Entrepreneurship is not for the timid. It is not that it takes tremendous amounts of courage, but you do need a certain determination to hit the ground running every morning when you swing your feet out of bed.
As the enticement of entrepreneurship grows in the spirit of the time of global culture, so does the myths surrounding it. Just as early adventurers set out to discover other faraway lands, entrepreneurs are setting their course for some unexplored territories, and there are always unbelievable tales that can go along with the unknown.
We know the truth about whales and dolphins that are not mermaids and that the world is not flat. However, there was a period in time when those myths were accepted as fact. Similarly, there are some myths built up around starting a business that simply is not true. Here are seven common entrepreneurial myths about starting a business that one used to believe, which is now explained for you.
You have to know what you’re doing
You actually do not need to know exactly what you are going to do to get started. Time has proven that continuously. From Einstein, Madame Curie, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and beyond, there was never an exact plan for the course ahead, just a general idea that something more was out there. Let your curiosity overpower the myth that you have to know exactly what you’re doing to get started.
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You have to have a full business plan
When people are thinking of starting a business, they sometimes think having a giant business plan is very important. However, that should not be the case. You can simply plan something simple that effectively outlines your mission, vision, and marketing tent-pole efforts with some data matrix around how you’re measuring your success and you should be good to go.
In some cases scenario, many entrepreneurs get bogged down in the mud of insisting they need a full business plan to start their businesses. They even go so far as to hire someone to write it and filing for a trademark before they begin. Prior to that, you should test out whether your business is even viable before you sink money into it.
Get a solid three or four-page outline of your business plan and then get to work. Do not get confined in business plan analysis paralysis.
You have to start at the right time
Wrong. The only timing that will ever be right is now. In fact, countless entrepreneurs have started their businesses at the worst possible times in history, and the worst possible time in their personal lives.
The world is familiar with the name Bill Gates, a known business American magnate, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Before building his empire, Gates started his first business called Traf-O-Data. It was not much successful and at that time, he dropped out of Harvard too. But his vision of the opportunities and passion for computers led him to start Microsoft.
Microsoft was founded in 1975 near the end of a downturn and later it was re-incorporated in 1981, just as the downturn of the 1980s kicked off. These were two horrible times to start a business, but that hasn’t gotten in the way of Microsoft’s success.
The timing will never be right. That’s why you need to start right now.
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You have to have a lot of cash to start
You don’t need a lot of cash to get started. Many people who invest in their new business have this misconception of “The more the merrier”. That is, the more money they invest, the more successful their business will be which is not true.
There are plenty of ways to kick-off your business without a bunch of capital. One of the best ways to debunk this myth for yourself is to start micro-testing your product or service either on the side or in small batches to scale your growth progressively. A large amount of capital might help you grow faster, but sometimes a slow and steady growth rate can help you stabilize and get your business legs underneath you while your profit margins grow.
You can also find many business-related books and articles by various entrepreneurs to get an idea of how you can get started without spending a lot of money upfront.
You have to hire staff
This is one myth that should be quickly debunked when starting a new business. Staffs are expensive to keep, cost time to manage and are in most ways the biggest expense any business will have on the books. The longer you can keep your business under your core directorship, the better.
Also, speaking on behalf of many entrepreneurs experience, when you can outsource to agencies or freelancers, for most businesses that are almost always better. Keeping yourself free of staff overhead costs when you’re starting a business will help you be successful.
You have to work 24/7
Entrepreneurs tend to work long hours on most days. In start-up mode, that’s simply what’s required. Nonetheless, you have to be conscious not only of your cash burn rate as a start-up, but also your personal burn out rate.
If you grind yourself into the dust day after day without relief, you’re going to get sick and unhealthy, and that’s going to affect your success. You do not have to work continuously for 24/7 to run a successful business. While you will need to have a true determination in your work, and there will definitely be times of seriously extreme work. Altogether, you also need to balance that with the proper amount of sleep, some good food, plenty of exercise, and some enjoyable times.
Entrepreneurship is hard work, but it’s supposed to be enjoyable, too.
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You have to do it all
This might appear to contradict the earlier myth about not hiring staff, but the truth is that you don’t have to do it all in your business. It’s important to delegate and outsource some of the daily tasks and responsibilities of the business so you can have breathing space from time to time. Doing it all will mean burning yourself out and it’s a common mistake that is seen amongst new entrepreneurs.
Keep your sanity and learn not to do it all.