It's OK to Have Questions When Starting a Business

Starting a business can be scary, but don't let the questions and fears stop you.

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By Mike Kappel


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you're interested in becoming an entrepreneur, you will probably have many questions when starting a business. You might start with questions such as:

The more you think about starting a business, the more questions you'll have:

  • How do I get started?
  • How much money do I need?
  • How smart does a person have to be? Am I smart enough?
  • What do I need to know?
  • Are there signs that predict whether or not I will succeed?
  • Is there a formula that I need to follow to be successful? If so, what is it?

Questions when starting a business are endless.

Every time you think of a new question about building your business, a whole slew of other questions will quickly emerge. There are so many questions to ask before you launch a startup. One begets many!

The endless flow of questions prevents many people from going into business. They get overwhelmed by their own questions. Don't let this happen to you. If you dwell on the number of questions to answer when starting a business, you will never start looking for answers nor start building your business.

Nobody will ask all the right questions. Nor will anyone have all the answers. That's OK. You learn as you go; you will make mistakes. Asking business startup questions, even the obvious ones, is a great place for you to begin.

You will figure out which questions to ask as you build your business. I started multiple businesses from scratch. Most of these businesses, like my recruiting software and accounting and payroll software companies, were successes. Some of my ventures were miserable failures. Thanks to my experiences, I like to think I got pretty good at asking questions. I figured out what questions to ask as I reached unknowns, reflected on failures and celebrated successes.

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The unknown doesn't have to be scary.

People don't like to let questions go without answers. These answerless questions become "unknowns," which make people uncomfortable. When people are pushed outside their comfort zones, they become intimidated or paralyzed and they won't start a business.

Don't let the fear of the unknown scare you. There are always unknowns in life. Any average person can learn to navigate the unknown waters of building a business. It's not rocket science. It's trial and error.

For example, in 1988 I hired my first employee. The same day I hired that employee, I had to fire the person. The situation didn't go over well. In just four hours I proved that I didn't know how to hire, let alone fire, an employee. I had to learn by trial and error; so do you. Although, I hope the experience of hiring your first employee won't look quite like mine did.

Embracing trial and error is an important business skill to develop. You'll hopefully become more comfortable with the unknown and see that making mistakes is OK. In fact, it's the mistakes that make you figure out ways to improve your business.

Related: 10 Online Invoicing Services for Small-Business Owners

Face your fears.

Here's the thing: Once you start your business, the questions never stop. You'll constantly be trying to figure out better ways to do things. New issues and opportunities always come up. You need to figure out how to do payroll, pay taxes, manage inventory, make a profit and hire employees. Starting a business can be scary, but don't let the questions and fears stop you.

Think about all the other entrepreneurs out there. They were able to get past their fears and start businesses. You can, too.

Mike Kappel

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Serial Entrepreneur, Patriot Software Company CEO

Mike Kappel is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Patriot Software Company, and its subsidiaries.  Patriot Software, LLC is a developer of online payroll and accounting software for U.S. small-business owners.

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