Anna Johansson, contributor, discusses 10 common misconceptions of starting a business in the article, “10 Entrepreneurship Realities You’d Better Learn Early,” featured on Entrepreneur’s website.
“Entrepreneurship has changed a lot in the past two decades. Access to information and resources is greater than ever thanks to the advances of the Internet, and a culture of startup favoritism has encouraged young creative thinkers to follow their projects more than ever before,” writes Johansson in the article. “In many ways, we live in the midst of a startup renaissance, filled with opportunities for anyone with an independent passion and a strong idea.”
She continues in the article, “Yet there are a number of misconceptions about this era of entrepreneurship that permeate the startup community and society in general.”
Johansson shares 10 realities new business owners must keep in mind when starting a new venture:
- Startup capital. Tech startups in particular are receiving significant funding; and, in general, more businesses today are receiving more funding compared to 1990. However, this available funding is not being distributed as equally as some may think. “The vast majority of [funding] goes to a select handful of projects with the greatest profitability potential,” explains Johansson in the article. “Smaller projects, even if grounded with a good idea and a sound business plan, often get passed over.”
- Being your own boss. As an entrepreneur, you have the ability to set your own schedule and develop your own companywide rules. However, many new business owners aren’t as “free” as they might have thought they would be. “The modern entrepreneur is a slave to circumstance, mentors, investors and customers,” says Johansson in the article. “They all have a vested say in the direction of the company, and if the entrepreneur doesn’t listen, he/she will lose out on funding, revenue and support.”
- More than just a good idea. Having a good idea for a business is only the starting point. You also need a solid business, a leader to direct the company, adequate funding, a competitive mindset, good timing and a high-performing team.
- The “overnight success” concept. It is highly unlikely to become a billionaire overnight. “That level of success is the product of hard work, heavy investment, trail and error, failure and ongoing education,” asserts Johansson in the article.
- Crowdfunding. Being successful in crowdfunding will take a lot of time and effort. And, sometimes the effort it takes doesn’t pay off.
- Location. Remember, where and how you start your business matters. Make sure to research the hot spots.
- Letting go. In reality, many entrepreneurs will end up scrapping, trying, failing at and reinventing ideas while trying to launch a business off the ground. An original idea might not be what works, so new investors must come to the realization that they may have to give up their favorite ideas to start a lucrative business.
- The startup culture. For many, the culture of a startup may seem like a big party with lax work hours and attire. However, the reality is it takes a lot of work to start a new venture. And many startup employees may even have a hard time catching a quick lunch break. Whether your startup is a self-serve carwash or a full-service car care business, a lot of time and hard work will be needed to launch your venture toward lucrative operations.
- Online presence. Building a strong, recognizable presence online can help raise awareness of new and established businesses alike. There are many free/cheap website generators out there, however, investing in a quality website can help a new business thrive; and successfully launching a site can take months.
- The bright side. By being aware of the common misconceptions of startups and taking the steps to ensure your business doesn’t fall victim to these harsh realities is one step toward launching a successful venture. “Today, it’s entirely possible for entrepreneurs to start out with part-time effort, eventually scaling up if it’s appropriate to do so,” explains Johansson in the article.
Johansson notes in the article, “Properly tempering your expectations and understanding the reality of modern entrepreneurship are the first steps to setting realistic goals and a reasonable plan forward.”
You can read the entire article on common misconceptions for startups here.