What are the myths about starting a business?
Starting the business is always the hardest. There is a lot of preparation involved in it—from government accreditation and licenses to various other things like logistics. There is also a matter of feasibility study and finding the right venue for the business. You also have to hire the right people to work for the company. In fact, you need to ask yourself many times on when is the best time to start a business or if you are ready to take the plunge.
According to Forbes, a lot of small businesses fail within the first five years. However, a lot of the reasons for the failure are avoidable. And much of the pitfalls are because a lot of new entrepreneurs believe in business myths. A business is about practical knowledge and not about myths. Here are some of the business myths you should avoid believing.
Business owners will have their own schedule
Most people go into business thinking they can do whatever they like—they are the boss after all. But in small businesses, this is never the case. Since you are still starting, you have to bow down to the whims of the clients and even your suppliers. As much as possible, you let the client choose the schedule that is best for them. You have to kiss the client’s ass so you have to do as they bid—only until you have already established your own reputation and the clients would be willing to compromise.
And if your business offers products, you have to open and close at a certain time—anything less would mean the business is not being professional and is not serious about making a profit. Even if you are in the business of offering service, you still have to be in the office during business hours in case there are business calls.
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers
In a way, this is true. When you have been employed for some time and you decide to be a business owner, you are essentially risking the security of a monthly income. But you don’t need to always take the risk in order to gain a large profit in your small business. In your business, you have to be practical and be REALISTIC. This is why you need a feasibility study before you start a business. The business venture should be based on numbers.
According to the Small Business Administration, 50 percent of small businesses succeed. Of the half that didn’t, most of them were identified as extreme risk-takers. Successful businesses have well-crafted strategic plans.
Entrepreneurial skill is innate
There is an expression: born to do business. This engenders the myth that you have to be naturally skilled at business just as some singers were born to sing. Anyone can be an entrepreneur as long as he or she is willing to learn. Entrepreneurial skills can be learned and can be taught. But success usually comes with hard work and dedication complemented with luck.
Anyone can be a businessman—whether you are intellectually gifted, technically smart or creative. Find a business that will best suit your talent and you could be successful. Doing something you love or something you are good at will be easier for you to manage.
Sure, you will need some money to start a business. But the myth is sometimes larger than it actually is. You can start a business with minimal upfront cost.
You have to be active on all social media
In this day and age, you really do need social media presence. But this cannot be a priority when you are just starting out in business. You have to focus on the business aspect where you will get the best return of investment. Social media is just a form of advertising. You still need to invest on the right products or services and manpower to make the business prosper.
Think of an exit plan
It is a myth that you need to craft an exit plan in order to start a business. It actually sounds like you’re setting yourself out to fail. Don’t prepare an exit plan unless you are planning on failing. Having an exit plan might just propel an unsteady path for you in implementing your business ideas. You have to think about longevity rather than an exit strategy.
The ultimate goal is to be rich
This is definitely the wrong motivation to start a business. You have a bigger chance of making a profit if you start a business because you are passionate about it than when you start a business because you want to be rich. Some of the richest entrepreneurs in the world— Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates— didn’t start their ventures because they wanted to be rich. They were both invested in their respective ideas and they got rich for it.
Customer is always right
While it is true that you have to kiss the ass of customers just to keep them, you can’t lead them on to be right if they are actually wrong. If you believe in your product or service, you have to convince the customer that it is what’s best for them.
Thinking big may not be practical. It is always better to take it one step at a time, one small thing at a time. Eventually, you’ll reach the top of the staircase; or eventually you’d gather a large thing from every small opportunity that came your way.
If the idea is good, money will follow
This is such a big fallacy. An idea will not amount to anything if it is not managed properly. Good ideas only have real meaning when there is a strong strategic plan implemented by a team of capable individuals.
There are many more myths out there. Whatever statement it is that cannot be backed by numbers and science will not stand. All you have to remember is what’s practical. Don’t spend time thinking about myths, instead, spend that time thinking about strategies in making the business better and in honing labor skills to make products or services flourish. Think really hard about the business and be smart about what you do. Think about the consequences in terms of factual bases. Leave the myths outside the door of your business and prove them wrong inside—one myth at a time.