5 Powerful Tips to Conquer Self-Doubt and Fear as a New Business Owner

By Shruti Batra

Congratulations my dear fellow entrepreneur. You have done what most people just talk about! You have taken the leap and ventured on your own! It’s an exciting journey, but it’s also normal to experience self-doubt and fear along the way. While these feelings can make even the most confident entrepreneur hesitate, they can also be converted into your motivational tool guide. 

Wondering how? 

Here are 5 powerful tips to help you conquer self-doubt and fear, and propel your business forward:

1. Remember Your Why: What ignited your passion to start this business? Reconnect with your core purpose. Was it to solve a problem you care about? Leave a legacy? Focusing on your “why” will reignite your drive and fuel your confidence. Remember the problems you will solve and never let that purpose be out of sight 

2. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection: Even the most celebrated expert was a novice once. This country is full of such novices becoming experts through sheer consistency. Every step forward, every hurdle cleared, is a victory. Focus on continuous improvement, learn from mistakes, and keep moving forward.

3. Find Your Tribe: You are known by the company you keep. Surround yourself with supportive people who believe in you and your business.  This could be a mentorship program, online communities for female or minority entrepreneurs, or even a mastermind group of local business owners. Sharing your challenges and celebrating successes with like-minded individuals is a powerful way to combat self-doubt.

4. Embrace Continuous Learning: The business landscape is constantly evolving. Commit to lifelong learning – take online courses, attend workshops, and read books and articles on relevant topics. Most importantly learn from every mistake and set back. Embracing a learning mindset will help you get more confident while navigating challenges and making decisions.

5. Practice giving and gratitude: It’s important to learn to give before you can get. Focus on what you bring to the table, what problem you will solve, who will smile because of you today. Also take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for in your business journey. This simple exercise can boost your mood and combat negativity.

Remember, you are not alone. Every successful entrepreneur has faced self-doubt and fear. By implementing these tips and believing in yourself, you can conquer these challenges and build a thriving business.

Find the Spanish version here.

Most Common Taxes & Filings for a Business

By Anwuli Chukwurah

It’s a lot better to prepare for them than to get a surprise tax bill.

Taxes. They’re a necessary part of doing business, and you need to make sure you’re aware and are planning for when you’ll eventually have to cough up the money you owe the government. Tax planning is an essential part of running your business, and you need to ensure you save a portion of your net income every month when the payments are due. This post is not for non-profits — except for your annual 990 filing to let the government know you’re still alive as an organization and you won’t owe the government money.

Here are the five most common paid taxes by small business owners:

  1. Income Tax
  2. Sales Tax
  3. Payroll Tax (includes Unemployment Tax)
  4. Franchise Tax
  5. Property Tax

Income Tax

  • Frequency: Annual
  • Mandatory: Yes

This annual tax is due in March (for corporations) or April for everybody else. Work with a CPA to ensure you’re paying the right amount and you’ve taken advantage of any deductions. If you’re an LLC, your business income tax is filed with your personal income tax. Yes, just because you have a business doesn’t mean you get out of filing your own personal taxes. I’m not a tax accountant, so I always refer clients to a CPA.

Sales Tax

  • Frequency: Annual/Quarterly/Monthly
  • Mandatory: Depends on the business industry

For sales tax, I suggest you call your local sales tax office for answers. If you have no idea if you’re supposed to pay sales tax, call the local office to get a quick answer. It will save you hours scrolling through Google. This can be a cumbersome thing to figure out, depending on where you make sales. The last time I called the local office, they were very helpful and answered all my questions — no matter how stupid I thought they were. If you’re a bigger corporation, you can also work with sales tax firms or use software that tracks sales tax payments to make sure things are aligned and filed correctly.

Payroll Tax

  • Frequency: Quarterly/Monthly
  • Mandatory: Yes

If you have full-time W2 employees, you must file and pay payroll and unemployment taxes. A payroll system such as Gusto will remove the stress from these filings. Make sure you’re registered with your state’s Workforce Commission so you can connect your tax account number with your payroll system so all payments can be correctly allocated.

Franchise Tax

  • Frequency: Annual
  • Mandatory: Yes

Everyone is required to file the Franchise Tax report. The threshold for Texas is $2,470,000 in revenue, and even if you don’t have that revenue, you’re still required to file the Public Information Report or Ownership Information Report. If your company issues shares, your franchise tax report can use your share counts and amounts—this is easier, especially if you use a cap table software such as Carta.

Property Tax

  • Frequency: Annual
  • Mandatory: Depends on if you own property

If you owe any property, you’re required to pay property tax. Properties include land, buildings, and any improvements you’ve made. It also includes tangible personal property used in the “production of income,” such as furniture, inventory, machinery, supplies, etc. Due dates vary based on county, so call your local office to confirm the date.


So, if you don’t want to be hit with a tax bill that the government thinks you owe them, be proactive with your filings. There’s nothing more shock-inducing than getting a bill for $100K when you know that number couldn’t be right. Also, form a relationship with a CPA (Tax Accountant) at the beginning of your business so they can make sure you pay the right amount of taxes and show you how to achieve that as a business.

About the author:

Anwuli Chukwurah is a versatile finance professional with a track record of starting new finance organizations and scaling them for growth in fast-paced entrepreneurial environments. She has over 6+ years of experience working with small business owners, startups, and nonprofit organizations to help connect finance with their business goals. She aims to ensure her clients become comfortable and adept at navigating their numbers. She works with clients at Woolichooks and writes a newsletter for non-finance folks.

Find the Spanish version here.

10 Local Businesses Receive Grants During Small Business Week

Wells Fargo and the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) hosted a listening session with 10 Austin-based small business owners to highlight their testimonials of resilience and perseverance during this year’s National Small Business Week.  During the celebratory event, Wells Fargo awarded EGBI with a $30,000 grant that will enable the nonprofit to continue empowering businesses, while expanding economic development in Austin’s underserved communities. In addition, each of the 10 small businesses were surprised with $1,000 grants to help aid in the success of their respective businesses. The businesses included:

  • Armonia – Armonia is the cultivation of Latin heritage,  celebrating the connection of home and body through nurturing goods that evoke the memories and home essentials that carry stories.
  • Better Foundation Fitness  – BFF identifies major issues that hinder fitness milestones and teaches effective workouts that build the best version of their clients including individuals overcoming injuries.
  • Collected Abundance  Julianna Chung is a professional organizer and owner of Collected Abundance. She serves seniors, families and individuals to declutter together at home for a stress-free, more organized life. Julianna is here for you during life transitions and disaster relief, building a caring community together!
  • Dulce’s Cleaning Services – This company takes pride in offering exceptional cleaning services for your home and community. From residential and commercial cleanings to construction cleanup, office maintenance, Airbnb turnovers, and events, this company provides exceptional quality service every step of the way.
  • Gaines Royal Transport  – Gaines Royal Transport (GRT) is a non-emergency medical transportation service that provides rides to mostly seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Kitty Bird Photo – Photographer is a connection artist that captured warm and expressive images of business events and branding portraits for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Austin. As a collaborative and creative, she offers genuine images that elevate brands and foster community at business events. 
  • LCR Food Services, LLC – Make every occasion a culinary masterpiece with Canapé by Marianne Renauld. LCR Food Services specializes in crafting visually stunning grazing tables and providing personalized catering experiences.
  • Reycast Media  – Reycast Media LLC creates high quality video for broadcast distribution and engaging social media content (video & audio) for brands and businesses. With two decades of experience in the broadcast industry, Reycast Media brings your vision to life in English & Spanish.
  • Smiley’s Recycling & Resale –  Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling believes that a difference can be made in the impact on landfills only by recycling, reusing, and up-cycling the items picked up from residents and businesses of Austin, TX and the surrounding area.
  • Kiki Roman hair designer – Full service hair services with specialty in hair color.

“EGBI has been a strong advocate and resource for the small business community in Austin,” said Christopher Rios, Wells Fargo Vice President of Community Impact and Philanthropy. “We understand that access to capital remains a key barrier for minority-owned and-led businesses. We hope that these grants will serve as an extended lifeline to help EGBI and these inspiring business owners continue to flourish and serve their mission.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses play a significant role in the economic landscape of Texas, comprising 99.8% of all businesses in the state. These businesses employ 4.9 million individuals, representing 44.5% of the workforce in Texas.

The listening session allowed Wells Fargo to hear from the struggles, milestones, and successes that 10 small business owners and clients of EGBI have experienced in the last year. The small business owners who participated have demonstrated exceptional dedication and resilience in their entrepreneurial pursuits with the support of the Economic Growth Business Incubator in 2023. These entrepreneurs shared their experiences of overcoming challenges and driving growth in their businesses and communities. The business owners are a mix of the different industries that represent the true face of small business owners in our community, including a hairdresser, a cleaning company, a media production company, a photographer, a residential organizer, a transportation company, a personal trainer, a product retailer, and junk removal company. In 2023, nearly 500 individuals in the Austin area have benefited from the comprehensive coaching, training, and support provided by EGBI to aspiring and existing business owners facing barriers to success. EGBI was presented with a proclamation honoring their commitment to helping small business flourish in Austin.

“In May 2023, EGBI was named the number one business incubator in the city of Austin by the Austin Business Journal due to number of local businesses assisted,” said Larissa Davila, Executive Director of EGBI. “Our vision is to empower every small business to become profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community, we try to reduce as many barriers as possible we can for the small business owners to be successful.”

Find the Spanish version here.

SMBR Announces Partnership with EBGI to Empower Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SMBR Announces Partnership with EBGI to Empower Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Austin, TX – The City of Austin’s Small and Minority Business Resources Department (SMBR) is thrilled to
announce a new partnership with the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI). The collaboration is
set to significantly enhance the support services available for the City’s small, minority and women-
owned business enterprises (MBE/WBE) by focusing on crucial aspects of business growth and city
procurement processes.


A New Era of Business Support and Growth


“Through this partnership, we are reinforcing our commitment to the growth and success of small,
minority and women-owned businesses in Austin,” said Director of SMBR Edward Campos.


“Collaborating with EGBI allows us to offer a more comprehensive range of services tailored to the
unique challenges our small, minority-and -women-owned businesses face.”


For more than 20 years, EGBI has provided training, coaching and support to aspiring and existing
business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.


“EGBI has always been where the community needs it, and we’re excited to partner with SMBR in this
endeavor. We provide three times the average coaching hours than most business incubators – and
SMBR comes with their impact. Our goal is to provide sustainable growth and success for the businesses
that provide traction to our economy,” said Executive Director of EGBI Larissa Davila. “We believe that
through this collaboration, we can make a significant difference in the Austin business community.”


Commitment to Continuous Improvement


The partnership will encompass a variety of services aimed at strengthening the business capabilities of
firms:
Orientation and Training: Firms will receive comprehensive guidance on navigating the City of
Austin Finance Online website, enhancing their ability to submit bids and secure city contracts.
Business Coaching: Expert coaching will cover an array of topics including business strategy,
financial management, preparation for financing applications, and navigating city payment
processes.
Financial Operations Support: Assistance in adopting more reliable systems for tracking financial
operations, including setting up and training on QuickBooks Online.
Hands-On Assistance: Firms will learn how to effectively utilize financial reports for business
management and gain insight into finding and responding to contracting opportunities.


A Step Forward in Economic Development and Social Mobility

The partnership represents a significant step in fostering business development and economic mobility
in Austin. By empowering small, minority and women-owned businesses, the City of Austin reaffirms its
commitment to creating an inclusive and thriving business environment.

How to Get Involved
To receive training, coaching, and/or support from EGBI, small and minority-owned businesses will need
to complete a short intake form that is available on the City’s website. Firms will then need to submit
the form to SMBR’S Program Manager I Catherine Sak at Catherine.Sak@austintexas.gov or
smbr@austintexas.gov.

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About SMBR
The Small and Minority Business Resources Department (SMBR) administers Minority-Owned, Women-
Owned, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Procurement Programs for the City of Austin. Our
mission is to promote access and equity on City of Austin contracts, providing economic opportunity to
small, minority-owned, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses.
About EBGI
Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) is a small business incubator or business accelerator
established in 2003 in collaboration with several community entities including the Greater Austin
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. In 2023, EGBI was
recognized as the No. 1 incubator in Central Texas by the Austin Business Journal and in 2024 the
incubator received the CAN Butler Award for Spirit of Collaboration and the Candid Platinum Seal for
Transparency, and Best Places to Work for Working Parents.
EGBI provides business coaching to entrepreneurs in Central Texas wanting to start and/or grow a
business. Up until 2024, our organization has provided over 4,200 hours of business coaching in
bookkeeping, sales, marketing, business planning, online presence, government contracts and similar
topics to provide traction to small business owners.

Honoring Frofessional for winning the committee’s Choice Award

By Rutu Ruparel

We are thrilled to extend our heartfelt congratulations to FroFessionals for being honored with the Committee’s Choice Award from the Austin Community Foundation’s Black Fund. This award is a testament to the unwavering dedication of FroFessionals in addressing the unique needs of black, brown, and biracial individuals with textured hair.

EGBI’s client,  FroFessionals, are a subscription-based platform, connecting individuals with professionals and product vendors who understand and cater to the diverse needs of kinky, coily, curly, and mixed-textured hair. Recently (on February 13th, 2024) FroFessionals was awarded the Committee’s Choice Award through the Austin Community Foundation’s Black Fund (a beacon of support for black-led nonprofit organizations) and joined the ranks of other eminent, Austin Based Nonprofit Organizations such as Black Mamas ATX and Real Queens Fix Each Other’s Crowns.  The awards ceremony, hosted by Hutson-Tillotson University, was a celebration of achievement and culture. FroFessionals’s recognition at this event underscores the impact they’ve had on their community and the importance of their mission.

Moreover, FroFessional intends to use their award to advance their mission of increasing access to quality, consistent, and culturally relevant mental health care for historically underserved members of BIPOC communities in the greater Austin area. A commendable mission that is guaranteed to create a further positive impact on their community.

We are proud to celebrate FroFessionals’ success and commitment to making a difference. Additionally, we look forward to seeing the continued positive impact FroFessionals will have on the community.

Congratulations, FroFessionals, on this well-deserved recognition, and we applaud your ongoing efforts to create positive change in our community!

Find the Spanish version here.