Overcome the Fear of Being Your Own Boss
By Joe Libava, SBA Guest Blogger
I’d like to start out by telling you that it’s perfectly normal to be fearful about owning a franchise business—or any business. As a matter of fact, if you weren’t afraid, it would cause me worry. But if you’d really like to be your own boss, there are ways to overcome some of the fears you’re feeling. I’ll go over a few of them in this post.
Fear of Change
If you’ve been working in corporate America for any length of time, you’re used to certain things. For instance, you’re used to having a couple of major benefits, like partially paid healthcare and a 401(k) plan. But instead of worrying about losing the benefits you’ve had (because you were an employee), you need to spend time learning about ways you can still have them as an employer.
One of the resources you should explore is the small business section of HealthCare.gov. You’ll learn all about the different healthcare programs that may be available for your new business.
As to 401(k) plans, you may be able to offer and participate in a retirement plan you can customize. To learn more, read this useful article written by fellow SBA Guest Blogger Barbara Weltman.
Fear of Making the Wrong Choice
This is a biggie. And if you do make the wrong choice in a business, it could end up haunting you for years. That’s why it’s important to follow a process when deciding on what business to buy—in this case, a franchise business. In order to make a good choice in a franchise, you first have to determine what you’re good at doing and what you’d like to be doing as a franchise owner.
If you’d like to see an overview of the process I recommend using, read this Olympic-themed franchise article.
To be sure, you could end up choosing the wrong franchise business opportunity. In addition, the right franchise opportunity can quickly become the wrong opportunity through no fault of your own. For example, you may end up buying a franchise that caters to high-end customers or clients. That’s all fine and good until something happens with the economy. Something that causes the wealthy to drastically reduce their spending on the high-end things you offer.
I’m not saying that will happen to you. I’m just saying it could.
One way to lower the odds of that happening to you (and lower your fear level), is to keep your eye on economic and consumer trends that could affect the franchise concept(s) you’re interested in. Watch them and, if possible, try to capitalize on them.
Fear of Failure
The fact is, not every business succeeds. You know going in that there’s a risk your business could fail. One of the things you can do to help mitigate that risk is to make sure you have enough money to keep your new business up and running until break-even occurs.
Tip: When you contact franchisees during your research, ask them how long it took them to reach break-even. Doing that will enable you to set aside the funds you’ll need to keep your new franchise business afloat.
And speaking of contacting franchisees, there’s something else you can do that may help alleviate some of your “fear of failure” thoughts. When you talk to franchisees, share your fears with them. Tell them you’re worried that you’ll fail. Ask them if they, too, were concerned about failing. You may be surprised to learn that the feelings you’re experiencing are exactly the same ones they experienced—but that they’re still in business.
Becoming your own boss is a big step. You’re going to experience fear. The trick is to do everything in your power to lessen your fear(s) enough to enable you to go after your dream of owning a business as confidently as possible.
The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is the author of Become a Franchise Owner! and recently launched Franchise Business University.
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