Business Fears that Cripple

Business Fears

In the spirit of Halloween, this post is dedicated to fear… more specifically, the fears that we face when starting and operating a business.

Here are a few of the fears that many of us face as we decide to become entrepreneurs;

  1. Start-up costs – The initial investment required to start a business can be the biggest obstacle to overcome, and some never do.
  2. Benefit costs – Benefits are expensive, specifically health insurance, but life and disability insurance too
  3. Long hours – It’s time consuming to start a new business or even grow an existing one. Many business owner go years without a vacation.
  4. Overhead – office space, utilities, equipment, computer hardware and software
  5. Liability – The risk of a lawsuit can be a real concern. Of course this can vary based on your industry and type of business entity that you establish.
  6. Information Security – With our reliance on computers and other devices, technology malfunctions and hackers can be a complicated issue.
  7. The Unknown – At any stage of business development, surprises can be costly.
  8. Failure – Not making enough money and/or finding enough clients to stay in business

These issues, along with other worries, can be crippling to a start-up company if not dealt with properly. However, if you can expect these fears and address them early, the benefits and rewards of building and owning your own business can far outweigh the risk.

Please feel free to comment with your own business fears and/or how you’ve overcome them.

Get what you pay for?

I recently asked the question on LinkedIn, “Why wouldn’t you hire a Virtual Assistant?”

BusinessWhile a few of the answers were typical, there was one comment that really stood out. Maria Marsala provided the following comment;

“Some don’t take themselves seriously as a business owner. They need to create contracts, etc. 
I didn’t hire a VA once because her prices were way too low. Since I didn’t know her work, I didn’t know if she was just broke and needed the money or unskilled.”

I found this interesting and the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much this statement  and the reality of price actually encompasses.

Think about it, if you are truly running a Virtual Assistant business, then you would be concerned with security (a major focus), reputation, customer service, continuing education (a huge differentiation), proper accounting, confidentiality (another major concern), legal protection, and efficiency.

In comparison, if you are just trying to make a few extra bucks on the side, then you really only care about income and keeping your overhead as low as possible, usually at the expense of building the necessary infrastructure to support and sustain the needs of your customers.

This all comes back to the issue of cost. Someone who is truly running a Virtual Assisting business, and investing both the time and money necessary to ensure the quality and security that their clients can depend on, will generally have to charge a higher price in order to remain in business. Here’s a post about what qualities to look for in a Virtual Assistant.

The next time you are considering outsourcing, think twice before you hire the cheapest person you find, after all it’s often true that “you get what you pay for”.

A rather simple example that comes to mind for me is travel coffee mugs. I bought a travel mug for $5 at a major retailer; it seemed like a good mug, at a great price. However, it didn’t fit in any of the cup holders in my car. I went back and bought a different mug for about the same price. This one didn’t hold a full cup of coffee without leaking. I bought a third, this one didn’t keep my coffee hot for more than 30 minutes. Finally, I broke down and bought a $20 mug from Starbucks. It’s perfect, holds a full medium coffee, without spilling, fits in all of my cup holders, and keeps it hot for hours. Had I done this to begin with, I would have saved $15 and a lot of space in my cabinet. Lesson learned.

QuestionsDo you have an example of how paying more actually saved you money in the long run?

Check out this post for ideas on how a Virtual Assistant might be able to help you in your business.

Still have questions? Contact Us!