Procrastination is natural – take a look at why you should set up your own business before everything is perfect.
Setting up a business is simple enough to do. In the UK, it’s a simple matter of registering your business with Companies House (costs £15) and then setting up your VAT / Tax payments with HMRC. Officially after that point, you’re a business owner!
So if it’s so simple, why is it that we procrastinate over setting up businesses for so long?
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
Fear is a natural part of creating a business. I’ve worked with a variety of clients and similar thoughts come up each time that they attempt to start their business; they’re scared that they may fail, they’re scared that they don’t have the “perfect” website and they’re scared of the inevitable change that comes with new beginnings.
Setting up before you’re ready is actually a really important (and fun!) part of the start-up process. The reason? The longer you put it off, the more fear that builds around the task itself.
Think about the last thing that you did that scared you. Think about how you felt before you started…That sick feeling in your stomach, your heart racing, the feeling of overwhelm and nervousness.
Now think about how you felt afterwards; the sense of relief, the adrenaline rush and even (depending on the activity) the pure enjoyment of living in the moment.
Setting up a business is just like that. The initial fears around money, creating graphics/ websites or even products can be overwhelming. The more you think about them, the more they build up to become large issues that seem to outweigh the end goals of financial freedom, owning a business you love and becoming a self sufficient, awesome female entrepreneur! When you dive in and start the task that’s terrifying you, it actually gives you the motivation and will power to succeed.
Breaking it down
I knew I wasn’t ready to start my business when I did – I was still working full time, hadn’t saved enough money to give me three months worth of salary as a fall back and hadn’t even told my friends or family that I was doing it! But the day that I had my “aha” moment and knew that I was going to step out and create my own freedom based business, I created a list of all the things I needed to do – from Companies House Registration, right down to the purchase of my own computer!
Starting before I was ready gave me the extra drive that I needed and I found that the best way to manage my time was to break tasks down into manageable chunks.
For example; during my first week of business, I knew that I had to get my business registered, the legal documentation sorted and a website created. So I sat down for an hour each day and ticked off small pieces; one day I only managed to sort out the company registration – but on another, I purchased a web design package and wrote the entire first draft of my content.
It’s about having SMART goals; (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.) SMART goals ensure that you’re moving forward with your business – even when you’re only completing small tasks (as the phrase goes, it all builds up!)
The biggest objection that I hear from my clients about starting before they are ready is that “it won’t be perfect”. My answer? Good. People buy from people. They buy your time, skills and expertise – not your website or your amazing graphics (unless that’s your field!) Ultimately, the basic principle of business is that you create a product of value and proceed to market that product to your ideal client in order to get a sale.
Yes – a good website can help. Having clear ways to communicate or to give your client the ability to sign up for your opt-in offers/ capture their details for future marketing campaigns is going to help you plan long term. But jumping in before you are completely ready gives you the chance to harness your passion for your product/ service and the motivation to hone your sales skills by going out there and selling it well.
It also has the bonus of giving you more opportunities for market research and testing the water before spending a fortune on all of the tools that you’ve been told that you “should” be using. Typically I advise clients to give themselves a thirty day window to create their business. It doesn’t need to be perfect – but thirty days to have it registered, have systems and structures in place and to have made at least one sale.
Why Thirty Days?
Most companies will give you a month’s trial on their products! So you can test the systems and structures that are right for you before committing to a long term financial investment.
In thirty days, you should also begin to see results; using social media or free tools for the promotion of your business, getting your company registered and creating a basic website. If you spend 1-2 hours per day over thirty days, you start to see results mounting very quickly, particularly if you send out an awesome opt-in offer and get a good list building system in place early.
It takes a month to create a new habit – just think about it. Thirty days gives you a measurable timeframe to break those procrastinating habits and create a business well on its way to success.
It’s scary. But putting it off won’t make it any less terrifying in one month or six. In fact, you’ll spend more time being envious of all the people out there who are giving it a go and seeing results.
Starting with an amazing idea and getting it out there (via social media, word of mouth or even flyers) means that you have committed to your business and that you have committed to being a success.
And that’s something that everyone should aspire to.