- Research: A good deal of fear stems from the unknown aspects of starting a business, so if you're not taking the time to research your business idea and the competitive market, you're not taking one of the first steps in knocking out those doubts. Knowledge about your market, your targeted customers, your advantage, and your competition help you to question the basis of your business idea and business plan. You'll gain much-needed clarity - and position yourself to be decisive about your opportunity.
- Protect your idea: Reserve a website name, check with the Patent Office to learn about what steps you can take to protect your idea, take the steps to build up protections for your concept and idea before you even officially start up a business. If you haven't yet, contact a reputable intellectual property attorney to walk you through the process for applying for a patent or registered trademark. Having these kinds of defensible advantages can settle your mind and set you off on the right foot.
- Start part-time: Instead of making the leap from your current job to running your own start-up "cold turkey," consider keeping your job for security and start your business on the side part-time. This will help you avoid taking unnecessary risks and it will ease the transition financially.
- Outsource: To keep the complexity of your start-up to a minimum, consider outsourcing functions like accounting, payroll, information technology, public relations and more. Often it's the overwhelming demands of starting a business that scare off many would-be entrepreneurs, but there's simply no need to wear every hat in a business anymore. You might even want to outsource manufacturing, packing and shipping, and sales. Keep your strongest skills and most strategic activities - perhaps things like design, marketing, or customer interaction, just to name a few - in-house.
- Be willing to fail: Come to terms with the fact that the best entrepreneurs fail, but don't let a fear of failure be the reason you don't start a business. If you're smart you can limit those failures to small battles along the way, and learn incredibly valuable lessons from each of those failures. Losing those minor battles is okay, because the key is to win the war! Know that failure is something that's just part of business - as it is in life - and that you can work through those failures on your way to success.
Starting a business can be a scary proposition under the best of circumstances. Take a breath, relax, and take heed of these five start-up business tips to help ease your fears.
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Stephen Felt is the Managing Director of Creative Business Finance, LLC and writes or reposts information from other sources for this blog.