In honor of Halloween, I’d like to discuss a few “frightful” topics. I’ve helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs over the years start a business by setting up an LLC or Corporation. Here at CorpNet.com, we talk to entrepreneurs every day who are starting on an exciting journey to pursue their dreams.
But the truth is entrepreneurship and running a business is not always a dream. Sometimes it can feel like a nightmare! People who decide to start a business often experience a lot of fear and uncertainty. So as we prepare for trick-or-treating and all the fun things that go along with Halloween, I’d like to discuss some of these most common fears of entrepreneurs and explain how you can overcome them.
Top Fears of Entrepreneurs
- Fear of failure: Every entrepreneur has moments of being afraid that the business won’t succeed. What if customers go away? What if the positive “buzz” that surrounded your new business launch dries up? What if your business slides into complacency and mediocrity, and enters into a slow death spiral?
- How to manage this entrepreneurial fear: Accept and embrace the possibility of failure. Failure is a constant specter for any entrepreneur. Every successful business might eventually fail; it’s a fact of life. The “creative destruction” of the U.S. economy is constantly rewarding winners and weeding out the companies that can’t keep up. Don’t become paralyzed by fear. Instead, every day, look to find proactive ways to make a positive difference. Embrace failure. If you try a new idea or introduce a new product and it doesn’t succeed, use the experience as a learning opportunity. Find out what works. Keep adapting and exploring and connecting with your customers. Failure doesn’t have to be something to fear. Instead, facing up to the prospect of failure is part of the discipline of keeping your company on track.
- Fear of success: This might sound like a strange one, but it’s true – some entrepreneurs are afraid of becoming too “big.” Their company gets featured in a national news story or gets a big new customer contract, and instead of celebrating the success, the business owner worries about whether or not the company can support the increase in demand. How to manage this entrepreneurial fear: Cultivate self-confidence. Chances are, if your business hits the big time, you’ll be able to handle it. Too much success can be tempting and be corrupting for some people, but if you keep in touch with your moral compass and your bearings, you’ll be able to stay grounded no matter how big your business becomes. Stay grateful, stay humble, remember why you decided to get into business, and remain guided by your innermost values.
- Fear of lower-priced competitors: Every business needs to earn a decent profit margin. Unfortunately, in almost any industry, there is a constant influx of lower-priced competition that is trying to whittle away your profit margins and make your life miserable.How to manage this entrepreneurial fear: Don’t lower your prices. Competing on price is almost always a bad idea; price wars usually end in mutual destruction. Instead of trying to match the lower prices, find ways to deliver more value. Your customers will often happily pay more if you give them a compelling reason to do so.
It’s perfectly normal to be afraid. But you have to acknowledge the fear and move on. Focus on the things that are within your control. If you need to cut costs or renegotiate contracts with vendors and suppliers, do that. If you have low-performing employees who need to be let go, take it upon yourself to have that difficult conversation (the sooner the better). If you need to explore new markets or new product developments, make it a priority.
The antidote to small business fear is action! As soon as you start taking some positive steps forward, the fear will melt away.
On behalf of the entire team here at CorpNet.com, we wish you a very Happy Halloween!
Has fear been holding you back from starting a business of your own? CorpNet can help you overcome the fear of entrepreneurship. Use our online service to start a business with free tools, easy-to-use resources and expert guidance on how to incorporate a business by forming an LLC, S-Corp or other business structure, while dealing with all of the necessary business filings.