Startup Founders Must Face and Overcome Common Challenges

Deep Kalina • 2 months ago

If you’re running a new venture, finding a digital product agency is just one step out of the millions you’ll take while building your business.

It could be argued that the entrepreneurial spirit is wrapped around the DNA of the United States. Along with rock ’n’ roll and blue jeans, it could count as one of the country’s chief lifestyle exports.

Everyone has ideas. But not everyone has the passion to invest their time, effort, and resources to bring their ideas to life. 

The reason is simple: It’s a hard thing to do. 

As Tom Hanks’ character, Jimmy, said in A League of Their Own, “It’s the hard that makes it great.”

He was talking about baseball, but the sentiment applies to any activity that challenges us to truly commit. Building a business means facing your fears and knowing they can be overcome:

  • Where do you find the money for growth?
  • How do you maintain a work-life balance?
  • Where will you find your customers?
  • Do you have the technical knowledge to succeed?
  • How do you establish your credibility?
  • Do you have the experience to achieve what you’re committed to achieving?

No one has ever set out on a grand business adventure without considering some or all of these questions. If not taken seriously, the unknowns can swamp your efforts before you truly get started.

The thing to remember about making millions of decisions is they won’t all be correct.

You might not be able to tell if a new hire is suitable until after you’ve invested in her training.

You might not know if you picked the wrong agency for digital product design for startups until the resulting app fails to meet your needs.

You might not know exactly how far your product is ahead of its time until it’s released to the public.

Founders also have to understand the headwinds that blow through the economy as a whole:

  • 88 percent of founders have concerns about today’s fundraising environment.
  • 63 percent of startup founders have seen their businesses decline or stall because of the pandemic.
  • 12 percent expect to pause hiring or downsize.
  • 25 percent plan to hire remote employees in less expensive markets.

There’s a reason successful entrepreneurs get their faces on the front of magazines. It’s because they charted a crooked course through treacherous waters and made it to the other side.

You wouldn’t have begun a new venture if you didn’t believe it could succeed. It’s going to be hard at times. How could it not?

It could also be truly great.

Common Mistakes and Challenges

If you’ve helmed a startup before, you probably learned many lessons along the way, including the benefits of hiring an outside team for digital product design for startups instead of putting the work on your in-house team. If this is your first dive into entrepreneurial waters, others have charted a course before you and returned with suggestions:

  • Budget for 24 months to give your business a better chance to gain traction.
  • Make sure you have enough co-founders pulling in the same direction.
  • Put a premium on market research, so you understand potential pitfalls and opportunities.
  • Welcome customers, whoever they turn out to be.

When it comes to your core product, you want it to be 10 times better than anything else on the market. You also want to partner with companies that put the same energy into their products.

For example, mobile apps and websites are modern-day business necessities. If you’re looking for a company that does digital product design for startups, you want to find one with a history of quick turnarounds and a long list of satisfied customers. 

The world doesn’t produce many overnight successes, so it’s good to set realistic expectations for your organization. Running can wait. Focus on crawling and walking in the early days.

One thing that could take a while is finding the right people to add to your team. Being choosy on the front end could save you a world of trouble. You’re not looking to fill a seat. You’re looking for someone who adds value to your passion project.

Forbes surveyed members of its Forbes Council to find out what kinds of challenges they were facing. The results might feel familiar:

  • generating revenue (26 percent)
  • time constraints (22 percent)
  • leading others (19 percent)
  • developing a strategy for growth (18 percent)
  • marketing (17 perecent)

The Forbes Council is comprised of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. If your concerns for your fledgling business look anything like theirs, you’re in good company.   

Leaders have to get good at identifying problems and recognizing when changes need to be made. The “sunk cost fallacy” is the habit of throwing good money after bad. If you hire a company that keeps breaking deadlines and boosting the price for digital product design for startups, think hard about finding someone else to take over the project.

Raising Funds

Digital product design for startups
Digital product design for startups

As the business adage says, “You have to spend money to make money.” That’s true, but you’ll do yourself and your organization a big favor by being a prudent money manager.

You want a full accounting of where your money’s going and where it’s coming from. Solid bookkeeping is fundamental. 

When working with investors, the tendency is to seek as much money as possible, but this could cause hidden issues.

A big influx of cash could push you to ramp up too quickly, causing you to go from crawling to running while skipping the walking phase. Money is a tool, not a cure-all. Think hard about how an investment will affect your business going forward.

If your company is cursed with too much money, it seems sarcastic to offer condolences. That’s because, as the Forbes Council reported, generating money is a usually big and pressing issue.

No matter what the overall business climate, there are options when it comes to generating cash to build your business: 

  • your savings and income
  • family and friends
  • credit cards
  • bank loans
  • angel investors
  • venture capital
  • crowdfunding

True Leadership

Digital product design for startups
Digital product design for startups

People in the U.S. celebrate successful entrepreneurs the way they celebrate sports stars. However, if you’re only chasing the idea of the entrepreneurial life, you’re probably not in it for the long haul.

As the man said, “It’s the hard that makes it great,” and taking a new venture from startup to ultimate success requires serious determination to do what’s necessary.

It’s not just about you. It’s also about your company culture. Let’s go back to hiring a company for digital product design for startups:

  • Are you going to do all the research yourself?
  • Are you going to delegate the work to a trusted employee?

Solid arguments can be made for both choices. If you do the research, you know what you’re getting. If an employee does the work, you’re putting your faith in that person and giving him or her a chance to contribute.

Business leaders must make tough choices. To gauge your commitment to your startup, there’s a crucial question to ask:  Are you making decisions to benefit yourself or the company? 

According to research featured in the Harvard Business Review, the long-term success of new companies often depends on the founders’ willingness to surrender control and hire an outside CEO: 

“By the time the ventures were three years old, 50% of founders were no longer the CEO; in year four, only 40% were still in the corner office; and fewer than 25% led their companies’ initial public offerings.”