Entrepreneurship has become a household name especially in Nigeria. This is obvious in the searches available in Google Trends in past 12 months having 100% search between April 7-13, 2019 and of recent 82% search February 9-15, 2020 (https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=NG&q=Entrepreneurship).
The talk around the subject of entrepreneurship has always been about the opportunities that abound.
Nevertheless, while there are opportunities there are also challenges that come with the terrain and these challenges can be a bit more magnified for new comers especially if they don't get mentored by more experienced entrepreneurs.
Highlighted below are some avoidable challenges new entrepreneurs should know and avoid
- Lack of understanding of the position of money in business: Money is needed in business no doubt! But, what is the use of money if the skills needed to manage it is lacking. Better still, what does a soldier need most: arms and ammunition or military skills? Of course the military skills because it gives the soldier an advantage in the war front over every other soldier without skills. The skills such as business skills, negotiating skills, and resourcefulness needed to run a business is more important than money.
- Lack of Personal Development: To remain relevant and up to date with the trends as an entrepreneur you have to prioritize personal development. For the newcomers in entrepreneurship, personal development could be having a mentor, buying books, taking online courses, attending workshops etc. Investment in personal development is a good investment and it helps an entrepreneur to build systems for learning which results in efficiency in the production of goods and services.
- Being too busy for Proper Cash Flow Management: An average entrepreneur has the mindset that as long as he/she is making sales and he/she is the one managing and handling money then there is no need for proper cash flow management. However, proper cash flow management is more than just handling money. It is an accounting system which shows all the business transactions of a business and it is used to aid decision-making. Cash flow in its simplest definition is the inflow and outflow of cash in the business.
- Overlooking collaborative Entrepreneurial environment: We are living in a fast-paced world and it is a matter of wisdom for winning in business to understand that collaboration is the way forward not competition. As a newbie, you will accomplish more if you leverage the strengths of existing businesses through partnerships. However, make sure all your partnership arrangements are documented.
- The fear of "what if" Robert F. Kennedy said, "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." Being an entrepreneur has its own attendant challenges such as betrayal, rejection, failure. The fear you have is common to all men, what makes the difference is what fear drives you to do. Newcomers to entrepreneurship should understand that there is no end to "what if" in the course of the entrepreneurship journey and that is what makes entrepreneurship look more like an adventure. Dare to face your fear head on!
- Improper Use of Social Media: Social media is a great marketplace! However, many newcomers in entrepreneurship spend a lot of time on social media putting up a front different from reality instead of developing their crafts. The truth is that customers buy value hence, if your 'social media' promise is not the same as your delivery you will lose your customers.
Finally, challenges in entrepreneurship did not start today. Hence, as an entrepreneur, you have to be proactive and this means that you have to anticipate these challenges and make adjustments to mitigate them.