Real Talk: The Three What-ifs that Keep People from Being Entrepreneurs

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Etrepreneur starting a food business

Anyone who’s ever tried pursuing a business idea or opportunity knows well that it’s not a smooth-sailing project. For sure, you’ve seen how your uncle struggled to put up his restaurant business. You’ve also seen your former officemate still reeling from the financial failure of her first small venture. These stories leave many aspiring entrepreneurs, perhaps including you, afraid of taking the plunge despite doing a lot of preparation. Your fear is valid. But the way to deal with it isn’t to yield but to overcome it. How do you do that? By acknowledging those fears. Here are the most common fears of aspiring entrepreneurs, manifesting themselves in what-ifs:

What if I fail?

There’s a good reason you’re fearful of this. According to statistics, eight out of 10 new businesses fail within the first two years. What you need to understand as early as now is that failure is common in an entrepreneur’s life. It’s the norm when you think about the risks you’re up against, from small and big competitors to unpredictable economic crises. But it doesn’t mean that your business will inevitably end up in shambles.

If there’s anything that this important truth should do to you, that must be to inspire you to keep your business guarded from risks and have a backup plan if indeed failure happens. This may mean venturing into recession-proof ventures such as a burger restaurant or a pizza business. It may also mean calculating the costs of going up against big brands and niche industries. With this perspective, you can lower the chances of business failure.

What if no one likes my business?

This happens a lot. There are so many brands launching every day only to fizzle out months later because they ’aren’t able to capture market appeal. The common mistake entrepreneurs make in those instances is to insist on their “good” idea without doing a reality check on the target audience’s needs and wants. Remember that when you’re introducing your business to a certain public, your product or service has to solve a certain problem for them. If it doesn’t, you can only expect a flop from the venture.

Before you launch your business, test out your offerings to a group of people. Know their experiences, and consider their feedback. If they don’t like it, perhaps it’s time to rethink your business. If you want to venture into something more predictable in terms of market reception, go for tried-and-tested business models such as franchises.

What if I can’t afford to do this in the long run?

Beautiful skilled entrepreneur dressed in black apron with mock up making coffee business by herself. Smiling barista standing at bar and talking with web consultant about ordering food for cafeteria

Before you can even get returns, you will have to run on some financial sacrifices just to keep your business. That is, at times, frightening. It’s valid to wonder if you can sustain this in the long run. If you’re not secure about finances now, know that there are lots of institutions and platforms that you can tap to build the resources you need. Reach out to business organizations in your locale. They likely have a couple of investors who are willing to help you. Consider crowdfunding platforms and bank loans as well. Prepare a killer pitch and trust in the process.

Are you afraid to take the plunge into business? What’s holding you back? Whatever it is, it’s inspired by fear. It should never be fed. It should be overcome.