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Busting the Top 5 Myths About Starting a Business

Can you launch a successful business without a hefty investment? Let's have a look while busting other myths.

By:

Chris Kernaghan

A man stands, pondering the meaning of starting a new business

There is a lot of false information out there, and we need to set the record straight: you don’t need huge amounts of money or innovative concepts to start a business. If you have a spring in your step, a problem that needs solving and some friendly folks that can give you advice, you can do it.

Here are five common misconceptions and the inspiring realities for hopeful business owners.

Myth: You Need a Lot of Money to Start a Business

Reality: Many people believe that starting a business requires a large amount of money or capital. This is not always the case. There are many examples of successful startups that began with little or no funding, relying on alternative sources of financing or revenue. Does having capital ready to be invested make things easier? Sure. Has having little to no capital to invest stopped people starting their own business before? No!

Some of these sources include bootstrapping, which means using personal savings or income to fund the business; crowdfunding, which means raising money from a large number of people online; or customer revenue, which means generating income from selling products or services to customers.

These methods can help entrepreneurs overcome the financial barriers and launch their businesses with minimal or no debt. Believe us when we say it's been done before.

Myth: You Need a Unique or Disruptive Idea to Succeed

Reality: If you think that the only way to succeed as a startup founder is to have a unique or disruptive idea that no one else has thought of before, think again.

Many successful startups are not based on original or groundbreaking ideas, but on enhancing existing products or services, addressing common problems, or exploring new markets.

Some of these startups include Airbnb, which improved the online booking of accommodations; Sony, which improved the quality and design of consumer electronics; Tesla, which improved the perception of electric vehicles. They didn't invent something from nothing, they improved the experience, which is often the defining factor for users.

Amazon improved the convenience and variety of online shopping; and Huawei, improved the affordability and accessibility of telecommunications - but they sure didn't invent the phone. We could go on, but you get the idea.

Success is not only about having a great idea, but also about executing it well and delivering value to customers. It's all about how you define the problem space.

Perhaps you're thinking "It's already been done" but really, you need to rephrase that to "It's already been done, but I know I could do it better."

Myth: You Need to Work 24/7 to Make Your Startup Grow

Reality: Working too hard can have negative consequences for your health, happiness, and performance. When you work excessively, you'll probably experience burnout, which is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by chronic stress.

Burnout can impair your mood, motivation, and productivity, and lead to symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, insomnia, and depression. Working too hard can also affect your decision-making abilities, as you may have less time and energy to think critically, creatively, and strategically.

The thing about burnout is that it has the potential to erase all your good work.

It's important to balance your work and life, set realistic goals, and delegate tasks when possible. Balancing your work and life means finding a healthy and satisfying way to integrate your professional and personal responsibilities and interests. Some ways to achieve this balance include setting boundaries, prioritising your tasks, managing your time, and taking breaks.

It's easier said that done, given there's often a perpetual state of fear that competition is going to steal your breakfast, lunch and dinner, but wouldn't this happen regardless? I'd sooner keep my mental health intact, thanks.

Setting realistic goals means defining what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it, using the SMART criteria: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Some tips to set realistic goals include writing them down, taking inventory of your resources and threats, and organise them into long-term, mid-term, and short-term ones.

Delegating tasks means transferring some of your work to other team members who have the skills, knowledge, and availability to complete them. Some benefits of delegating tasks include freeing up your time, increasing your productivity, developing your team members, and improving your communication and trust.

Some tips to delegate tasks effectively include choosing the right person, explaining the purpose and expectations, providing the necessary resources and feedback, and monitoring the progress and results.

By balancing your work and life, setting realistic goals, and delegating tasks when possible, you can avoid working too hard and improve your well-being and performance.

Myth: You Need to Have a Perfect Product or Service Before Launching

Reality: One of the common myths that entrepreneurs face is that they need to have a perfect product or service before launching it to the market.

buzzer noise

WRONG!

This is not only unrealistic, but also counterproductive.

Waiting too long to launch a product or service can have several drawbacks, such as losing the first-mover advantage, wasting time and money on unnecessary features, missing out on customer feedback, and risking running out of resources.

It's better to launch a product or service that is good enough to solve a customer problem, but not perfect. This is known as a minimum viable product (MVP), which is the version of a product or service that has the minimum features required to test the core value proposition and get feedback from early adopters.

By launching an MVP, entrepreneurs can validate their assumptions, learn from the market, and iterate on their product or service based on real data and customer needs.

This way, they can avoid spending time and money on building something that nobody wants, and instead focus on creating something that customers love.

Myth: You Need to Go Viral or Get Featured by the Media to Get Traction

Reality: Some people think that the only way to succeed as a fledgling startup is to either go viral on social media or get featured by the media outlets. A good example of this is Product Hunt, and the effort it can take to go viral on that platform, but even if you do, is it worth it?

Building an audience slowly can obviously take time, but there's an upside to building a community organically. Ideally you want to create a strong community of fans and followers who love your content and share it with others.

Here's how you can get started:

  • Deliver value to your target audience by solving their pain points, answering their queries, or entertaining them.
  • Collaborate with other creators or influencers who have similar or complementary audiences and goals.
  • Optimise your content for search engines and social media platforms by using relevant keywords, hashtags, and tags.
  • Experiment with different formats, styles, and topics to see what works and what doesn’t for your audience.

Going viral or getting featured by the media can be helpful, but it's not the only indicator of success. And that success can also be pretty short-lived. It's also not something that you can control or predict. It depends on many factors, such as the quality of your content, the timing of your post, the mood of your audience, the algorithm of the platform, and the luck of the draw.

Instead of obsessing over going viral or getting featured by the media, you should focus on creating consistent, valuable, and authentic content that serves your audience and your purpose. This way, you can build a lasting and meaningful relationship with your audience and grow your brand organically.

And there you have it. Five myths BUSTED, never to enter your mind again as you do you're absolute best to create not only a viable business, but a business that makes the lives of others better. Go get it!

About The Author

A man stands, pondering the meaning of starting a new business
Chris Kernaghan
https://wearefounders.uk

By day, Chris works as a UX Designer, crafting easy-to-use interfaces and ensuring companies focus on what users need. At night, he runs We Are Founders, a platform where founders share inspirational journeys.

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