Launching a startup can be one of the most exciting moments in your career. You’re putting all your hopes and dreams out there, and banking on them becoming a success. And for all the planning that you think you’ve done, there are no guarantees, and it’s more than likely that you’ll face a variety of challenges. Rather than try to prevent these from happening, it’s a good idea to instead prepare yourself for how you will deal with them.

Here’s a look at four common challenges that startups face so you can be better prepared to handle the rocky road.

A Lack of Funding

If you were to poll several startups and ask what their biggest challenges are, you can bet that funding would show up on their lists. Funding issues can range from a lack of startup capital to low cash flow. Perhaps you’ve got enough to invest in the business to get it off the ground, but those first couple of years can be very difficult to keep things going and have enough positive cash flow.

This is exactly why you can’t be too careful when it comes to funding. A solid idea of how you plan to finance the business initially and moving forward should be included in your business plan. There may come a point where you need to also take steps to increase cash flow.

Competition Can Be Fierce

And then there is the competition, which can be fierce, to say the least. Even if your industry isn’t crowded, there will still be other businesses offering similar products and services that you need to compete with. If your first inclination is to lower prices, you’ll quickly find that won’t be good enough. Being competitive requires all kinds of steps and creative solutions.

Solutions can include offering a customer loyalty program, expanding your product line, offering innovative products, improving marketing techniques, bringing in brand ambassadors, forming key partnerships and so much more.

Building a Loyal Customer Base

It’s normal for you to prioritise finding new customers, but don’t forget to also focus on building customer loyalty. Most people are well aware that it costs more money to attract new customers than to retain current ones. You want to create the kind of atmosphere where customers leave happy and satisfied, with plans of returning and making another purchase. Your loyal customers are the ones you can draw on in tough times. A great tip is to look into creating a customer loyalty program.

Making the Mistake of Not Asking for Help

You may also be under the impression that you know everything there is to know about your industry, products and services. That’s a big mistake to make, as no one knows everything. Entrepreneurs should always be open to learning experiences, networking, and expanding upon their current skillset. You can even look at working with a business accelerator, which you can read about here: You can walk away better informed and better equipped to handle challenges.

There’s no getting around it; challenges will happen with startups, but rather than wallow in the moment, it’s about rising to the occasion and knowing how to respond.