Owning, operating and succeeding as a business isn’t easy. Let’s just get that straight. It’s going to be a long process of learning, re-learning, trial, error, sweat, tears and doses of joy here and there. However, it’s all perfectly conquerable for the entrepreneurs and the driven among you who really want to make a name for themselves and achieve something.

Starting a business on the other hand, even if you’re starting it from scratch, is easy. As long as you follow simple steps and keep your business head screwed, making the decision to start a business requires only the right mindset and a certain determination to succeed.

Fear is the enemy

The only thing that holds people back from starting their own business is fear. I’m sure you’re nodding your head in agreement, but maybe you think your fears are well-placed. The fear of failing is the most commonly-cited reason that people don’t pursue their dreams, but if you don’t try, then you’ve already failed to achieve your goal. The only chance you have to succeed is to give things a go. If you fail, then so be it, but it’s not the end of the world.

That being said, I think failure is off the cards when it comes to being smart about business, because those who take the time to carefully deliberate each move and see far ahead into the future avoid disaster. If your venture wasn’t working out, you could see that long before it happened, presuming you planned ahead.

Of course, if it isn’t working out, there are always ways to change course and build a successful business out of strong foundations. My point is that starting a business should be the easiest part of the whole process, and, if you use the early days well, you can prepare and build something strong enough that you’ll make handling your business in the future easier as well.

Insane amount of free resources

The web has made it even more easier to launch your own business. There are now hundreds of thousands of both free and cheap business resources to guide you when you decide to launch a business. Your biggest hurdle is deciding to take action. If you are starting from scratch, there are stories of successfully entrepreneurs available for almost every industry online. Many other entrepreneurs have been down your road before.

The ease of getting started means new services are being created on a daily basis. You just need to identify what you need, then check to see whether someone is available to help.

Plan, plan and plan some more

When people shrug their shoulders and say that their business just didn’t work out, what they really mean is they just didn’t plan. Of course, some ventures don’t go as well as planned, so I’m not suggesting that you must become some sort of prophet who can foresee every last element of the market.

Yet, if you’re smart, you should be able to build a strong enough base so that, if the market should take an unexpected turn, you have time to safeguard your business financially. The way to successfully start online business, for example, definitely depends on this.

The virtual world is ever-changing, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely unpredictable. That doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the next best technology, or the ever-evolving ways through which consumers browse and purchase goods or services through the internet.

It all comes back to planning. They say if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, and they’re not lying. Still, I’d like to add to that: prepare for the possibility of failure, and you won’t fail.

Related: 21 Must-Have Business Apps That Can Make Your Life Easier as an Entrepreneur

Don’t be afraid

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of starting a business, because it seems like a huge weight on your shoulders, but the beauty of it is that you grow gradually. You’re not going to dive into running a huge empire; you’ll hire the people you need to cover the workload which needs doing. You don’t have to be in it alone, if you don’t want to be. It’s good to take the plunge and make a change in your life.

Start with your talent, and build on it

This might sound obvious, or it might not. If you’re wondering how to start your business, then start with your skillset. Maybe you’ve always known that you wanted to build your own company, but you weren’t sure what kind of company you wanted to build.

It’s easy to force a career path which looks lucrative, but if it’s an industry you don’t really understand, then, as I mentioned earlier, you’re setting yourself up for poor preparation and the likelihood of failure.

Hone in on your skillset, but, also, don’t be arrogant. You have much to learn, and it’s good to start out small. If you have drive and determination, that’s all you need to get started. Use your small beginnings to grow in your talents, and the same goes for your team, however big or small it may be. As you improve in your skills, within your specific industry, take on bigger and bigger challenges – growing your team as you do.

There is no better time to start a business than now!