Many people dream of working for themselves, seeing it as an ideal way to earn a living and be in control of their own working lives. You might have a great idea simmering away that you feel sure could be a real money-spinner, or you might not be sure what you want to do, just have that feeling that life would be better if you worked for yourself rather than having to answer to someone else all the time. If you long for the freedom of self-employment but haven’t done anything about progressing your dream, what is it that’s holding you back and is there anything you can do to address your concerns?
Money to start up
There are several fears that revolve around money when you’re considering starting a business. Firstly, there’s the issue of finding the finance to set yourself up in the first place. The amount you need will vary depending on the kind of business you are looking to operate. If you want to open a retail outlet that will take some serious capital, but if you just want to start freelancing from home, there will be considerably less outlay involved. Before you can judge how much investment you need, you must look carefully at the costs involved for your project, and then you can assess how much extra you would need. There are several ways to raise the money you might require, but you need to have all your figures in place before you look at the various options open to you. You could use savings you already have to fund yourself or to help towards the initial costs. You could look for outside finance, which would involve selling your idea to investors for a share of the profits. Or you could borrow the money you need. There are many different kinds of loans available, so it pays to find out which type of loan would be best for you. You can find out more about loans on this site which covers the various options available for you and your circumstances.
Money to tide you over
Another big money worry is that you will be giving up a regular income from your paid job without knowing when, or indeed if, you will start turning a profit from your business. This is a completely valid fear, especially when you have a family and responsibilities. Making savings from your salary will help you build up a pot to cover the first few months, and you can examine your personal budget to see where savings could be made in the initial period. If you’re starting a reasonably sized business you will be able to include your salary as part of the budget for the business and draw on this. Bear in mind that it takes an average of two years’ trading to start making a profit, so you need to plan for it taking this long even if your hopes are that it will be making money a lot sooner.
Fear of failure
Possibly one of the chief causes of not taking the plunge. No-one wants to fail in life, so it’s understandable that it can hold you back. This ties in with the worry about making enough money to live on, and what will happen if your business fails and you end up with nothing but debts. There is also the humiliation of failure, the feeling that people will see you as someone who couldn’t cut it in the business world, and the worry that you will let your family down. These are serious considerations, and there’s no point denying that some businesses do fail. The best way to stack the odds in favour of success is getting the planning right and not leaving everything to chance. You need to establish that there is a market for what you are planning to sell and determine who your customers are likely to be, so you can position yourself more advantageously in the marketplace. You need to have detailed breakdowns of every financial aspect of your proposed business, and your figures need to be realistic, not idealized. You also need to be honest about your own abilities. Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? You will need to be able to work very hard, often far more hours than you would in your current job. You must be able to sell, budget, manage and market yourself effectively and be resilient to rejection. This is the time to assess how determined you are to do the best you can to make your business succeed, and if you don’t match the criteria it’s probably time to rethink your plans. You may want to delay starting up until you’ve taken a business course to ensure you know exactly what a project of this nature would entail. Or you might want to improve your knowledge of the sector you plan to be trading in. If you need to build on your skill set, that’s perfectly achievable, but if your attitude isn’t one hundred percent committed, you aren’t likely to succeed until you change your mindset.
The cautious approach
One way of gaining confidence in your business idea is to start by running a side-hustle while still working your nine-to-five job. It will mean devoting your spare time to a micro-business, but that’s a good test of your determination anyway. Say you want to open a pet store. Start off by sourcing some products and selling them on Amazon or eBay for example. This is straightforward and can be as large or small as you wish. It will test the market, give you an idea of how your business would work, and you’d have some insight into whether your profit potential had been accurately forecast. You may even make enough profits to cover the money worry side of starting a full-time business.
There are many advantages of starting up in business, and many successful entrepreneurs will tell you it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. By planning carefully and being realistic about your abilities, you stand a good chance of making a success of your business too.