Thousands of people a year give up the demands of a 9 to 5 job to start out on their own. They do so for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps their chosen career path has hit a recession, for example, and they have been forced onto the unemployment line. On the other hand, they may be sick of ‘working for the man,’ and with a business idea to call their own, they have taken the proverbial bull by the horns and started working for themselves. Whatever the reason, they have taken the steps necessary into self-employment.
While the idea of beginning a business is attractive to many, there are those of us who don’t get beyond the dreaming stage. Could you be one of those people? If so, why? What is stopping you from starting your own business?
Here are some of the common fears people have about starting on their own. Do you identify with any of them?
The fear of failure
Admittedly, not every business works. While many people do find success, there are those businesses that barely get off the ground before they have to close the doors. So the thought of putting your finances into something that might crash and burn is obviously going to hinder you.
Tip: This is where effective business planning comes into play. Provided you have a good idea to begin with, you should focus on marketing, budgeting, and industry research to improve the chances of success. The more work you put in at the beginning, the less risk there is for business failure.
The fear of poverty
Giving up your day job to start your business is a financial risk. You may need to invest money to begin with, such as purchasing the equipment necessary to get going. You may need to hire staff, and there are numerous other business expenses you will have to cover. Profits generally don’t start coming in straight away either, so you will have to account for a loss. You need money to live, so no wonder this is a common fear for many.
Tip: You don’t have to give up the day job immediately. If you need a stable income coming in, start your business slowly, and hand in your notice down the line once your startup has started seeing a substantial profit. If you aren’t currently working, there are ways to cut down on costs. You could utilise a virtual office instead of taking on extra staff; you can work from home instead of renting office space, and you can buy equipment at a reduced cost (second-hand or refurbished), instead of buying something brand new.
The fear of inadequacy
You have a great idea for a business, but if only you had the skills to match. There is so much to do, from managing your books to designing a website, and you may be worried that you don’t have the competencies needed for these integral tasks. You don’t want to appear unprofessional, and the idea of failure probably rears its ugly head again when you consider the things ‘you can’t do.’
Tip: Guess what? Nobody’s perfect, and we aren’t all good at everything. For starters, ensure your business idea is something within your initial skill set. Don’t start a construction business, for example, if you don’t know one end of a hammer from another! Then consider outsourcing. You don’t have to do everything, and there are people out there who can help, from accountants to web designers. You can also brush up on your skills before beginning your startup, taking online or college courses to get you up to speed with business basics, or through seeking the advice of others to get you started.
Let’s be honest: you might not make it in business. However, you will never know until you give it a go. The worst thing you can do is do nothing. Life’s too short to procrastinate and deliberate forever, so despite the risks involved, set the wheels in motion if you genuinely have a great idea for a business. You may regret it if you don’t!