I don’t consider myself a serial entrepreneur, but over the past few years, I’ve tried starting a few websites as attempts to build side businesses apart from my personal finance blog. Most flamed out before opening up to real business, but instead of focusing on the problems of each business plan, I’d rather focus on the emotional side of starting a business.

Right now I am in the process of launching a new side business: a carnival submission service. I’m not the first person to offer this service, but I am very confident that the service I am offering is the best.

However, offering the best service is just a small part of the equation and I’m well aware of that. I have teamed up with another friend/blogger, David from Financial Nerd (he’s also a programming nerd) to make this a reality. We plan on blowing away the competition (other blogger friends, so hopefully it will be a friendly competition) by submitting to a much wider range of carnivals than what’s currently out there, offering more options, and doing it all at a fantastic price. Eventually, we plan on casting a wider net and targeting non-personal finance blogs, too.

Launching a business is scary, though. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, including technical issues. Everyone has experienced technical issues, whether with a presentation at work or with their blog being attacked. However, there are several things that scare me about this specific launch that has nothing to do with the service working (which it does, I’ve tested it plenty).

What Makes Me Worry About Launching

There are several reasons why I worry about being able to corner the market despite the great (and free trial) offer we are giving. Logic dictates that the best service at the best price will get the business, but not all decisions are based solely on logic. Here are my fears of launching my new service:

Nobody Will Be Interested – This is definitely the biggest worry I have, even if it is the least rational. The fact that the service is great really doesn’t make me feel better. If nobody responds or signs up, I will feel like a failure, even if the costs of failing are fairly low. I want to feel the pride of offering a great service at a great price and help people efficiently manage their carnival submissions. It could be a win-win for everyone – I make money offering a service, everyone else gets a fantastic service for a great price.

People Won’t Want To Switch – While I’m not going after my competitors directly, there will undoubtedly be some overlap. But getting people to switch to a better service is not always easy. If a new cable service came offering you a $10 discount and more channels, would you switch? Or would you not want to go through the hassle? While this switch might be a little easier, it’s still a step some might not want to take.

Some People Won’t Want To Pay For The Service – Some people would rather submit their posts to carnivals themselves, but the time we can save them is significant. Still, some people just don’t believe in paying for something they can do themselves. These are people who no matter how much value I provide, will not sign up.

How I’m Combating My Fears

I can’t control everything, but I want to do my best not to get stressed as we start. The service is all set and has been tested so I am very confident there will be no technical issues. However, there are things I can do to ensure this will be successful and help allay my fears.

Cast A Wide Net

I’m getting in touch with every blogger I know who might have a need for this service. I hope they will respond positively, and ultimately it’s a numbers game. We don’t expect (though how great would that be?) everybody to sign up. But the more people we contact, the more potential there is for me to get a significant number of personal finance bloggers to sign up.

Clearly Explain All Our Features

The one thing I won’t stand for is not giving users enough information or educating them enough about how our system works and why it is better than the others out there. Our registration page has all the information necessary, including that we are offering the a free trial of our service for 2 weeks. No questions asked. We want to show users that we provide them with excellent service before asking them to pay a penny. If they like it, we’ll charge them just $20 per month for the same, full service. It comes out to just pennies per submission.

Make It Easy For People To Sign Up

The registration form has just 6 questions so users can enter their information once and let me take care of the rest. There is no payment option right now because of the free trial. And after the free trial, we am offering an auto-pay option with PayPal so they don’t need to make a payment each month. We’re also providing options, because not every blogger is the same. So while some prefer to pick the post they submit, others will prefer to have us choose their “best” post (or every Monday post) each week. We want to make it really easy for clients so that they always feel in control and aware of what we are doing.

Not Worrying About Things I Can’t Control

The truth is that I’m not going after people who don’t want to pay for the service. I’m more interested in those that can see the incredible value of the service and can recognize that their time is worth way more than the amount they’ll be paying.

Starting a business is always scary, no matter how great the offer. I’m attempting to conquer my fears by being prepared and answering user hesitations and concerns before they even think of them. I am prepared, and excited for a great launch.

Is there anything else I should have done to prepare? What do you do to calm yourself before launching a new venture?

Bloggers can make a lot of money online. You’ll be surprised!