Running a business is hard work. Anybody who tells you any differently is trying to sell you something. Success is not guaranteed, and that kind of uncertainty breeds fear.
Now, a bit of healthy fear in any endeavor is certainly a good thing. In business, it can keep one from making reckless decisions that can ultimately cause a business to flounder and fail. As with everything in life, though, too much of anything can hurt, and too much fear can keep the wheels of your business spinning in its place.
Here at Freightcom we’ve helped our fair share of businesses grow, our own business included, and we’ve been able to witness firsthand what it takes to push a business further, and what causes one to stagnate. With that in mind, here are some of the biggest fears that can keep your business from reaching its true potential.
Fear of Failure
Let’s start by getting the big one out of the way. There’s really no way around this one: everybody, to some degree, is afraid to fail. It is something that is baked into our basic survival instinct as a species.
In business, however, it can be suffocating.
It is well-known that the average business takes two to three years to be profitable, and especially in those formative years the fear of failure can keep business owners from taking risks that may, long term, lead to growth and prosperity.
In an interview with Inc.com, 1-800-GOT-JUNK CEO Brian Scudamore shared the importance of being willing to fail:
The fact of the matter is that business involves risk, and that risk will, occasionally, end in failure. The key is recognizing that, sometimes, failure is actually a tool that can foster growth.
Fear of Charging Too Much
This is a fear that is particularly prominent in smaller, artisanal entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean that others are immune to it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that it can’t be detrimental to your business’ growth.
It’s an easy trap to fall into. You want your products or services to be as appealing to your potential customer base as possible, and what better way than by offering the most attractive price point?
In truth, this has been a problem that has been prominent amid small business owners for some time; a survey conducted by intuit 2014 revealed that 27% of small businesses believed that they were undercharging for their services.
To this day this remains a concern, as in a similar 2021 study 21% of small business owners cited lower-priced competition to be a primary concern.
Pushing past this fear is simply a matter of crunching numbers, being aware of your operating costs, and valuing your own time and labor. In addition, you must consider the retention of your customers and the potential for recurring revenue.
Further, it helps to understand that, while the cost of material goods is something that is not always in your control, there are ways to both justify the cost to your consumer and mitigate the cost on the operational end to offer more attractive pricing.
For example, recently we spoke about how offering an unboxing experience to your customers can be a beneficial marketing tool. Doing so will not only provide a value-add to your customer experience that will help to justify your pricing, but doing so in a cost-effective manner such as using custom stamps over custom printed boxes can lower your operational overhead.
By passing those savings down to the customer, you are now providing even further value without devaluing your products or yourself.
Fear of Being Too Niche
To be fair, the logic behind this fear seems sound in theory. If your product or service is too niche, it runs the risk of having a limited customer base, and as such is bound to stagnate as a result.
The reality, however, could not be further from the truth.
Focusing on a niche market is quite healthy, and in fact encouraged for small business growth. In a survey conducted for DSA.ca, niche, direct-to-consumer businesses accounted for $4.15 billon CAD in annual sales in 2020. In fact, upwards of one third of consumers will actively seek out small businesses with the express intent of satisfying a niche, as shown in a 2019 survey conducted by Zendesk.
In focusing your business’ energy on doing one thing and doing it well, you will help to solidify customer retention and ensure long-term growth based on quality over quantity.
Freightcom Takes the Fear Out of Shipping
Of all the fears that you may need to face as a small business owner, rest assured that you’ll never need to fear paying too much for shipping!
Freightcom’s all-in-one, multimode shipping platform gives you the power to compare rates on LTL and parcel shipping in real-time, and the ability to choose from North America’s leading carriers, all in one place, and all with zero startup or monthly fees!
Written by Brandon Draga
Brandon Draga is a full-time content writer at Freightcom, the leading shipping solution for businesses in Canada. When Brandon is not writing content to help businesses with their shipping needs, he can be found at local skate parks or writing fantasy novels.