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By Dan Boudreau
Entrepreneurs from different parts of the world face different challenges depending on where they are located and what type of business they are in. A few days ago, while getting last-minute tweaks done on my manuscript, I had a brief chat online with a freelance formatter from Serbia. She is concerned that a current effort by her government to tax freelancers will put her out of business. She was adamantly against my suggestion that she raise her prices to cover the taxes because she believes that her customers would not pay more. The formatting service is her livelihood and that is a formidable problem for her today.
Here in northern British Columbia, business is hot and cold as small business owners face various pandemic-related challenges. Some, like those involved in home improvements, are swamped with orders because every house-bound homeowner is suddenly inspired to conquer a backlog of projects. Here at home, we have converted a spare room to a home gymnasium; it took some sleuthing and a bit of luck to get the needed equipment because, with the closing of local public gyms, it seems that many others had the same idea. So, while the local gym equipment retailer was so swamped with backorders that he couldn’t help and asked that we call back in a couple months. A few blocks away, the hairdresser’s shop was closed and restaurants were on and off.
There are other businesses in our lives that are affected by the pandemic. We have not worked with our personal trainer for a full year now and counting. We have stopped going out to buy all but essential services, pretty much down to food and meds. Rule one now is, if it can be shipped to our doorstep, is it worth the risk of going out to buy it? I’m in the high-risk category and the answer is usually ‘no’. Even with the vaccines on the horizon, there is still uncertainty and risk. It will be some time before we feel comfortable wandering in and out of shops.
All businesses face challenges. Entrepreneurs overcome adverse conditions and risk to create solutions for their customers, and on the good days, earn a bit of profit for their efforts. There are always problems to solve, risks to be taken, and opportunities to explore.
Entrepreneurs, what business are you in, where are you located, and what is the top challenge for your business today?
The attached drawing is one of a few illustrations done by Fiverr freelancer Domdoumy for a piece on Risk in my newest book, Pre-Launch Doodlepad.