Starting a business is not easy, nor is it something that should be taken lightly.
You do need to do your homework; you do need to research the industry, especially if it is not one you have previous experience in; you do need to do your strategic and business planning; and you certainly do need to look at your personal characteristics and beliefs to see if you and your family really want to make the commitment.
However I have spoken to many people who seem to me to have a viable idea for a business, but are put off starting their own business even before they delve further into its feasibility. Their objections are not about being under-prepared; their objections are often based on things that are simply untrue.
I call these the four most common myths that stop people starting their own business.
Myth 1: I’m not smart enough to have my own business:
Perhaps you’re not, but I find that doubtful. Starting and running a business is not for everyone, but I rarely find the reason as being lack of intelligence. Some people are better employees than business owners due to the way they react to the different type of responsibility, but if the question is do you have the smarts to run a business, it is more than probable that you do and you can learn the skills along the way.
If you have an average level of intelligence and a desire to learn, you can run your own business. You just have to do it the right way, by building a business that gives value to its customers – people don’t buy from you because they need what you sell, they buy because what you sell gives them value.
Myth 2: I don’t have the capital:
While it may be true that you don’t have a certain amount of capital, you may have enough capital to start a business. You may not need as much as you think – you can start small, you can start online rather than pay for bricks and mortar, you can find partners. It all depends on your business model so don’t dismiss lack of capital until you do some planning.
The web has created many opportunities to start small and with very little. Website design today is no longer costing thousands of dollars. There are websites like Square Space or WordPress where you can create your own website for a few dollars a month. Even if you have to hire someone you can have a pre-designed website template modified for a few hundred dollars. You can use services where you pay a small monthly subscription to look after your web hosting, mailing list (Mailchimp), and E-commerce (as simple as Paypal).
Myth 3: I’m not an expert:
And what do you think you need to be an expert? If you are thinking of starting a business in an industry you work in, you probably are an expert in your product. If you want to start a business in another industry, then you don’t need to be an expert, but you do need to be willing to learn and research.
You don’t even have to be an expert in the subsidiary skills needed in running a business like book-keeping, marketing and employee relations. You can hire people to look after these aspects, or you can find simple software solutions.
The point is, you can BECOME an expert in almost any topic that interests you if you are willing to learn.
Myth 4: Others are doing what I wanted to do:
This is the lamest excuse. Unless you are Thomas Edison inventing the incandescent globe or Robert Stephenson about to set off in his Rocket, I seriously doubt that your idea has to be unique in order to succeed.
People think that because they see a lot of competition they have “missed the boat”. If your idea for a business is being done already, true there may be too much competition. However it may be an opportunity for you to find a different way of delivering that common product – find your unique selling proposition. Remember people don’t buy the product; they buy the value the product gives them – so if your process provides better value they will choose yours over your competition.
What people who use this excuse to start their own business also fail to see is that if there are a lot of businesses selling the same product, then it may be a product in high demand. So, what an opportunity to go for it!
Let me repeat what I said at the beginning.
Starting a business does require research and planning, and it may not be for everyone.
However if you want to start a business, then do that research and planning. Please don’t use these excuses that I hear all the time. Tell me that you can’t start your business because someone else holds the patent, or because you do not want to commit to spending time away from the family – these are valid reasons that tell me you have thought it through.
Please don’t repeat these myths because they are only the story. The truth lies further underneath in whether or not you really want to start a business.
And if you decide that you do – go to https://teikoh.com to read about how to start and run your business, how to formulate strategy, provide leadership and grow that business. While you’re there subscribe to our newsletters by providing your email and name so that I can deliver value directly to your inbox for free.