What is the #1 Challenge faced by the Startups? And, How to Resolve it? (Expert Advise)

Starting a Startup might seem simple but directing your Startup towards consistent growth isn’t really that easy. We started StartUp INC some years ago with a view to helping Startups break out of their limitations and help them continue to find their way towards stunning growth.

Although there’s no denying the fact that there’s has been an astounding growth in the number of Startups over the years. Many of the Startups are not being able to achieve the growth that they have aimed for.

They are, somewhere locked away and as a matter of fact, they are actually experiencing a point of stagnation.

We, The Startup INC team conducted a research in the recent past wherein we tried to reach out many of the Startups and tried to comprehend the hurdles that are coming in their way of progress.

All along the research, we met many aspiring entrepreneurs and known the challenges that they are bothered with. It certainly wasn’t an easy job for sure.

Recommended Read: How to Survive Your First Year of Entrepreneurship

It took us several days of studying the challenges of the various Startups. However, by the end of our study, we thought we have been greatly enlightened with many of the challenges that have still need not been addressed by anyone as of yet.

Altaf Dhamani, Founder @ TravelStop

altaf

The #1 challenge, in my opinion, is finding the product-market fit.

Validating your value hypothesis by talking to customers early on is the key. At Travelstop, we are constantly learning and refining our value.

Michael Depalma, Founder @ Hu-Manity

michael

Sorry to sound cheeky, but the biggest problem faced by startups is all the problems with being a startup! Funding, building a team, learning to delegate and grow, learning how to manage time for you and a team.

Learning to navigate press, naysayers, competition, and 100 other things that present themselves every day.

The life of an entrepreneur is filled with hurdles to be overcome, only to get to the next set of hurdles. It truly is a maturation and a marathon. Best advice? Never give up. Get better, move forward. Repeat.

Pouria Mojabi, Founder @ Supportiv

pouria

Challenge: Fundraising
Solution: team + growth
Which ultimately means building something people or enterprises love

Ankur P Agarwal, Founder @ Pricebaba

annkur

I believe the biggest challenge faced by a startup is getting the right talent and retaining it.

The only way to do that is, to be authentic and fair to your people. Far too many startups treat talent as a commodity and aren’t authentic to them. This leads to mistrust that is increasingly spreading in the ecosystem. This trend needs to be reversed.

Robin Chase, Founder @ Veniam

robin

#1 Challenge: Believing a startup can win out over the status quo.
How to Overcome it: Belief in yourself and the future and the new economy we must create.

Maksym Sherbinin, Founder @ ETL Works

maksym

#1 Challenge: Lack of marketing strategy.

Solution: Set a clear and ambitious [but realistic] business goal, for example, “two new paying customers every month”, and execute. If you are behind – don’t cut yourself a slack. Regroup as fast as you can.

Oliver Karstedt, Founder @ SocialHub

oliver

To me, the #1 Challenge is picking the right niche and finding your WHY. Why do you want to found this company? If the answer is “make lots of money”, you’re on the wrong track. What are you bringing to the marketplace? And why should anyone care?

Which concrete problem are you solving for your customers? Are you the only one in the world that solves the problem you’re solving?

If so, in most cases there’s a reason no other company is doing this. If you’re not the only one, why are you better than your competitors? What can you bring to the marketplace that others don’t?

Finding an answer to all of these questions I think is the #1 Challenge faced by Startups because many rushes into it for the wrong reasons or thinking they have something great but actually they don’t and they’re just like anyone else. Of course, then it will be very hard to find any kind of traction.

How to overcome it? Get out of the building and discover the heck out of your customers. Talk to as many people as you possibly can. Preferably non-friends.

Really understand your customers on a deep level and dig until you find some problem that you can solve better than anyone else out there. It’s simple but not easy. If you do this right though, everything else after that will be a lot easier.

Naveen Joshi, Founder @ AllAuthor

naveen

Here’s what he said about the challenges many startups face:

“The most challenging part for a startup is to validate their business model with the right customers. Most of the time, startups just take feedback from their friends and families when launching a product in the market.

But as a new startup, one has to first understand the market and their customer segment before taking any big step. It is best to get at least 20-50 feedback from their to-be customers to get a good grasp of the response.

Getting an investment in the early stage is also another challenge that many startups have to face. But one suggestion that I would give startups in their early stages is to be more focused on their product and the problem they are trying to solve rather than just investment.

Once they have a sustainable product, it would be easy for them to raise the investment. ” – Naveen Joshi, Founder of AllAuthor

Thierry Sequeira, Founder @ Actionable

thierry

What we have seen to be true for ourselves and for the startups that use actionable.me is that the #1 challenge is knowing who your customer is. I know this might sound a little crazy or sales but we have written a super detailed blog post on the topic here because it’s not an easy topic.

In short, if you know your customers intimately, it becomes a lot easier to build products that they use and love. It also becomes a lot easier to figure out where they find solutions and to promote what you do over there. If you don’t know this, you build products that don’t really help anyone and life get hard (it’s actually the worst feeling!).

We have struggled a lot with this in the past because of what we do (we make sales accessible). Our mission is very broad and there is a wide range of people that we help.

We constantly have to keep getting closer to our customer base to get a better understanding of their day-to-day, their challenges, what they do with our software and how we can get better. We talk to our customers every day. Our entire team does.

Susanne Klepsch, Founder @ DerButton

susanne

#1 Challenge: Convince people to believe in your vision even though you might not have a functioning product, a functioning team or any money to spend.

How to resolve it: Be convincing and fake it till you make it, even if it pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Conclusion

Our recent study has helped us attain a deep understanding of the different challenges that Startups are actually facing. One of the most common challenges is, of course, fundraising which may apparently seem to be pretty much a simple thing but it is surely not as simple as it seems to be.

As articulated by one of the aspiring entrepreneurs that we spoke to, the hardest part is persuading the investors to believe in a Startup’s vision which, of course, takes a great deal of convincing power.

Must Read: Common Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Commit

Interestingly, as mentioned by the same person, one shouldn’t hesitate to even fake it for the sake of making it and one may even need to step out of one’s comfort zone to strive better.

There were other entrepreneurs who emphasized an entirely different aspect; the aspect of building and managing a team. This comprises hiring the right talent and directing them in the right direction.

Also, it is important to retain it over a long period of time. Apart from this, we came across a few entrepreneurs who especially emphasized the aspect of lack of marketing strategy.

On one hand, Startups don’t have enough to spend on aggressive marketing and on the other hand, most of the Startups don’t really have a sound knowledge of how they can go about the marketing aspect in the most meaningful way.

At “The Startup INC” we are persistently trying to find better ways to make things smooth, simple and of course, much effective for the Startups. Please, feel free to contact us anytime to share your queries pertaining to Startups. We are usually pretty fast with our response.

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Steve is a business analyst and researcher having experience of over 7 years in scaling up the businesses from Startups to Entreprises. He works for The Startup INC as a Senior Editor. Steve lives in Bristol, UK, with his wife & he likes traveling on weekends.

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