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5 struggles new entrepreneurs encounter

Categories: Career Advice

Starting out in entrepreneurship isn’t easy. If you choose to embark on this path in a foreign country, you’ll be facing added complications.

Despite what the headlines and popular opinions would have you believe, launching your own company comes with more hardships than rewards. This is a tough role that leads many to burnout, break-down, or severe financial loss.

Entrepreneurship requires grit, perseverance, and a level of self-confidence bordering on delusional. And then, sometimes, not even these suffice. It’s easy to lose track, and the repercussions are severe.

Most are driven to this field because of the freedom and infinite opportunities it offers. Unlike a 9-5 role, entrepreneurs get the chance to fulfill their inner potential working on a cause they feel truly passionate about. It is a field radically different from the seemingly unending monotonousness of corporate culture. Entrepreneurs forge real change.

In an office-based role, success is synonymous with anonymity, with working hard enough to blend in. Entrepreneurs have vastly different challenges: determined to stand out, they must take risks and implement new, untested-before methods, using recently-developed, unconventional technologies in order to earn a reputation in their field.

Not only does it take time, effort, and investment to tackle certain issues, but, due to the infrastructure of the field, there are no guidelines or ever-green principles to adhere in times of trouble.

Yet, entrepreneurship has been consistently voted as the most-rewarding occupation of the past few years. The smallest of advantages can easily outweigh the struggle, leading thousands to take the leap and plunge themselves into the unknown.

Entrepreneurship is worth embarking upon insofar that you’re able to navigate the field. This article will give you a few tips for starters.

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Finances

If you just launched your own company, keeping track of finances can be the number one recurring headache.

According to industry experts, the first principle to adhere to is: you separate personal and company-related expenses. This simple step will provide a better grasp of the value of different costs.

Different people tend to make different mistakes. Some try too hard to scale down to keep expenses at a bare minimum. This can lead to a significant drop in quality, making their product less attractive.

This is the grave mistake Mark Wogan, the founder of Homeslice fell into. The renowned entrepreneur explains to GQ how they went into the business with a strategy focused on spending as little as possible, installing refurbished fridges, old light switches and dubious-quality equipment in their first kitchen. Within weeks, these attempts backfired miserably. Eventually, the kitchen had to be refitted, which cost double the price of the first-round of construction.

Others have a hard time working out the complexities of budget-allocation. It can be tempting to get lost in the details or approach every issue with a heightened sense of perfectionism. Compromises will have to be made, and it’s vital you recognise which aspects of the business require less investment and care, and which are the most indispensable. There are loads of banking apps such as bunq which automate many admin tasks, integrate various time savings &, cash control features, and help you keep costs down. For a list of these features check out their app

Some struggle with building tenable business plans. As a new entrepreneur, there’s a strong chance you have limited experience in this crucial aspect of running a company. This will be your passport to many meetings, the key to locking down important contacts, that differentiates you from your competitors. As such, writing an easy-to-understand, convincing business plan requires expertise. It is highly advisable you seek the counsel of more-experienced, well-versed peers.

Tip: Save money and maintain flexibility by hiring freelancers rather than full-time employees in the beginning.

General Management

Many go into entrepreneurship confident in their time-management, prioritisation, and stress-management abilities, only to discover their self-assessment was ill-advised.

Unlike traditional roles, entrepreneurs are responsible for every area of their business, especially at the beginning. Everyday complications only pose one part of the problem – your ability to handle different situations efficiently makes up most of it.

Entrepreneurs are strongly encouraged to stay positive and speak in superlatives. In order to emulate the utmost confidence, it might appear reasonable to also keep silent about difficulties. This is a very common mistake that leads many businesses to the brink of demise.

Entrepreneurs have to be able to address weakness in a timely and well-suited fashion. For this, you need exceptional foresight, a sober head, and the ability to judge your own product, the growth of the company, and the quality of the output in a down-to-earth fashion.

These aren’t areas people are aware of instinctively. It takes years of cultivation, access to a broad, reliable network, a group of trusted advisors, alongside a lot of practice.

Inevitably, there will be times when your faith might shake. That’s when you’ll have to reach out for advice, making sure that individual worries won’t cost the entire organisation.

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Network, network, network!

The Netherlands has become particularly popular amongst expats due to the start-up visa, access to a strong labour force, and tax incentives for new businesses. Navigating its legal and financial system, dealing with accounting, HR-related tasks, and taxation, and building a network, however takes time.

You’ll want to build a broad network of reliable supporters as quickly as possible. As an entrepreneur, your daily life will revolve around making decision after decision, some trivial, others life-changing. Surrounding yourself with motivational, highly-inspiring, ambitious folks will set you on the right path. A good idea is to enlist yourself in a co-working space.

A broad-enough network also bears the promise of pointing you to niche information, shortcuts, admin tips, tax packages, and tech you may not be familiar with otherwise.

Do your research!

There’s a number of aspects to running a business you might not be familiar with yet.

In the Netherlands, the process of registration was set up to attract foreign investment. This is amazing for the most part, but it doesn’t spare you a few hours spent reading up on the topic.

To begin, you’ll have to figure out what’s the best bracket your business can fit into. You have to ask yourself a handful of questions before getting in touch with the authorities, including: What size is the company? How many investors do you have? What’s the growth rate? What’s your plan for the next one, two or five years? Who are your competitors? What are the production costs, and what do the hidden expenses entail? And what legal structure should you chose?

If you’re starting your first business, the most important research you’ll have to do is (and we can’t stress this enough), do you have a business? Are people willing to pay money for the service or product you will offer? If there are competitors in the space that’s a good sign, all you have to do now is be better or different. And don’t forget to have an 11-second elevator pitch to explain to people what you do. Remember to focus on building revenues before overheads.

Once you have a clear-cut idea of where you stand, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the Chamber of Commerce, the KvK, and the taxation system. Fortunately, the Netherlands is super-supportive of start-ups and newly-founded companies, with numerous packages and tax cuts designed specifically with them in mind.

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Enjoy the success!

Trivial as it might sound, it’s crucial to take a moment every now and then to appreciate what you’ve achieved so far. After all, It’s the little victories that keep you going.

Entrepreneurs might be the happiest people on the planet, but they have some of the toughest jobs out there. Unlike in a conventional, 9-5 environment, there are no pre-established processes, tested-and-true methodologies or maxims to stick by.

In this role, you get the chance to figure out every part of building a company as you go along. Some thrive in an extremely-hectic, unruly environment where thinking outside the box is key. Others, much less so. It’s important to work out your own, unique method for success.

If you want to give a shot to something entirely new, and feel ready to watch a brilliant idea as it slowly transforms into a product over time, entrepreneurship is your way to go.