7 Biggest Challenges That Small Businesses Face

Running a small business is anything but small! Growing businesses face a range of challenges. As a business grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions – what worked a year ago might not be the best approach now. The first thing to do is to understand that problems are an everyday part of every business and then face each problem with determination and a proper solution.

Here are some of the biggest challenges that small businesses need to overcome:

  • Finding talented people – The biggest problem is see for small business today is in hiring employees that can truly help your business grow. It’s difficult to compete with the larger businesses for the same talent when you have such limited funds. You need to find more creative ways to tap into the talents you need. Give them a sense of ‘wanting’ to build and grow with you. Research what employees want other than the pay check! You can’t compete with money and that’s a challenge.
  • Cash flow issues – Money problems in their various forms are top of most lists of company woes, and for small businesses the major worries are clients stalling payments, unexpected outgoings, and outstanding bills that won’t wait to be paid. You can take help of apps to automate bill payments etc. Online invoices and reminders is a powerful way to persuade reluctant clients to pay money.
  • Finding and retaining customers – Research your existing customers and analyze them based on their characteristics – highest volume of sales, low credits, number of repeat orders, associated costs etc. This will give you a clear idea about where to focus your energies. To understand what customers want, you can ask for feedback from current best clients.
  • Staying current – Small business owners can be so busy they forget to keep up with what’s current in their sector. It takes so much time just to keep on top of the work. When you’re scheduling your week, don’t forget to allocate time to track competitors and undertake awareness-raising activities such as reading blog posts.
  • Lack of marketing knowledge – When you start your own business, you don’t get a handbook explaining the ins and outs of marketing. While there are plenty of resources to help small businesses learn these skills, it’s hard to find the time to filter out workable marketing tips and techniques. You can hire a marketing company to handle your workflow. If you really don’t have the time to market your business, it’s likely worth the investment to make sure someone else is marketing it for you.
  • Lack of direction and planning – This problem prevails because of not creating a thorough and detailed business plan. Many young entrepreneurs are so excited about setting up their very own business that they fail to prepare a proper business plan. It helps in focusing on the goal and mission of the business. It determines the financial situation of the business, the roadmap to follow, market research and analysis of the competition. A business plan is basically an investment to your business.
  • Trying to do it alone – Coping with everything alone is also one of the most common mistake new business owners make. They believe that they can manage everything and don’t need any advice or help form anyone. Initially, they do seem to be successful in this strategy as the cost is low since they handle everything. However, as the work starts growing gradually, the workload takes a toll on the new entrepreneur. Hiring two to three employees is more beneficial for a start-up business. It is better to pay a small amount to your workers than lose double the amount in the future.

The key for small business owners is to recognise these challenges and take counter measures accordingly. Cutting overheads in every way may seem like the only right thing to do, but “attack” is also the best form of defence. Small business owners should constantly look for opportunities and take their advantage in timely manner.


How To Make Your Small IT Business Grow Big?

Growing IT start-up is a tough nut to crack. Information technology seems to be everywhere, but it is in a constant state of change and opportunity. So, to grow your business successfully, entrepreneurs need to predict demand and future trends and also means to supply.

Let’s take a close look at the strategies, which will help you grow your tech start-up.

  • Understand the market – Some countries or regions are more ready to adopt IT services than the other. You need to study the markets, in which you are operating your business to tap the opportunities.
  • Focus on your niche – Even if there are big companies providing all sorts of IT services, there will always be demand for small, affordable technology services. If you are involved in offering services like developing prototypes, providing outsourced manufacturing and logistics etc. you are likely to excel.
  • Take a different path – Majority of technology start-up companies follow the current hot trend. It’s not necessarily a wrong strategy. But, it means that you are repeating what hundreds of others are doing. Instead, do what no one else is doing. It’s easier said than done. But if you study the technology trends well, you will develop the vision of upcoming developments in high-tech field.
  • Accept help – Because of the constant demands that come with maintaining and developing an IT infrastructure, there will always be assistance available to IT start-ups. This can come from different sources – from private venture capital to Governments to CIOs of big companies. Accept it!
  • Make your customers happy – For IT start-up companies, the most important aspect is the way in which you plan and execute your service to the customer, rather than simply focusing on product delivery. Because, ultimately, that’s what most customers are looking for – a service that meets their specific needs. If you can successfully design such a service, you may well have a competitive advantage over other IT start-ups that lack such vision.

If you believe you have an innovative idea to start your own IT startup business, please register on TheGongzuo.com and get advice from our mentors to build your dream startup.

Hottest Tech Start-ups in the US

Majority of the tech start-ups fail because the products or services that they offer do not create any long term value to their customers. Most don’t create any value at all. Whereas, the start-ups that have real potential for growth are those that are creating long term (20 years+) value for its clients. Most of those start-ups are the ones that are revolutionizing legacy industries like: banking, medicine, telecommunication and making it easier, cheaper and quicker.

Considering the marketable ideas that tech start-ups have brought forward, here’s the list of hottest tech start-ups for this year:

Product Hunt – With more than a billion websites now crowding the interwebs, discovering new products is a massive challenge. Product Hunt is a wildly popular online tastemaking hub that showcases the latest gadgets, games, podcasts and books. To date, Product Hunt has raised an estimated $7.1 million in venture capital.

DoorDash – It is the on-demand food delivery app that brings fresh food from local restaurants to customers in 250-plus cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. It has already raised $60 million through investments.

Boxed – An ecommerce start-up that lets consumers shop from their smartphones and laptops for groceries and other household items in bulk. Started by four friends, the young company now has a total headcount of 100 and a total investment of approximately $132 million.

Luxe Valet – It is a smartphone app for valet-parking. For an hourly rate (which varies by location), Luxe’s valets will park your car in the company’s lots. For additional fees, they can also wash your ride, put gas in it and change the oil.

Medium – When it started, “Medium” looked like only a blogging platform. But then, everyone – amateurs, marketers, politicians and journalists are welcome to publish written content of all kinds on the popular site. Medium was co-founded by former Twitter CEO. So far, company has raised $82 million in venture capital.

ClassPass – People can book fitness classes through its app-based gym membership platform. This start-up now employs some 300 people and connects a growing base of customers with exercise classes at some 3,000 boutique gyms and participating studios in 30-plus cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. It has $84 million in venture capital.

Beepi – It’s an app to buy and sell used cars. The company is expanding steadily at a     20 per cent annual rate. It is the first company to sell cars 100 per cent online. So far, it has secured $149 million in investments.

Shyp – It is an on-demand shipping app that enables people to order a courier who will cart any item off to one of its warehouses. From there, goods are professionally packed and shipped off to their destinations. Shyp tied up a partnership with eBay, debuted several new features and brushed up its branding. Available at first in San Francisco and New York City, it also extended its package pickup reach to Los Angeles and Chicago.

Acorns – The goal of Acorns is to make investing less tedious and intimidating through automation. The smartphone app automatically invests users’ leftover change from routine credit and debit card purchases in exchange-traded funds. Acorns serve some 650,000 registered users who had opened approximately 300,000 investment accounts. Its latest funding round brings total of $32 million in venture capital.

If you think, you have a bright idea that can be turned into profitable business, TheGongzuo team is looking forward to take you ahead with your dream. We have advisors to guide you along the way; we will fund your creative idea and help you launch your business. Register today at TheGongzuo to turn your dream into reality

How to Start Tech Business?

With so many success stories of tech giants, budding entrepreneurs dream of creating another Google or Facebook. Before taking the leap, they should follow these suggestions:

  • Have adequate knowledge – Starting a fast-growing tech business is incredibly challenging, and requires a variety of skills. The time you take for studying, allows you to explore your talents and find the one thing you really excel at. Don’t believe the myth of the college dropout who becomes successful entrepreneur. Building up a company, leading a team and sustaining a highly successful international business is hard work and requires a lot of knowledge.
  • Meet like-minded people – Spending time with ambitious and like-minded people will shape your actions. If you engage with friends or acquaintances who are developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and work for different kinds of start-ups, their experiences and knowledge will give you proper direction towards your goal. Surround yourself with mentors who are founders, CEOs, industry leaders to learn more about trends and important topics.
  • Select right co-founders – For starting an IT company, you more than likely need a developer, a user interface/visual designer, one marketing person, and a finance person. With this kind of team, you can start your business.
  • Pick the right location – Depending on your new business, location does matter. If you are an Internet/software business, take care you pick a location that helps you to start. San Francisco is the number one choice for techies, but the costs of living are incredibly high and you will compete with the world’s most successful tech businesses for talent.
  • Analyse your ideas carefully – Challenge every single idea with your team to the extreme. Be aware that most ideas that seem great in the first place, are either already taken or not so great once you’ve challenged them further. Finding best idea is about identifying the problems, and finding clever ways to fix them.
  • Follow the trends – In technology, you have follow the trends, whether it is cloud or software-as-a-service. You want to create something that stays and adds value to people’s lives, both your customers and your employees.
  • Prepare yourself to fail – Starting a tech business is hard. You will experience unbelievable lows, including running out of money, or seeing important people leaving or shutting down a business you worked so hard for. If you build a software product, you need to be prepared for downtimes or bugs.
  • Focus on learning, not on earning – While it’s critical to become deeply skilled in one area of the business, the required skill-set to start and run a company is much more varied. Starting a tech business requires a strong sense for products, timing, trends and markets, which you can only acquire through experience.
  • Find investors – When everything is in place, the next crucial task is to find the financers to fund your venture. You can reach out individual investors through your social contacts or approach banks. Before setting up meetings with them, you must be ready with your business plan to convince them how their money put in your business has potential to multiply.

If you are thinking on the lines of starting up your own IT company, register on TheGongzuo.com where you will get support from the mentors, advisors and investors to launch your business.

How to Raise $100,000 for Your Start-up Business?

Having an idea for a business is only a first step in the process. To turn the idea from a dream into a successful business venture, it requires time, energy, and of course, money. The main question most aspiring entrepreneurs face is “how much money exactly do I need?”

According to the data published by census bureau, baseline figures would be around $100,000. Entrepreneurs of all types, regardless of industry are more likely to be successful if they have adequate start-up funding.

Raising $100,000 might seem like a mountain to climb when you are just starting in the early days of your business, but it need not be that hard. Self-finance and banks are not the only options available to you. There are a few other ways to get going.

Founders must research the investor market, figure out which segments to focus on, reach out to the relevant contacts, and present a compelling solution. You can maximize your chances of fundraising success by following these four steps:

  • Research – Within the IT domain, there are specialists in hardware vs. software, and further diverse areas within the software space. Some organizations only consider investing in early-stage companies (angel or seed), whereas others will filter for start-ups. Some investors may invest in 100 different companies, while the others may select only 10 and invest their funds. Considering these factors, you can evaluate the investors and have clarity on which organizations may have interest in your start-up.
  • Analyze – Investors are long-term partners, and in order to develop healthy relationship, the interest needs to be common. Assessing various other factors such as their connections, experience in your niche field etc. is a great way to narrow down your choices.
  • Reach out – When you are ready with a shortlist of potential investors, convince them to meet you. Most investors are more likely to take a meeting with a founder if they have been referred by a trusted contact. So, networking is crucial to get favourable response from your target investors.
  • Sell your business idea – You can maximize your chances of fundraising success by convincing investors that your start-up offers a high score. You can reinforce your idea by presenting them with your financial model and the assumptions underlying your growth estimates.

The other ways of raising funds include bank loans, venture capital, help from friends and family, personal finances such as credit cards and home equity etc.

If you have a great business idea and looking for an investor to fund your start-up project, register on TheGongzuo.com. We will introduce you to the investors who would be interested in funding your dream!

Profitable Businesses Ideas – You Can Start On Your Own

Beyond every reasonable doubt, the advancement we are enjoying in our world today can be attributed to the advancement of technology. Technology has indeed given leverage to all aspects of the human endeavor. The technology industry is so wide and vibrant and there is still room large enough for those who are interested in the industry to come in and create their own impact. There are fantastic business ideas in this industry that an entrepreneur can successfully start and with time earn millions from.

Here are the business ideas in technology field that an entrepreneur who is interested in starting a business can choose from:

  • Call centers – Designing, building and maintaining call centers is a business in the info tech industry that is profitable and thriving going by the numbers of call centers that are established in the United States. For this, you would need some IT certifications and trainings before you can successfully run this type of business. The business involves call center software applications development and installation, and hardware installation as well.
  • Sale and servicing of IT equipment and machines – IT gadgets like servers, computers, fax machines, and routers et al are all machines that once in a while need to be serviced in order to enable them perform effectively and efficiently. Thus, if you have related info tech training, then you should consider going into the sale and services of IT equipment and machines. All you need to do is to be aggressive in marketing your services especially to corporate organizations and SMEs.
  • Online library – You can start your own online library (e – library) and attract membership from different parts of the world. People pay registering fees and of course membership fees to make use of online libraries. If you looking towards starting a business in the info tech industry, then starting a well – equipped e – library is one of your options.
  • Manufacturing computer/cell phone accessories – This is another thriving and profitable business in IT world. There is a large market for computer accessories such as laptop batteries, HDI cables, webcams, external memory drives and cell phone accessories such as earphones, batteries, chargers, Bluetooth devices etc. So, if you are looking into starting a business in tech industry, then this is one of your options.
  • Developing and selling software applications – In IT arena, one of your options is to start developing and selling software applications; there is a large market for software applications. There are several smart-phone apps that are very useful for our day to day activities. With the help of web developers or smartphone app developers, your business can get rolling.
  • Web designing services – Another thriving and profitable info tech related business that an entrepreneur can start is to offer web designing services. Statistics has it that there are well over 350 million active website on the internet and it is not enough to meet the demand of people visiting the internet; there are still pretty much to learn from the internet hence people are opening new websites on a regular basis.
  • Blogging – It is safe to classify blogging under info tech industry simply because the internet is the major tool required to blog; blogging is all about educating or passing information to people via an internet portal. Blogging is one of the means several people all over the world are making money from the internet. Blogging is all about creating usefully and perhaps educative content for a targeted audience on the internet.
  • Cloud computing – Cloud computing place emphasis on web-based applications.  It involves storing information in and retrieving it from remote but secure web-based servers, thereby allowing users to access information on the go without necessarily having to be with their office computers. There are huge profit opportunities for businesses that offer cloud-computing services.
  • E-commerce – More people are now enjoying the convenience of buying things they need over the internet and having them delivered at their doorsteps—without leaving the comfort of their homes. If you have what it takes to start your own e-commerce store, then you should consider starting as soon as possible.
  • 3D printing – With 3D printers, it’s possible to print the 3D model of an object from plastic, metal, or any other material. And not only can you see the output, but you will be able to touch it. Yes, that’s the next big thing in the print industry.
  1. If you think, you have a bright idea that can be turned into profitable business, TheGongzuo team is looking forward to take you ahead with your dream. We have advisors to guide you along the way; we will fund your creative idea and help you launch your business. Register today at TheGongzuo to turn your dream into reality.