3 Ways to overcome your business fears

Most workers crave more independence in their work schedule — constantly daydreaming about the day when they’ll hand in their notice and run off to start their own business. But jumping into the world of self-employment can be a terrifying endeavour. In fact, over a third of would-be British entrepreneurs admit to letting fears of failure put their business ambitions on hold for years on end.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There are always going to be inherent risks when starting your first business. Yet there are also plenty of lifelines out there in order to help allay those fears when things go wrong.

Here are three simple ways to help mitigate those early entrepreneur jitters:

1. Start saving

When you’re just starting out, a slow day can be absolutely terrifying; however, you’ve got to bear in mind that every business is going to have good weeks and bad weeks. It’s not a reflection on you or your brilliant business idea. That being said, the anxiety that goes hand-in-hand with a lack of sales can be severely damaging to your psyche as well as your overall attitude towards risk.

In order to give yourself a little peace of mind, start subsidising your company’s bad days with your good ones. Develop a rainy day fund and top it up a little bit every time your company is doing well. That way, there’s no need to panic when business slows down for a while.

2. Find a mentor

Whether you’re a bright-eyed recent grad or a 50-something white collar exec, you’ll soon find that starting your own business can be a major learning curve. No matter how much education or experience you’ve got, there are some business questions that you simply haven’t got the answers to. That’s where a mentor comes in handy.

Scour your local professional network for an accessible business leader who is willing to take a bit of time out in order to help you reach success. If you’re struggling to find a suitable candidate, online services like SCORE or Clarity help to connect fledgling business owners with experienced industrial mentors that can help steer you in the right direction.

3. Balance the books

Unless you’ve got an accounting degree, handling cash flow can feel extremely foreign to a first-time business owner. That doesn’t mean you should go running off looking to hire an overpriced accountant; however, it does mean you need to watch your expenses like a hawk.

Sit down at the end of every day and run through your company’s overheads, sales and income. Budget the week ahead and closely monitor any shifting trade elements. So long as you keep an eye on the books, there’s no need to worry about unpleasant surprises cropping up. Instead, you can focus on sustainable growth and spend more time enjoying your self-employed lifestyle.

Fear is a natural, healthy aspect of doing business. Indeed, it would be worrying if you dove head-first into a new business venture without any worries whatsoever. But it’s important not to let those perfectly rational fears prevent you from taking risks and pursuing growth.

This post was brought to you by Rebecca Honnan of Quality Formations.