If you are reading this article, it is because you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, either to set up an online store or offer some other service. Most likely, you already have a fairly well-defined business idea in mind. Being an entrepreneur is a stimulating challenge and brings with it many benefits, in addition to the indisputable satisfaction of creating something of your own from scratch. However, as with everything, it has its pros and cons, so it pays to weigh them both personally and professionally.
To begin with, although it is a fundamental pillar, having a business idea is not everything. Carrying out this idea is much more difficult than it seems since it is influenced by countless factors that vary depending on each person and their situation, as well as their knowledge. Before throwing yourself into the vacuum iron, we will remind you to consider the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur, so we will proceed to look at what it takes to start and maintain a company today:
Advantages of being an entrepreneur
Greater autonomy and independence
One of the advantages of starting a business is the independence and satisfaction of creating something of your own.
Starting a business is characterized by autonomy and independence that are incomparable to that of the occupation of an employee for someone else. Regardless of the work that is done, the freedom that having your own company and making your own decisions grants are a great advantage that is taken into account when considering being an entrepreneur. Of course, the key to success is knowing how to value and make use of this freedom in our favor and that of the company, which is not innate in each one, but rather develops little by little as we develop with each other. more fluency in our new activity. Also, let’s not forget that being your own boss also allows you to select the people you want to be part of your work team.
The possibility of higher income
This is another of the points of weight that is usually key in the decision to undertake. And who does not aspire to earn more money? Being ambitious is not a negative trait, nor is wanting to achieve financial stability and aspire to a higher standard of living.
The satisfaction of creating something of your own and watching it prosper
Directly linked to success and considerably higher income is the personal satisfaction that comes from creating something of your own and achieving the objectives that you set for yourself. Challenging and testing one’s abilities, taking risks, and seeing how an idea prospers comes with a unique feeling of satisfaction and make us feel invincible.
Bring something new to your environment and be rewarded for it
Finally, being a successful entrepreneur can improve your status and open many doors for you. In addition, contributing your grain of sand to the environment in which you live is also a positive point that cannot be ignored. Being useful to society through actions of various kinds can also be considered a personal achievement of self-realization.
Disadvantages of being an entrepreneur
Know how to manage the newly acquired autonomy
Autonomy also brings its drawbacks, and that is that to be an entrepreneur you have to demand a certain degree of organization and discipline so as not to sink yourself quickly and catastrophically. Likewise, and unlike an employee, the responsibilities that are concentrated in your person are much greater both in number and dimension. The keys to being a successful entrepreneur require us to know a little about everything: business administration and management, commerce, marketing, and, of course, being an ace within our area of work. On the other hand, if you think that you have completely eradicated the figure of the boss from your life, you are wrong, because from now on your bosses will be the clients and the Tax Agency, among others.
Inevitable economic risks
Another negative aspect of entrepreneurship is the inevitable economic risk that we face: every business or business activity requires financial means to start, but there is no insurance that is valid here since every entrepreneur risks failing when starting a new project and losing all their money. It is important to be prepared and know how to assess the difficulties that could arise, as well as organize our income responsibly until the business flourishes and reaches stability that we consider sufficient. It also doesn’t hurt to have a plan B up your sleeve, always ready in case things go really bad and not be left in misery.
Your free time always subject to the workload
Being an entrepreneur means sacrificing sleepless nights to get the business going. Flexible hours could become your worst enemy, although it is true that in theory, you are the one who sets your vacations and work days. But if there is a problem or a lot of work and you are the only one who can cover it, say goodbye to the weekends and the 8-hour day, because you always have to be ready to do everything that is in your hands and more to get the business going. And sometimes, this could mean spending the odd sleepless night.
Main challenges facing entrepreneurs
In an international survey, competent entrepreneurs were asked about some of the main challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them.
Next, we collect the compendium of those challenges that most affect entrepreneurship, according to the experience and responses of those surveyed:
1. Drawdown of capital
The biggest challenge is usually having the capital to start, set up and develop the business.
Banks are hesitant or reluctant to grant loans with collateral, so the venture seeks to raise money in other ways, usually or through private investors. Which is not easy, but rather the opposite; In other words, it is quite a challenge to find that key source or partner that really contributes or helps to have the necessary capital to create and/or develop the business model that you want to undertake.
2. The recession or economic crisis
Of the entrepreneurs surveyed, few expected the regrettable turnaround in sales and their overall business during the financial crisis, especially just months after getting started.
Given this, they immediately began to make numerous changes, such as developing their own website, reducing bills, etc.; hoping to balance the cash flow without ruling out having to make more changes.
To try to get the true potential of the business, which is what it is about, they adopted changes such as starting or continuing the business with an online store, which -in turn- allows adding more or new products and/or services.
3. Get a good marketing action plan
While a company is profitable, surely less is done than could be done if we had another less rosy situation. A good marketing research plan can allow that relaxation, translated as more time, a calm and secure state of leadership, and, in short, finding life and work more rewarding (financially and personally).
In fact, according to those surveyed, time management and productivity are essential in any type of business, as well as developing it according to values and life purposes.
4. Create and/or sell a unique product
A startup, in addition to capital, seeks to reduce production costs, develop processes to organize the business, test new market strategies, etc. To do this, one of the best ways and greatest challenges, based on the responses obtained, is to create and/or market a new and/or original service or product.
5. Cash flow management
Starting to produce too much or having a lot of inventory often costs money. It is more appropriate to put or redirect those production resources toward advertising, web development, or any other way that generates sales.
In fact, the biggest challenge for many startups is cash flow. Having limited capital restricts when it comes to doing things, so you have to be very selective and careful when determining how resources are spent.
The good thing about it is that it forces you to be creative and find ways to get publicity at the lowest possible cost. Fortunately, social media has leveled the playing field for small businesses as it is much cheaper to market a business through social media.
6. Obtain agreements, licenses, registrations or patents
Another important challenge for the venture is to establish or achieve a license agreement with a large manufacturer or distributor, which has the resources and/or links (also international) to market specific products or services.
The same thing happens (especially when you have few capital and/or marketing resources) when registering a patent, a website, identifying and establishing a manufacturing relationship or protecting property rights, or owning inventory.
To do this, at the local level, relationships can help solve these issues, but establishing retail alliances, license agreements or permits is a challenge, especially in this very corporate world.
7. Set up a business with a small budget
When starting a company, funds are generally limited to work and produce as desired, say the entrepreneurs interviewed, as well as to deal with personal finances.
To the reluctance of the banks, many times the difficulties to obtain some type of help or subsidy are added, especially depending on the product or service in question. And to this can also be added the need to have to hire someone, to help or fill positions; as well as rent a workspace.