As a Founder, what has been the most challenging part of your business in the initial stage?

Hemant Warier
12 replies
Founders are often juggernauts, wearing many hats and taking on a variety of challenges as they work to get their business off the ground. But what was the most challenging part of your business as a founder in the initial stage?


Vedran Rasic
Joggling between: Product, Marketing, Sales, Customer XP, People Mng, Market Research. But that was also the fun part :) You definitely can't have it all. And you have to make some (hard) choices. For me, it was always which cons can I live with and which pros will allow me the most leverage. To conclude: - Growth is not hard. - Production is not hard. Having clarity of the vision, getting to team alignment and focus is hard, because you have limited resources, limited time, and there's always something NEW to try. 👋
Hemant Warier
@vedranrasic I agree with you. It's hard to stay focused and grow your company when there are so many things pulling you in different directions. Trying to grow your company can be a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of work. For us at Notesally, getting early adopters for our product was difficult, but we tried a few different strategies that helped us get some traction. Our launch on Product Hunt was successful and gave us some leads, but now our biggest challenge is user adoption and retention. We'll need to continue trying different tactics to see what works best for us.
Maciej Cupial
Planning and working on the core things. Wrong planing can be very expensive.
Hemant Warier
@maciej_cupial True! Focusing on the wrong things can be disastrous for a company. For us at Notesally. we didn’t need paid promotions in the beginning, but we did them anyway. We targeted LinkedIn and Capterra to get our first paid user, but it didn’t help. People would sign up but never use the product again. So instead, we focused on getting early adopters through Product Hunt, Twitter, and the Indie Hackers community by talking to people directly. And now what we see is that we have grown more organically than with paid marketing.
Mike McMinn
Being able to really think critically, it's a skill that I've mastered over time. This allows you to prioritize what should be worked on and more importantly when. Coming from an enterprise project management background, it was very easy to get caught up in polishing one area that was just not needed for a startup. Get the product out there and test market fit first, then you can polish it later. Solve the problem first then make it look good. I found this a real challenge in the early days of now we are supporting 200K users daily.
Hemant Warier
@mike_mcminn True. It's difficult to know what to work on first when you're starting a new company. Notesally is a great product, but we didn’t do enough research before starting development. We should have looked into whether or not a product like this is needed, and what features we could add. Once we had an idea, we found a competitor in the same domain that had raised several rounds of funding. We thought they have a user base, so our idea had been validated. We began developing our product without first understanding what our audience wanted or needed. We developed one feature and aggressively promoted it, without even talking to any potential customers. We wasted one year around this. Now finally after some organic growth after Product Hunt Launch, we are talking to people who are helping us develop the right features. Btw congratulations on 200K users!
Qudsia Ali
Management of finances. Money breeds more money. Keep in mind that when income rises, so will spending.
Hemant Warier
@qudsia_ali Very true! It's hard to overestimate the importance of a strong financial foundation for any business. When income is sporadic, it can be tough to stay on top of things and make sure your spending doesn't outpace your profits. We are fully bootstrapped so we understand it.
Grace Storkle
Hello. I am a small business owner. In order not to get into trouble, I used the services of a business consultant . I distributed important work responsibilities and hired a corporate secretary to perform routine tasks. And you can ask professionals for advice too. They ask a small fee for analyzing your business and make a plan to improve revenue and another points.
Jessi Mitchell
Hey! Interesting question. As for me, it was a hard decision to become self-employed. I have been used to working in the office and having a boss, but I understood that I should change my life. Of course, I have started to look at what I can do for myself and the main - do not spend all day on work. Accidentally I found . Now I have enough time for myself and for work. Maybe it will be interesting for you too!