Starting a business is not without its challenges, but the good thing is that where there is a will, there is a way. Many entrepreneurs who are successful today faced various challenges while starting out, but with hard work, creativity and persistence, they’ve been able to find a way out. Here are three common challenges entrepreneurs face starting out:
1. Getting a foot in without a portfolio. Not many clients are willing to take a chance on a service provider who can’t name jobs they’ve handled before; they don’t want to be practice material. Ngozi Nkiri-Ossai of Double Tap Events faced this challenge. “When I started initially it was difficult to convince clients of my professionalism and ability to meet their demands because I had no portfolio and no proof of success in my previous planned events. It’s difficult when you cannot present proof of a successful job handled by your company.”
2. Raising capital. For businesses that require capital, few entrepreneurs find it easy. “Capital also was a major challenge because our business deals with a lot of creative designs, constant change, new things keep popping up and you need to be trendy, unique, brand yourself in a way that anywhere people see your job they easily can tell it was handled by you,” Ngozi adds. Barows 21 founder, Stanley Uduemo, concurs. “The number one challenge was insufficient capital,” he says without missing a beat.
3. Getting good staff. It has been said that ideas are a dime a dozen, but the people who implement them are priceless. Without the right staff, your great business idea may never become reality. Trezorlandia Boss, Mofolusade Sonaike, agrees. According to her, the top challenge starting out was “attracting and retaining talent with limited resources.”
This is exactly what Ogochukwu Agu of Beddings ‘n’ Beyond experienced starting out. “One of my initial challenges in the business was finding the right hands, tailors and handymen alike, who are reasonably committed to the vision I have for the brand and creative enough to bring the vision to life,” she says.
Eniola Suley also had to deal with this. “The main challenge was in employing people; our services are very sensitive and require that we hire only trustworthy people. It took a long time to figure out our current employment process. We are extremely happy and proud that so far we have never had any incident involving our clients’ properties,” says Eniola Suley of Anywork Services.
Should you despair? No, there is hope; things will take shape. Ogochukwu further says, “When I first started out, I had this tailor who made me scream out one too many times in frustration! Late deliveries, mismatched threading, uneven tailoring, zero creativity, the list was beyond long! Thankfully, we’ve been able to conquer that.”
As Mofolusade points out, there are several other challenges, including “Deciding on the right pricing model (we are all in this for profit, at the end of the day), minimizing cost of logistics and running a home office effectively.”
These are business owners who started from the scratch and thrived. The teething stage doesn’t last forever, and entrepreneurs eventually surmount these challenges, so whatever yours may be, don’t give up!