Entrepreneur is not an easy career path, even less so in the ever-changing digital age. While there are new opportunities for start-ups each day, few of these last long enough to culminate into a business. This is because there are several factors that, if not addressed, can considerably hamper progress.
An ever-changing environment
For instance, it is well-known that the world is currently changing faster than ever. Information is being passed around in milliseconds and people’s attention does not stick to one thing for a long time. As such, entrepreneurs have to constantly adapt to the ever-changing environment in which their business is being developed. Demands and market specifics can shift at sudden rates, thus requiring entrepreneurs to be increasingly flexible.
The decrease in new enterprises is also a notable factor. In the 1980s, 15% of the all businesses were start-ups. This percentage has now dropped to 8%. This is due to the sheer amount of competition that entrepreneurs have to deal with. Most of this comes from big companies that are constantly innovating to adapt to changing markets. However, innovation also means that new technology emerges every day. This enables many new businesses to thrive in the digital world.
Looking closer at the digital age itself, various aspects impact on the way in which businesses are being developed. With the rise of the internet, businesses have lots of opportunities for development. Indeed, many entrepreneurs can make use of helpful online platforms to launch and boost their start-up. Social media websites offer highly valued exposure. Many even use the internet as a basis to create their start-up.
For instance, the retail and commerce business has changed so much in the last decades. Online shopping is thriving and payment systems are less and less cash dependant. The internet also gives entrepreneurs access to a more global market.
While all of these advantages are very much real, the downsides of the internet are still present. For instance, establishing an online business is considerably expensive. Developing a website can cost a fair bit of money and so do app-designing and digital marketing. E-businesses also have to rely a lot on advertising, which can be quite pricy. They need to reach their target markets, and unlike brick-and-mortar stores, they do not have a noticeable physical presence.
Another threat that entrepreneurs have to deal with in the digital world is hackers, spammers and conmen. As said above, information is being passed around at phenomenal rates. This is because the information is stored on the internet or on a computer. However, these can be easily hacked into by experienced cybercriminals and the data can be damaged, stolen, sold and/or leaked. A start-up dealing with sensitive information has to install counter-hacking solutions or employ tech specialists to prevent data thefts. In turn, these countermeasures can be quite expensive. These web-associated costs and risks can also dissuade entrepreneurs from launching their business or even lead to bankruptcy.
While the digital world can foster new ideas for entrepreneurs to open start-ups, it also presents challenges. These can be risky, so business launchers have to be well prepared to face and overcome the obstacles. Still, be it now or twenty years ago, getting started with a business has always been challenging and will no doubt still be in the future. The key is to take advantage of the positive changes introduced by the digital world. By adapting and learning from their mistakes, entrepreneurs will eventually tackle the difficulties presented to them.