Starting a business is exciting and terrifying at the same time. After all, you will no longer rely on someone else’s payroll to pay your bills. Your future success or failure is completely up to you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the early phases. However, you must remember that even Bill Gates and Paul Allen had to make this terrifying decision during their young lives before Microsoft became synonymous with PC computing.
Today, we take a look at 10 things you can do to calm anxiety and quell fears as you take your first crucial steps toward entrepreneurship.
Start with what you know.
While there is nothing wrong with stepping out of your comfort zone if you suffer from anxiety or you find that your fear stops you in your tracks, plan your new business around your current strengths so that your weaknesses do not get in the way. If you’re not sure what these are, ask yourself what you’re good at and what you enjoy. This opens up the opportunity to start a side hustle doing something you love while laying the foundation for a successful business in the days ahead.
Draft a business plan.
Writing a business plan is, in itself, a daunting endeavor. But, get rid of the notion that it has to be a long, drawn-out document. Instead, start with the basics. Although your final business plan may be up to 50 pages long, you can begin by simply writing out key details of your future business. This can include where your startup money will come from, where you plan to operate, and a narrative of your plan for turning a profit.
Tackle the “scary” issues early on.
For many small business owners, one of the most frightening aspects of a business is simply establishing a structure. Although it sounds like a major undertaking, creating your business entity, whether that’s an LLC or corporation, begins by understanding what you want to get out of your structure (this could be management flexibility, tax benefits, or the option to sell stock) and registering your business name. Having a business structure in place will actually save you time and headaches in the future, and it makes it much easier to stay compliant with financial and/or industry regulations. Get this out of the way in the beginning – it takes less time than you think – so that it’s one less thing you have to think about throughout the process.
You likely need help with your business, but that doesn’t mean you have to take on a dedicated staff to start. Today, more than ever, businesses are becoming remote, and that opens you up to easily hiring freelancers, something New Startups has covered before. You can find a freelancer to work regularly or on an as-needed contract basis. There are many benefits of having 1099 workers, and these include cost savings and having access to their expertise in areas you need help the most.
Learn how to save time.
Time is your most valuable asset, and you don’t want to devote more of it to extraneous (or even important) tasks than necessary. Look for software and services that help you focus on your priorities. When you first begin marketing, for example, you will spend a ton of time getting your brand together. Throughout the lifespan of your business, you will make changes and redesign your marketing materials to keep up with current needs. And, since many of us work with PDF files, it’s beneficial to know how to convert a PDF to Word online using software that allows you to edit in Word and resave it as a PDF without sacrificing file integrity.
Streamline your financial transactions.
Your invoicing and payroll software can help you better understand where your money comes and goes and how it supports your business. Research potential software, and look for one that is not only affordable but offers up-to-date account information. Using the right software will make things go much more smoothly when it’s time to receive payments, pay invoices, or meet payroll demands. Perhaps most importantly, the right software will be highly secure and will prioritize user verification.
Outline short-term goals.
Your short-term goals are often the easiest to achieve. If you’ve already set long-term goals and are feeling overwhelmed, break these down into smaller steps. For example, if your goal is to sell 10,000 units in the next six months, define your initial goal as writing out your product description. Your next task might be to upload your products to your eCommerce shop. Remember, achievements are not necessarily based on one action, and you can congratulate yourself and your staff for every small victory that helps you move forward.
Build a network.
Surround yourself with successful people. To do this, build a business network, which GetSmarter notes that you can do by joining alumni groups, building your communication skills, and seeking professional business mentoring.
You obviously want your business to be a success, and you want to please your customers and stakeholders. This doesn’t mean that you have to cater to every whim and whimper, nor does it mean that you can’t make mistakes and still be successful. If you spend all of your time chasing perfection, you’ll stay stressed out and feel like your work is never done all the time.
As you write your business plan and get ready to launch your business, set clear but realistic expectations for yourself. Although your ultimate goal might be to be a mega mogul, don’t set your sites that high from the beginning. Remember, every time you meet or exceed your and other people’s expectations, you have a more positive mindset, which will help carry you through stressful workloads so that you can best meet your next set of goals and challenges.
There’s no way to get around the stress of starting a business. But you can overcome the fears that will exacerbate anxiety. There are many different things you can do, and the above tips, such as forming your business structure early on, getting help, using the right software, and setting realistic expectations, will put you on the right path to lead fearlessly.