People face hurdles most of the time. Whether you have difficulties with the IT systems which may help you grow your business or you find it hard to start a new venture,how you handle these obstacles determines if you will come on top or trip and fall. Here are 8 strategies that will help you to forge ahead.
Facing difficulties is one thing that everyone has in common. However, what really sets us apart is the manner in which we handle these obstacles. While some people let these difficulties put them down, others have learned ways to overcome these hurdles and keep moving forward.
Most of these difficulties are unnecessary and can be easily avoided. They are often caused by ingrained habits, uncontrolled emotions, and habitual errors we make with other people. If not addressed, these hurdles become emotional thieves that we let into our lives. They drain us of our mental energy, take away our focus, and at times, and prevent us from addressing our most important initiatives.The question remains, how can we take advantage of our opportunities to overcome these challenges and succeed. Here are our top eight strategies to help.
Always trust your gut when dealing with people
We all possess some kind of built-in radar that alerts us when we are about to make a mistake involving people. However, we all tend to ignore these signals. It is crucial to choose the right people. This is particularly so when it comes to the co-founder.
Many entrepreneurs tend to base their choice of a co-founder solely on friendship, on being like-minded friends who’ve worked together in the past. Starting a new venture is definitely very exciting, however, it can be easy for one to ignore their gut feeling that the person they are choosing doesn’t possess the right managerial skills for this next step. Your chosen partner may not have adequate execution skills, or may not be good strategic thinkers. Rather than improving on your weaknesses, they just make them worse. You should never let this turn into an obstacle.
Even so, recent statistics reveal that founders of failed startups have a 20% higher chance to succeed in their next venture. Failing quickly and recovering from the blow can pave the way to future successes.
Understand the risks of emotional pricing
Business advisors at Maxfunding say, “one of the biggest challenges that most small-business owners face is putting in place the right pricing strategies for their products and services. At times, we let our emotions take control. For instance, one may fear that they will lose the sale and begin charging a very low price, which in turn lowers their profit margin. This often leads to numerous challenges down the road. Another cause of emotional pricing is having a feeling of pride – what one expert refers to as “the joy of the hunt”: securing the contract by all means and being happy that you beat the competition. When you take this into deeper consideration, you realize that it is a hollow win.” They recommend, “understand what your costs are, pay attention to what your competitors are doing, and reassess your price regularly.”
In case you constantly fail to receive positive feedback to your proposals, request your customers to provide you with feedback on your pricing. A lot will be willing to help you. The response from your customers will really come in handy for you on your niche market. This way your pricing will be more rational instead of being emotionally based – in case you need assistance on proper pricing of your products, take a look at the primer on pricing strategies from Oxford Learning Lab.
Do not distance yourself from the sales function
In most cases, entrepreneurs double as sales chiefs during the startup stage. Since they created the product/service, they know it best. As the business grows, they start to hire staff, and some founders withdraw themselves from the sales team. They direct their focus to financing, people management, amongst other operational issues, and keep away from the sales function. This can cause them to lose what really matters: sales. As you are well aware, sales is what makes or breaks a business.
According to research 55% of managers, for instance, are too swamped to train and develop a sales team. And still, as shown by another study, in all industries, there exists a direct and consistent link between the level of the sales force and organizational growth. The general rule of them is usually not to wear too many hats. While this is applicable in most cases when it comes to sales, it is always wise to an eye on sales to ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity to make adjustments as you go on before the challenges add up.
Make frugality a company value
This is one of the hurdles that can be easily avoided. You will often find that after getting some funding there are some startups that start spending like a fortune 500 company. In most cases, the thrill and excitement of this achievement can cause people to lose sight of the bigger picture. Most of us can remember the famous 1993 “Shrimp and Weenies” memo that was sent to Microsoft employees requesting to use company money sparingly – for example, to order weenies instead of shrimp when the company pays for the bill. The employees were asked to treat Microsoft as “the biggest smallest company in the world.” The small company approach is definitely great advice, not only for startups but also for other companies.