How to analyze and overcome entrepreneurial barriers
Tips for how to successfully start a business
So you want to start a business …
Starting your own company sounds like a great way to earn money while having the freedom to be your own boss and make your own rules. And, as a Coloradan, you’re in a great place — Colorado is the 10th best place to start a business in the country.
However, it’s not easy. Being your own boss means facing and overcoming a lot of obstacles, many of which are internal. So what are some of the entrepreneurial barriers that you might face? Here are a few — as well as how to overcome them.
Not Understanding Product-Market Fit
One of the biggest reasons that businesses fail is that their product or service doesn’t match the needs or desires of the market. There are a lot of great ideas out there, and many people will say they’re willing to pay for them if you ask.
But what will they actually pay for? That’s the true measure of product-market fit. If no one is doing what you’re planning to do, there may be no paying market for it. So don’t invest a lot of time, money, and effort until you’ve determined that there’s a strong paying market for your product or service.
One way to test the market is to use a “minimum viable product,” or MVP. Create a stripped-down version of what you plan to do and see if customers are willing to pay for it. You’ll also learn how much people are willing to pay, which helps develop the full product.
If you’re struggling to understand the market, some business education might help. An MBA can be a huge catalyst for those who want to start a company. Among other things, an MBA allows you to network with like-minded people.
A Lack of Financing
They say it takes money to make money, and often that seems like a significant barrier. However, you don’t usually need as much money as you think, especially just to get started.
You can start by using your own money or borrowing from friends or family. Start with the basics of getting a website and building a minimum viable product to test the market. Consider working with a co-founder who has skills you don’t have and pool your resources.
Once you have a good idea and a bit of traction, you can start trying to raise money. This requires marketing your business idea to investors who are interested in your sector. Make sure you partner with an investor whose vision matches yours.
Fear of Failure or Embarrassment
One thing that stops many entrepreneurs from ever getting started is a fear of failure. They aren’t 100% sure that the venture will work, so they don’t move forward at all. If you fall victim to this barrier, you’ll stay stuck in your unfulfilling day job and won’t leap to pursue your dreams.
To overcome this obstacle, create a strong plan and strategy for your business. Work on your mindset and start to expect good things in your life. Think about your dreams and imagine the life you could have if you pursue them.
Don’t worry about failure, either — it’s rarely final. Many entrepreneurs who have a venture fail to take what they’ve learned and go on to found a successful business afterward.
Wanting to start a company and be your own boss is tempting, but it may not be the only priority in your life. Sometimes you have other goals that seem to conflict with the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
To overcome this barrier, just remember that entrepreneurship can take on many forms. If you have kids, for instance, you might decide to start a business that allows you to work from home and doesn’t require you to travel. Instead of inventing a product, you might choose to be a freelance service provider.
Starting a business doesn’t have to mean developing new technologies and moving to California. You can stay right here in Colorado and manage the other elements of your daily life while still being your own boss.
An Uncertain Environment
With COVID-19 and other world concerns, today’s environment might seem like a bad time to start a company. But the truth is, there’s never a perfect time to start a business. There are always political and economic challenges that you have to navigate.
The key is to understand the environmental challenges and find ways to overcome them. For example, starting a business during COVID-19 might help you become more resilient and have a variety of fallback mechanisms that will help your company thrive for years to come.
Don’t see uncertainty as a dealbreaker. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to create a stronger, more flexible company.
Are You Ready to Start Your Business?
Colorado is an excellent place for budding entrepreneurs, whether you have a new technology idea or want to become a freelancer. Starting your business here will give you many opportunities to grow, expand, and overcome obstacles.
If you’ve been dreaming of owning a company for years, don’t wait any longer. There’s never a perfect time. Take a step forward, and then another, and then another. In the end, you’ll be amazed at how far you go!