What do entrepreneurs struggle with most?
A moment for answers has arrived, and I have three.
What do entrepreneurs struggle with most? Time, team, and money.
We all have moments when we plan to be at our best productive behaviour on a Monday, only to turn around and realise it’s already Thursday afternoon. Well, it may be a warning sign that there are too many distractions creeping into our work life, keeping us from making real progress.
If you want to have a closer look at that, you may want to read one of my recent articles “How to stay focused as an entrepreneur“.
There is a finite amount of time we have to work with, yet some produce results and some are surprised at how fast it flows.
Have you ever seen this quote?
‘you have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé’
What a great confidence booster! That was my first impression, but it faded away quickly. Yes, on our planet a day lasts 1440 minutes for all, man and beast, young entrepreneurs and established business owners, but we do not all have the same resources.
Think about what you can access to grow your business. Some investment may be necessary, although I am not saying that you need to start by hiring a live-in chef and find yourself a Mary Poppins to focus on your business. If you can, fantastic, but let’s look at the tasks that can take up so much time if you are just not that into doing them: setting up marketing campaigns, SEO optimisation, or even filling out a quarterly VAT return.
Inspect your network and find someone good at it. Please find a way for them to do it. It is possible, even for a small business.
This support network includes people and systems, and it is something that can add time to your day.
- Start with a strategy plan to identify tasks that cannot happen without your involvement.
- Then think about distributing assignments that you are not that skilful at, or do not like doing.
By saving time, you are making time for what matters in your business and private life.
This may mean developing a team around you.
Do not be a responsibility hoarder! It is one of the challenges entrepreneurs face.
Delegation is not synonymous with giving things up. It is about getting things done.
If you insist on doing everything yourself, you are not only stifling other people’s potential, you are lying to yourself.
Part of running a business is about finding experts that have the skills you lack. They focus on what they are best at, so you can too.
I find this process tricky to some, especially startup founders. It signifies a shift in culture, structure, hierarchy when people who did not conceive the brand enter the fold. They have their way of doing things well, and there will be a period of adjustment.
They need to believe in the business, values, and goals, and it is your job to create a vision and structure robust enough to attract great talent. This way you, and your business can grow.
Growth costs. It is an investment.
Managing resources and talent is a constant waltz with your balance sheet.
Trouble begins when you forget your next steps and the performance turns into a tug of war. Cash flow likes to be managed and cared for.
In my experience, out of the three aspects of what do entrepreneurs struggle with most, this one is the most ruthless. Its power to stop businesses in their tracks does not diminish the longer you are on the market. When you are in the red, it means you’ve run out of time. Growing a team without money is somewhere between extremely hard and unlikely.
So keep an eye on it. Fight for it. Protect it. Most of all: be aware of it, at all times.
This is when I am going to bring the need for having a business strategy and a business plan in place. These tools are a cornerstone of making the work on time, team and money a little easier. They support forecasting and keep you focused on what’s important.
After all, as an entrepreneur, you want to make time, team and money work for you.