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Results of 3 Biggest Entrepreneur Challenges Survey

What are YOUR 3 biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?  That is the question that I posted on several discussion forums on LinkedIn several weeks ago.  Over 70 responses were received in a lively discussion on the OnStartups – The Community for Entrepreneurs with other responses that came from several other sources.  Each person listed their 3 top challenges – with commentary.  Today I will share my analysis of the results with you.  

The 5 Themes that Challenge Entrepreneurs

The following five areas were repeatedly brought up the respondents:

1) Focus including Goal-setting, Task planning & prioritization, Saying no to distractions, deals
2) Balance including Time management & Making choices within “too much to do”, “not enough time”, “switching hats” & personal, home, family, etc
3) Getting clients including Sales/Marketing & Strategy
4) People management including Finding right partners, Maintaining talent, Teams, Motivation
5) Capital and cash flow (especially in these economic times) 

The #1 Issue of Time 

Where does the time go?  How can I do it all?  I need the product, the clients, the profit…!  I need to take care of myself & family.  The work is overwhelming me…  But the bottom line…  The issue of time can be separated into a) intention for focus and b) structure for acting according to plan & decision-making.  Making our days more efficient and enjoyable.  Where we are at a good place of mind, body and work/action.  The related themes that will bring BIG benefits to entrepreneurs when solutions are in place are:  Focus & Balance!  These are issues that must be part of the routine of each entrepreneur.  With tools to focus on the right stuff & what’s important, the entrepreneur will have MORE time, MORE clients and MORE balance in life. 

 Running the Business

Other than the issue of time, running the business is the obvious concern of entrepreneurs.  Regardless of the type of business – from hi-tech to shop to home-service operation, there are 3 main challenges that affect entrepreneurs:

–      Having a WINNING team & network with talent, partners/associates, cost/benefit

–      Profit stream from client and/or product revenue…

–      Financial limitations from capital & cash flow

 There are many tools and recipes for success in each of these areas…  But I believe that if the focus and balance issues are structured, the marketing, financial and operational issues will be part of this solution.

 We often get caught up in the day-to-day.  But a strategic view will help with the focus and balance.  Instead of maintaining control and results, we may take on a more global attitude on running the business.  First and foremost developing our “team”.  We aren’t just alone – we can capitalize on what’s around us for getting clients, creating a team and more…  Focusing on developing relationships and aligning interests that matter & bring committed, like-minded people for mutual results and benefit…   Sharing core competencies and expertise….  Working together for better client solutions…  Sharing the burden so it’s not only on you….

 In summary, I suggest that every entrepreneur concentrates on obtaining the tools and competencies for FOCUS on the right stuff and COLLABORATION with other business and the environment.  Refining and optimizing the process of intention, doing and working together is the key to success!  Have fun!!!

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