Start-ups come in a whole range of shapes and sizes, and the precise shapes of the problems they encounter can vary drastically. With that said, there are a few common problems that most businesses will contend with at some point or other. Those that prepare for them tend to do well; those that fail to prepare tend to do poorly.
Online printing company instantprint might be considered a model for new start-ups. In just a few years, their Rotherham-based operation has expanded exponentially. They now employ almost 800 people, they work with the latest technologies, and they’ve adapted quickly to deal with the challenges of Covid-19, offering new products such as face visors as well as their usual products such as posters and banners.
Challenges Faced by Start-Ups
Without the right personnel, no business is going to flourish. Adam and James, the Co-Founders of instantprint, recommended in an interview that new start-ups should “hire people based on attitude, not just skills.”
The reasoning behind this mantra is fairly easy to unpack. Skills can be picked up over the first few months of a job. An attitude, on the other hand, might be trickier to change. Hiring a relatively unskilled applicant with a fantastic attitude, therefore, is likely to pay off than hiring a person with the right skill set and a terrible attitude.
The ability to keep going even when the reward seems distant and there’s no end in sight is one that’s prized by both entrepreneurs and marathon runners. Adam says, “Keep plugging away is definitely a great piece of advice.” It’s one that every entrepreneur will need to follow if they’re to be a success in the long-term.
Time is among the most precious resources you have available to you. You have a finite amount of it, and thus it’s crucial that you don’t squander it. Adam and James relate a story in which they spent several weeks fitting a new kitchen into a building. The aim of the exercise was to minimise costs, but they look back on it with a touch of regret.
“In hindsight, we’d have probably gotten a much better return if we’d spent that time on the business and got someone in who was much better at building a kitchen to do that,” says Adam.
“Yeah, bring people in so you can spend your time working on the business, not in it,” agrees James.
You might also minimise distractions by spending a little bit of time every month auditing the time you spent. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter during work hours, then the chances are that you’re not working optimally. Find the digital wellbeing settings on your phone and get to know them. You might also install apps that track the time you spend and generate reports for you.