There are more opportunities than ever for entrepreneurs to take their businesses global. From rising technology trends to innovative means for raising capital, many business owners are taking the leap into the international market. If you want to take this step with your company but find yourself hesitating, you may be harboring some common fears that are preventing you from achieving global success; however, there are ways to recognize and overcome them.
Fear of Failure
Being afraid of failing in a new market can cause you to remain in your comfort zone, but there is little chance of you expanding your company if you grow too secure in one particular niche. While this is a common and viable fear, it can cause your business to become stagnant, which might lead to its failure in the long run. Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to face this fear.
One effective way to move past the fear of failure is to focus on the growth of your business instead of envisioning the ways it might fail if you take it global. For example, consider ways your customer base might expand if you go global and what it could mean when you tap into this market. Even if you venture into unfamiliar territory, you might find that international customers are ready to embrace your products and services. You can build confidence by starting out small and expanding into a neighboring American country, such as Canada, to test your impact there.
Fear of Making Mistakes
If you are a perfectionist, you could be avoiding global markets because you fear to make errors that may impact your self-confidence. As a result, you remain in areas you are familiar with so the risk of making mistakes is not as high. However, you may be losing out on profits, new experiences, and the chance to make new business connections that could boost your networking prowess.
Being afraid of making mistakes can be a common circumstance for many entrepreneurs because of all the sacrifices they made to launch their company and now fear losing it all due to errors they might make when moving into a new market. If this sounds familiar, there are a few ways to overcome your perfectionism. Make a list of what you fear making an error will cause and then ask yourself the worst and best things that could happen for each. Facing these fears on paper can help you realize that making mistakes can foster personal and professional growth.
Fear of Falling Short of a Goal
As an entrepreneur, you have likely set many goals for your company. If one of your goals is to move into the global market and you have yet to take steps that will accomplish this, you may be hesitating because you are afraid of what might happen if you fall short of your financial expectations. This is not a groundless fear because the international market is constantly in flux, and it can be difficult to predict the best time to make your move. Reviewing your global expansion goals can help you remain realistic when it comes to reaching them.
Making your goals more specific can help you understand whether they are attainable. For example, instead of telling yourself you will move into the global market this year, revise your goal to make it more specific, such as, “I will attend the global marketing conference I was invited to,” or “I will meet with my accountant to discuss the cost of expansion into Mexico.” Creating specific goals like these might allow you to envision them more easily.
Fear of Rejection
Rejection is something most humans fear, whether it is personal or professional. It can impact self-esteem and make you feel you are not as talented as you thought you were or that you do not deserve success. This type of fear can be paralyzing for an entrepreneur, but there are a few ways you can move past it.
One strategy for dealing with the fear of rejection is to choose a successful entrepreneurial role model. Learning about the struggles some global business leaders have endured, such as those experienced by Indonesian coal and retailer mogul Sjamsul Nursalim, may help you realize that most business owners have to struggle with rejection, even once they become successful.
Fear of the Unknown
If you are unfamiliar with many aspects of the global market, then you may feel tense or fearful of the unknown. When you feel this type of fear, you might be asking yourself many “what if” questions you have no answer for, which can increase the anxiety you are feeling. One of the most effective strategies for facing this type of fear is to turn the unknown into the known with research and analytics that answer your questions, whether they involve marketing or how to make an impact in a market with a culture that differs from yours.
Fear can hold you back and have a negative impact on your global expansion goals. Facing your fears as an entrepreneur may be challenging, but it can be an effective avenue for long-term success.