There are so many things to have the jitters about if you’re thinking about starting a business. From feeling like a fraud to choosing which email provider to use, there’s a barrage of emotional, technical, and strategic things to deal with.
Here are 10 things that all business owners need a reminder of sometimes, but especially when you’re just thinking of starting out.
10 Tips for Aspiring Business Owners
1 | You’re already good enough to start
One of the big fears when you’re starting out is that you’re not good enough, experienced enough, or expert enough to do the work you want to do. It’s true that you probably have a lot to learn and are not as experienced as other people doing similar work. You can get started, anyway.
You don’t have to be the most knowledgable person on your topic; you just have to know more that the people who would hire you and how to help them. You’ll develop expertise as you go.
2 | Be honest about the fact that you’re new at this
That does not mean running around saying, “Hey guys, I have no clue what I’m doing!” But when someone asks how long you’ve been doing this, you answer honestly. If it’s just you, don’t put “we” on your website. If you only have 3 testimonials to put on your website, then only put 3 testimonials. It’s ok to be a beginner. You won’t be forever.
3 | Don’t charge what the big guns charge
Along the lines of the previous two tips, you many not have the experience, testimonials, and brand to justify the same pricing as people who have been around the block. So don’t compete with them. Price according to where you’re at now and raise your prices as your business grows.
4 | You’ll gain confidence as you go
This is the most important one! You want to feel confident before you launch your business. You might not. You do it anyway. Confidence is not something you can just summon up out of nowhere; it’s something you earn. You generate confidence through doing things. Which means if you want it, you have to take action to get it. Baby steps.
5 | Not everything you do will be a success
And that is normal. Every single business owner has stories about blog posts that didn’t resonate, launches that flopped, or sending an email with the wrong link to thousands of people.
6 | You can recover from almost any mistake
There’s not much you could do that would be a make or break mistake.
When something doesn’t go like you’d planned for it to, give yourself some time to feel hurt, and then go back and try to figure out why and how things went wrong so you can adjust course and fix it for next time.
7 | Schedule time for your business
Staring a business when you have a 9-5 is no joke, but you can do it. Instead of trying to cram in little tasks all day long, set and keep some office hours just for your business. You’d be amazed at what you can do with 10 hours a week if you’re using that time on the essential tasks it takes to build your business.
And speaking off...
8 | Blinders on
The Facebook ads cometh. You will be tempted by a multitude of products and courses promising to solve your problems and catapult your business to the next level. Most of these will be quality offerings that could really help you—if they’re offering the help you need. But if you buy an Instagram course when Instagram is not part of your marketing strategy, then it’s a distraction.
You will probably struggle with being proactive instead of reactive for a while. Make monthly or quarterly goals, stick to them, and reassess before you spring for the new shiny thing you’ve got your eye on.
9 | Don’t try to appeal to everyone
This is one of the hardest things for new business owners to put into practice, because you don’t want to feel like you’re shutting the door on opportunities to work with people. Shut the door. You don’t want to work with everyone, just the people who you can get the best results for and will be pleasant for you to work with.
10 | Keep your tech simple
There is some fancy stuff out there, and you don’t need any of it. When you’re just starting out, you want the lowest barrier to entry possible. That means using free and low-cost tools, AND ones that have a low learning curve. If learning how to use something looks like a major project, skip it and choose a less complicated option.