Although 25 percent of Americans say they’ve considered becoming business owners (Gallup Poll), many of them quit before they start. They get stuck on the hurdles that stand between them and their life as an entrepreneur. But it’s possible to scale these hurdles if you have the right knowledge, resources and assistance. If you’re among the quarter of the U.S. population who wants to be an entrepreneur, here are tips to get you over the five biggest hurdles on the way to starting your business.
1. Insufficient funds
It’s no surprise that financial fears are what stop many entrepreneurs from launching their endeavors. From fear of not making enough to the fear of draining a savings account, worries about money are widespread.
The Gallup poll found that 84 percent of Americans surveyed said they didn’t start a business because they like the security of a steady income. Another 68 percent said they didn’t have enough personal savings to start a business.
If insufficient funds are stopping you from starting your business, use these tips to boost your revenue and support your income streams.
Start something on the side. You don’t need to jump right into your business. Start building and growing your business on weekends and nights. Or, supplement your income using online peer-to-peer platforms and the sharing economy to generate revenue on the side.
Pick an income stream. Early on in your business planning, decide exactly how you will bring in revenue. Be clear about your goals so you can focus on the two to three products or services that will give you the most income. Many solopreneurs and new entrepreneurs start by offering consulting services as they launch other portions of their business.
Sell online before you open a physical storefront. If you are selling products, save yourself from initial upfront costs and overhead by launching online first. Start an ecommerce website to sell online before you spend the money to open a physical store.
2. Legal concerns
Legal requirements and fears are another big hurdle that can scare away potential entrepreneurs. But while legal considerations need to be a priority, they don’t need to be a stop sign on the road to starting your business.
You can get the help you need through online resources like Legal Zoom. Plus, there are free and discounted services offered by small business development centers supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Even if potential business owners get funds and legal support to start their business, they often get stuck in the starting blocks. With marketing planning and administration tasks, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
The confusion of launching a business website holds many entrepreneurs back — even though it shouldn’t.
Starting a website and marketing your new business is easy when you have tools like:
- Website Builder that provides premade customizable designs that even an amateur can use to create a professional online presence.
- WordPress Content Management System (CMS) that offers even more design options as well as thousands of plugins that allow you to upgrade and improve the functionality of your site.
- Online Store templates that have built-in payment processing, shopping carts, and product catalogs that you can use to promote and sell your products online.
4. Knowledge gaps
Most entrepreneurs start with an idea for a product or service they know people need and want. They usually don’t begin with an extensive knowledge of running a business. And, that lack of know-how is what stops many from actually launching a business.
The Gallup Poll revealed that 49 percent of the survey respondents didn’t follow through with their business idea because they didn’t know where to start. Another 29 percent admitted that they have no knowledge about running a business.
But a lack of knowledge doesn’t need to hold you back from starting your business. You can educate yourself and operate without a business degree thanks to digital resources.
Look for online courses offered by influential and thought-leading entrepreneurs that provide an overview of the skills you will need to run a business.
Hire a consultant, virtual assistant, or expert to handle the tasks that you aren’t equipped to do on your own.
Use software and online resources that simplify tasks from invoicing and bookkeeping to project management and marketing.
5. Self-doubt about starting your business
Even if entrepreneurs make it over each of the hurdles mentioned above, there is one last obstacle they have to overcome. This isn’t a procedural or process problem. It’s a mental obstacle.
So as you begin your entrepreneurial endeavor:
Look for a business support group with mentors and business owners who can help you get through the tough times. This network will help you work out problems in your business and give you the encouragement to keep going.
Get validation for your ideas. If you aren’t sure if your idea is going to work, collect feedback that provides proof. That product validation, will help you believe more strongly in your business.
Focus on believing in yourself. Don’t overlook the importance of believing in yourself and your work. Get over the entrepreneur mindset barriers holding you back by continuously improving your attitude, outlook, and skill set, and pushing forward even when it feels scary.
Soar over these hurdles to your starting your business
Too many entrepreneurs let these five hurdles hold them back from starting a business they love. Don’t let that happen to you.
Use the resources mentioned in this post as well as our free guide How to start a business: The Checklist to take the first steps toward starting your business today.
Also published on Medium.