When thinking about starting a business, we all have fears and concerns about the success and the possibility of an epic failure. That’s a normal feeling for every entrepreneur, you don’t want to waste your money and time into a business which will eventually fail. When I was starting my business (Sahal Solutions) three years ago, I had so much in my mind, I wanted to know if the market I was going into was profitable and I didn’t know anyone who started this type of business (web design/development) in my area before me. For the last three years, I did my best to educate myself and learn how to run a business, how to market it and how to beat the competitors. When I look back, I wish I focused on one thing and made that the only thing people know me for but I learned from my mistake and I changed my business from web design/development, graphic design, marketing, app development, and video editing company to just web design/development company. If there was one thing I learned from my experience was that focusing on one thing until you master it was the best way I grew my business.
Let’s get into the list of the five fears we have when we are starting a business and what I believe to be the solutions.
Most people don’t realize but actually starting the business is the number one fear most people have. They take forever to plan and sometimes they overplan which creates an unnecessary pressure. My solution is to simply start, even if you don’t have a perfect plan, get the business going and figure out the details on the fly. Another issue which prevents people from starting has to do with registering the business. For example, if you live in Minnesota, USA, the registration is a simple process. You can go to the secretary of state website and search the name of your business, if you don’t find it there, you can go ahead and register it for only $50 a year. Don’t complicate the process, if you don’t understand something, simply ask someone who already started a business.
As soon as we start the business, we think about all types of risks that can bring a grinding halt to our business. The first risk is the competition, if someone is competing against you, you can’t help but think that they are taking your customers. You doubt yourself and the effort you putting into your business but the reality is that they are thinking about the same thing, they are worried about you. The best thing you can do for yourself when you have competition is to ignore, focus on making your business better because the energy you put into thinking about them could be used to further your business goals. Another risk most people deal with is the fear of failure, the fear of being wrong about your decision to stick with your business plan. The more you thinks about failure, the more doubt builds in your mind and it doesn’t help that your competition is gaining momentum. All these risks can be avoided by having a solid vision and plan, keeping in mind that the first few years of any business is hard and lonely. If one person is willing to buy your product, it’s worth your time.
Another fear most people experience is feeling like you don’t have enough knowledge to operate your business. The service-based businesses like mine (web design) requires the person to have the skills necessary to run the business. Let’s say you have a consulting business, you need to know how to consult people and how to help them make the right decisions. This requires us to go out and actually acquire the education we need to help our customers. If you don’t know what you doing, it creates stress and pressure which will eventually shut down your business. I’m not saying you should know every single aspect of your business but know enough to be considered as an expert. Another area which requires knowledge is knowing the basics of financial management, knowing the difference between the profit and the cost. If you don’t know how to manage your finances, please consider getting someone to manage it for you.
The fourth fear most people have is what people will say and how they will react to their business. Some people never actually start a business because someone told them their idea will never work. You will see that when you come up with a great business plan, people are in three camps, the first camp are the ones who will support you and give you good advice. The second camp are the ones who are jealous of your business and they discourage you from reaching your goals and the third camp are the ones who will come out whenever something doesn’t work for you and they will tell you how they knew all this time that your business won’t work. These people are simply there to test your belief and your vision, the best way to move from this stage is surrounding yourself with people who support you and give you real advice.
5. COMFORT ZONE
When your business grows and you are getting used to the routine, we tend to find a comfortable middle area where we feel like we are making okay money and we want to keep it that way but most business owners are afraid to push the envelope and increase their revenue. They don’t want to experiment new ways of getting clients because the old ways are working for them. What happens is that as they settle in their zone, someone else who is a risk taker and sees the opportunity you are abandoning will come and before you know it, your customers are going to this new business. Let’s say you started a restaurant, you grew and now you have a good number of customers coming every day but let’s say you don’t hire enough people to handle the daily operations, customers will get frustrated with the waiting and that new restaurant will take your customers. It’s so important to always improve and never settle for “good”.
These were five fears but there are hundreds of other issues that face new business owners and the best way to tackle any problem is to first define what the problem is and find someone who knows how to solve it.
You can also watch this video I recorded live on facebook.