Everyone has a fear
Think back to a time in your life when you tried something new and it was really scary. In my career, one of the scariest situations I had to overcome was the fear of cold calling businesses. When I started in sales I was in my early twenties and I felt like I was younger than everyone in business. I was younger than anyone on the staff and I was far younger than any of the businesses owners I was calling on. I would go to networking functions and feel about 2” tall. I had such a fear of talking to people that I didn’t know. I was afraid they would find out that I didn’t know what I was doing. I was hired to go into businesses and show them the power of advertising and I was mortified. The great part was that I was forced to do it all day everyday. And after you do something a few hundred times you get better and better until you get good.
If you’ve never started a business it can be really scary. You may not know what you’re doing and admitting that can be the hard part. My husband and I watched this show the other night called the Carbonaro Effect. In this show this guy Michael Carbonaro goes into regular businesses and poses as an employee, but he is really a magician. He does all of the these crazy slide of hand tricks and people are totally floored. One of the tricks he did was with a champagne bottle. He had a regular sized champagne bottle and using a slide of hand trick was able to twist the bottle into a compact two serving size bottle. He told a customer it was a new product, that you just twisted the bottle and it would condense in size for easy transport. When you got to your destination you could expand the bottle to its full size with another easy twist. The customer was so confused, but did seem to believe him. Now why would a person of average intelligence believe that something like that was possible? The customer didn’t want to look foolish. A very self assured Michael Carbonaro was demonstrating that this was possible so it must be possible.
Most people are really afraid of being found out
They’re afraid that someone will discover that they really don’t know what they are doing, or talking about, or that they’re just plain dumb. The truth is that when you are starting a business you are going to make mistakes. You won’t always do what you should do in the order you should do it, but that’s okay. You don’t always have to know exactly what you are doing. Buy a book or go online and find a list of the things you need to do to start a business. Look up the specific type of business you are trying to start and I guarantee you’ll find a list about what to do to start a business.
Create an action plan
Make your list your own, by creating an action plan. After you research the ins and outs of getting started simply create your own list. Then walk through the steps. If you do something out of order you’ll soon find out. For instance if you go to the bank to open a bank account and you don’t have a business license and Employer Identification Number (EIN) they won’t let you open your account. You just need to get those completed first. Not sure how to get a Employer Identification Number (EIN) or what it is, look it up.
Legality of your business
Next, you might think about the legality of your business or the legal risk that you are opening yourself up to by starting a business. This is a matter that should be addressed, but consider the business you’re starting. If you are creating a blog or doing graphic design your risk factor is fairly low. Most people aren’t going to sue you over a bad blog post or a design that didn’t quite fit their needs. On the other hand if you’re selling something that people are going to consume or that could in someway affect their bodies you should probably meet with an insurance agent and see what it would cost you to get liability insurance. (As a side note, all business should have some liability insurance. Meet with an agent to find out what will work for you.)
If you have a contract that you are having someone sign its probably worth the $500 to have an attorney draft and make changes to a document that is certain to be a good fit with your business. An attorney can also let you know about liability areas of your business to consider. Point you in the right direction for your business entity, should you be an LLC, C corp or S corp or Sole Proprietor? Find an attorney either online or in person that is willing to work at a rate that you can afford. There are many attorneys and not many are affordable, but they are out there. Ask around and find out what attorneys other low to middle size businesses use.
It’s not heart surgery
It’s not heart surgery, no one is going to die. If you make a mistake in your business with paperwork or licensing it could sting, it could hit you in your wallet and it might even really hurt the business, but in most cases it isn’t life or death. No one will likely die if you don’t have your paperwork in order. You should strive to get your paperwork in order, but if its not you’ll find out. On several occasions since I’ve been a business owner I’ve had to take care of something that was out of order. Sometimes it cost a bit of money, usually in the form of a late fee due the government, but in most cases you simply correct the situation and move on.
Help is available, and free resources abound. You can certainly, as stated hire an insurance agent, an attorney, a CPA, a financial planner and bookkeeper. All of these professionals should be able to guide and direct you down your path. However, you might be able to go it alone. The internet and public libraries are a wealth of information.Find a list and get it started! Jump in and take the plunge.
If you are interested in what it would be like to have a coach visit www.howtoquitworking.com/coach to sign up for your free 30 minute strategy session. In this session we’ll discuss your goals and how I can help you reach them.