Starting a business in the early ’80s was usually seen as a complex task and an endeavor that only the privileged few can engage. But recently, the internet has simplified the process of starting a business.
We are now beginning to witness the success stories of many entrepreneurs that started with next to nothing. The glorious stories of these successful businesses have not only inspired others but increased the number of small businesses around the globe.
Starting a business is a worthy adventure, but there are some myths around owning a small business that needs to be debunked for you to be successful. Quitting your usual nine-to-five jobs with the wrong assumptions about business can end a disaster. Here are the eight common misconceptions about starting a small business.
1. A Great Idea Is All You Need
Yes! Having great ideas is fantastic; it is one of the main ingredients of every successful business. Great ideas are what give entrepreneurs that excitement and vigor to start and run a business. While having a million-dollar idea is excellent, it’s not the majour pointer to a successful business.
It was Steve Jobs who said that “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” Execution is key. You need to execute as much as you need the idea. Once the idea is conceived, validate it and start executing, that’s how you win.
2. Entrepreneurs Always Have More Time
This misconception has made many white-collar workers quit their jobs in search of more time in entrepreneurship, only to the frustrated by the outcome. Entrepreneurship means setting your work hours and working when you want: but when starting, you’ll need to work extra hours. When you’re just starting a business, to execute your ideas and scale your business entirely, you’ll need to spend extra hours, including some nights and weekends.
When most entrepreneurs tend to have more time is probably when their business has grown to an extent, and they have more hands-on deck to automate and run their task. At this level, the entrepreneur can focus on the management of the business, thereby having more time to engage in other activities.
3. You Have to Start at the Right Time
Waiting for the right has been identified by business experts as the main reason that holds back many entrepreneurs from actually starting. They wait for when they will raise enough money, or even attain a certain age or also get an endorsement from their peers. The time will never be entirely right to start a business, start with the little resources you have.
Now is the best time in history to own a business. The internet is filled with a plethora of resources to support small businesses, many incredible platforms providing support for small businesses, and many initiatives tailored towards SMEs. There has never been a better time to start a small business; you can begin.
4. Planning is a Total Waste Of Time
This is a misconception commonly seen among early startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. Planning in itself is not a waste of time, but over dwelling on planning without execution is a waste of time. We should learn to strike a balance. Excellent planning helps in eliminating potential risks and false assumptions in business.
As the famous saying goes, “he that fails to plan, plans to fail”. Assign appropriate time for planning and also for execution, then follow them strictly. Lastly, planning doesn’t have to be sophisticated, but it can be a simple document that potential investors can use in getting a picture of your business goals and vision.
5. Having a Team is Irrelevant
It might be right in your earliest days in business, considering that you have little income, little tasks, and responsibilities. However, when you start experiencing a level of growth in business, then having a team becomes necessary for further expansion.
Jason Fried fondly stated in his book that “Workaholics don’t actually accomplish more than nonworkaholics. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that means they’re wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task.”
Getting a team is relatively easy in this 21st century. You can get freelance workers from Fiverr or Upwork, or even employ either contractual or full-time staff to help with some critical task. Getting a team will enable you as an entrepreneur to focus on the most important things in your business, and help you grow easily.
6. You Need A Lot of Capital to Start
This statement might be true some years ago, but not entirely accurate in 2020 and beyond. There are a couple of ways to start your small without a bunch of capital, yeah there is. One of the means of doing it is to start micro-testing your product either on a side or small business and increase production steadily as demand increases.
Having lots of capital is excellent and would enable you to grow and scale fast, but don’t permit the unavailability of money to deter you from starting your business. You can find ample ways of starting with little capital in Eric Reis’s book, The Lean Startup.
7. Having Marketing Strategies isn’t Important.
Marketing is the soul of every successful business. Even if you have the best product or service in your niche, without getting the right audience to know about it, your growth would be stunted. Marketing doesn’t have to involve a big budget, and there are many low-cost ways of marketing your products on the internet. Social media, online forums, to mention but a few are incredible for marketing.
Start planning ways to get your message out there from day one; the world needs to hear about it. The survival and continued existence of your small business might depend on it.
8. Determination equals success
I know you have heard this one many times from some business coaches and motivational speakers. Determination indeed equals success, but you need more than determination. Starting a business is merely entering into unfamiliar terrain, a terrain classified with trends, fluctuations, regulations, and some unpredictable things.
Persistence is an essential requirement, too, the ability to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. Things will not always go as planned, things won’t always dance to your tune, but with persistence, you can stay above every defeat and obstacle that business throws your way.
These are some of the misconceptions about starting a business, and your ability to spot and recognize will help you start and run a successful business.