Entrepreneurs are good at spotting opportunities or turning challenges into opportunities. Due to the contextual nature of entrepreneurship and the drive of the entrepreneur, it is often difficult to assess whether or why one person succeeds and the other doesn't. Understanding theory and applying theory are two very different concepts. Foresight and an ability to keep going when others would have given up is an essential characteristic in entrepreneurship.
Every entrepreneur can learn to write, or at least to recognize, a good business plan and to know the rules regarding target market, budgetary constraints, advertising, etc. The danger with this is that when the theory is learnt, it is non-specific and over-generalizing makes it difficult for any entrepreneur to manage challenges as they arise.
Some of the pitfalls which may and do impact many entrepreneurs are:
- managing the budget
- recognizing and capitalizing on opportunities by being proactive rather than reactive
- competition and how to manage and minimize it
- maintaining a competitive edge wen all the "newness" has dies down
- lack of commitment from employees
- personality clashes - especially when the business has two (or more) competitive entrepreneurs.
- getting too large too soon without the necessary experience or resources to manage the growth
- having sufficient time to dedicate to business and family because entrepreneurs' time is not necessarily their own.
An example dilemma is this one. Entrepreneurs are essentially relationship-driven. The social aspect of good entrepreneurship cannot be overlooked. Networking is a essential as marketing and advertising are the key to success and continued success.
In a (small) service-oriented business, word-of-mouth only gets you so far and an ability to market yourself will ensure new business on an ongoing basis. Entrepreneurs can be shy people- it may sound like an anomaly as they are sociable and friendly- and as such, marketing and advertising become substitutes for word-of-mouth. This can be a real dilemma and, if this is the problem, the entrepreneur needs to surround him or herself with enterprising people who will drive this aspect of the business forward.
Any dilemma faced by an entrepreneur is just another opportunity to rethink, remodel or refocus and find strategies to manage better.