6 Ways to Overcome Fear and Start Your Business

 

Do you have an amazing business idea but are too scared to start? From inexperience to money management, there are many fears included in ‘ 6 Ways to Overcome Fear and Start Your Business ‘ that hold entrepreneurs back. If you want to start your business with confidence, take into consideration these 6 tips.

 

Here are the 6 Ways to Overcome Fear and Start Your Business.


  1. Get Advised

 

No one knows better than those who have experience. You can ask for advice from any business owner, but ideally, you should consult one who works in your intended industry. Try shadowing a business owner to get an idea of what a normal day would look like and get a little experience under your belt.

 

  1. Create a Business Plan

 

A business plan is not just useful for communicating to potential partners and investors what your business is about. It’s a powerful organizational tool that can help you set the roadmap for your business, force you to focus on the details, and give you a broader understanding of the market. A good business plan will explain your company structure, your values, your products, and your financials. When you use a business plan to really get a grasp on the possibilities, you’ll gain better project management skills and feel more confident moving forward.

 

  1. Start Small

 

Keeping your operations small at first is a good way to mitigate risk. If you keep your main job and work your business as a side hustle, you can still gain essential knowledge about the business world and work out any kinks without putting your income at risk. Once you have a secure foundation, you can start expanding.

 

  1. Use Other People’s Money

 

Part of risk management in business is keeping track of your finances. Start-up costs can seem scary, but using other funds besides your savings can help dramatically. Utilize financing options that are not as costly, such as crowdfunding, angel investors, or pre-orders to cover the early development stages. You may even be able to take advantage of private and government organizations that help mentor and finance new business owners.

 

  1. Use Online Services

 

Some of the most intimidating parts of starting a business are the legal requirements, such as picking a business structure, registering your name, applying for permits and licenses, and more. Luckily, there are easy-to-follow checklists to help keep you on track. You can even hire formation services to create the business on your behalf if you find the process too daunting. They’ll ensure your business is in legal compliance. All you’ll have to do is choose which business structure is right for you.

 

If you’re going into the fintech field, you’ll want software with access to a loans API for vetting accounts. The kind of edge this provides will help you stay solvent. You’ll also want a cloud bookkeeping system with invoicing to ensure that invoices are transmitted efficiently and payments are processed correctly. Maintaining good cash flow is vital to your business’s health.

 

  1. Embrace Failure

 

Is the fear of failure what’s holding you back? You’re not alone. Statistics show that 33% of Americans don’t start their business because they’re afraid of failure. Failure in the early stages, however, can help lead you towards better success down the road. Knowing that you can learn from your mistakes will help you not get discouraged. Making those adjustments early on will make your business stronger and will better prepare you for future challenges.

 

Starting a business can be scary, especially with all the emotions, finances, and time invested into a start-up. However, with proper planning, a can-do attitude, and help from the experts, you’ll be able to embrace your entrepreneurial ventures without worry.

6 Ways to Overcome Fear and Start Your Business



Let’s CEO is a leading independent online resource committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs, freelancers, and budding startups grow their businesses. Being deeply committed to building a vibrant entrepreneurial committee, our number one value is innovation.

 

Our mission is to provide you with the latest and the most effective content that will help your business stay tuned in to the pulse of your industry. At the same time, learn proven tips and techniques to grow as a successful entrepreneur.

 

For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!



Article submitted by:

Cherie Mclaughlin
“You’ve seen the social media posts promising to help you start your own business as new entrepreneur from the comfort of your couch…for a small fee of course. You have to take a course, read an e-book, or sign up for a one-on-one information session.
Lucky for you, she’s been creating and growing couch-based businesses since her couch was in a dorm room! And she knows that all you really need to be successful is a willingness to learn as you go and the boldness to give it a shot.
She created Couch-Based Biz to help guide you. It offers tips, tricks, and guides to help you separate fiction from fact and gimmick from reality.”

 



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6 Ways to Overcome Fear and Start Your Business

 

When it comes to owning and operating a small business venture, there are some practical tips that can help you stay organized, effective, and profitable. It all starts with charting a practical course for yourself that looks at all operational functions and needs of your business. Below, Let’s CEO dives into how to put it all together.

Develop a Business Strategy

One of the first – and most important steps – is developing a comprehensive business plan – something you’ll need if you plan to apply for a small business loan or grant. This will encourage you to create a budget, research your marketplace, analyze customer demographics, craft a targeted marketing outreach plan, and help you decide where your funds are best invested.

It will also help you set reasonable expectations around cost projections, expenses, and staffing needs. According to SCORE, pre-startup strategizing is key in the business-building process and will be the foundation your business needs to grow from.

Get Organized

Organization can save you time and money, and help you reduce the stress that comes with starting up a small business as a new entrepreneur. Create comprehensive to-do lists starting with location and equipment needs, required vendors, software and security programs, hiring employees, and getting appropriate insurance, permits, and business licenses. One way to keep your team organized is to use a template for a monthly planner. This template allows you to plan for the month ahead, and you can customize it with your own videos, sticky notes, and images.

A stellar website should also be top of mind. This is how you spread the word about your products or services. Yes, you can build a website yourself, but the better option is to work with a dedicated agency that can deliver a polished, professional site. Experts can also apply tools to enhance your site with special features. For example, if you want to take payments via the web, your designers can use a third-party site to create a verify bank account number API, which allows you to access a client’s bank account while keeping their data and information secure.

Create a Culture of Innovation

According to McKinsey & Company, a great way to set yourself apart in a crowded marketplace is to encourage creative brainstorming and innovative thinking in your company. This includes understanding who your competition is and looking for creative ways to differentiate your business. Encourage employees to speak up and bring all ideas to the table. You’ll also want to develop communication vehicles for staying in touch with vendors and employees and taking steps to foster collaboration. This can be done through a project management tool like Wrike, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Workfront. Collaboration leads to innovation!

Communicate Well

A majority of business problems arise due to a good old-fashioned lack of communication. You can avoid this pitfall by having straightforward communication strategies in place from day one. Develop an employee handbook and style guide; have detailed job descriptions that include performance metrics; hold regular staff meetings and one-on-one huddles; and develop a company intranet for sharing information. With vendors, clearly define expectations and agreements in writing, and ensure there’s a dispute mediation clause if either party fails to abide by the terms of the agreement. Staying ahead of the curve on communication issues will serve you well.

Provide Exceptional Service

One of the best ways to set yourself apart as a new entrepreneur is to consistently provide exceptional levels of customer service. This includes ensuring front-line employees who are the face of your business are courteous and knowledgeable. This starts with training around key customer service issues in your line of work. Answer complaints and concerns quickly, underpromise and overdeliver, and provide extra perks, like discounts for referrals. This will help you build a loyal customer base which can be the foundation of a long-term successful operation.

Being a small business owner or new entrepreneur presents some challenges, but the nature of your business structure also gives you the freedom to be creative, pivot as necessary, and use collaboration tools to expand operations. Consider joining a chamber of commerce or other local business group to help you with networking and to keep you abreast of best practices in your industry.

Article submitted by:

Cherie Mclaughlin
“You’ve seen the social media posts promising to help you start your own business as new entrepreneur from the comfort of your couch…for a small fee of course. You have to take a course, read an e-book, or sign up for a one-on-one information session.
Lucky for you, she’s been creating and growing couch-based businesses since her couch was in a dorm room! And she knows that all you really need to be successful is a willingness to learn as you go and the boldness to give it a shot.
She created Couch-Based Biz to help guide you. It offers tips, tricks, and guides to help you separate fiction from fact and gimmick from reality.”

IMAGINE. traveling the world, being your own boss, and setting your own hours…

This could be and should be YOU.

I left my 9 to 5 prison called “retail management” and became a successful freelancer. I left everything behind, packed a backpack, took what little money I had in my account, and headed for Mexico. BUT I won’t get into my personal stuff here. I’m doing that in a separate blog series on Medium here. Instead I’ll focus solely on how I started and made my freelancing career a success and how you can too.

“Hard work without direction is a difficult waste of time”

– Anonymous

assessing your situation

Is it worth it for me?

When it comes to pursuing freelancing you have to ask yourself “are you willing to take risks?”.

Does the thought of the potential initial pay cut and uncertain job prospects give you anxiety?

For better or worse that is the nature of freelance work. You have to compare the pros and cons. If you have a full pipeline of clients then the limitations seem endless. On the other hand…             What if you can’t find clients? What if potential clients turn you down due to lack of experience?

Freelancing after all is competitive and clients want the best talent at the best rates. Even though lucky for us freelancers those “best rates” are still typically significantly higher than what you would see in the job market for the same role.

So if you’ve come to the conclusion that the potential rewards of higher pay rates, making your own schedule, traveling the world, and working from anywhere is worth it

and

you have decided you are willing to take on the potential risks to reap incredible rewards that can potentially come with freelancing and being an entrepreneur then keep reading…                            

Platform vs off-platform

Freelance platforms or self prospecting

When starting out on freelancing career there will be two paths you can take.

You can use a freelancing platform.

Freelance platforms help companies find and hire independent professionals for temporary job roles or special projects. These platforms offer a marketplace for businesses to browse profiles of freelancer candidates based on skills, experience, location, or other criteria.

Platforms include:

  • Upwork
  • PeoplePerHour
  • Toptal
  • Freelancer
  • Guru

(I don’t consider Fiverr a serious platform)

The benefits of a platform:

– clients and projects are compiled in one place

– filters to help narrow down clients and projects

– prospecting is essentially set up for you

– big networks and typically lots of opportunities

– can act as a mediator for freelancers and clients

*

The drawbacks of platform:

– typically lots of fees involved

– support tends to favor clients

– tough to get your first project

– no or little control over billing clients

OR

You can self prospect.

By “self prospecting” I mean prospecting which consists of identifying potential customers, aka prospects. The goal of prospecting is to develop a database of likely customers and then systematically communicate with them in the hopes of converting them from potential customer to current customer.

There are many different ways you can go about self prospecting.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND USING A PLATFORM UNTIL YOU HAVE significant experience!

The benefits include:

– no fees

– full control over contract with client

– an absolute must when running an agency

The drawbacks include:

– using most of free time prospecting

– no support

– much less chance landing an initial client

– not much benefit for a solo freelancer

getting set up

Building a professional online presence

The first step is choosing a platform. We’ve established self prospecting is for seasoned freelancers so I’ll save that for another article.

I highly recommend Upwork to get started as it has a huge network, a broad range of clients and projects, and support.

After you’ve chose your platform its time to sign up for an account and setup a profile. It is very important to complete your profile fully. Be sure to write professionally and emphasize your strengths.

If you are like I was and don’t have a readily identifiable niche there are projects you can take on which require little experience like cold calling.

Keep in mind you may only stat off making 10-12/hr cold calling but you can increase your rates up to 30+/hr for same kinds of projects as you increase your experience.

As you go a long you may notice a trend in desirable skills in the projects that are posted. A lot of what I and many freelancers have learned is self taught. Don’t be afraid to hit up Coursea or Udemy in your free time.

A useful skill you can learn to branch out from cold calling is “lead generation”. There are tons of articles and courses on the web that can easily teach you the ins and outs of lead generation within a couple weeks.

Once you have discovered what your niche is you need to really sell yourself on your profile.    You should have a professional headshot. You should have a professional looking profile that sells clients on what you can offer them. It is a good idea to get a professional resume design too.

Once you are all set up it is then time to start bidding on projects!

                         

bidding on projects

Winning your first client

Now you will start submitting bids and cover letters to potential clients. On your chosen platform you should customize your feed filters to show only the types of contracts you wan to bid on.

After opening a project you will see the project description and you have button that will allow you to submit a proposal.

A PROPOSAL includes your cover letter, your proposed hourly or fixed rate, and answers to any additional listed questions.

TIP: It is a good idea to bid low in order to win your first project. As you successfully complete more projects you will be able to continuously raise your rate.

Submit lots of proposals to projects that fall into your niche. Remember that it is a numbers game so the more projects you submit proposals to the more likely you are to get interviews.

Again, it is a good idea to line up a lot of interviews not just because it increases your odds of getting a contract but also because a lot of times clients may only start you at 10 hours/week.

Therefore it is good practice to keep multiple clients if you want to freelance fulltime. Initially you may want to take on 3 or 4 clients but as you build relationships with clients they will gradually increase your hours. So eventually you may be working fulltime with just 1 or 2 clients.

When you are first starting out freelancing on any platform persistence is key. Submit as many proposals as you possibly can. Think of freelancing as a snowball rolling downhill. The more projects you pick up the more momentum you gain the easier things become.

                                                               

client relationships

Maintain your clients and build your pipeline

Building and maintaining client relationships is important across any industry. It is how we keep the business we have and how we continue to build our business going forward.

When it comes to freelancing on platform it is exceptionally crucial.

The strength of your client relationships ultimately determines the length of your engagement, if you get repeat business, referrals, potential references, and your profile feedback.

If you can’t keep your clients happy you will have a very tough time maintaining a full workload.

Mot importantly however is your profile feedback. If clients are constantly leaving bad feedback on your profile it will hurt your standing with the platform and your future contract prospects.

However, if you are taking care of your clients and delivering results your clients will reward you with positive feedback. This helps your standing on the platform, improves your reputation, leads to big increases in landing contracts, and will lead to you to being invited to apply for projects.

Invitations: These are sent out to from either clients or talent specialists on the platform. Only the best freelancers in their given niche are invited to apply on contracts. Being invited to project strongly increases the likelihood of receiving a contract.

Remember, taking care of your clients and ensuring that they are happy can sometimes prove more useful than the results you deliver. If a client likes you on a personal level and you have a great relationship you open yourself to so many more opportunities.

                                                               

the next steps

How far can you take your freelancing venture

You can take this entrepreneurial journey as far as you want to take it. There is no set roadmap for what you an do after you’ve established yourself as a freelancer.

The skills you learn along the way and the experience you gain becomes invaluable. The clients you work with and references and relationships you can obtain from freelancing can continue to help you throughout the entirety of your career.

For me personally, the next step was building an agency “Ulin Consulting”. An agency geared toward helping independent freelancers gain more work and higher rates.

www.ulinconsulting.com

Next, I set up this blog “Let’s CEO”.  I set up this blog as a site for entrepreneurs to share information and network.

I am currently in the middle of writing an entrepreneur themed eBook which will be advertised and sold across all of my websites.

Freelancing is a great way for prospective entrepreneurs to gain experience but I view it as only a “foot-in-the-door” opportunity for entrepreneurs. Realistically freelancing alone isn’t going to make you a millionaire. At most you may be able to turn it into a 6 figure venture but only barely.

Instead, freelancing should be thought of as ONE aspect of your money making ventures. ONE of many income streams.

                                                               

– Lance

Resources:

  1. www.upwork.com
  2. www.ulinconsulting.com
  3. www.letsceo.com
  4. www.linkedin.com
  5. www.hubspot.com