Working for someone else has been the norm for decades, and a great majority of the working class have worked for the same company their entire life. However, with the rise of successful startups in every conceivable industry, more people are taking the leap of faith to becoming their own boss. Unfortunately, as exciting and liberating as it is to start your own business, most aspiring entrepreneurs are crippled with the fear of failure. It’s a fact that the majority of new businesses don’t even make it to their second year. But the South African economy is relying heavily on small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to create the bulk of employment opportunities in the country, making it necessary for more determined entrepreneurs to build those robust businesses capable of creating jobs.
Here are five fears that you need to overcome to increase your chance of success when starting your own business:
1. Leaving the comfort of working for a corporate
There is safety in numbers and if you’ve spent most of your professional career working for someone else it’s understandable to fear the great unknown. After years of having a reliable monthly income, benefits and co-workers to depend on, you have to spread your wings and fly out of the nest. Starting your own business requires a lot of courage and for many aspiring entrepreneurs the fear of leaving the corporate comfort zone is crippling.
2. Dealing with criticism or lack of support
Along with the fear of going it alone, you will be faced with a fair share of criticism when starting your own business. There are people who are even more afraid than you to be their own boss but will often offer coaching and criticism regardless. Criticism, regardless of the source, can be helpful positive if you don’t take it personally. It’s crucial for your new business (and sanity) to not take opinions and comments about your aspirations to heart. This is easier said than done when those closest to you might share your sentiment and may themselves be struggling to support your courageous new step. Don’t doom your business before it even takes off – the sooner you grow thick skin and become rejection and disappoint proof, the easier it will be to deal with things should they go pear-shaped.
3. Where to start
You might have an idea for a product or a service that could help you in starting your own business. But the big question on most budding entrepreneurs’ minds is ‘where do you start?’ Your first port of call should be to do research – understand your target market, competitors, financial requirements etc. The great thing about the entrepreneurial fraternity is that they are always there to share insights, support and guide you on your way to starting your own business. Don’t be afraid to tap into this wealth of knowledge and experience, because every entrepreneur has been where you are.
4. Struggling to get funding for your new business
Unless you have inherited a large sum of money or have cashed in your pension to get your new business up and running, you will have to go a-knocking for funding. Applying for a loan to start a business is an incredibly stressful process and it could take quite some time for someone to grant you the loan and for the money to become available. There’s only one way to overcome this fear – planning. A simple, robust business plan and comprehensive financial forecasting will boost your chances of acquiring the necessary funds you need for starting your own business. 67% of all startup funding comes from family and friends so rather start with those who know you than trying to get a loan from the bank. Banks only fund 3% of all startup finance.
5. Fear of failing
The truth is that you will probably fail – possibly more than once – or you might get hit the jackpot first time round. Either way your entrepreneurial venture plays out, you have to accept the fact that failure is part of the process of starting your own business, all successful entrepreneurs have failed a few times before they struck gold. Be aware of the fact that your business idea might be successful but the processes behind it could be flawed. Starting your own business is very much a trial and error exercise, so the best you can do is be prepared and continue to innovate.
SMEasy understands that as an entrepreneur you will come to face many challenges on your way to running a successful business. But fearing financial management doesn’t have to be one of them. Our easy-to-use online accounting software takes care of the books so that you can get on with growing your business. Try our online accounting and business management software for yourself by signing up for our free 30 day trial.