There are many reasons to start a business, however the challenges faced are often very similar. From working with millions of businesses worldwide we have brought together the most common that we hear about, with some tried and tested ways you can begin to overcome them.

1. Having the money

You have an idea but where does the cash come from to get up and running? Unless you’re lucky enough to have plenty of spare, you could be struggling to find the money you need.

Government grants are one route that can help and the Business Finance Support Finder is a useful tool that lets you know what is out there. Make sure you carefully consider how much you need to get started and keep a track of your spending.

2. Not having enough time

There is so much to be done when starting a business that it can become difficult to find the time to fit it all in. Furthermore the personal commitments often don’t disappear. Before you know it, time has flown and your great idea remains a work in progress.

Overcoming this obstacle is difficult, but it is possible with a little organisation. Try drawing up a timesheet and making a list of the key deliverables you want to achieve each day. Consider your personal commitments and allocate slots to make sure you know what needs to be done when.

3. Not having the right connections

We’ve all heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Whether we like it or not, it’s true when it comes to starting a business and ensuring it grows successfully. Knowing the right people can provide a lot of short cuts.

A great way to get a head start is business networking events. Have a look online and see what’s available in your local area. Get out there and meet people – there really is no telling what might come of it. Any hints and tips you can glean when starting out can save a lot of time and money later.

4. Not knowing how to set-up your business the right way

Choosing the right company structure is important; it can determine the manner in which you work and your financial liability later down the line.

A limited company is a separate legal entity to you, which means that you are not liable for the debts and commitments it makes. This is not the case when you act as a sole trader, although you can offset your expenses against the income tax you pay, you are the business and will be liable for any debts it accrues.

5. Finding customers

It can be easy to waste precious money on marketing but unless your customers know you exist and why they should be a customer of yours, it will be difficult to make money. Word of mouth recommendations are ideal and social media channels can be inexpensive and relatively effective.

As you get bigger you might decide you want to invest in other forms of marketing such as print or radio advertising. The costs are much higher, and the coverage likely to be wider so make sure you test different approaches as you go.

Time to get started

Starting a business or going it alone can be one hell of a wild ride, with plenty of bumps along the way. But no obstacle is impossible to overcome, despite what you may feel right at the beginning. If you’re well prepared, you’ll be able to tackle each one in your own time.

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