Key challenges facing startups in 2023 and what needs to be done to overcome them
“Feel the fear, and do it anyway,” writes Khangal Nergui, Founder and CEO of Storepay
I have been an entrepreneur for over twelve years, and I consider myself to be successful. This belief is not solely premised on the accomplishments achieved by my business but instead is placed on the cumulative value of the lessons I have learned along the way. I have had my fair share of failures in business. Prior to founding Storepay, a fintech company that offers Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions, I had two other businesses which had ended in failure. Choosing to learn from the mistakes I made in the past, instead of dwelling and allowing the feeling of failure to consume me, has made me a robust and adaptable businessman contributing to the significant success of my company today.
Recognising and accepting that making mistakes is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur can help you overcome any challenges more efficiently and effectively. Fearing failure is normal. In 2020, 48.3 percent of entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom, similar to their counterparts in the United States and Australia, expressed a fear of failure, according to recent Statista data. Undoubtedly, a failure in business is complex, and is experienced and interpreted differently depending on the individual, what may seem like a total failure to one person, may be a minor setback for another. Failure has strong roots in insecurity and doubt, and dealing with these emotions is crucial in determining whether you manage this anxiety of falling short of your goal either productively or destructively. With that said, from my own experience, there are several ways to better ensure you are equipped to deal with issues that could lead to potential failures in your business’ future.
Master your finances
Keeping track of your business expenditures allows you to stay on top of both positive and negative trends affecting revenue. Instead of attempting something new without first determining how big of an impact it would have on cash flow over time, tracking will enable you to make better-informed judgments regarding any future spending plans based on what you know has worked previously. I also think it is significant to take a vested interest in this aspect of the business. When I first founded Storepay, I ensured that I spent the time establishing I had a solid understanding of financial management that would enable me to make smart financial decisions. I ensured that I was hands-on when it came to managing cash flow, raising capital, and creating and implementing a sustainable business model. I do believe that this has been one of the most important aspects of growing Storepay.
Getting distracted and falling behind schedule can have serious ramifications on both your enterprise and your relationships with customers and business partners. I try to manage my time as efficiently as possible, ensuring that I carve out some time in my busy schedule to enjoy my own interests, away from the business, and look after my mental wellbeing. Allowing myself this time means that when I am in work mode I am focused and alert and fully present. The benefits of capitalising on the time I have available to me were first made apparent when I was studying in Australia. While studying for my master’s degree at the Queensland University of Technology, I also had a part-time job driving a delivery truck. My day would begin at 5 am delivering goods, after which I would attend my university lectures,
and end the day with a gym session in the evening. I found that organising my day into work, education, and time spent doing something I enjoyed kept me sharp.
To reiterate, failure to some degree is universal in the entrepreneurial experience. But this fear, however, shouldn’t stop you from starting. Take the plunge with your business. From my own experience, I have learned the most from doing and trying new things. Every day is a day to learn in business, but you have to be moving, never stagnant and waiting.
Learn how to keep a cool head
Nurturing a strong mental resilience has been crucial in helping grow and develop Storepay. When I meet a challenge I don’t panic, instead, I try to approach it with a cool-head and a willingness to solve the problem with an open mind. That’s not to say that I don’t have tough days, of course, I do, but I try to refocus and not let them affect my day as a whole. Accepting that there are bad days, too, helps to normalise the uncomfortable and challenging moments and put things in perspective helping me to avoid catastrophizing.
Implementing these few tips can help you guide your business through bigger challenges that you might face. So far, 2023 has been a tumultuous time for many businesses given the geopolitical dilemmas and the seemingly worsening cost of living crisis. Hiring and retaining top talent has been incredibly challenging for startups in a post-pandemic world. Many people’s preferences for where and how they work have changed, with larger, more established companies able to offer more flexible working conditions than startups.
Startups are likely to face new regulations and compliance requirements which can prove to be costly and time-consuming to implement. As a business that has a native crypto token, Storepay will need to be more strategic in this regard as crypto space regulations remain unclear in a lot of markets. In fact, KPMG has identified payments and crypto as being amongst some of the ten key regulatory challenges of 2023. The report published by KPMG has suggested that the use of cryptocurrency, digital assets, and other forms of payment is growing, and swifter payment networks are becoming more widely accepted. Knowing this, and keeping abreast of any developments in this area is pivotal in keeping Storepay strong. All entrepreneurs, no matter their niche, should spend time keeping up to date on any emerging regulatory or compliance requirements to ensure that their business runs as smoothly as possible.
Staying on top of any potential issues that could result in your business deviating off track is paramount to being a successful entrepreneur. In the instance of Storepay, our next step is to expand into new markets. We have been researching and preparing to make sure this will be as prosperous as possible. I have put a lot of hours into conducting market research, understanding local legal systems, and appreciating cultural differences in an attempt to give our expansion in a new market the best start possible. From our research, we know that the BNPL payment service is a useful tool in helping lower-income families to tackle the prevailing cost of living crisis.
Daily, I am motivated by the idea of offering our BNPL solutions worldwide and becoming the first-ever Mongolian unicorn. All of the lessons I have learned throughout my entrepreneurial journey, whether successes or failures, have prepared me for where I need to be right now.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
About the author:
Khangal Nergui is the founder and CEO of Storepay. Khangal grew up in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. He holds a Bachelor’s Degrees from the National University of Mongolia as well as a further Bachelor’s degree from the Law Enforcement University of Mongolia. He also holds a Master’s in International Business from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia.
A serial entrepreneur, Khangal has over 12 years of experience in creating innovative businesses. After studying in Australia and returning to Mongolia, he founded Storepay in 2019 which quickly became the leading BNPL company in Mongolia.