‘Every rose has its thorn’.
Yes, it a popular alternative rock ballad from yesteryears. However, the song title fits perfectly in the contemporary setup for startups in India.
Our government have launched a slew of measures to help in the mushrooming growth of startups. However, are they enough to counter the major challenges faced by startups?
The answer on most occasions might be a resonating ‘No’.
Sure, technological advancements have unlocked multiple opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, and now, an increasing number of resources are available for free. The sad truth is that even a great amount of help is not enough to overcome some stiff challenges that startups and small businesses battle almost on a daily basis.
So, what are these challenges that bog down startups? Let’s take a look at the 4 of the biggest challenges.
- Over the Top Expectations
An entrepreneur should always maintain a positive and optimistic approach to achieve targets. This does not mean that one should have surreal expectations from the startup during its initial years. This also holds true even when a startup has enjoyed success early. It is very essential to remember that a startup should aim to fly high, but with one foot on the ground. This literally means that startups should always keep a sustainable approach towards achieving success – make consistent efforts and keep a check on unrealistic expectations. Some of the factors that must be kept on mind at all times are resources, growth potential, competition, funding, and others.
- Lacklustre Funding
Yeah, you read that right – funding is still a problem with most startups. Many would argue that in present times, funding is hardly a problem for entrepreneurs. They are not completely wrong, but they are also not completely right. You see, the problem with funding is that it is more often than not, tossed to startups that have a big name attached to them, or to the ones who have already made a good connect with investors, with their networking skills. This leaves out the startups with the maximum potential to make it big and drive the country’s economy. Of course, there is no blaming the venture capitalists, because as a rule – they usually invest in companies with a higher proven chance of accomplishment. However, there is also no denying the fact that this outlook needs to change for more startups to realise their full potential.
- Copying Business Models = Death of Innovation
We as Millennials are always caught in a frenzy of achieving things at a breathtaking pace. Naturally, we see startups as an easy and sure shot way to realise all of our dreams and aspirations – to make money and to work at our own will. This has resulted in innovation and creativity taking a huge beating. Some budding entrepreneurs are so caught up in the entire ‘startup’ hype, that all they want to do is make a copy of an existing business model and earn some quick moolah. Look around you – there are multiple e-commerce websites all trying to sell the same items and through identical business models, and there are more such websites that keep cropping up every few months. The same happened with social media when Facebook came into existence, and we all know the plight of those websites like MySpace, hi5, and others. The key lesson to learn here is to focus to innovation and not merely copying business models, because that my friend is not sustainable by any means.
- Finding Partners who share your Vision
When a startup is in the incubation period, it is relatively easy to hold on to its aspirations and dreams. However, once it tastes success, a lot of them find it hard to sustain it. One of the primary reasons for this is that most entrepreneurs can’t find right partner(s) who share the same vision and dreams. In contemporary times, finding a great partner for your startup is as difficult as finding true friendship. A partnership provides rich benefits, but one need to consider a plethora of factors before deciding to join forces with an individual or company. A lot of startups have begun with an idea and eventually ended up with completely different set of ideas because it changed a lot of hands sitting on top positions. Therefore, the word of advice here is that entrepreneurs should constantly strive to find the right partner(s), before sharing their business with them.
Oh, and that song with which I have started this blog does have another part to it – ‘Just like every night has its dawn’. So, things might seem grim, but there can always be a happy ending.
Are you an entrepreneur? Have you faced similar challenges? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.