As every aspiring entrepreneur ought to be, we tend to listen advises from people about creating, running and growing startups.
But how do you know which advice to take, and which myth advises you don’t fall for. Here are 5 deadly myths about startups:
- “I Can Work At My Own Leisure Time Than 9-5pm Job”
- “I Can Still Make it Even As A School Dropout”
- “I Know My Business More Than Anyone Does”
- “If Everyone Doing It Succeeds, Why Not Me?”
- “Strong Solution Needs No Marketing”
- Final Two Cent
“I Can Work At My Own Leisure Time Than 9-5pm Job”
This is among the common belief among many aspiring entrepreneurs. While there is nothing wrong about leaving your 9-5pm job, the belief that running a business means they can simply work anytime they wish to is something I feel need to be debunked in the community.
Let’s be clear. Running a business is difficult. Running a successful business is a lot more difficult.
A 9-5pm job means you work till agreed time and getting paid for it.
Running a business takes away that security. There is no guarantee. It comes down to how your business performs. If it works well, good for you. But if it doesn’t, how long will you personally finance it to support a failing business? And when do you know to bail out? On top of all that, will you be able to cope with your operational costs? Will you able to pay your rent, employees etc?
You see where I’m going? Running a business exceeds the 9-5pm timeline. It requires you to continuously work all the time. Are you prepared to do this and face the consequences when things fall apart? Think through it.
“I Can Still Make it Even As A School Dropout”
Another misconception especially among the younger generation of entrepreneurs. They are much caught up to the idea that success can still be achieved even as a dropout. “Why not? Look at Steve Jobs etc.”
While it’s a great idea to take them as role models, you need to realize that these people are not average people, dropping out of average schools. They are known genius among peers and most went to good schools before dropping out. It tells us something about their brains!
Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean you can’t achieve success as they did simply because you were not a genius in class or the fact you did not go to Ivy League school.
What I’m pointing out that people like Steve Jobs and Mr Zuckerberg use all the tools and talent they have and made full use of it. They already have the intellectual tools and mindset. Can you say the same? Could you call yourself a genius like them to succeed? Not many would say so.
Don’t worry. Doesn’t mean you can’t achieve success. It just means you need to work harder and smarter. Get good education so that you have the fundamentals – which means you would need to work less harder compared to starting from nothing. Work the way you are comfortable with. Stop thinking about dropping out of school. Learning from their mistakes should be your focus instead.
“I Know My Business More Than Anyone Does”
If you already picked up this mindset, I’d suggest you immediately stop it. A good business is run based on understanding what the market wants, not what you know.
I understand sometimes it is difficult to change simply because someone said so. You feel since you figured out hours of analysis of the business, you can’t help the thought that no one knows the business better than you do.
But keep in mind, you provide a solution to the consumers which only makes sense to listen to what they have to say. In cases, customers are more likely to spot a problem in your products which you might have missed. Customers also have more awareness of your product in the long term usage. In fact, the feedback they provide can be vital in the ‘wear and tear’ department since they are the only ones who use the product for a long time. These are crucial information.
If you are not willing to adapt to what your consumers think about you, you’ll often find it difficult to win their trust and confidence as you lack the initiative to improve the service after countless feedbacks and complaints.
Therefore, stop this mindset and start becoming more open to criticisms and discussions. Get someone you trust to handle customers’ feedback and have him/her relay the message to you. Have your team discuss all the information received and make decisions based on that. Picking up customer service training also helps you and the team to handle complains better.
“If Everyone Doing It Succeeds, Why Not Me?”
Another stereotypical mentality important to be debunked. I’ve met a new entrepreneur who was looking to start a makeup business. What shocked me was that she wanted to base her business on an existing business which has been very successful.
While I don’t have any problem building your business based on another successful one, the fact she wanted to build exactly the same way made me wanting to share this story with you.
She feels that why should she tweak her business model when it is already working for someone else. It does make sense for some, but if you think through it – you’d be surprised by all the questions that arise.
The successful make up brand was able to grow before there was competition. There were other local makeup brands, but were not strong enough to offer challenge. The owner also has personal qualities that attract the market. She’s likeable, charismatic and approachable to name a few. The owner has already the proper ingredients in right condition, it was a matter of working on the right recipe.
On the other hand, my client was new to the entrepreneurial world in an industry already thriving with multiple strong makeup brands. She was in a much different environment compared to the one described earlier.
At the end, I asked her “What separates you from other brands? What’s so special about you?” She couldn’t answer.
Innovate whenever you create a new business. Other businesses succeed under different conditions. You can’t and should not relate that to your current market. Things change and so should your business model and service.
“Strong Solution Needs No Marketing”
I feel concern whenever a smart person created something cool but comes without any business plan.
In today’s world, it becomes easier and cheaper for businesses to have their ad posted on the internet. This information overload makes it more difficult for your business to reach out to the consumers. Therefore, it only makes sense to have strong marketing strategies and social media solutions to get the message out to the market.
We have all witnessed great products fail due to weak marketing planning. It is simply because consumers must be educated and be made aware that such solution exists – which only marketing tools capable of doing. It is a reliable business tool to educate consumers on your business identity and recognition.
Final Two Cent
The misconception of running a startup is easier than a job needs to be debunked completely. If you feel it is easy, then you are probably doing it wrong. Running a successful business takes most of your time and makes sacrifices a necessity. Despite of its difficulty, I’m not saying it is impossible. I’m just saying people need to buckle up because it is going to be a bumpy road; especially for people like us who do not have access to unrestricted financial resources.