Main Content

Back to Blog List

The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 21 March 2022
  • Albert Rockwood

10 Common Fears Among Small Business Owners in Their First Year

Starting a new business can be a scary thought, especially in today’s climate. With obstacles — both real and imagined — seemingly everywhere, prospective small business owners may be deterred by their fears. Setting up and running a small business might seem overwhelming, but these fears should not stand in the way of running the small business of your dreams. After all, fear can sometimes be the greatest motivator.

man and woman smiling after resolving business issue

1. Fear of Failure

The biggest fear surrounding starting a new small business is fear of failure. Though this might seem obvious, this can be a great source of inspiration. Using these fears of failure can be your main motivation so that you don’t fail. Another way to look at it is, aren't you already failing yourself by letting your fears stand in the way of your dreams?

2. Fear of Success

On the opposite spectrum, success can seem overwhelming for a small business owner. This might sound like an obscure fear but having a successful business can seem all encompassing. Instead of dwelling on the negative “what ifs,” focus on the upside of growth for you, your family, and your community. A fear of success is one of those rare “good problems to have.”

3. Fear of Lacking Experience

A lot of potential business owners are held up by the idea that they aren’t experts in the field they want to start a new business in, which can be a legitimate concern. On the flip side, starting a small business in a field you may not be an expert in can eventually lead you to becoming one. The best way to learn more about an area of expertise is to dive in headfirst and work from the ground up. Many small business owners don’t start off as experts but grow into one through their business.

4. Commitment Fears

Starting a new small business is a huge commitment — and that can be scary for many. It feels as if you have to live and breathe your business in order to stay on top of everything. This might sound intimidating, but when you open a business doing something you love, it isn’t work or a commitment so much as it is a huge source of pride and motivation. Like Mark Twain said: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

5. Fear of Finances

Let’s be honest, not everyone is a financial wizard. Unless you studied and mastered accounting, the fear of operating your own finances can be an overwhelming fear. Finance and accounting are no simple tasks, but thanks to many easy-to-operate small business apps (want to link to previous UPS blog post when published), anybody can manage and organize their finances with ease

6. Fear of Not Knowing Where to Start

Starting a new small business is no easy feat. You may have a spark of an idea but no real clue on how or where to begin. This is when a lot of people give up. But thankfully there are many resources at your disposal to help you get up and running. For instance, here are four questions you should ask yourself before starting a small business that can help alleviate and manage these fears. The UPS Store® even has a dedicated post to show all the ways The UPS Store can assist you and help your dream come to life.

7. Fear of Losing Control

The idea of starting a small business means making yourself vulnerable to outside dynamics — from the individual whims of consumers to greater macroeconomic conditions. The fear of losing control is a big hurdle many face, especially when running their own small business. This shouldn’t be a blockage but more of a welcomed challenge. The ever-adapting market means you always have something to overcome and new and improved ways to show that your small business can meet demands. Look at it as a fun way to constantly shape and mold your business to stay on trend

8. Fear of Not Gaining Customers

A major hang-up for prospective business owners is gaining customers. Letting your business grow and reach an audience can be a real fear. However, gaining customers is not as difficult as you might think, especially if you love your business. Putting the care and passion behind your work shines through to potential customers, and who better to sell your dream to others than yourself? Check out this post about sales hacks for gaining new clients. Some of these examples may be easier than you think.

9. Fear of Failing Your Loved Ones

This can be a heavy one. Your loved ones are always there for you and want you to succeed, so a very real business fear is failing them. A lot of pride can come from this fear and may even create distance between you and your loved ones. To help alleviate this business fear, be open with them. Show them all the steps you are taking. If you keep an open dialogue with loved ones, even when things aren’t going your way, they will appreciate and understand your journey and may even help you when you need it most. It’s important to be transparent with those who love you most; there is no “failing” when you have the support around you.

10. Fear of Competition

Today there is a great market for just about anything. Competition can be a scary and intimidating thing, especially when competing over a passion. Don’t let this deter you. Let your passion outshine your competition. It’s your passion that got you here, and it’s that same passion that will help nurture and grow your business. A little healthy competition can also help your business expand, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Focus on what your business means to you and remember that competition should not be feared but welcomed.

With so many avenues to promote your new small business and multiple ways to connect and work with customers, starting a new small business today is easier than even just a few years ago. There may be plenty of fears to stall prospective business owners, but channeling these fears to motivate you can lead to a fulfilling and successful business.


Back to Blog List