' mindset, motivations, and general working demeanor. Personality tests can also help you place potential hires with complimentary teams & mentors, a proven strategy to improve employee satisfaction.
Remember, after hiring talented team members it’s your job to ensure they know what to work on, have an aligned team vision, are provided opportunities to give feedback, and have opportunities to grow.
A start-up usually doesn’t have the luxury of a big team, which means you will have to manage your time wisely and delegate tasks accordingly. Spearheading a business means you have to take care of everything first-hand, allowing no extra time to spend on non-priority (but important) tasks. Without a team to delegate to, these tasks can pile up and suffocate you (as a founder) or the business (as an operation). Project and task management can help you set better priorities, create reasonable timelines, and help build a workflow that scales as you build your team.
You can iron out inefficiencies in your workflow by setting SMART goals — goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. Then, break them down into daily, weekly, monthly, and annual objectives, so you can see far ahead and track your progress. OKRs, or objectives and key results, can also come in handy to measure your growth and keep you on the right track. This collaborative goal-setting tool can help your team set ambitious, quantifiable goals. Developing productivity-focused goals for your team can give them an attainable roadmap to success and help you achieve the best possible outcome when it comes to deploying your vision.
After a funding event or reaching the proper runway, your focus can shift from executing all the tasks to delegating them wisely. If a task doesn’t demand your immediate attention and involvement, it’s best to let your staff take care of it. Incorporating a structured management style with online management tools like Monday.com or ClickUp can also help eliminate administrative duties and boost your team’s productivity by optimizing your workflows.
Searching for deep, trustworthy, and meaningful partnerships can take plenty of time, resources, and money. It’s not easy to convince a larger business to partner with your company or bring on an experienced business partner. You have to be able to show vision, initiative, and explain the value you provide individually or together. However, spending the time to court these relationships can greatly increase your chances of success, help navigate new opportunities, and open channels to other partners as well.
The good news is that companies like Beanie & Blazer can simplify your hunt for the best partnerships by connecting you to networks of potential partners interested in investing in businesses like yours. With a trusted partner (strategic or business), you can feel more confident about expanding your team & become more investable.
Financial constraints can get in the way of your motivation, especially since you will need to spend money before earning a profit. So, while landing investment can boost your capital and give you enough to launch successfully, you need to also maintain a steady cash flow.
Keep in mind that generating revenue doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making a profit. Diligence & attention to detail when it comes to your company’s finances will pay dividends whenever you’re ready to capitalize. That’s why accounting and bookkeeping are critical activities that your business needs to secure success.
Keeping track of your money can help you plan for expansion and increase your chances of capitalizing when the time is right. Beanie & Blazer’s Test The Waters program educates entrepreneurs - like you - on the basics of revenue management leading to a longer financial runway & an increased chance of success.
While it is easy to get caught up in your ambition and desire to bring something new to the market, startups are fraught with challenges. The article above addresses some of the difficulties that can weaken your foundation as a founder. Preparing yourself for these obstacles will help you grow exponentially both as an individual and a business.
Chasing after your dreams as an ambitious entrepreneur is undoubtedly exciting, but it takes more than determination and a leap of faith to reach your goals. Every startup needs enough support to bring novel ideas to life, but finding the right support can be tricky.
In just six weeks, Beanie & Blazer’s Test The Waters program can help you prepare and launch a trial investment crowdfunding campaign. We leverage the best practices from dozens of successful investment crowdfunding efforts and hundreds of investor discovery calls to help creators build investable companies.
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Beanie & Blazer does not provide investment advice and is not a registered investment advisor or broker-dealer. Investing in startups is risky, never invest more than you’re willing to lose.
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