What are some of the most common challenges startups encounter? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Craig Hall, Chairman and Founder of HALL Group, Author of BOOM, on Quora:

Startups inevitably face several challenges when getting their businesses off the ground. The top challenge is lack of capital and difficulty raising capital. Next, lack of proper accounting. Keeping up with cash and cash flow is everything. A lot of businesses fail because they run out of money at a critical time. You need to project outcomes and carefully know your numbers.

Third, stay focused. Don't look at too many shiny objects and fall in love with everything. You will come across a lot of potential opportunities while starting your business that will tempt you to divert attention away from your business plan. Focus on sticking to a plan that is as simple and straightforward as possible.

And then of course there are those pesky regulators who are seemingly everywhere. Do the best you can to stay away from lawyers and regulators, and when you have to get involved, feel free to ask for advice from friends and mentors and people who are willing to help. The good news is there are a lot of them out there.

Overall, it is much harder today to start a business than it was thirty years ago, and even fifty years ago when I started my company. We have created a widening opportunity gap for all Americans to pursue entrepreneurship, and as such, we have seen an overall decline in startups. You can learn more about this in BOOM: Bridging the Opportunity Gap to Reignite Startups, my latest book publishing on May 14. We are at a critical juncture right now in determining what the future of entrepreneurship will look like for all Americans - not just the privileged few - and helping alleviate unnecessary barriers to entry for these potential new businesses.

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Published on: May 23, 2019