6 answers

What are some of the challenges you face when starting your own business?

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I am in 11th grade, I attend a few business classes already, and I am interested in starting my own business. #entrepreneur #business

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100% of 7 Pros

6 answers

Tony’s Answer

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Let me tell you a story. I started a business in 1990s. I had a great product. I had one of the first Windows based Medical programs. It was great. Everybody I sat down with bought it. It did what the competition did at a third of the price. I worked with Medicare as one of the first vendors to do electronic filing. We hit the trade shows running hot and never slowed down. I was the lead programmer, the lead salesman, the boss of 4 programmers and we had a person on the phones.

I was so successful I killed my company. And, so, here are my entries on the list of challenges.

Tony recommends the following next steps:

  • Adequate funding is a must. Not just startup, salaries, and rent. Advertising is a killer. Without it you die a slow death.
  • Make sure you have an outlet for sales. I hired firms - but they didn't have the expertise. I hired industry trade reps - but because we were a low cost option, the incentive for the sales people was not enough. How are you going to sell your goods or services.
  • Trying to do it all doesn't work. Two people I hired as sales people decided they would rather program, so they were no help on the sales side. Payroll was me and my money so I had to do that. Chamber of Commerce took up time and I was the face of the company so I had to be there.
  • And, finally, as an addendum to the last note, be careful of the partners you choose. The killing blow for me was partnering with a group for a language product other than English. The began selling my product and I didn't have the money to take them to court.
  • It was the best time of my life (not the end). Good luck.
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Patrecia (Trish)’s Answer

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Depending on the type of business you want to start Research and Understanding the Market is key. I am not sure of the type of business because you have not shared, but you have to have a plan. It is not as easy as people think and you have to remember that you have to continue to push / drive to success. My son wanted to start his own business when he was 14, but because of the nature of the business he waited until he was a Senior in High School. He wanted to start his own AAU organization. He started the organization with one team in 2018 and ended 2019 season with 5 teams. He is getting ready for 2020 Spring / Summer and now expanding his organization to welcome girls to join. He does not take a salary but he does earn money by training kids and teaching them basketball skills. He has his mom and dad support him and help him lay down the foundation of how to structure his organization and to build it to be successful. He establish it to be a non-profit organization and his objective is to target helping people and to give back to the community.

My suggestion is that you truly outline what it is that you want to do, your objectives and understand what outcome you want to accomplish.
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Robert’s Answer

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First, you should understand what needs or demands you are attempting to address and solve. For example, people I know do not want to wax their cars. Instead they would like someone else to do it for them.
Knowing this, you would then attempt to investigate how many people are like your friends, how much are your friends and others willing to pay, who else offers this service, how much do they charge, are they grouped together geographically, what is it that I can offer that no one else is offering, can I do this for the same price or for less than others, how many friends or others would I need to serve in order to cover my costs, make a profit? Basically, this is called a "Funding Plan" ( lay out the answers to these questions, as far as you can, and then see if you can better answer them and investigate those that you cannot answer currently).
Once you have a plan, you will begin to investigate a "Business Model" (how do I structure the business to make a profit). For example, once I know the services of products I will offer and have a "Funding Plan", how can I make more money doing this? If your friends and other customers are geographically dispersed, can you develop a 'Brand" ( a recognizable name for your business that you can advertise and customers recognize as a quality, unique, highly valued product or service. Then you can question whether you can franchise this business (waxing cars example) in order to expand.
Hopefully, this will get you to think further about the process.

Robert recommends the following next steps:

  • While still in high school or college, you may want to sit down with young entrepreneurs who have successfully gone through this process.
  • Or, once you have graduated you may want to work for a start up that offers a new service or product to learn the process from the inside of the company.
  • If possible, it would be great for you to visit with a venture capitalist who makes a living funding start ups.
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Eric’s Answer

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I've got to say, the most difficult part of starting a business is maintaining the discipline to continue after the initial rush of passion fades. The beginning is exciting - you have an idea, you've spent time compiling your thoughts, you've laid out a plan, you've brought in people you trust as partners and collaborated on how to get started. You have a name, and a logo, and a "brand identity". You've outlined your market and targeted a specific demographic. And now you're bringing in revenue.

That's the fun part. There will come a time when the challenges outweigh the fun, and the ability to persevere and push through the difficult times, when the passion for the project isn't quite what it used to be, is what will make or break your business.

Eric recommends the following next steps:

  • At the beginning, during your planning, outline exactly WHY you're starting a business in the first place, and point yourself back to this "why" when things get difficult.
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Sherhan’s Answer

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When you are looking to start your own business there's a lot of research that should be done prior to you launching. You can create a business proposal lan that will allow ensure you are thinking throw the idea of your business.

To begin with you want to start high level questions. What is the product/service your are trying to sell? What is your target market/consumer? What are current competitors in the space you are trying to enter both on the local and national level? What differentiates the your product/service from others in the market already? What are the costs associated with starting your business. These are some questions to help you get started with the business that will also address some challenges that often come up when starting your business. Based on your responses you can start to think through multiple work throughs for these questions.

Sherhan recommends the following next steps:

  • Create a business proposal answering the outlined questions (What is your product/service? What is the costs associated with the business, etc.)
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Samantha’s Answer

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Hi Austin,

Starting your own Business is great -
You would need to start with developing the vision and Business Idea, then assembling a Business Team.
Raising Capital for your Business, finding the right Business Location, finding good employees, finding good customers, dealing with the competition.

Good Luck

Sam
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