If you’ve been thinking for a while about starting a business, you probably have some… concerns. And rightly so. Starting a business is definitely a risk, and not one that should be taken lightly. It takes a ton of hard work, patience and tenacity to be successful, and it can sometimes require serious changes to your lifestyle that can affect you and your family.
But chances are, some of the ideas you have in your head about starting a business might not be entirely accurate, and some of the things you are viewing as potential roadblocks, might not be such big obstacles after all.
Here are some of the biggest myths surrounding starting a new business, and a little dose of reality to hopefully help set the record straight.
Not Just For Kids
The myth of the Millennial entrepreneur is one of the most pervasive surrounding startup culture today. We all imagine that Silicon Valley is just spitting out 23-year-olds with a million dollars of funding and a golden idea for the next Facebook/Uber/Angry Birds.
In reality, this just is not true. According to the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of entrepreneurs in the U.S. is 40 years old. Not only that, but there are twice as many successful entrepreneurs over the age of 50 as there are under the age of 25. Success in starting a business, it turns out, is at least somewhat influenced by the amount of experience a person has. Not just youthful energy.
The Timing Has to Be Right
What do Uber, Groupon and FitBit have in common? They were all started at the height of the recent recession. That’s not a time that you’d expect to be particularly conducive to starting a business, but history is full of companies that have thrived in spite of what would seem to be terrible timing on paper.
We all know that you’re supposed to strike while the iron is hot. But, so many aspiring entrepreneurs are just sitting on their great ideas, waiting for the right time to make their move. The truth is, there is no perfect time, and if you sit around waiting for the perfect time, you’re going to be waiting forever.
You Need Money
While some businesses start out with huge amounts of investment capital, these are not the only kinds of startups. Most entrepreneurs start out with very little money (or no money at all), and begin rolling out their products and services slowly, possibly on the side of their full-time gig. Growing your business slowly and incrementally certainly takes patience, but it also takes some of the pressure off that many businesses feel when they are getting started. It can also force you to ensure your business is viable from the onset, which is never a bad thing.
You Have to Have it All Figured Out
Just because you don’t know exactly how your business is going to work or you don’t have a fully fleshed out business plan, doesn’t mean that you aren’t prepared to start a business. Obviously, you should have some idea of what kind of business you want to be and a starting point for how you are going to try and make money, but beyond that, it’s up to you. Business plans are imperfect, ever-changing documents. Just because you put a ton of thought and energy into crafting an amazing business plan, doesn’t mean that everything in that plan is going to work out the way you’ve anticipated, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee success. Oftentimes, it is just as useful to jump into the pool in order to see that the temperature is like. Your curiosity and instincts will guide you in the right direction, so that when you do write out a business plan, it can be a better tool to actually help you.
The team at 10twelve have started, sold and advised businesses in a variety of industries. We know where common pain points lie and areas to advise you that have come through learning from our own successes and failures. Ready to launch or grow your business? Contact us today!