While there has been a clear explosion of opportunities for an entrepreneur today, so have the challenges that they face. In this article, which would be split into two parts, would like to highlight some of those key challenges (by no means exhaustive) that await budding entrepreneurs.
Repeatedly making life-or-death decisions in the dark
However experienced you might have been in the corporate world before plunging on your own, there is no parallel to what you encounter once you have your own venture. There is a wide gap between making decisions in established corporations and making them in start-ups. In a company, managers usually make the same sorts of decisions every day and are surrounded by other people making similar choices. Though uncertainty in the corporate sector has increased, the environment being familiar, it fosters self-confidence. In a start-up, however, one does not have these comfort layers. Hence the decisions here are of an entirely different nature and often one small error can kill the entire venture. And that’s one of the main reasons why many first-rate executives find it difficult to make the transition to being on their own, successful.
Most successful entrepreneurs know that using their time to gather extensive information is a luxury they many a times cannot afford. They are more concerned that a decision be made than that it be the best possible choice. For example most of them know that decision is akin to movement, which is very important to a venture or a start-up since it has to keep, moving all the time. One decision leads to another and this chain of decisions finally leads to something more tangible and bigger. And these decisions could vary from hiring a supplier, to recruiting a senior employee to deciding the location of your office to hundred other different situations. One attitude that really helps is to quickly learn from bad decisions, move forward and do so on the run without wasting time.
Keeping pace with change
As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, there is no guarantee that you will continue to succeed because you succeeded in the first place. Sustainable success as an entrepreneur and venture often comes from the ability to sail with the wind, find new harbors while retaining the anchor. The pivot alone needs to remain constant and rest everything around it has to be flexible. This is both a challenge and a key motivator for being an entrepreneur. If you love this constant sailing and readjusting of sails you will get addicted to this sailing and welcome the new wind with exhilaration. Then you will have fun with the challenges and there will never be a dull day in business.
Now your venture is on its way to growth, there is every reason for you to pat yourself and relax a little. But that could end up spoiling the party. It is by now common knowledge that for every successful venture there are atleast nine could have been successful ventures, which faltered at the altar. They failed to realize that growth brings it with new problems and opportunities and if you are not as alert as before and upto it, it often ends up spoiling whatever you even built up so far. It is like sailing. However successful you become as a sailor, everytime you are in the seas, you need to be alert. The sea does not value your reputation and one mistake is all you need for that to go awry.
In the second part of the article to follow the coming week, we will cover three more key challenges facing entrepreneurs.