Launching a business and being your own boss for the first time in your life is extremely challenging. While the whole process may also be very exciting, it is guaranteed to be overwhelming at times too. Knowing what lies ahead can help ease any nerves you might be feeling about starting your own business.
Jeremy D. Rackley of Brooklyn, New York, is an entrepreneur himself and founded his own marketing firm, JC Marketing. Through this experience, he has learned what the main challenges of launching a business are and provides some insight into them below.
The First Year Will Be Difficult
According to Jeremy D. Rackley of Brooklyn, New York, you will be much better off if you go into the first year knowing it will be difficult. Any major life transition takes time to adjust to, but growing a business in the first year is an especially difficult task. Getting used to life as an entrepreneur and the stress and demands that come with the job is not going to be easy. However, if you can make it through the first year, it will get easier from there. In order to prepare for the difficult year ahead of you, talk to your loved ones. Let them know that you will need their support and that you also may not be available for social gatherings quite as much as in the past. In addition, get into the habit of prioritizing self-care, whether that takes the form of going jogging every morning, meditating before bed each night, or getting a good night’s sleep. It’s easy to let your personal life fall by the wayside in this first year as an entrepreneur, but in order to be the best business person you can be, taking care of your body and mind will be critical.
Building Your Team
Building your team is extremely important, but it can be hard, especially for someone that’s never run or managed a team before. You might be inclined to hire your close personal friends, but this would be a mistake. Jeremy D. Rackley claims that when hiring employees for a start-up, you should consider not only their skill set, but also how much they will cost the business, whether they fit with the culture of your start-up, and whether they will work well with the rest of your team. In such a small, competitive environment, you need to make sure you’re hiring people who will not only succeed but thrive. Further, when it comes to building a team around you, it is vital that you are able to acknowledge your own strengths and weaknesses. For example, when Jeremy D. Rackley founded JC Marketing and was in the process of growing his team, he first took some time to think about where his expertise lies, and where it might be lacking. While he is a skilled UX designer, he is not the strongest at writing or content creation. Thus, he knew he needed to hire a skilled writer, and that is why he eventually hired Cinthya Garza Martinez. Overall, being able to acknowledge your own shortcomings will help you figure out which types of roles you most need to fill on your team. If you already know you’re incredible at marketing, then focus on hiring for other roles, such as a CFO to handle the finances or a software engineer to handle the tech components of the business.
Jeremy D. Rackley on Finding and Retaining Customers
Generating leads, converting those leads, and then retaining them as a customer is a necessary process if you wish for your business to succeed. However, Jeremy D. Rackley claims it’s one of the hardest, especially at the beginning. When your business is still brand new, you’re going to need to try several different strategies to try and appeal to your target demographic. This can include everything from partnering with Instagram influencers to offering a significant discount on your products. Ultimately, you will need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and motivate potential customers to take a leap of faith in trying your product or service. Once people have started buying your product or service, do everything in your power to retain them as a customer and use them to attract new customers. Make sure your customer service is top-notch, offer them a discount should they buy your product or service again, and incentivize them to leave a review that will inspire others to buy your product or service. Overall, keeping the customer happy is key, shares Jeremy D. Rackley. However, Rackley does note that learning the difference between a good customer and a bad customer is also important. Bad customers are those who are looking to exploit companies by finding any small loophole they can. Conversely, a good customer will be respectful and understanding and give a company a chance to right their wrong should an issue arise.
Keeping Up with Trends
Finally, Jeremy D. Rackley of JC Marketing claims that another challenge all business owners have to overcome is keeping up to date on the latest trends. Trends are constantly changing and in order for your business to stay relevant, you need to change with them. Having a business plan that can be adapted based on any changes to the market, your target demographic, or the industry at large is essential. Keeping up to date with trends in your industry or sector, as well as honing your ability to spot new trends before they start is a very important skill to have if you want your business to stand the test of time.