How to overcome the most common challenges of a start up

Young business entrepreneur woman working at home while having breakfast, World Productivity DayBridget O’Keefe is the founder of celebrity hot spot and Fulham’s hottest blow-dry and beauty bar, Blush + Blow.

In this piece, Bridget looks at how to overcome the most common challenges that crop up when building a start-up.


This is always going to be the area of any customer facing business that is the most important to get right from the start. I haven’t always hired the right fit for Blush + Blow but one of the best pieces of advice I have been given was to be slow to hire and quick to fire. As soon as a staff member isn’t working out, don’t flog a dead horse! Once you know you have a gem, nurture them and listen!


This is easily the reason why so many start ups fail. Its not because the business isn’t a great idea or even that there isn’t demand, its simply that there isn’t enough cashflow to sustain the business in the start up phase. The only way to overcome this is to plan well and plan very far ahead in advance. A cashflow forecast is your biggest ally in the first few years and will stop you from bumping your head when it comes to VAT payments etc!

Learn to listen

When you have an idea, one that you think is great, it can be very hard to have to hear why other people don’t agree. Listening to another point of view will open your thinking and hopefully give you better and more open minded ideas.

Don’t fall in love with an idea

Once you think you know how you are going to achieve what you want for your business, be willing to pivot, side step or even back track. If you become too fixated on an idea of how things should be, you might end up bankrupting yourself trying to make what you think will work, work! If something isn’t a success after a fair chance, let it go!

Launching a business is like driving a car

When you are in the driving seat, literally and at the helm of a business, there are things you should be doing habitually. Obviously keep your eyes on the road (or your goals). Make sure you frequently check your side mirrors for anyone about to overtake! Continuously check your blind spot and know that you often have to rely on other people to see what you can’t, often they are your passengers or staff! Obey the rules of the road, the last thing you want is a speeding fine or equivalent from HMRC. Make sure you aren’t ever taken advantage of and seize the moment when it arises or you might find yourself waiting for a chance to make a right turn for another while!

Read this next…

woman sat on a chair in the middle of the room, anxierty, mental healthThe mental health struggles of starting up and running your own business

Starting and running your own business can be incredibly freeing and rewarding, and can be one of the most transformational journeys you ever embark upon. But like anything in life, the good always comes with some bad, and it’s important that the emotional turbulence that entrepreneurship can evoke isn’t overlooked. Conversations around mental health has certainly improved over the years, but it can still be considered ‘taboo’ in business.

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