How to start a business with confidence?
In this 5 minute blog – if you are thinking of starting a business of your own – you will learn how to deal with the uncertainties that inevitably come with running a business.
Table of contents
- #1: where do I start?
- #2: I have (too) little experience
- #3: how do I deal with less income?
- #4 Uncertainty: what if I fail?
- #5 Uncertainty: I cannot do everything alone
- #6 Uncertainty: how do I know if I am ready?
It is quite something to say goodbye to the certainties of permanent employment to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true. What are the most common uncertainties for starting entrepreneurs? And are these fears justified?
#1: where do I start?
You have been walking around with an idea for a while, but you actually doubt to take the necessary steps, to work on it, and actually start a business. You find that difficult.
For example: how do I actually market a new product (or service)? What are the legal rules? Where do I get the correct data to write a business plan? How will I build up a pension later? And how much income will I initially miss if I give up my job (and what does this mean for my private situation)?
These are just a few examples of questions that many entrepreneurs have asked themselves before starting their businesses. There will always be some risk associated with doing business, there is no other way.
Fortunately, you can cover certain risks, such as disability or liability, with insurance. And do you need external capital to get the company off the ground? Then financing from the bank or micro-credit might be the solution. However, if the bank declines your business plan, you can always your family, friends or fools.
In general, there is often more possible than you initially think. The best thing to do is to make your plans concrete, for example in a business plan. But, don’t write this plan only for potential financiers, but mainly for yourself.
Whatever your idea is, start putting it to practice. Go out and let potential customers experience what you have to offer.Dr Martijn Driessen – entrepreneur
#2: I have (too) little experience
If you have no (or few) customers or clients, it may be difficult to convince other prospects of your qualities. Your established competitors have achieved more in this area than you. But that certainly does not mean that customers or clients will always choose the more experienced party.
In fact: you look at the market with a fresh and innovative look. As a result, you are probably more willing to change your strategy and say ‘yes’ to new challenges faster. Because someone who has been successful for years with a certain way of working has more difficulty letting go of that strategy.
Take advantage of that flexible attitude. Make this known to potential clients and customers: emphasize that you like to work pro-actively and together with them look for the solution that best suits their needs.
#3: how do I deal with less income?
Starting a business means investing. You must immediately think of the financial part, because how do you get through the start-up phase if you do not yet earn (enough) money with your company? Fixed costs, such as the rent or mortgage and energy bills, simply continue and do not take into account a possible dip in your income.
Dealing with financial uncertainty is, therefore, one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many starting entrepreneurs. However, if you are well prepared, a limited budget does not have to be an insurmountable obstacle to starting a business.
When you initially work from home, for example, you no longer have to spend money on commuting. Besides, choosing a flexible workplace will result in new network relationships (and often assignments). And in the first instance, you can also choose a hybrid start (that is, next to your job).
It is necessary to make an actual calculation of all expected income and expenses prior to the start, so that you get a picture of your financial situation during this uncertain period and how you should deal with this.
Can you compensate for the (temporary) fall with savings or is your partner’s income sufficient? Then nothing has to stand in the way of your entrepreneurial adventure.
#4 Uncertainty: what if I fail?
No matter how much you (including us) would like to have a crystal ball: no one can look into the future. Whether your product or service is promising, and this is the right time to start a business, is, therefore, difficult to predict. But if you don’t try, you will never know if it could have been a success.
You can increase your chances by researching the market well in advance and putting your ideas extensively on paper in a business plan, even if you do not need financing. A business plan forces you to make your plans concrete and to map out all opportunities and risks. A business plan is a tool. A good basic plan that you regularly update is a document that gives direction and on which you can fall back in uncertain times.
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.Henry Ford – superpreneur
#5 Uncertainty: I cannot do everything alone
Entrepreneurs are usually very adept at multitasking. Whereas in the past you were generally employed as a single employee, you suddenly have to start working for your company on activities that have nothing to do with your profession.
This includes committing acquisition, hiring staff, and setting up an administration. Unfortunately, one task suits you better than the other.
Know your weaknesses
Realizing that you cannot possibly be good at everything is the first step towards a happier entrepreneurial existence and self-confidence. Everyone has good and bad points, but most people overrate themselves. Research shows that only 28% of starting entrepreneurs have an accurate self-image. So, learn to honestly look at yourself: do the E-Scan and find out what your strong and weak points are.
Take a business coach
There are so many ways to develop a business. At times you will feel quite isolated. No one to talk to that understands the dynamics of your business and challenges. You can easily go in the wrong direction.
It makes a huge difference if an experienced listener asks you the right questions or when you, who is in the midst of problematic situations, ask these questions. That’s why you need a business coach.
Find out for yourself which doubts, tasks, or action points (such as writing a business plan) you might want to find a coach for. In many cases, the investment pays for itself quickly and saves you a lot of annoyance, energy, and failure costs.
It is also recommended to spar with an experienced entrepreneur who is active in a comparable market and sector: a mentor. That is not the same as a coach! A mentor has the knowledge and a network within a specific industry.
#6 Uncertainty: how do I know if I am ready?
First of all: you are not the only one who thinks about this. Many a starting entrepreneur wonders what the perfect moment is to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
We don’t think that moment exists. At least, that is different for every entrepreneur. Together with your business coach, you can determine when you are ready to start.
Read more on successful entrepreneurship.