Too many entrepreneurs begin their business journey with the anticipation of failing. Their fear of failure freezes them in the planning stage, causing analysis paralysis and creating an aversion to risk. This uncertainty is perhaps the reason why over 50% of new businesses fail. Like so many others, my business planning was often interrupted by the question: “what if I fail?” Here’s how I overcame my fear of failure… and how you can, too!
Admit your shortcomings
Every business needs a collection of skill sets to steer it to success and no individual can have all the required skills. A typical modern business requires a code genius to work on establishing its web presence and any other technical requirements, a design expert who understands market trends and can help curate market-ready products, and a sales and marketing expert to help present products to the market.
Few individuals can do all three jobs proficiently. However, small businesses may not have the funds to hire all three specialists. I accessed skilled people in my close circle to help me gain knowledge and insight when needed. Insight is especially valuable for smaller businesses and solopreneurs like myself.
Keep it lean
Keeping your business aims simple is important. Your objectives should be SMART and concisely drafted. There are many ways you can simplify your business processes and goals:
–Web design frameworks such as WordPress save time and money
–Online planning and scheduling tools simplify task and time management
–Social media offers growth hacks, such as targeting immediate friends who spread the word and speed up product adoption
–Working from home can save money on office rent
For overall strategy, I used Alexander Osterwalder’s Lean Canvas to understand the market situation and the best way to curate a product. The model has worked effectively for the startup world despite its simplicity – a reputation that helped reduce my fear of building a flawed strategy. It offers an easier way to develop a plan and helps focus your product on the specific pains or problems in your market, while providing targeted solutions and a way to monitor KPIs. In the design world, the KISS approach is similar: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
The key to success is doing. Spend time studying the market and researching business metrics but accept that the best way to learn business management is by actually doing it. The best way to beat the fear of doing is to start your business. Take small steps like I did to build your success: start by narrowing down to a specific niche, then buy your domain name, build the first version of your website and start reaching out. Accelerate as you move from step to step, and feel your fear diminishing as you progress.
Most present-day entrepreneurs spend too much time planning. Like a person new to swimming, everyone fears water at the onset. Jumping in and confronting the challenge is the surest way to win in business. Developing confidence in one’s abilities and strategy is important too, as well as allowing others to poke holes in the business model to reveal any existing loopholes.
In the end, risk rewards.