by Dustin Ray of Incfile
When listening to podcasts or watching Youtube clips featuring entrepreneurs who own lucrative businesses, you tend to only hear about their success. It can make any aspiring entrepreneur wonder if these successful folks ever had any setbacks before they started their business.
The reality is that most aspiring entrepreneurs run into at least one hesitation before starting their own business. Considering whether to start and run a small business times a lot of time, guts and money — it’s no easy feat or simple decision to make.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you might be familiar with some of these hesitations already. Here are the top three roadblocks entrepreneurs commonly tackle before starting a business:
1. Impostor Syndrome.
At the end of the day, if you lack the necessary confidence it takes to start your own business (hint: an obscene amount), then it’ll never launch successfully. How can you convince potential employees, investors and consumers to trust in you if you don’t trust in you?
Impostor syndrome has stood the test of time as a true setback for entrepreneurs. This term describes a psychological pattern where an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a constant fear of being exposed as a “fraud” — in other words, they see themselves as an imposter in their current situation.
Tips for tackling it:
To help overcome impostor syndrome, write a list of all of your accomplishments to date and refer back to it when you’re feeling like a fraud. Use this list as proof that you belong where you are — you’ve put in the hard work to get there. And it might sound silly, but saying daily affirmations can work too. For example: “I am enough,” “I am a good leader” or “I am confident.”
2. Fear of Failure.
You can’t fail if you never start. And you can bet there’s plenty of people who would rather choose not to start at all than start with the possibility of failure looming large.
Failure is a dinosaur-sized weight on any entrepreneur’s chest. When you take the risk to start your own business, you’re essentially making a commitment to yourself (and your backers) that you’re going to succeed. People are putting their trust and their dollars into that success — and that can be a lot of weight on your shoulders.
Tips for tackling:
Create a game plan. Going with the flow can be beneficial sometimes, but not always. If you’re afraid of getting started because you’re afraid of failing, begin by doing your research to create a strategic plan for every aspect of your business. Map out where you want to end up and the different routes you can take to get there. Once you can see the path forward, you might be less afraid of failure and more motivated to begin. (Remember to map out Plan A, B, C and D in case you need to pivot your business structure down the road!)
3. Lack of Finances.
If impostor syndrome and the fear of failure aren’t enough to talk an entrepreneur out of starting their business, then a lack of finances might be the last straw. These first two are psychological hesitations — internal concerns one can attempt to overcome — but financing is an external issue that can be less under your control.
The market can change, investors might not see your value, merchandise and capital are expensive, employees need to be paid, you need to be paid, your storefront or office space needs to be rented, bills are coming due, you need to travel to meet clients…the list of expenses goes on and on. Without the proper financing, a business simply can’t run.
Tips for tackling:
Yes, the day-to-day logistics of forming and operating your business can be expensive. But there are plenty of great inexpensive resources that can help you manage your business every step of the way. For example, you can form an LLC for as little as $49 + state fees with Incfile. Other tips for getting your finances in order including hiring an accountant to manage your money, creating an investment plan and most importantly saving money to put aside for a time when you’ll really need it. (Believe it or not, harder days may be coming once your company is up and running.)
What is the biggest hesitation you had before starting your business — or do you have one now? Did it hold you back completely from forming your business, or was it just a bump in the road?
Dustin Ray leads business development and growth initiatives at Incfile, a national online incorporation service company specializing in business formation and small business services. At Incfile, Dustin’s primary focus is to grow revenue and secure strategic partnerships that compliment a set of robust services to help entrepreneurs launch new businesses.