7 Pain Points Entrepreneurs Should Expect and Embrace
The famous saying “no pain, no gain” rings especially true for entrepreneurs. When starting out, there are bound to be some bumps and bruises as you stumble through new situations and experiences. Even as your company develops and begins to take flight, there will be growing pains. The good news is, there are practical steps that can make dealing with business pain points much easier.
Pain points entrepreneurs face
To prepare you for what’s to come as an entrepreneur, here are seven pain points that many entrepreneurs experience when starting and running a business.
1. Finding the first users
The first users of your product or service are key because they can tell others about what you offer. However, convincing someone to be the first user can be painful because the most work goes into influencing the decision. That’s why many companies desperately try anything to get those first users, including giving away their product or service or offering a free trial period. It can seem like an impossible task, but it’s one worth the considerable effort it will take to locate and win over those first users.
These first users will come faster if you take the time to get to know your prospects and find out what they are really seeking. Then go back and make sure what you’re offering fills that void for them. Return to those prospects and show them what you’ve done to see if it’s something they want. If they say yes, then you have the first users.
2. Being rejected by investors
It hurts your confidence, pride and wallet when investors don’t want to fund your startup. Hearing no over and over again will sting. If no one else believes in your idea, then it can’t be that good, right? That’s not necessarily true, and the pain is a sign to find out why there is a lack of interest from investors. It could be that you’ve just been targeting the wrong types of investors for your business or that you need to provide more evidence of current and future success to secure funding.
3. Getting and keeping talent
In sports, the winning teams are usually those that have the most money to get the talent they need. However, typically when creating a startup, there are no funds to hire the best and brightest. It may seem that without access to a skilled team, you won’t be able to develop your product or service, or you may not be able to market and launch it. But not every talented individual out there is looking for the highest bidder. Many want to get in on the ground floor and grow with a company because their goals are to be a part of something that one day will become big.
You can leverage this desire while also taking advantage of the incredible number of freelancers willing to work from anywhere in the world for startup rates. While you may not be able to keep all the talent you come across, there are those who will stay if they see career and growth potential. It takes effort, and not every individual you select will ultimately be right for the company, but online marketplaces and networking sites put you in front of many fish in the workforce sea.
4. Realizing it’s the wrong direction
Nothing cuts deeper than the realization that you’ve been heading in the wrong direction with your business, especially after dedicating your time and money to it. You can kick yourself for thinking you’ve wasted resources, but what you really need to do is be glad you realized sooner than later that you need to pivot and alter your course to better meet your market and target customers’ needs. Take what you learned and keep going.
5. Lacking support
It hurts when it feels like you’re all alone on your mission. Stephen King was rejected more than 30 times with his first book, Carrie, to the point where he gave up and threw it away. However, his wife removed it from the trash and encouraged him to try again, and from then on, he was a success. Everyone needs that cheerleader on their side who believes in them and provides the emotional support necessary to work through the rejection, self-doubt and frustration. Look to offline and online networking groups for a mentor or coach who can lend their support and advice to help you avoid the pain of working alone. Plus, you may even learn from those supporting you.
6. Doing it all – and trying to do it well
Like a lack of support, doing everything yourself and trying to be good at it can leave you physically, mentally and emotionally drained. Overwork those muscles, and you’ll not only experience pain, but you could also be doing more damage than good. While working hard feels satisfying, it’s important to strike a balance, ask for help and recognize when a particular area is not your strong suit. This doesn’t mean you are a weak person; instead, it says you’re smart and savvy in your understanding of where your skills and knowledge can be best utilized. Not even superheroes can do everything well. That’s why they often work in pairs or as a team. Beyond relying on those around them, many entrepreneurs also look to tech tools that assist with productivity.
7. Failing and shutting down the business
No one wants to have that moment when it’s time to acknowledge that your business is just not going to work. You feel as though you’ve let yourself down, as well as your investors, staff, family and friends. If it happens, you can’t let that failure consume you and stop you from moving forward to try something new. Some of the most successful and admired people have failed numerous times, and they will say they are glad they did.
Thomas Edison is often quoted as saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Henry Ford famously said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” And a quote attributed to author Napoleon Hill asserts, “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” Accept the fact that this particular venture did not work out, learn from it and focus on making your next startup a success.