Opening a new business is an emotionally-intense time. Of course, you’re excited as all get out. But it’s hard not to think about everything you don’t know as a business owner.
You can do all the research and prep work in the world, but that won’t exclude you and your business from having to go through tough, real-life experiences.
That said, inexperience doesn’t have to be a negative thing. You can actually overcome it and use it to your advantage. Here’s how:
Take Pride in the Pre-Launch Stage
Hopefully, you took your time before launching your business or are doing so now. Taking pride in the pre-launch stage is critical for overcoming inexperience as a new business owner. The more prepared you are for all that business ownership is, the better.
Create a business plan to bring your vision to life. Tackle all behind-the-scenes business aspects like insurance, finances, and product development. Learn what you can about marketing, sales, and customer service too.
Before you launch your business, learning about common pitfalls new business owners face would also benefit you.
Beware of Common Pitfalls
When you don’t have experience in something, it’s best to learn from those who do. Learning from the snags other business owners have gone through, in particular, is vital. Doing so will help you prepare plans for mitigating the adverse effects of these pitfalls should you encounter them.
Common pitfalls new business owners experience due to lack of experience include:
Not being able to adapt because you’re naive to how business fluctuates
Making promises you can’t keep because you’re trying to stand out
Not doing market research because you don’t understand its importance
Not investing in reliable technology because you aren’t keen to invest in your business
Taking on more than you should because you’re so siked about having a business
Explore these and other common pitfalls in detail. Then, factor in your unique business needs and write down a step-by-step plan for working through them.
When you know the typical traps new business owners fall into, you can avoid them regardless of your current skill or experience level.
One of the best ways to overcome inexperience as a new business owner is to cultivate confidence. When you’re confident, you don’t fear inexperience. Instead, you become excited by what you don’t know and immerse yourself in the learning process.
Developing confidence also strengthens your decision-making. Inexperience stops a lot of business owners from making important decisions in their businesses. But when you’re confident, you learn how to move forward with insightful solutions despite not being the most experienced person in the room. Confident decision-making requires tools and methods like problem-solving flowcharts and the ability to brainstorm — but most of all this skill starts with refining how you view yourself.
So, cultivate confidence by first working on your relationship with yourself. Show yourself love, grace, and understanding, especially when you make mistakes. And step out of your comfort zone whenever possible to prove that you can do what you thought you couldn’t.
When you’re confident, you don’t fear the unknown. You learn from it.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Dwell
Inexperience is a part of business ownership. You aren’t going to know everything before you start your business, during your ownership stint, and after you’ve closed your doors for good. Embrace this fact rather than beat yourself down when you make mistakes.
Don’t allow yourself to dwell on business ownership blunders. Don’t allow yourself to obsess over what you don’t know. Instead, do your best to prepare for what’s to come and take it in stride when it doesn’t go at all as you planned.
Also, learn from every roadblock. Reflect on what didn’t work in a situation and why. Then, leave your reflection session with a plan. Document how you’ll rectify the situation now and what you’ll do to address this particular roadblock in the future should it arise.
Don’t dwell on your inexperience and the tough times that arise because of it. Give yourself props for trying and then adjust.
Grow a Professional Network
As lonely as business ownership may feel sometimes, you aren’t alone. Hundreds of thousands of new business owners worldwide are experiencing precisely what you’re going through, and you should build relationships with them.
Grow your professional network. Use social media to connect with established and new business owners in your industry. Reach out to different people and start meaningful conversations with them.
Also, meet up with business owners you know in real life. Talk with them about what’s going well and what isn’t in your business. Take in their advice and find comfort in their stories about how to embrace business ownership’s rollercoaster ride.
Lean on your professional network to help you thrive despite your lack of experience.
Form a Team
Overcoming inexperience as a new business owner may be done best by hiring people with experience.
Consider forming a team to navigate the parts of your business with which you have no experience. Make a list of the roles or responsibilities you feel could benefit from someone else with specialized knowledge leading them. Then, choose the most pressing position you need filled and recruit for a suitable match.
By forming a team, you can ensure each part of your business is run by someone with ample experience.
Overcoming inexperience as a new business owner will be an up and down journey. However, the tips above can make it much more manageable. Work on your mindset, prioritize a work-life balance, consciously learn from every roadblock, and grow your support system to get you well on your way.