What are the biggest issues you have to deal with as a founder?

Mahesh Bansal Business Development Manager at Own businees

September 13th, 2016

I know this question depends on many things and that the journey as a founder is a long one with multiple challenges along the way. I wonder if there is a clear way to frame them to help early stage entrepreneurs in understanding the roadmap of issues they have ahead of them.

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

September 13th, 2016

Perhaps the biggest challenge is that there is no roadmap.

Yes, there are processes (e.g., lean startup) that can add a lot of structure to a chaotic undertaking. Successfully founding a company means doing everything that can be anticipated successfully, but also anticipating and responding to conditions that no one else has seen or could imagine.

That said, the most common challenges include:
  • Focus - knowing the difference between being busy and being productive. Not focusing on the many things you can but the few that you must focus on.

  • Delegation - mastering a capability or task and  then giving it away. As your organization grows you need to delegate ... and many find that more challenging than they anticipate.

  • Cashflow - managing the money is always an ongoing challenge. Too many businesses grow their expenses faster than their revenues or fail to understand the relative roles of cash, credit, and equity. 

Rob G

September 13th, 2016

time, money, personnel

Mike Bebel Digital Media Executive/Entrepreneur

September 13th, 2016

As a founder, you are dealing with all aspects of the business simultaneously and issues are numerous. Two core competencies that are critical are prioritization and  time management. These skills will allow any entrepreneur to set out and adjust their own roadmap to success.

Melissa Rich Passionate, Mission Driven, Strategy, Growth & Impact Leader - Founder, CEO, President, Executive Management

September 13th, 2016

At the very earliest stage:
1) Customers - who do you serve?  your customers are your reason for being.
2) Personnel - who will help you get there?  with a strong team, you can get things done (including attract investment)
3) Investors - who will support you as things ebb and flow? (and they will ebb and flow...)

after the market has been established:
1) Personnel - a good team can make (or break) you
2) Customers - better to live off revenues than investment (especially in a potentially turbulent market)
3) Investors - keep them informed and in your camp

+ make sure to have your own (personal) support network - as being an entrepreneur can be a lonely road; take care of yourself so you can take care of your business

SHARIQUE NISAR Consultant- Business Intelligence | Marketing Strategy | B2B Leads | Automation | Digital Innovation

September 15th, 2016

Cash flow is the biggest challenge. If its ON, things will move and eventually you will make profit and be able to run. 

David Johnston 16 Patent Claims Granted in Artificial Intelligence, NLP, IoT & Mobile SMS/Chat/Text Messaging

September 14th, 2016

Face the fact that if you have investment money you will eventually run out.

That being said, "credit" becomes your way out of the problem while you either get more revenues or more investment. Otherwise, you "will" be squeezed in your next round, if they even sniff that your runway might be short.

Take a large portion of your investment cash and use it to build credit. Sign up for a secured credit card at several major banks. Put as much as you can into each one. The more you deposit, the higher the credit available showing on your companies credit report.

Use these accounts and pay off the balance each month just like you were using debit cards. This is the fastest way to build some credit.

Once you have some credit, use it to do the same thing but this time, ask for "lines of credit" at each of those banks. Put up cash as collateral.

Lines of credit are the only type you can use to pay on credit cards with. Use your line of credit to pay down the balances on your secured cards. Then use your normal cash flow to pay down your lines of credit.

At this point, you can buy company cars in your company name.

Now you have credit cards, lines of credit and "major" purchase financed.

As long as you understand that "interest" is the cost of buying "credit scores" you will understand why it is your best investment.

When the time is right, cash these out and get your collateralized money back and convert the credit cards and lines of credit from "secured" to "unsecured."

Then you have both credit and cash. If you run out of cash, that credit may save your business!