Every time we turn on the news, we hear another story of business failure. We understand how the economy is recovering, and it’s eating businesses for breakfast. Entrepreneurs look at those stories and shrug it out.
We can look around and see more opportunity than any time in history. The Internet alone has given access to 2.5 billion leads that are online every day. That’s not to say we’ll reach all of them, but the opportunity is mind-blogging.
The news is wrong, but that still doesn’t take away all our fears. Deep down inside, every entrepreneur is afraid of something. It can be self-limiting beliefs or negative experiences in our past, but if our business is going to reach that next level, we have to beat our fears.
Here are three fears that can keep our business from growing, and ways for us to overcome them.
1. We’ll lose business if we raise our prices.
What to charge for our products and services is a constant work in progress. The only true way to know what we should charge is by testing. There are too many of us, however, that won’t even get to the testing phase because we’re afraid to raise our prices.
It may be what our competitors charge, or what an “expert” told us to charge, but we don’t charge based off of the value we provide. If we provide a valuable service, we should never be afraid to charge a fair and profitable price for our time.
Time is the only thing we’ll never get back, which makes our time the highest priced offering our business provides. Yes, we may lose some business, but when you trade time for dollars, all we have is a job. Lose a few tire kickers, that is perfectly OK. You will then be able to serve those who will truly use what you provide.
Related: 3 Strategies for Raising Your Prices
2. We’ll lose leads if we focus on a niche.
For as long as business has been around, we have heard the phrase, “Need to niche.” While I don’t believe you have to be as micro-focused as possible, there is incredible value in focusing on a particular group of people or industry.
When we can figure out who we most want to help and serve, we have a clue as to how to reach them. We can research that group and see where they are, online or offline. We can see what they respond to and tailor our marketing efforts in the best way to get a response from them.
As much as you can, pick a specific group or industry. Don’t try to reach them the way you think is best; let your research show you the best strategies. Start general. Get more specific as you get more information.
3. We won’t be successful if we don’t copy industry leaders.
The Internet and social media have given us access in a way we have never experienced in the past. We see what successful industry leaders are doing, and what strategies they’re using to do them.
I firmly believe in modeling success. If you see someone successful, what can you learn from him or her? Modeling success, however, is NOT the same as copying. Too many entrepreneurs are carbon copies of successful industry leaders.
When someone wants to do business, they hire someone they know, like and trust. If we are the carbon copies of someone else, people will do business with that person. They can never get to a buying place in their mind because they haven’t met the real us.
We have everything it takes to build a successful business on our own and without copying a successful entrepreneur. More than that, this is the best way to connect with our customers.
Growing a business is hard. There are days when it feels like nothing is going right. There are days when we would just rather throw in the towel. These fears only compound the problem and keep us from reaching the next level.
We have to address these fears. We have to get honest about where we’re at and the strategies we’re using. If they need adjusting, we can’t be afraid to do what’s necessary.
At the end of the day, entrepreneurship provides us a life of real freedom. It’s hard, but worth every struggle. If we always stay self-aware, we can beat any fears and continue to grow our business.