Dr. April J. Lisbon
Title: Founder/The Content Creation Connector
Company: Running Your Race Enterprises
The greatest challenge I experienced throughout the first few years of my business is taking on the mindset that I wasn’t good enough to be an entrepreneur (aka the demon of self-sabotage). This was difficult to overcome as often times I would associate failures as a measure of incompetency or not being ‘good enough’ to succeed in the entrepreneurial world. These five things helped me get out my own way and own my brilliance:
1. Daily affirmations that I had what it took to own my brilliance and lane of genius.
2. Connected with like-minded individuals who would celebrate my wins and also call me out on my BS when fear would creep in.
3. Told fear to kiss my ASS as my tribe needs me to be present and in the moment to support their transformations.
4. Realize that failure is one step closer to my success.
5. Celebrate the No’s on the journey as it always opens the door to the Yes’s that are life changing.
Title: CEO Publisher owner
Company: Simply Media
To land a major customer to take us forward.
Title: Owner / Mental Health Marketing Expert
Company: REdD Strategy
The biggest challenge in the first years of starting my own business was finding clients. The initial stage when you work on implementing your idea into reality is very exciting and very energy consuming, but then you have to create cash flow for your business and that’s when the pink glasses come off.
Figuring out how to attract clients and how to sell them your services is initially very challenging because it requires a lot of self-awareness and introspection. To a business owner, the need for your services is obvious and discovering that not everyone sees it this way can be almost shocking. It’s also very humbling to realize that people don’t respond to your offerings like you expected them to. It’s a constant process of learning about your clients and finessing the process. The stress of not having enough clients is constant until you build a reputation and have a good few success stories.
Title: Marketing Manager
Company: Home Service Direct
Having enough money to cover the payments and running costs was the biggest challenge when I was building my business. I had to ensure I was closely capitalized or choose up greater income to shore up cash reserves when needed. I therefore had to work a job and construct an enterprise simultaneously. While this break up center of attention was difficult to develop a
the business, jogging out of money makes developing a business impossible.
Money management becomes even greater important when cash is flowing into the business. Although coping with commercial enterprise accounting and taxes may also be within the skills that I had to sharply develop to run a successful business, professional assistance was of great help. The complexity of the books of account increased with every patron and employee, so getting help on the bookkeeping and learning how to properly manage my budget and invoices was the biggest stepping stone in being a good finance manager.
Company: Good Land Home Buyers
Getting More Clients and Building My Company’s Credibility
As a home buying company that provides cash offers to qualified homeowners, building my company’s credibility is significant. I struggled a lot in the beginning of my business since I only have 2 clients in the last 60 days of starting my operations. It was absolutely difficult because I have not got many customer reviews and testimonials on my page. Most clients were also seeking additional company portfolios but I only have limited resources during that time. Thus, they were uncertain about my company whether we provide legitimate business transactions or not.
With that, I realized that building connections to my prospective clients and boosting my firm’s credentials should be my primary goal to acquire more successful deals to keep my business going. Establishing my brand’s reputation is imperative to gain their trust and loyalty. If I am able to provide stress-free home selling services to them, my clients will be satisfied and there are chances that they will refer another client to my company.
Company: Bullseye Locations
The biggest challenge I faced during the first year of establishing my business was gaining the trust of the people. At the start, it was difficult for me to get any potential customers to try the services provided by my business as there were no reviews or case studies posted on my business website. I had to make sure that they knew that the software was not a scam and would be a good value for their money.
A business can never be successful if it doesn’t have a sufficient customer base. Therefore, to gain these customers and give my business a good start, I decided to add a “trial” option for customers, free of charge, which allowed them to use the software for 14 days before extending their subscription. This gave them enough time to learn more about our services and provide feedback or write reviews. These reviews proved very beneficial in expanding our customer base by gaining their trust.
Title: Founder, CEO
The biggest challenge was building our SEO website to produce leads for our agents. It was difficult to overcome because I knew nothing about website building and had no set resources to help me understand it. So I hired a consultant that showed me exactly how to do SEO and overcame this challenge for my company.
Company: The Enemy Of Average
The biggest challenge that I faced in the first couple of years of building my business was overcoming imposter syndrome. When you’re venturing into a new subject matter, there’s a period where you simply don’t know that much about the topic/industry that you need to master. You sort of look yourself in the mirror and say, “I don’t even think that I’m an expert, so how in the world am I supposed to convince others that I am?” However, you can’t let that inexperience stop you from doing what you need to do to scale your business.
Overcoming this challenge was so difficult because becoming an expert in your field requires getting out of your comfort zone day after day. You have to fail a lot, and you have to come to grips with the fact that you may make a fool of yourself in certain situations. Those failures and embarrassing moments were awful to experience, and they cause some serious self-doubt to creep in. But looking back on those experiences now, the lessons that came out of those moments were invaluable.
Title: Founder & CEO
Company: Mavens & Moguls
My biggest challenge early on was that the people you start with are not always the ones who grow with you. The hardest lesson I learned when I started my company is not getting rid of weak people earlier than I did in the first few years of my business. I spent more time managing them than finding new customers. I knew in my gut they were not up to snuff but out of loyalty to them I let them hang around much longer than they should have. It would have been better for everyone to let them go as soon as the signs were there. They became more insecure and threatened as we grew which was not productive for the team. As soon as I let them go the culture got stronger and the bar higher. “A” team people like to be surrounded by other stars. It is true that you should hire slowly and fire quickly. I did not make that mistake again later on so learned it well the first time. I wish I had known it even earlier though but lesson learned for sure!
Company: Woven Marketing Agency, LLC
My biggest challenge I’ve faced in my first year in business was creating systems. Getting Standard Operating Procedures in place, as well as on-boarding client protocol may have been the most tedious part of the business, and I avoided it. But once it was completed, sales became easier and easier, as well as outsourcing certain tasks to assistants and sub contractors.
The Money Guy
Company: Most Lawyers Are Liars
For us, was getting people to take us seriously. while we look and dress like a comedy show, and there is comedy within our show “Most Lawyers Are Liars” the truth of the matter is business. How to run a business save on taxes, get the right insurance, how to set up your accounting books so banks, angel investors, VC companies can understand. Marketing your business, brand building the list can go on and on.
we were able to over come it by creating an awareness about who we are with books. We have a book publishing deal, and have over 170,000 copies in print with the brand.
Title: eCommerce Manager
In the beginning we ran into a wall when it came to customer acquisition. We were only using Facebook and Instagram to find customers and those two avenues can only take your brand so far. We knew we needed to diversify, but it was challenging to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t. It took a lot of experimentation, but we eventually figured out how to reach more customers. SMS became a big part of our business and a way to not only reach customers, but retain them as well.
Company: DataSource Hub
One of the biggest challenges I faced in the first years of building my business was finding a way to grow my audience. When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to get noticed by anyone. You’re competing with hundreds of other businesses that are trying to do the same thing, so it’s easy for your message to get lost in the noise.
To overcome this challenge, I decided on a few strategies: first and foremost, I made sure that every piece of content I produced was valuable for people who might be interested in what I had to offer. And then I focused on getting as much exposure as possible for that content. This meant blogging regularly (which wasn’t easy at first), sharing posts on social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, and submitting articles to publications.
I hope this helps and all the best to you.
Company: Lucky Bobbleheads
Recruiting Suitable Potential Employees.
The most difficult obstacle that I had to overcome in the beginning stages of my business was finding suitable candidates to fill open positions. The degree to which the members of the team work together effectively is one of the most essential aspects that helps to create the organizational culture of a new company. Individuals on a team should have comparable skills and a singular concentration on the task at hand. In order to cultivate a highly effective team culture, businesses in general and startups in particular need to employ candidates who are suited for the roles they have available. There is a sizable population of ambitious people that are currently available. It is a very difficult assignment to select a suitable candidate who matches the position well enough to be considered for it. It is one of the most significant obstacles that new firms must overcome in this day and age of digital technology. Organizations have to keep in mind one golden rule in order to hire a qualified candidate: People who share similar characteristics tend to congregate together.
Company: SEM Dynamics
We, at SEM Dynamics, the biggest challenge we’ve faced in the first few years of building our business has been getting people to believe in us and our vision. I think this is a common problem for anyone who is trying to start their own company. You have to convince people that what you’re doing is going to work, and it often feels like the deck is stacked against you. I was personally terrified of failure, but eventually I realized that if we didn’t try, then nothing would happen at all. Once I got over that fear, it got easier to talk about our business—and actually get people excited about it!
I hope my response has been of value. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me so we can collaborate. Thank you.
Unequivocally, overcoming the fear of failure and wasting time was our biggest challenge in our first years of building our business.
We built our business from scratch with no previous experience in the field, so coming up with a well researched plan and sticking to it, and putting in a large amount of time knowing that we might not make money for the foreseeable future (or ever) was very daunting.
But we realized that focusing on that fear of failure was holding us back, and instead we put all of our effort into just getting our business off the ground. We learned that making a mistake is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, those errors and failures provide valuable learning opportunities. Once we understood that, we were easily able to embrace our company’s potential flaws and see them as inspiration for future change and growth.
Title: Co-Founder and CEO
Company: Lightyear Health
As an entrepreneur in the Health sector, I have found my biggest obstacle to be consumers’ distrust of the healthcare industry. Too many people have been burned by hard-to-navigate HMOs, physicians from whom it’s hard to get an appointment or referral, and insurance companies doing all in their power to pass costs on to patients. Even when you are legitimately trying to make things easier by providing seamless processes and integrated services, you have to earn consumers’ trust. Fortunately, our business model is so pro-customer that we have been able to bridge that divide over time. We believe in what we are doing, and over time, we have been able to show our customers that they can believe in us too.
Company: MVR Creative
Through individualized support, I help creatives, leaders, and entrepreneurs develop a rock solid strategy & systems, determine their next steps, and explore options – including funding – so they can make their vision a reality and reach their goals in a deeply fulfilling and financially rewarding way.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced in the first years of building my business includes having a consistent base of clients I work with. COVID had made this difficult, as many individuals and organizations I’d been working with had put projects on hold.
One of the ways I’ve been navigating out of this has been with both the messaging around the services I offer and how I’m reaching out and following up with people.
Title: Co Founder
Finding the right people to work for you and hiring the right partners to work with your were both equally challenging and frustrating.
For employees, I learnt an important lesson a few months in, and that was that they won’t care about your company a tenth of what you do, and not only is that fair, you shouldn’t expect them too.
Once I realised that the recruitment, onboarding and training process was a lot easier as I emphasised with employees instead of asking them to put in the same effort as me, despite not being renumerated equally for it/
For partners, it was different. Ideally I wanted to bring people on board who had the same vision as us, but we needed people who had complimentary skills and would excel in areas I/we had little experience in, and vice versa.
Having too many of the same cooks, produces the same broth. We needed variety so we could zero in, expand and develop our business on multiple fronts.
We started to really take off and grow once we found other entrepreneurs who ran small marketing, development, ad shops. Together we’ve grown their business with ours.
I am even more glad that we got a handle on this, as the great resignation on jobs has made hiring much tougher for organisations, especially newly formed ones.
Building credibility and trust was the biggest hurdle we had to overcome in the beginning, and even now we have to skip over these types of obstacles from time to time.
As CBD has become more well known and less taboo, we have been able to make more inroads into attracting customers.
In addition we are primarily a CBDa supplier, so that is another question we have to answer on a regular basis as potential customers may be confused or worse – concerned why this is different to regular CBD.
Spoiler alert: It’s just more bioavailable.
Essentially educating our target audience is the key aspect to getting momentum with our business in the beginning.
The most common misconception is that CBD gets you high, once we managed to bat back those concerns we started to make inroads with our sales and marketing.
To summarize – if we had known more about our target market’s queries and concerns in the beginning, we would have been able to start our marketing and sales on the education front and be clear about what we do and alleviate any concerns.
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: First Day
All organizations generate and rely on massive amounts of data – financial records, communications with customers and other business contacts, personnel information, regulatory needs, and so on. It’s hard to keep track of everything, let alone use it efficiently, without the right systems.
For us, I would say that one of the biggest challenges in the early years of setting up and running our business was definitely the issue of establishing the correct systems and procedures to run our business.
The challenge of setting up the right systems to run your business
As your firm grows, you can assign responsibilities and tasks, but you won’t be able to manage efficiently without good management information systems. The more your organization expands, the more challenging it gets to ensure that information is transferred accurately and that various functions work together smoothly. Putting in place the correct infrastructure is an important part of facilitating your company’s growth.
Documentation, regulations, and processes all grow more vital as time goes on. In an established business, the directness that might work with one or two staff and a few customers is simply not viable. You’ll need proper contracts, precise terms and conditions, and efficient hiring procedures, among other things.
Using existing management standards is one of the most successful strategies for many expanding firms to introduce best practices. Quality assurance systems can help you push for changes and persuade larger consumers that you can be trusted.
Investing in the proper systems is a long-term investment that pays off in the immediate term. Every day, you profit from more efficient operations. Demonstrating that you have well-run, efficient systems will be a crucial aspect of justifying the business’s value if you ever decide to sell it.
Title: Business Owner
Company: Sol Vista Roofing LLC
Biggest challenge during year 1 of Sol Vista Roofing
Sol Vista Roofing was launched in October of 2020, and we’ve had good success in our first 18 months. But that success has not been had without challenges. The biggest single challenge I’ve experienced while building Sol Vista Roofing is developing specialties within the roofing industry. There are lots of different types of roofing companies, and we’ve found that those that try to do it all tend to be mediocre. Those that specialize in one area, such as commercial roofing, metal roofing, residential shingles, etc end up having greater success. But when we were new, we wanted to say “yes” to everyone that called, which made it difficult to find out natural specialty. Recently, though, we have developed specialties in commercial roofing, including commercial roof repairs and coatings. That focus allows us to execute at a high level for the projects that fit our skillset.
Title: Director of Audience Growth
I’m Chris, DoughRoller’s Director of Audience Growth. In 2016, I also launched my own digital marketing agency. It wasn’t easy at first, but I eventually learned how to effectively manage my business. Here’s my response to your question.
The most difficult challenge I faced in the early years of my business was gaining people’s trust. People frequently have questions about who you are and what your company does when you are an entrepreneur. I overcame this obstacle by cultivating relationships with potential customers and taking the time to explain what my company offers. This not only helped them feel more at ease with me, but it also demonstrated that I valued their time.
I hope my story helps. Here are my details should you chose to publish.
Name: Chris Muller
Title: Director of Audience Growth
Company Name: DoughRoller
Bio: Chris has an MBA with a focus in advanced investments and has been writing about all things personal finance since 2015. In 2021, Chris took over as the Director of Audience Growth for DoughRoller.