Starting Your Own Business – What’s Stopping You?
Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavour, but it often comes with a fair share of doubts and concerns. If you’ve been contemplating taking the leap into self-employment but find yourself hesitating, it’s crucial to address the factors that may be holding you back.
There are three key questions to ask yourself to help you identify and overcome the barriers preventing you from launching your business.
It is common to have the feeling of not having enough information. It’s natural to want to be well-prepared and have every answer before embarking on such a significant journey. However, there’s a fine line between gathering essential knowledge and succumbing to “analysis paralysis.” Here’s how to strike the right balance:
Identify What You Truly Need: Start by pinpointing the specific information you lack. Is it guidance on who is best placed to help you? Is it gaining confidence that your clients will follow? What are the options for obtaining FCA permissions? What funding you need to ensure you succeed? Be precise about your knowledge gaps.
Avoid Drowning in Data: With the vast amount of information available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Focus on collecting the essential data that directly helps answer the questions you need answers to, help make the right decision. Limit the scope of your research to what is most relevant. Create checklists to compare the pros and cons of your options.
Source Information Wisely: Identify reliable sources where you can obtain the necessary information. Utilise resources such as industry connections, online webinars, specific guides around starting an insurance brokerage, and business mentors. Seek guidance from experts in the field.
Take Action: Once you have the foundational knowledge, take the plunge. Entrepreneurship often involves learning through experience. Remember that you can continue to educate yourself as you go.
While you may have extensive experience in the insurance industry, you may find yourself short on experience in running your own business. FACT: You’re not alone, 90% of all insurance brokerage start-ups have never run a business before. If you feel apprehensive about your lack of experience, consider the following steps:
Recognise Commonality: Understand that every successful entrepreneur was once in your shoes, feeling inexperienced and uncertain. It’s a common phase in the journey of starting a business.
Identify Knowledge Gaps: Be honest with yourself about where you lack experience. Is it in financial management, marketing, or operations? Recognising these gaps is the first step to addressing them.
Upskill or Outsource: Depending on your identified shortcomings, you can choose to upskill yourself by taking courses or seeking guidance from experienced business professionals. Alternatively, consider outsourcing certain aspects of your business to experts. Your AR principal will be able to help fill in the gaps and guide you in respect of what they can help with, what is needed elsewhere, and what potentially is a luxury.
Learn from Others: Connect with others who run their own business, mentors, or business groups. Learning from their experiences can help you navigate the challenges that come with starting a business.
The entrepreneurial community is known for its support and camaraderie. Whether it’s your fellow business owners, mentors, or support from your FCA principal, seeking assistance is crucial. Here’s how to ensure you have the support you need:
Leverage Your Network: Engage with the entrepreneurial community, either locally or online. Join industry associations and participate in networking events. Building a supportive network can provide valuable insights and encouragement.
Seek Mentorship: Find a mentor who has experience in the insurance industry or who has set up a business for themselves. A mentor can provide guidance, share their wisdom, and act as a sounding board for your ideas and concerns.
Utilise Your Principal: If you’re working within a franchise or under the guidance of a principal, don’t hesitate to lean on their expertise. They should be there to help you navigate the challenges and uncertainties that come with business ownership.
While starting your own business can be daunting, addressing these three critical questions – the need for more information, experience, and support – can help you break down the barriers that are stopping you. Remember that most successful business owners started with little more than an idea and a desire to learn.
Accept that No Decision is Final
Remember that, in many cases, starting a business is reversible. If you try and it doesn’t work out, you can pivot, close the business, start something new, or go back to employment. It’s not necessarily a permanent commitment.
With determination, support, and a commitment to give it your all, you can overcome these obstacles and take the first steps toward realising your dream.