The path to entpreneurship is shrouded in uncertainty and risk. As a result, most people will find themselves treading a fine line between apprehension and excitement when starting a new business venture. Any seasoned entrepreneur will tell you overcoming this fear that accompanies entrepreneurship is a natural process and critical for growing a successful business. Listen to them!
Don’t let the fear of risk hold you back from achieving success as a new business owner. Instead, manage your emotions and break free from the constraints of fear with these practical steps:
Plan for success
Having a detailed and well thought-out plan is the key to success. Ensure nothing is left to chance by researching all aspects of the business and industry you are entering. Conduct market research to check if there is a gap in the market for what you are offering and constantly network with people in your industry. Finally, do your numbers to ensure that your start-up is financially viable and can generate a profit. A watertight business plan mapped out on paper will help you to believe in your vision.
Louise Howlett, Commercial Director of award-winning heating company, RA Brown, believes it is important to be realistic in your planning in order to achieve your vision. “When I started developing the heat pump installation side of our business with my husband, Richard, we knew from our research that the renewable sector was going to be an upcoming area of growth. It was an exciting time for us. Our vision at this time was to find the right premises to house our office and a showroom, giving our company a retail presence.”
This was a big investment for the company at a time when the economic crisis was at its peak but the directors felt confident in their decision due to extensive preparation. “There was no room for error - the timing had to be right and every step carefully planned but it was a risk that paid off,” adds Howlett.
Find your niche and believe in your idea
If your business idea is a completely new concept then the risk of failure can seem even greater, but provided you have done your research, you shouldn’t let this deter you from going it alone. An unconventional idea can put you miles ahead of the competition.
“I don’t believe you should give up on doing what you want, just because others aren’t yet doing it - in fact, the rewards can be greater for those who are ahead of the crowd,” says entrepreneur, Ryan Stone, who set up his video production company, Lambda Films, at a time when there was no real online video market.
“Internet speeds were restrictive, production relatively costly and YouTube was still a dirty word,” he says. “I certainly could have failed trying to break in to a niche that wasn’t yet fully mature, but ultimately, fear was outweighed by my passion and a belief that technology was heading in the right direction.”
Venture out of your comfort zone
Fear is a barrier that stops us from growing and reaching the best version of ourselves. If you live every day in your comfort zone then you will never open your mind to new ideas and experiences. As an entrepreneur, everything that you want in business will be past your comfort zone.
“Being too comfortable can definitely be a barrier, in business, it’s good to be hungry,” affirms Naomi Tarry, Co-Founder of successful luxury holiday cottage agency Best of Suffolk. Tarry believes it is important to create an inspiring vision of the future that you can work towards – that way, if the risk takes you closer to your vision, you’ll feel more confident about taking that risk.
“The biggest risk I personally took was leaving a job I enjoyed at the BBC to launch Best of Suffolk. My husband Alex had been encouraging me to do it for some time, but all I could see were the worries and risks. Then when I realised I would be able to use the skills and experience I had gained from my job, it was like a lightbulb had been turned on in my mind, and from that moment on I worked around the clock in my spare time to set up my business, because suddenly I was inspired to do it.”
By Rebecca D'Souza, freelance writer for Fountain Partnership