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Top 10 Challenges of Entrepreneurs

What are your biggest challenges?  I’ve been doing some research with clients and on the internet to see what this list might be…  I’m interesting in hearing your feedback and responses! 

I found some interesting results of an Australian survey of solo and small businesses by Flying Solo in May 2008 from 1770 respondents.  First, entrepreneurs are extremely happy with an 8 out 10 satisfaction rating on their “whole life”.  Each Friday I read the Israeli “Musaf HaAretz” where there’s a page on a different Israeli family, at the end rating overall satisfaction.  My feeling is that the average is BELOW this statistic (but I haven’t seen accumulative results).  I wonder how entrepreneurs in Israel would come out over the “average”…  Is it the same as Australia?!  

Second, the respondents rated their top 3 challenges facing their business.  The biggest challenge is finding customers or clients indicating that entrepreneurs “aren’t busy enough”…  On the other hand, 3rd on the list are entrepreneurs that are “too busy” or “overwhelmed” without “enough hours in a day”…  Paired with the 2nd on the list – wearing “too many hats” – this indicates skills, Management & time management issues for focus & effectiveness. 

It seems like a divide between Business/Marketing/Operations side and the Personal/Management side. 

10 Top Entrepreneur Challenges

  1. Finding clients/customers (44%)
  2. Wearing too many hats (41%)
  3. Not enough hours in a day (38%)
  4. Getting business model right (34%)
  5. Getting paid / cash flow (30%)
  6. Too many distractions (29%)
  7. Lack of connection with others (17%)
  8. Lack of guidance (15%)
  9. Retaining staff (6%)
  10. Non-supportive family / friends (5%) 

Are there additional challenges for women entrepreneurs?  I found some interesting information on this topic. 

Women entrepreneurs experience the following additional 3 challenges: 

1.  Domestic division

2.  Thinking too small

3.  Making business personal

 As I reflect on these lists and my personal experience and the experience that I have shared with my business coaching clients, I see that these issues appear to be quite universal. 

Entrepreneurs struggle at first with defining the right business model and marketing (identifying target market, focus, finding enough clients or selling enough of their product(s).  Lots of advice and experience sought.  But in the end, the knowledge isn’t enough.  There’s skills and change.  The road can be lonely.  Where’s the REAL feedback.  Having a supportive circle help tremendously.  But finding one that’s REALLY helpful and not just “talk” is a challenge.  Networking can be frustrating as well as fruitful.  Balancing life as an entrepreneur with family & personal issues.  Changing habits, acquiring skills and leadership capabilities is part of the route.  The ideal support group will help with the safe, secure place for both feedback and personal growth.

 Share your 3 biggest challenges & overall satisfaction!

We’d love to hear from you…

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