It’s estimated that nine out of ten startups will fail in their first year of business. Despite failure being so common we keep pushing on. So what is it that’s so enticing about launching a startup?

Truthfully everyone has different reasons. Some have unwavering passion for their specific product. Others simply like to innovate and some love to make money. Regardless your reason you still have the same challenges ahead.

Here are four obstacles every startup must overcome:

Finding Your Niche

As you build your suite of products and services it’s important to build for a specific niche. If you try to build for everyone you’ll end up failing to gain market share. Before you’ve launched this is a bit of a guessing game but it’s important to always ask the right questions. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself and the team:

  • What are our areas of expertise? Where do we have most experience?
    • Is this area something our team is naturally passionate about or interested in?
  • What kind of customers will we be targeting?
  • Are there any emerging trends or industry breakthroughs we can capitalize on?

Odds are you won’t nail this down on the first try but that’s okay. The important part is that you focus on a single niche then test and improve.

Marketing Your Brand

Every single company has a unique identity. Your brand is what truly separates you from the rest of the millions of other businesses out there. The biggest issue for branding and startups is the ability to market it.

Marketing is tough because there are so many potential channels to choose from. There’s social media, content marketing, SEO, email, public relations, the list goes on and on.

The best way to get started is to look at your customers. Which channels are you most likely to engage them with. For example if you’re in the action sports industry you may want to use channels like Instagram and Youtube. Use these mediums to push content out to your customers. The more you know about your customer the better.

Time Management

As a startup founder you can never seem to have enough time. Time management will forever be an obstacle amongst startups (and even large companies). The ability to properly manage your time and delegate tasks to others is huge.

The golden rule here is to work smart and not hard. If you’re tasked with something that you know one of your colleagues is more fit for you need to delegate right away. Use scheduling and calendar tools to help you keep your weeks organized and don’t waste time booking unnecessary meetings.


Strong leadership is key for your startup’s success. It’s important to identify whomever is going to lead the charge from day one. Your leader needs to be steadfast and confident in their decisions and team. Great leaders understand others and have a high emotional intelligence. They need to be sharp decision makers and most of all team builders.

If you decide to take on the role as the leader make sure it’s something you’re willing to stand behind through thick and thin. There will be many downs throughout your journey, strong leaders are the ones who are able to come out of slumps stronger than they were before.

Final Thoughts

There are many obstacles in startups. The four listed above are only a small set of what you’re actually going to face. That said make sure you pay close attention to those that have tried before you. The more you know the better off you’ll be!