Life is never a straightforward road, and we all encounter bumps and dips along the way. If you have a dream to start your own business, some of those bumps and dips could affect your opportunities and chances of success. You may have already encountered difficulties that have made it harder to get your plans off the ground, but in most cases, there will be actions you can take to improve your position and deal with the problems. Here are some ideas on how to deal with common barriers that would-be entrepreneurs may encounter:
Having debts may not be a barrier in themselves, depending on what they are. If you have perfectly legitimate personal debt such as a mortgage or car finance loan, then providing you aren’t missing payments this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. It might mean you would find it harder to get a business loan if your income isn’t significantly higher than your outgoings, so that is worth bearing in mind. If you have been getting into unapproved debt, for example through overspending on credit cards, not making repayments on time, or your accumulated debts amount to more than your disposable income, you will find it much harder to borrow any more money. One way of improving your credit rating is to apply for one of the credit cards for people with bad credit. These come with a fairly low limit, but by making use of the card and always repaying on time, your activity will boost your credit rating. If you do have a debt problem, you need to sort it out before you think about setting up in business, even if there are no legal reasons why you can’t start straight away. It’s not a good idea to hope that you will make so much cash out of your business that you will be able to wipe out your debt in a few months. Taking a measured and proactive approach is the best way to implement a policy that can potentially succeed.
Understanding the current market
Regarding trends in the market, some people may feel they are out of the loop in terms of current trends and topics. This could be because you feel too young, or too old. Not that age should be a barrier, but in the eyes of other people it could be, and their views may affect your confidence. No matter what your age, you have just as much chance as anyone else, as long as you have the talent, determination, and skills to make a business work. If you’re very young, maybe still at school, you might need your parents to help you with legal considerations, but there are many examples of teenage entrepreneurs starting and running successful businesses, especially internet based ones. If you’re an older entrepreneur, you may encounter the mindset that you won’t be physically or mentally capable of keeping on top of the stresses of being a business owner. Being slightly older than some of your competitors or associates is no reason to believe that you can’t run a business now. You have the advantage of experience, wisdom and highly practiced skills to give you an advantage, so don’t let anyone tell you that you're too old to be in business.
Experience is essential in many roles, and you’ll probably have noticed that most adverts for jobs ask for people with experience. If you’re young, you may not have had the time or opportunity to become experienced, or if you’re older and you’re thinking of moving from an occupation you are experienced into one that you are less skilled at, then your experience may well be lacking. To gain the experience you need, you need to think of alternative ways of finding it. Volunteering, doing an internship, taking further qualifications or starting your business as a side hustle in the first instance are all ways in which you can get the experience you need and gain the level of knowledge about your sector that you require to be successful.
If you suffer from health problems, the stresses involved in being a business owner have the potential to make your symptoms worse. This is not the fault of the business though; rather it is the stress itself that can have negative effects. There are many resources available for helping people cope with stress and learn how to look after their well-being, so see if you can find a method or therapy that will alleviate stress and enable you to cope with a business without your health suffering. Mental illness can manifest in many different ways that can all affect your abilities to be a successful entrepreneur, but there are numerous examples of people with mental health issues that have been successful in their businesses. Knowing how to look after yourself, avoid stress and seek help with any issues you may have to ensure that this isn’t a barrier in terms of your success. You may be perfectly capable of running a business, and a support network plus high quality, reliable staff will ease your difficulties considerably.
It will take a certain level of finance to start up your own business, and this can be a barrier if you don’t have funding yourself and are finding it hard to get financial backing. Make sure you have a sound business plan in place, and if you are getting feedback from potential investors or sources of finance that your idea has flaws, don’t ignore the advice. Re-examine your plan and see how you could address any issues that have been mentioned. If you are stuck for money, try looking at being a freelancer working from home rather than having the expense of offices and staff. Start smaller than you originally planned, and if your ideas are sound and you have the abilities, you should start to make money. You will then look like a much more investable prospect, and you will have laid the foundations for the bigger business you originally planned.
Whatever barriers you meet in life, don’t assume there’s no way over them. You may have to go under, or through, but most of the time there will be a solution that gets you to the other side.