Many aspiring entrepreneurs, without having previously started a business, already have a fixed set of conceptions about embarking on a new venture. These misconceptions often prevent them from taking the big step.
Here is a list of the most widespread misconceptions:
I need lot of money to start a business
There are many ways to start up with no money or with a bit of bootstrapping. We have hundreds of examples in front of us. There are companies which have tasted success without taking any external investments during their lifetime. India-based ZOHO and US-based enterprise chat application Slack are some of the examples.
I will get rich soon
Although some successful startup founders get rich and advise others how to get rich, it will require time till your business gets traction and starts making profit for itself and for you; brace yourself to get rich slowly, in the best of cases.
I need to have a well-conceived and thorough business plan
While it is true that a business plan is important, many consultancy and web service providers started off without one.
I need a unique and great idea to build upon
It is far more important that the idea addresses an open need or delivers in a better, more efficient or more affordable manner that currently available on the market; Betamax vs. VHS story.
I am the boss and I know better
Your employees, your customers, your shareholders, and most importantly, your competition will affect and have say on your decisions.
It will take lot of time till my business makes profit
While number crunching to project profit is useful, it is by no means sufficient. Focus on customer needs and offering value is what will eventually bring profit. Some take lot of time and other take a year or two.
I will have more time and freedom
Nothing can be further from truth. This is your business and every idea, problem and solution – especially at the beginning stage – will have to go through you, worry you, make you sometimes anxious and other times happy.
I have this nice/cool product/service and will surely get customers and market share
Apple Newton, Motorola Iridium, and many of top dot-coms were built with this ideology and resulted in failure.
I am the boss and I can pay myself as much as I want
While there is much debate about how much a founder’s salary must be, it is obvious that a founder needs to share love with employees if he expects their loyalty, devotion and passion in work.
I need to take a bold risk in order to succeed
Was Bill Gates a risk taker? you rather need to be flexible and adopt to realities, solving problems as you go.
The misconceptions above (and any of their combinations) usher in a bad start, difficult and eventually unsustainable growth of businesses.