It is not quite easy to start a new business as there are many challenges at the outset which an entrepreneur has to face and overcome. The key challenges which I have personally encountered include the following among others;
- Operating within limited resources in terms of equipment, staff and capital. When you are starting a business you cannot afford the luxuries enjoyed by an established business.
- It is extremely difficult to get the right human resources especially if you are venturing into a unique business. You have to incur the costs of training your staff as most staff will not have practical experience which is relevant in your line of business.
- Some degree of negativity from your colleagues especially if you are venturing into a business which is not in line with your training
- It takes some time to build trust among the staff and potential customers. There is a bit wondering on the side of the staff and potential customers of whether you will succeed. You need continuous assurance of your staff and potential of the success ahead.
- Knowing when to launch your products or services as at this time your business has more questions than answers. You have to launch at the right time.
During my over 30 years in both as an employee and a business person , I have noticed that a number of organisations do not make to the tenth anniversary because of lack of continuous focus on the new business by the entrepreneurs. They reduce the focus once the organisation has developed its brand and grown into a mature entity. Some entrepreneurs develop a degree of arrogance to show off their success. Some find it the right time to reconnect with colleagues they have missed a lot in order to catch up on current news and also to tell them war stories on business . Some start travelling around the world to look for new business opportunities and some engage in other new business ventures. As an entrepreneur it is recommended to continuously focus on your business as being in business is full time job without any provisions for sabbatical leave. Remember you are implementing your life mission and no one understands your mission better than yourself. As you relax you have to keep your eye on your business to avoid taking a wrong turn. In addition you have to continuously assess your performance in the following areas to ensure you walking on the right way;
Focus on your mission
An organisation is only a vehicle established to implement your mission in life. It is important the vehicle selected to implement your mission is properly governed. You have to continuously review your mission because it gives a reason for being in business. Your mission should be translated into and guided by a strategic plan and implemented through a business plan. The monitoring and evaluation of your business should include parameters relating to your mission.
Customer is very important
You are in business to serve your customers. The quality of your products or services must meet the needs of the customers if you have to survive in business. The customers are the centre of your organisation and they are the reason you are in business. You should therefore give your customers your undivided attention.
The state of the competition
There are so many suppliers of the type of goods and services you produce. This means you are competing with others to serve the same customer. The customer will only buy the goods and services from a supplier who offers best customer care and who respect the rights of customers. You have therefore to know the suppliers who are competing with you on the same customer. You have to know the quality of goods and services offered by the competition and the challenges the competition is facing. Your strategy of fighting the competition will be enhanced by the knowledge you have about the competition.
Creativity and innovativeness
You have to be creative and innovative when you are producing products and services for your customers. You have to add better value to the customer than that offered by the competition. Customers will only come to you because of your capacity to meet their needs at a better price than the competition. You require resources devoted to creativity and innovativeness across your business.
John Muhaise Bikalemesa
Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited