HomeExpert Roundups14 Key Challenges of Developing New Business and How to Overcome Them

14 Key Challenges of Developing New Business and How to Overcome Them

14 Key Challenges of Developing New Business and How to Overcome Them

Launching a new business comes with its unique set of challenges, and overcoming them is crucial for success. We’ve gathered insights from Founders, CEOs, and other leading professionals on the hurdles they encountered and the strategies they employed to triumph. From identifying and focusing on a niche to showcasing value with evidence, explore the diverse experiences and solutions from fourteen seasoned entrepreneurs.

  • Identify and Focus on Your Niche
  • Embrace Speed and Accountability
  • Develop Self-Discipline for Consistency
  • Build the Right Team
  • Select Suppliers Diligently
  • Establish a Reliable Supply Chain
  • Prioritize Ruthlessly for Growth
  • Learn Pricing Strategy from Peers
  • Leverage Fractional Services and Peer Support
  • Educate Yourself in Business Fundamentals
  • Build Trust with Transparency
  • List Challenges and Tackle Daily
  • Aim for Immediate Profitability
  • Showcase Your Value with Evidence

Identify and Focus on Your Niche

My name is Jurrian van Eerden, and I’m the founder of the biggest Virtual Assistant platform in the Netherlands called Hybridhub. When my co-founder and I started our business, the thing that we struggled with the most was picking our niche to focus on. I know that it’s a basic answer, but I think a lot of starting entrepreneurs make the same mistake. To go further into details, we did outreach to every industry and every type of entrepreneur… For example: painters, cab drivers, physical stores, etc. It was when we gained our first customers that we realized what type of entrepreneurs used VAs and in what industry they were in. It was a big rookie mistake, but for both of us, it was the first actual company we started.

It was not that the entrepreneurs that I mentioned before weren’t using VAs; they did, but on a much smaller scale. The transition to e-commerce, software developers, and online coaches made us grow 400% and made us far more scalable. Everything that we do now is based on their interests and behavior.

At the end, take the time to analyze your business. We now go over the most important things once a week on Sunday. Reflecting on the week and the systems/funnels we have built.

With my experience, I would recommend making yourself THE expert in your niche and for a small number of people. From there, begin taking on more customers from outside your niche, instead of trying to target everyone from the beginning.

P.S.: Don’t try to do everything yourself. You are not the best at everything.

Jurrian EerdenJurrian Eerden
Founder, Hybridhub

Embrace Speed and Accountability

One challenge I faced was learning how to do everything quickly.

When you start a new business, your biggest asset is speed.

The faster you learn new skills, the faster you produce ads, the faster you complete tasks, the more revenue you will drive, and the more likely you will succeed.

If you are constantly in a rush, you are more likely to stay afloat and stay ahead of the curve compared to someone who likes to take their time and doesn’t see the rush that is needed to succeed in business.

I overcame this by being brutally honest with myself and keeping myself accountable for when I spent too long on some tasks.

Try giving yourself half the amount of time you think it would take to complete a task, and see how well you do.

Munir AlsafiMunir Alsafi
Co-Founder, VixelStudio

Develop Self-Discipline for Consistency

I saw your question about developing a new business and the challenges faced, and figured I could give some advice since I’ve built two businesses.

The biggest challenge I faced wasn’t actually anything to do with marketing, sales, or business itself. My biggest challenge was developing the discipline required to actually do the work consistently.

I was working as a scientist while building my business part-time. When working for someone else, you’ve got a boss telling you what to do. You have to show up on time, or else you’re fired!

But when you go out on your own, now there’s nobody telling you what to do. You have to be the one to get yourself out of bed every morning and do the work. This is easier said than done.

I get that this might sound simple, but lots of people don’t understand that the toughest boss you’ll ever have is yourself. And they don’t realize this until they start a business and the buck stops with them.

Colm O'ReganColm O’Regan
Marketing Consultant, Science Copywriting

Build the Right Team

My biggest challenge wasn’t crafting compelling content or attracting an audience. It was building the right team. Initially, I hired a few individuals who seemed promising on paper, but they just weren’t a good fit. They didn’t share my vision for the platform, and their approach wasn’t aligned with the kind of growth mindset I needed.

Here’s how I got things back on track:

I revamped my hiring process to go beyond just resumes and qualifications. Instead, I focused on questions that revealed a candidate’s passion, growth mindset, and ability to collaborate toward our shared vision.

Also, I started placing more emphasis on a candidate’s eagerness to learn and adapt, as we were a growing startup and things were changing rapidly internally.

By taking these steps, I found a team that wasn’t just talented but also truly believed in KeeVurds’ mission.

Himanshu SharmaHimanshu Sharma
Founder, KeeVurds

Select Suppliers Diligently

One key challenge we faced in the early phases was finding dependable suppliers for our LED fairy lights. To address this issue, we spent substantial time investigating and verifying potential suppliers, ensuring they met our quality standards and could consistently meet our demand. Furthermore, by maintaining open communication and setting clear expectations with our chosen suppliers, we were able to develop confidence and reliability in our supply chain.

By remaining persistent, proactive, and discerning in our supplier selection process, we were able to overcome this problem and establish the groundwork for Festoon House’s future development and success. It taught us the value of diligence and smart decision-making in overcoming challenges and building a lasting business.

Matt LittleMatt Little
Director & Entrepreneur, Festoon House

Establish a Reliable Supply Chain

One significant challenge I encountered when developing my new business in guitar and guitar-parts manufacturing was establishing a reliable supply chain for raw materials. Sourcing high-quality materials at reasonable prices while ensuring timely delivery was crucial for maintaining production schedules and meeting customer demands.

I overcame this challenge when I extensively researched and vetted potential suppliers, considering factors such as product quality, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. Building strong relationships with trusted suppliers through open communication and negotiation allowed me to secure favorable terms and streamline the procurement process.

I diversified my supplier base to mitigate risks associated with supply chain disruptions. I successfully navigated this challenge and ensured consistent access to quality materials for our manufacturing operations.

Samuel JacksonSamuel Jackson
Cofounder, Guyker

Prioritize Ruthlessly for Growth

One of the biggest challenges I faced while developing my business as a side hustle was simply not having enough hours in the day. The critical solution was prioritizing ruthlessly—deciding which activities were essential for growth and which ones I could afford to skip, even if it meant missing out on things I wanted to do.

Sticking to this disciplined approach was tough, but it taught me invaluable lessons in time management and focus, enabling me to maximize the limited time I had and successfully grow my business from a side project to a full-blown business in a short amount of time.

Justin SilvermanJustin Silverman
Founder & CEO, Merchynt

Learn Pricing Strategy from Peers

Starting a business is hard, and building a sustainable business is even more difficult. In the early stages of building my business, I struggled with fully understanding my pricing strategy relative to my target market and their needs. It presented a unique challenge that forced me into developing a different approach that was more aligned with my client base.

To overcome this obstacle, I began to build relationships with other business owners with a goal of understanding how to best navigate a quality client relationship from a pricing standpoint. By building relationships and learning from others who had already surpassed this challenge, I opened my personal aperture to approaches that I hadn’t considered.

I’ve since recognized that nearly every new business hurdle that presents itself has likely been solved, or nearly solved, by someone else. For me, close relationships with other business owners have transformed the way I solve problems.

Roman VillardRoman Villard
Founder, Full Send Finance

Leverage Fractional Services and Peer Support

I spent the first 20+ years of my professional life in corporate settings. When I chose to go out on my own, while I ‘knew’ how to run a business, I truly had no idea how to be an entrepreneur. I had worked in mostly large organizations and was using large-scale tech.

Learning about technology that was a better fit (for use and price tag) for my new, small business was a huge learning curve. I was using a few fractional services (marketing, branding, accounting), so I asked those business owners for feedback and ideas. I was already paying them for services, so I felt confident they’d give me a meaningful response. They were super helpful in my early days and continue to be trusted advisors.

I also lacked the funds initially for a business coach, so I sourced a group of women who had started a service-based business in the last five years who were under $1 million in top-line revenue (so they would have similar experiences as me). We connect via Zoom once a month and share candid information about our goals, our tools, our challenges, and what we have to celebrate. It’s been better than therapy.

Kerri RobertsKerri Roberts
Founder & CEO, Salt & Light Advisors

Educate Yourself in Business Fundamentals

The biggest challenge I had when starting my business was that I knew how to do what I was being asked to do—teach and train professionals to improve their professional writing and communication—but I had no idea how to create a business. I relied on my family to help with some of the basics: getting an EIN, filing with the state, creating Articles of Incorporation, but I still didn’t really know how to have a business—how would I market? And to whom? Who was my target customer? What was my business plan? How would I operate? For the first year, I did my “accounting” on the back of a crossword puzzle.

I brought this problem of “how to have a business” up with a group of writer friends, and one writer said that I should talk to his wife, who was part of a local business network called One Million Cups. I found the group on MeetUp, attended the meeting—all chapters of One Million Cups meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays—and started my “how to have a business” education. I found a community of other entrepreneurs and small business owners who shared their knowledge and experience with me every week, supporting me and cheering for me as I struggled to figure it all out.

At the meetings, typically two entrepreneurs present for six minutes (often investor pitches, but not always in our group) and then receive about 15 minutes of feedback from the group. Every week, we are helping two business owners improve their business models, their presentation skills, and all the components of their business vision. And at the end of every meeting, we have a few minutes to share wins, resources, and requests for help. I taught in a business school for over a decade, but my real education in business came from finding a community of folks eager to share their business expertise with me.

Jenny MorseJenny Morse
Business Writing & Communication Expert, Appendance, Inc

Build Trust with Transparency

A major hurdle during the inception of Injured.ca was establishing trust and credibility within the legal industry. To combat this, we prioritized transparency and expertise. We invested heavily in building a team of experienced lawyers and providing comprehensive resources to educate clients.

Additionally, leveraging client testimonials and case studies helped demonstrate our track record of success. By consistently delivering exceptional service and results, we gradually earned the trust of both clients and peers, solidifying our position as a reputable authority in the field of personal injury law.

Jacob MaslowJacob Maslow
CEO, Injured.ca

List Challenges and Tackle Daily

The first problem when developing a new business is that you have literally no clue where to begin; there’s so much! Start by listing your challenges and work through them day by day.

Write lists of tasks, from something really small, such as “email guy X,” to developing the website, which will take weeks. But it’s a great way to get going because it can be super overwhelming in the early stages.

Behrang BandaliBehrang Bandali
Founder, Freaky Sauces

Aim for Immediate Profitability

Being profitable from day one is essential.

The top piece of advice I have is that you cannot wait for profitability. Younger entrepreneurs have a better ability to work at a loss while building a customer base.

But you can be profitable from day one; you do not have to operate in the red.

Always be profitable from day one. Burning through other people’s money (VCs, etc.) is for a very specific type of company. You’re most likely not that. Even if your profit is $1,000 a week or $1,000 a month, always be cash-flow positive.

Christopher FalveyChristopher Falvey
Co-Founder, Unique NOLA Tours

Showcase Your Value with Evidence

Starting my marketing agency at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was rough! The biggest challenge was convincing potential clients that my small agency could deliver as much value as larger ones. They needed to believe in my marketing strategies and tactics.

I tackled this by showing them clear evidence that my approaches worked and made a positive difference, outlining how I helped my former employer increase revenue from inbound leads by 70%.

The main lesson here is to always document your work. Whether you’re working for someone else or running your own business, keep a portfolio and create mini-case studies. This makes it easy to showcase your skills, impressing both your boss and potential clients.

Bryan PhilipsBryan Philips
Head of Marketing, In Motion Marketing

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