4 challenges to overcome in the early stages of a startup

There is a major cognitive bias we all fall victim to that gets amplified through modern media. It’s the bias where we can only focus on the successes and only see it through that lens. Whether it’s musicians, artists or athletes – we only resonate with success stories. Entrepreneurship is certainly no different. Young billionaires, exorbitant valuations and powerful start-ups are magnified as we’re fooled to believe that the anti 9-5 path is a cakewalk. The path in the early stages of any startup is tough – it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart.

Now this isn’t to deter you from hunting your goals – it is very important in the infant stages of this vision that you remain cognizant of the growing pains and road mines waiting ahead on this rollercoaster of a journey.

Equipping yourself with a healthy mentality will help you adjust and evolve. Here are 4 challenges that litter the road to success for startups.

  1. Creating a focused vision

“It’s where you and the founders of the organization declare who you are, what you’re up to and why it matters.” – Ken Blanchard, Bestselling Author of ‘The One Minute Manager.’

A clear foundation and solidified vision needs to be in place – along with the ability to monetize it. When tensions begin to arise, founders and team members might start to drift off the page, and this is when an aligned unit is imperative to success.

  1. Acquiring talent

The true spirit of an entrepreneur would have them do it all themselves if it were physically and mentally possible. Building a competent and capable team to stand the strains of time certainly isn’t an overnight (or easy) task. Especially in such a competitive market where the battleground for quality talent is scarce, and when they all hold the same types of technological skills – the free agency waters for top talent can be difficult to acquire.

Growing pains are an obvious challenge for startups to grapple with especially considering that a bad hire can cost a company anywhere between $25-50k. You want to equip new hires with enough information, context and room to grow as possible – to help keep the same level of shared purpose throughout.

  1. Rapid growth and a fast paced market

Growth can be very overwhelming to many startups just to keep up with market demands and inevitable expansion thanks to a growing client base. It’s also important to understand to know when is the right time to expand your business.

“Just because you’re successful building a small business doesn’t mean you’ll be successful building a big business,” says Robert Kiyosaki, Entrepreneur.com contributor.

  1. Differentiating yourself from competitors

Competition can saturate a market because just about anyone can have access to VC backed funds and the barrier for entry is lowering by the year.

“Find ways to complement existing products and companies so you don’t take on unnecessary battles but embrace and extend everywhere and everyone except for your core area,” says Tim Cadogan, CEO of OpenX.

At the end of the day, no matter the size of the company – there will always be competition ready to dethrone you from your position. It’s inevitable and a part of our cultural evolution. New companies and new products for better and cheaper will always be in the midst of the conversation no matter what.

The infant stages of a startup can be an absolute grind – but if the right pieces aren’t in place – the chances of getting off the ground are already depleted. Do it right the first time and learn what to look for in hiring a competent Product Manager. Download our free eBook: 9 Industry Secrets for Hiring Product Managers.