How to Overcome the Fear that Comes with Starting a Business

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August 20, 2023

Starting a business can be a wonderful way to gain financial independence and take control of your career. Entrepreneurship lets you be your own boss, which can be very liberating. That said, entrepreneurship comes with many unique challenges, which can be daunting. Many new business owners struggle with feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety. 


This guide offers a step-by-step plan to starting your own business, which can help alleviate fears. It also includes some actionable tips for coping with entrepreneurial stress.


Research Your Idea So You Understand the Competition


You're less likely to stress about your business idea if you're confident in it. Before you create a company, do your research. The US Chamber of Commerce provides pointers for doing due diligence. For example, it can be helpful to develop a market research plan and study your competitors. A look at the competition can help you determine what is and isn't working for customers. Another tip is to conduct a SWOT analysis, which helps you understand internal and external factors that impact your business.


Write a Business Plan to Guide Your Organization


Once you've done your research and decided on a business concept, it's time to write a business plan. This is a guidebook that details exactly how your business will be structured and run. You can also use your business plan to get bank loans or convince investors to fund your business. It covers everything from marketing plans to financial projections. Other points to include are market analyses, company organization details, and product and service descriptions. 


It’s a good idea to digitize your documents not only so you can stay organized and avoid the headaches that come with not being able to find what you’re looking for, but also so you can share your business plan with your team members. Saving it as a PDF also gives you the ability to send it securely via email with password protection or encryption capabilities. Plus, PDFs are easy to store and edit, so making changes to your business plan as your company evolves will be a breeze. Adobe Acrobat offers tools that make it simple to manage your business PDFs.


Choose the Right Business Structure for Your Needs


When drafting your business plan, you'll also have to decide what kind of business structure you want. You might register your company as a corporation, an S-corporation, or a limited liability company, LLC, for example. An LLC is a popular option among small business owners.


Calculate Your Startup Costs and Prepare Financially


Once you have a business plan drafted, it will be easier to calculate your startup costs. These could include things like commercial rent, employee salaries, marketing expenses, and more. You can use a free online startup cost calculator to help figure out exactly how much cash you need. 


If you don't have the finances required yourself, you can borrow money from others. Possible funding sources range from bank loans to angel investors, venture capitalists, and crowdfunding platforms. If you’re planning on taking out a loan, be sure to review your credit report to determine your creditworthiness.


Set Attainable Goals for Your First Business Years


Many entrepreneurs are eager to meet big goals for their business in the first year. For example, they may set high expectations for profits or customer acquisition. However, being too ambitious can create unnecessary stress. Follow best practices for establishing a sustainable business model that's informed by realistic, measurable goals. Experts suggest that reasonable goals for the first year include researching your market, establishing your business model, and managing cash flow.


You should also look for free and low-cost software to keep your business on track without spending a lot of money. You’ll find options for accounting, collaboration, marketing, and more! 


Know What You Can Do and What to Outsource


Another common mistake that first-time entrepreneurs make is trying to do it all themselves. Again, this can create unreasonable expectations and unnecessary stress. Instead of trying to do it all, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and channel your energy accordingly. You can outsource tasks you aren't confident about handling yourself.


Consider Finding a Mentor for Support


If you find that business ownership is causing you a lot of stress, consider finding a mentor. Someone who has been through the ups and downs of starting a business can offer valuable guidance and reassurance. Mentors can also help with practicalities, like setting realistic business goals. 


According to Business News Daily, you can find a mentor through your professional circle or by connecting with people in your industry. Online platforms like LinkedIn are also a great way to find thought leaders in your field and connect with them.


Network with Other Entrepreneurs for Greater Confidence


Networking events are another great way to find potential mentors. These opportunities can also help you connect with other entrepreneurs in your field. Look up events in your area that relate to your field using platforms like EventBrite. The Jerome Chamber of Commerce also holds a number of events that provide networking opportunities and natural ways to promote your business, so keep an eye on our calendar to see what’s coming up.


Get Comfortable with the Prospect of Failure


Starting a business isn't a seamless process. There will be setbacks. You can reduce needless worries by getting comfortable with failure. One way to do this is to detach your sense of personal worth from your entrepreneurial successes and failures. 


The way you think and talk about your business can help. For example, instead of thinking, "I failed," think to yourself, "The concept failed." It's also helpful to surround yourself with positive people who can lift you up when you feel down.


Develop Coping Mechanisms to Deal with Daily Stress 


As a new business owner, you're likely to experience stress throughout your business day. Maybe an order didn't get fulfilled, for example, or a customer complained. Make sure you have a toolkit for dealing with such stressors. For example, when you're feeling overwhelmed, you might practice deep breathing or go for a walk. Activities like meditation can also be useful in helping to assuage feelings of stress or anxiety.


Strategize to Reduce Anxiety


Starting your own business can be incredibly exciting. However, it can also cause anxiety. Advanced preparation, like choosing the right business structure and utilizing Adobe Acrobat software, can help alleviate your anxiety. The above guide provides some additional tips to help reduce stress.


Join the Jerome Chamber of Commerce to access the tools you need to build a winning business in our community!