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9 Barriers to Starting a Business and How to Break Them

9 Barriers to Starting a Business and How to Break Them

Dreaming of launching your own business? It’s a fantastic vision, but one often thwarted by a cocktail of hurdles and hiccups. Let’s face it, starting a business is like trying to build a sandcastle with one hand—tough, but not impossible. So, let’s tackle these barriers head-on, like a quarterback charging toward the end zone.

1. Fear of failure

One of the most common barriers that people looking to start their own business come up against are themselves. No matter how much many people dream of starting their own business so they can be their own bosses and take control of their own destinies, they simply cannot get past the fear of failure, which means their dreams of business ownership go unrealized. 

What if you trip and fall flat on your face? What if you take a leap and it all goes wrong leaving you with no business, lots of debt, and a bruised ego? At least you will have tried! The trick is to see failure as a mentor, not a monster. Yes, failure may happen, but when it does, if you learn from it, you can come back like a phoenix who rises from the ashes, and anyway, no one knows who will fail and who will succeed, so you could well be worrying over nothing. You will regret not giving it a go more than you will regret failing at the end of the day.

2. Lack of capital

Cash flow, or rather the lack of it, is a real stick in the mud when starting a business. Bootstrapping can feel like trying to fill a swimming pool with a thimble, but there is almost always a solution that will work for you if you have a great business idea in your head. Start by exploring various funding options like angel investors, venture capitalists, or crowdfunding and you might be pleasantly surprised. If you do not have the best track record with your finances, then business loans for bad credit could be your savior. There is always a way: the key is not to view your empty pockets as a roadblock, but rather a challenge to be overcome.

3. Market saturation

Ever heard the saying, “There’s no room left at the inn”? It can often feel like this in the business world when just about every niche you can think of is already populated with tons of successful businesses and many more that are not so successful, but you should not let this be a barrier to launching your own company. Why? Because you can still find your own unique selling proposition – something that no other business in your niche is doing – and make a real success of it. This could be something as simple as manufacturing products in different colors or sizes to your competitors or something more impressive like innovating a brand new feature – you are only limited by your imagination. Remember, Starbucks wasn’t the first coffee shop, but they sure did put a spin on it!

4. Regulatory hurdles

Sometimes, starting a business can feel like navigating a maze blindfolded. Regulations and compliance standards can seem like a foreign language that no matter how hard you try, you just cannot understand in any meaningful way. The solution? Research, research, research. Get familiar with your industry’s regulations, and don’t hesitate to seek legal advice from a qualified professional who can break things down so you do understand them, or at the very least, check you are compliant at every step of the process. Ignorance may be bliss, but not when it comes to business laws.

5. Lack of business acumen

Okay, so some of us are born entrepreneurs with a knack for innovation and the gift of the gab, and some of us are… well, not. If you are not someone with a natural talent for business, however, you should not let this hold you back from starting a business in any case. You might feel like you’re sailing a ship without a compass, but nobody knows it all, and you will almost always, if you have an open mind, learn the ropes and get your bearings, as you go along. If you’re expecting to dive in and be perfect from the off, you are setting yourself up for failure, but if you go into business knowing you don’t know it all, but willing to learn, you will probably succeed in the end.

6. Time constraints

Finding the time to get your business off the ground while juggling a day job and personal responsibilities is no easy feat. It’s like trying to walk and juggle flaming torches at the same time, but you need to know that it will not always be like that, and once you have a successful business up[ and running, you can afford to sit back (just a little) and relax more. 

What can you do to overcome this hurdle in the meantime? Prioritize and organize your tasks, so that you are focusing only on the most critical at any one time. You should also, if you can. Try to hire an employee or two so you can delegate those less important tasks to others (freelancers are great too), and remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

7. Building a great team

Finding a team that shares your vision can be as tricky as finding a needle in a haystack, which sucks because the right team is crucial for your business’s success. The good news is, it is possible to overcome this hurdle if you network like a pro, use social media, and don’t shy away from using professional recruitment services who can help you narrow the field considerably, amongst other things. Finding your dream team may take time, but it’s worth the wait and your business will undoubtedly be stronger as a result.

8. Fear of the unknown

Starting a business is like stepping into uncharted waters—it’s daunting and downright scary. But guess what? Every successful entrepreneur has been in your shoes at some point. Embrace the unknown and use it as fuel to propel you forward instead of holding you back and you will not regret it. If you can’t get over the fear of the unknown, then read some biographies of entrepreneurs who had hard times, like Steve Jobs, and it will inspire you to keep on with your dream. After all, no great story ever started with “everything went exactly as planned.”

9. A lack of support

Starting a business is not easy. It takes a whole lot of your mental and physical reserves, not to mention a whole lot of your time. Many business owners will feel very stressed and anxious when they are starting out, and if they are not careful, they will crash and burn out too. That is why it is so vital that you have the support of the people around you before you launch your company. 

If you are not lucky enough to have supportive friends and family around you, then joining an online forum or local group for entrepreneurs could be a good way to get the shoulder you need to lean on, and of course, you will have access to the collective wisdom of many people who are in the same boat as you, but maybe a little further along the journey, which is always a plus.

Barriers are always going to present themselves on your journey towards business success, but you can overcome them, so don’t just turn back at the first blockade – keep on moving forward!

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