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Challenges and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners sample essay

Rick Suttle

Rick Suttle has been writing professionally since 2009, publishing health and business articles on various websites. He has worked in corporate marketing research and as a copywriter. Suttle has a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from California Coast University. Business owners often face challenges with financing their companies. Business owners face many challenges when running companies. Competition can be stiff in any industry. Thus, you must find time to keep track of what key competitors are doing. Consumer preferences can also change over time, so you must fully understand what products and features your customers want. You also will face other key challenges with regard to capital, employees and planning.

1. Financing the Business

* Owners are faced with the challenge of financing their businesses — both when starting out and during growth phases. Sole proprietors sometimes use savings or investment accounts to start businesses. However, financing your own business can be risky. Make sure you have money for your living expenses when financing your business, as it may take months to earn a profit. It is often difficult to get a bank loan. All banks will check your credit before giving you a loan, so get copies of your credit report and make sure it is accurate; errors can negatively impact your credit score. You also can apply for a loan through the SBA (Small Business Administration). However, the SBA often charges higher interest rates, the Microsoft Business website notes.

2. Building Profits

* It can take time to build profits in a business, whether you are using direct sales or advertising to grow your business. You will need reinvest a large portion of your profits into additional advertising. Companies that use advertising build profits by gradually increasing advertising expenditures each month. For example, you may need to spend $500 to make $1,500, a 300 percent return on your advertising investment. Assuming you can average similar returns, you may decide to invest the entire $1,000 profit to make $3,000. Keep in contact with your customers. Try to get repeat sales as often as you can, which also will help you increase profits.

3. Finding Qualified Employees

* Small business owners will have the challenge of finding qualified employees. Larger companies usually offer higher salaries and better health benefits than smaller ones, so you may need to find employees who recognize the inherent benefits of working for smaller companies. For example, employees can move up more quickly in a smaller organization. Another option is offering some type of profit sharing. With a solid product concept and business plan, some job applicants will recognize the monetary benefits of profit sharing.

4. Time Management

* A smaller but still important challenge for business owners is time management. Small business owners often need to multitask as they have fewer employees to perform routine tasks. The key to mastering time management is prioritizing your tasks each day. Complete the tasks that are most crucial to building profits. For example, go to the meeting with a customer and work on your sales budget afterward.

Challenges of Business Owners | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_7847252_challenges-business-owners.html#ixzz2HY0QNYtL

Common Challenges Entrepreneurs Face and How to Overcome Them * 5 Most Common Challenges Entrepreneurs Face and How to Overcome Them * My Personal Challenges as an Entrepreneur and How I Overcame Them… * Armed for Battle: An Army of Entrepreneurs Book Review

* How Far Are You Willing to Go for Your Dreams? * Brenda Rivas: How She Used Her Unhappiness in Her Corporate America Job to Propel Her to Start Her Own Business 1. Negative Mindset

The battle always starts in the mind! Our own fears, excuses, and just basically any thing that paralyzes us from moving forward to our destiny is cultivated in our mind. Feelings of inadequacy such as “I don’t know if I can do this” or “I am not qualified enough to start this happen” – these are often thoughts that entrepreneurs deal with. This can often come from our own low self-esteem, lack of support, or our upbringing.

How to Overcome:

a. Do not entertain the thoughts. Remember that whatever you focus on gets magnified. If you pay no attention to it, it will not linger. But for as long as you are nursing it, it will grow in your head and eventually overtake you!

b. Surround yourself with positive people. Birds of same feathers flock together is a popular saying but it is true. If you hang with negative people who criticize other people and put them down and do pity party, then before long, you will find yourself like one. See why it’s important to surround yourself with positive people.

c. Empower yourself by reading inspirational articles, success stories, great books, movies and anything that will encourage you and motivate you. Attend seminars and workshops if you can!

2. Overwhelming Feelings

There is always a huge learning curve when you first start a business. Although you may have lots of experience in the corporate world in your field, it’s totally different when you’re the captain of your own ship. Now, you have to be the boss, the marketer, the secretary, the customer service person, the shipper, and the list goes on! But these overwhelming feelings surely do not only come to starting entrepreneurs. Some experienced and successful entrepreneurs tend to feel overwhelmed at times too so don’t be discouraged.

How to Overcome:

a. Take short breaks in between your tasks. I find that taking 2 or 3 minute break away from my computer helps.

b. Pace yourself. Create a to-do list and make sure that you only put whatever you can handle within a realistic time frame on any given day.

c. Outsource some of your tasks. If you’re growing too quick, hire a virtual assistant or a local person who doesn’t mind coming over to your home office to help you out with some tasks.

d. Make sure to set aside two days off. A business is a business, however, this time it is yours and you have the flexibility to create your own hours and set your days off without any problem. It is ideal to have a couple of days off or more if you can afford it to avoid possible quick burn out.

e. If you’re suffering from information overload,

3. Lack of Support

Some entrepreneurs have been blessed to have supportive husbands, family, children, and friends. Some of this support group have the ability to help make the entrepreneur’s business grow but some could only offer moral support…which, hey, it’s more than you could ask for! While some of us are blessed like that, others lack both moral and business support.

How to Overcome:
a. Network with your local business organizations and find people that have the same vision and goal as you do.

b. Find a virtual group of people in Social Media that support and promote each other. (Shameless Plugging: Yes, this is what The Entrepreneur Chic Social Club is all about! Details coming soon! *Wink wink*)

c. Invest in a mentor or a business coach.

4. Growing a Business

The challenge in growing a business mostly lies in the lack of financial resources. Let’s face it, money begets money. If you have the money, it’s easier to put your product out there in hundreds of thousands of people just like the bigger brands, the Fortune 500 companies. You see them on TV, radio, billboards, social media, and sometimes maybe in your inbox!

Unfortunately, for most small business and starting entrepreneurs, this is not the case. You have to work hard to make money so you can use that to make more money! How ironic, isn’t it? But that’s where the challenge is! I really do believe that this area of having your own business teaches you a lot about persistence and creates such an experience for you that molds you as a business person.

How to Overcome:

a. Be patient. Growing a business takes time. The level of effort that you put in is directly equivalent to the level of result you’re going to get but do not expect an overnight result. It’s like planting a seed, it takes time to become a tree.

b. Learn as much as you could about marketing (including social marketing) for as long as your brain can handle without overloading it! c. Research on ways you can acquire funding. Be creative! (perhaps you can do your own fundraising technique) See if you might be qualified for a small business loan.

5. Feelings of Wanting to Give Up

Because a business takes time to grow and it usually takes a lot of effort to make it work, feelings of wanting to give up do come sometimes, especially when you’re not seeing the results that you want when you want it. Perhaps your funds are already starting to get depleted or you’re getting physically and mentally drained.

How to Overcome:

a. Do not entertain the thought.

b. If you’re not seeing any results, evaluate your product, service, target market, and your marketing strategies. Perhaps your product isn’t the right one for the group of people that you’re presenting it to. Maybe it needs to have a lot of improvement in its presentation/packaging or price.

c. Take some time off. Sometimes stepping away gives you a better perspective of where things are at and ideas flow better when your mind is rested.

http://www.entrepreneurchic.com/5-most-common-challenges-entrepreneurs-face-and-how-to-overcome-them/ 5

Types of Business Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Are you a restless entrepreneur? Are you the type of person who wants to go into business to be your own boss and succeed through your own decision making? Many people feel the call to become an entrepreneur, but are not sure what type of business to start. There are many entrepreneur opportunities you could choose. Here is a brief look at different types of business opportunities available:

Buy a Franchise

Many entrepreneurs like to have a business going full speed right off the bat. Rather than spending time reinventing the proverbial wheel, an entrepreneur will buy a franchise opportunity. A franchise is an existing business with a solid business plan and process already in place. An entrepreneur can operate a new business under a recognized business name and receive support from the franchise headquarters with marketing, promotional materials, new business products or services, etc. Good examples of popular franchises are McDonalds and Subway restaurants, home cleaning businesses, Dollar Store, or fitness centers.

Distributorship or Dealership

Another place to find business opportunity leads is with distributorships and dealerships. A distributor is a person or business that has an agreement to sell products or services produced by another company. Think of an Amway distributor or Avon distributor as a good example. A dealer is much like a distributor, but more focused on one product. An auto dealership may sell only Hondas, or an insurance agent might be considered a ‘dealer’ in life insurance.

Network Marketing

While an Avon lady might be considered a ‘distributor,’ there is much more to this type of business opportunity. In addition to distributing the products or services offered by the parent company, a network marketer also strives to recruit other distributors. By creating a “network” of distributors, a person can earn considerable income through residual commissions made from the distributors working under them. This entrepreneur opportunity is also known as Multilevel Marketing.

Licensing

You might also find entrepreneur opportunities through licensing. Licensing is where you can be creative and invent products, but use the name brand, icon, or trademark of a widely recognized business. Think of Disney products. An inventor may come up with a great idea for a child’s toy that would become a big seller if the famous Mickey Mouse was associated with the product. By obtaining a license from Disney, the inventor could produce his product and profits would be shared by both parties.

Filling a Niche

While pre-made or other types of business opportunities can be lucrative through a parent or franchise company already enjoying great success, entrepreneur opportunities also exist for a person to simply find a consumer need and discover a way to solve it. Perhaps you are a new mother who finds a need for a baby product not on the market, and therefore, you create and distribute one of your own. Or you are a specialist who finds that other businesses will pay for your consultation and expertise in improving a business function. Any entrepreneur who wants to make a business of his or her own has many types of business opportunities to explore. Find the one right for you and enjoy the success you can build on your own.

At the beginning of each year, there is always a little buzz about what will be the next new big ticket. The world is supposed to end in 2012, so I hope you’ll buy 50 pair of underwear, six months’ worth of food rations and about 500 gallons of water. I hope you will make those purchases, not because I think the world is going to end, but because I’m starting an underwear-manufacturing company, a food-rations-supply firm and a water-supply business. Each of these businesses will be hot in the new year as hysteria kicks into overdrive in 2012. Don’t believe me? Flash back to Y2K. Businesses spent around $500 billion to save themselves from impending doom. But nothing happened. Not even a little Y2K postmortem belch. Nothing happened, except that vendors in 1999 pulled in a cool half trillion! So if you’re looking for the next hot opportunity for entrepreneurs in 2012, keep these five areas in mind.

1. Elderly consumers

Because people are living longer these days, a flood of products and services will be designed to cater to the older crowd. Businesses will introduce not-so-obvious services. New retirement villages will spring up and new services that cater to the elderly, such as chair lifts for getting into airplane seats.

2. Domestic purchasing

With Europe on shaky financial ground, expect businesses to do more domestic purchasing. There is volatility ahead, so if you are based in the U.S. and have competitors overseas, you may have an advantage in 2012. It’s safer to purchase domestically, where buyers perceive more stability, even if it is more costly.

3. Mobile purchasing

If you are familiar with Square, you know that this is just the beginning. In 2012, we will see a big surge in payments made with smartphones. Entrepreneurs who have not optimized their websites and their businesses for smartphone transactions are giving money away. In fact, the research firm Emarketer says that smartphone transactions are expected to exceed $6.5 billion by 2015. That’s a lot of coin.

4. Genetic DNA sequencing

It’s not the sequencing itself that entrepreneurs need to jump on, but keeping it under $1,000. Technological advancements continue at mind-blowing speed. As Moore’s Law predicts, every 18 months technology doubles in performance and cuts the cost in half. In 2012, we should see genetic decoding available for $1,000 or less. That price point would make it available to the average person. Most people would have the means to determine their genetic propensity to problems, and to take immediate action to live longer and healthier. This will create a boom in DNA-sequencing services and related health care services. Jump on it now, before it becomes another Walmart offering, like flu shots are now.

5. World ending

Not. My biggest, boldest prediction is that the world will not end in December 2012 (even though the Mayan calendar shows that it will). But that doesn’t mean there won’t be big opportunities to profit from the hype that will build. It could represent millions, or even billions, in revenue. People spent nearly $1 billion preparing for Y2K to hit, and nothing happened. We are creatures of habit and will likely do the same for 2012. So, if you believe the Mayan calendar may not be accurate about the world ending in 2012, consider ways to profit from these areas. They should be lucrative and provide plenty of opportunity. Besides, the Mayan calendar also predicted that the Kim Kardashian marriage would last more than 12 months, and it was wrong about that, too!

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