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Entrepreneurs’ Biggest Fears and How to Overcome Them

Entrepreneurs' Biggest Fears and How to Overcome Them 2Being an entrepreneur is an exciting life adventure. It gives you the opportunity to turn your passions and top skills into a source of income, to create something and leave your mark in this world. But it is also a life where doubts nag you, where you ask yourself questions whose answers are not clear.

This is the rite of passage for all entrepreneurs. And the fact that you have fears means that you are realistic in your business endeavors. Those who never fear and never question themselves are usually bound to fail. But you need to understand that being trapped in your fears is not a solution, either. It just serves as a phase you must go through to find your motivation and inner resources to succeed.

What are your biggest fears? Most certainly, they are the same as every entrepreneur’s fears at one moment or another. Even iconic leaders you look up to had their fears – and they still do, albeit at a higher level. Let us spell it out for you – these are your biggest fears and the ways in which you can overcome them.

1. Fear of Having No Safety Net
What if your business fails? Your money is lost, you have left your job already and you can no longer provide for your family. It is a valid fear for any first-time entrepreneur, but there are ways to mitigate it. One of the most important ways in which you can do this is by putting aside your personal assets and not using them as security for your business.

Do not invest every cent you own in your business. Do not use your home as collateral for a loan. Do not forfeit your pension fund for a credit line. Start small and use your initial earnings to grow your business (this will also bring you tax relief, for reinvesting the profit in the business).

2. Fear of Not Being Liked by All Potential Customers
Running a business is the process of providing people with products and services which they need and like. But what if they do not like what you have to offer? Worse, what if they do not like your marketing approach? How can you please everyone?

The answer is simple: you can’t. Your success in business depends on identifying a niche market which you can own. It is a niche which you can address in a way which is appealing to the customers. It is a niche close to your skills, hobbies, passion and abilities. Your business can never be everything for everyone – it just needs to be something valuable for some people.

3. Fear of Failing to Complete All Tasks
It is hard being a Jack-of-all-trades: you are the marketer, the accountant, the client service representative and the manager, all in one. And you see your personal life shrinking to the point of disappearing in front of all the tasks you must do. Worse, you feel that, no matter how hard you work, you won’t be able to complete all your tasks.

Many new entrepreneurs believe that they should multitask – do several things at the same time, so they are all completed and they will also have more spare time. This is absolutely not the way to go about it. A study conducted by Stanford University proved that people who multitask tend to make more mistakes and complete tasks later than people who complete them task by task.

4. Fear of Losing Your Business Creativity
“What if this is the only product/service I can develop?” This is the question many entrepreneurs ask themselves. It is true that a business needs to perfect, update and expand its product range in order to be successful. But this does not happen overnight. And the more you interact with your prospects and social media followers, the more you understand their expectations. Soon enough, you will find an idea for a new product, or for improving the existing ones.

Plus, as you start networking and attending business events, you will be exposed to a whole new world of entrepreneurship, where you can find more resources to make sure your business keeps thriving.

5. Fear of Failure
We have left this for last because it is the worst fear entrepreneurs are facing at one point or another in their life. This fear goes beyond losing money: it is about losing face. It is the fear of having your family and friends know that you failed in the biggest dream you had.

But what if you don’t try to achieve this dream? Are you not afraid of a life of remorse, of “what ifs”? They are even worse than the doubts you have now, as you prepare to launch into business. So, go for your dream – not as a dreamer, but as a pragmatic businessman. No one can give you definite guarantees of success, but you will certainly do your best – and fortune usually favors the brave and hard working.

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How to Become a Home-Based Healthcare Consultant

How to Become a Home-Based Healthcare ConsultantConsultancy is one of the most adequate lines of business if you want to work independently from home. You need little equipment, your main assets being your skills and experience in your niche. Today we will show you how to start a home-based healthcare consultancy business.

What Does a Healthcare Consultant Do?
Healthcare consultants are hired by hospital and other healthcare companies to analyze and improve their operations and the way they run their business. The ultimate goal in a healthcare consultant’s job is to advise healthcare providers in a way which enables them to provide better services to patients and improve their bottom line.

This used to be a full-time position in the organizational scheme of most healthcare providers. However, the economic crisis and the need to cut back operational costs has determined most hospitals and other healthcare organizations to replace employees with freelance consultants. For you, as a potential home-based business healthcare consultant, this means that there is a thriving market where you can find customers and that it is not a short-term bubble, but it has the potential to provide you with a sufficient income for your family for years to come.

So, what does it take to become a home-based healthcare consultant?

Education and Skills Required for Healthcare Consultants
The minimum educational level required is a Bachelor’s degree, although many healthcare providers require a Master’s degree in one of these specializations:
⦁ Business Administration
⦁ Healthcare Administration
⦁ Human Resources

Management experience in the healthcare field is a plus, but not always required, especially if you offer your services to smaller clinics and other organizations. As for the core skills you must have strong communication and analytical skills, be good with math and be savvy in coming up with effective solutions. You must also be a good decision maker, with a high level of accountability for the outcomes of your proposed solutions.

If you recognize yourself in this description, you could be a successful healthcare consultant. If you want to work as an independent consultant, these are a few tips to set up your home-based business:

1. Obtain All Necessary Certifications
Each state has different certification requirements for home-based businesses when they are connected to the healthcare field. Even though your activities are not connected to providing actual medical services to customers, you will have access to various sensitive data. Thus, apart for the usual licenses for running a home-based business, you also need to hold specific data processing certifications.

2. Secure Your IT Equipment and Filing System
Apart from the legal certifications above, potential customers will also require you to sign non-disclosure agreements. They will also want you to offer proofs that you can keep their confidential data secure. Thus, you need to invest in effective antivirus solutions for your computer and all data storage devices.

While it is always recommended to have a separate computer for your home-based business and not allow your family to work on it, if you want to open a healthcare consultancy business it is mandatory. You will potentially receive financial and patient records from your customers and other confidential materials. No one but you must have access to them, not even read them.

3. Capitalize on Your Professional Background and Reputation
As we have stated above, being a home-based healthcare consultant is not a line a business you can take up overnight, but after years of experience in the field with a proven track record. This means that you must definitely have great networking skills and persuade your business acquaintances and, where possible, former employers to provide you with credentials and testimonials.

This is a line of business where reputation is everything, so take care to keep yours spotless. Be ethical and fair in dealing with all your customers and maintain good relationships with former co-workers or clients. A positive endorsement from any of them is the best marketing strategy for attracting new clients for your home-based business

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How to Use Bartering for Your Home-Based Business

How to Use Bartering for Your Home-Based BusinessYou never know how challenging it is to run a business, no matter how much you prepare, until you actually open it. Day by day, you realize that you have to purchase different products and services to keep your business operational. When you start adding up all the expenses, you find out that soon you will be strapped for cash.

For this reason, many home-based business owners attempt to DIY as many business operations as possible and waste lots of time hunting for the lowest prices for supplies. As a consequence, these business owners end up losing focus on their business in the search for affordable services and supplies. Instead of developing new products, connecting with potential customers and developing effective marketing strategies, they try to keep the business going on a shoestring. At a certain point, that shoestring will snap and the business will fail.

What if we told you that businesses did not appear and grow along the history by exchange of money but by a fair trade of products and services? And that this system of acquiring supplies and services still works at the present? This system is called bartering.

Bartering means that your business needs a certain product or service and, instead of money, it offers the supplier other products or services that it needs and which have an equal value to those you seek. Most small businesses all over the world help each other stay on the market and become successful by using the bartering system. So, how can you make it work for your home-based business?

1. Seek a Fair Exchange, Not a Bargain
The first thing you need to do if you want to benefit from bartering is to get in the right mindset. You are not looking for a bargain, but for a valuable business service or product, just as valuable as your products and services. If you think that bartering means getting something very cheap or for free, you set yourself on the path to finding unreliable partners who will offer you low quality products and services.

In turn, these will impact your own business and the way in which you serve your customers. It will not be long until your own products and services will also decrease in quality.

2. Consider What You Offer for Barter
As a corollary of the above, the product or service you offer for bartering must be one of actual value and utility, one which would find customers if it were for sale. In other words, do not trade “junk” products and services. Bartering is about a fair exchange, not getting rid of valueless items. It is also not the same thing as “unpaid work”, so if you agree to provide a service as your part of the barter, execute it with the same level of skill and care as you would have done for a paying customer.

3. Apply Ethics and Judgment in Selecting Bartering Partners
It is neither ethical nor good for your professional reputation to ask a supplier from which you have already purchased products or services to barter. It looks too much like pleading for a freebie and it may cause your business partner to believe that your home-based business is not in good standing. Instead, seek other small businesses like yours and offer a mutually valuable and beneficial deal: that of long-term partnership in barter, helping both your business and the partner’s business grow and succeed.

If you do not know where to look for a good bartering partner, you should consider joining a bartering organization. For a very affordable fee on the actual transactions you conclude, they will put you in contact with companies which are willing to barter and know exactly how this system works.

4. Do Not Forget about Tax Implications
Bartering must be recognized in your tax returns and financial statements. Before you decide to go ahead and conclude a bartering agreement, you should always consult with an accountant or tax advisor in order to understand what it will mean for your business in terms of tax and to make sure that the formal agreement you conclude is valid according to the IRS.

5. Always Put the Agreement in Writing
Never start bartering with a business partner without concluding a written agreement first. This agreement should clearly specify the quantity of products or services you are exchanging, state both parties’ acknowledgment that this exchange is a fair one, of equal monetary value, and state the terms and conditions for the bartering, including duration and termination.

This is the only way in which your business is protected from liability in case your bartering partner decides that they are not getting a fair deal and tries to sue you. Also, the agreement is necessary as a supporting document for your tax return filings.

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