As of April 2021, ANT Group was valued at an estimated $200 billion US, making it the highest valued unicorn globally. A unicorn is a privately held company that has a market valuation of one billion US dollars or more. Since April of this year there were over 590 unicorns globally with the majority based in the States and China.
Entrepreneurship comes with a host of rewarding challenges. These challenges may be harsh, but they remain rewarding nonetheless. Establishing a brand and adjusting to the competition and market to keep the business profitable will remain continual challenges throughout the business lifetime. For new entrepreneurs (and some seasoned ones) some challenges can pose significant hurdles. We take a closer look at some of them.
Drawing inspiration for the first step
Taking the first step poses a huge challenge for many would-be entrepreneurs. Whether it be setting up an online store, starting a website or blog the first steps towards a new venture can be daunting, but often inspiration comes from unusual sources as personal trainer Adriana points out. “I realized my daughter’s clothes she was growing out of were going to waste, so I would always see them as fun art projects and looked at ways of enhancing the outfits with crystals and added fabric decor. This inspired one of my business ventures currently which is my boutique shop.”
Results can take time
Success is the culmination of consistent effort over time. Unfortunately many new businesses fail during the first few years and even more entrepreneurs quit before reaping any results. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that an approximate 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years. During the first five years an estimated 45% of businesses fail and this figure shoots up to 65% for businesses operating during their first decade. These statistics have been fairly consistent since the 90’s and should be kept in mind when starting down the path of entrepreneurship.
“If you want to grow a giant redwood, you need to make sure the seeds are ok, nurture the sapling, and work out what might potentially stop it from growing all the way along. Anything that breaks it at any point stops that growth.” Elon Musk’s words sums up beautifully the importance of being patient and diligent.
Multiple Income Streams
Cash flow shortages are among the most common reasons cited when new business ventures fold. Always raise more money than you think you will need and have some emergency credit handy for a rainy day. Focussing on a single income stream is often not advised. “Another one of my newfound passions for the past two years is the stock market, “ Adriana shared. Multiple income streams can take the form of passive income and can be done through blogs, smart investments and other avenues, leaving you time to focus on your startup.
How entrepreneurs manage their time certainly makes a difference between success and failure. New business owners may be in a rush to hire workers, neglecting the importance of building a team that reflects the company culture, service levels and commitment levels they want in place. Being over-focussed on filling roles and not taking the added time to find the best person for the role can have a negative knock-on effect.
Be able to delegate
Many great entrepreneurs struggle with delegation. As a leader, delegation is an important skill as it not only lightens your workload but helps to empower your team, builds trust and helps with professional development. Leaders who make use of delegation can identify which individual is best suited to tackle certain tasks or projects.
“Delegation can also be a clear sign that you respect your subordinates’ abilities and that you trust their discretion. Employees who feel that they are trusted and respected tend to have a higher level of commitment to their work, their organization and, especially, their managers,” according to Dr. Scott Williams.
Challenges will pop up in every step of the entrepreneurial journey. Once a business owner or entrepreneur is aware of these often invisible challenges they can be solved. It may be helpful to bear the words from Robert H. Schuller in mind: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”