Entrepreneurs are a special breed of people who take the plunge into starting their own companies, knowing the risks, rewards, and uncertainties that await them. Over the past decade, thousands of start-ups have bloomed, and probably an equal number has failed.
A Harvard Business School-based study found that about 75% of startups with venture backing fail. Statistic Brain did a study that showed that 50% of companies in the USA fail after the first five years of commencing business. Around 70% of them fail after 10 years.
In spite of you doing everything right, if you feel that your business isn’t growing as expected, it means something isn’t being done right. Here are a few misconceptions that you should stop believing in if you want to succeed.
1. Confidence vs. “I Know It All” Attitude
Confidence is a key factor that determines that growth of an organisation. You must be able to lead from the front, tackling problems head-on. But this confidence often leads to the highly dangerous know-it-all attitude.
You may think you know everything and don’t need to listen to advice from anyone. Not every advice is going to be useful, but it definitely pays to listen to people more experienced than you and learn from their mistakes and successes. All you have to do is to listen.
2. You Should Always Have Great Ideas
This is another myth that may make you doubt your own abilities. You don’t always have to have great ideas in order to be a good business owner. You could feed off an existing idea and make a business out of it.
On the other hand, even if you do have an idea, that alone is not enough. It takes more than an idea to make a business successful. An idea is only the beginning.
3. A Start-Up is the Best Way to Make Money
This is perhaps the biggest misconception that young entrepreneurs have, and the main reason why they are so eager to start a business. Yes, money and profits are the end result of a successful business, but they don’t happen overnight.
Successful company have had to go through months or even years of hardships, losses, and struggles before they started to make profits. The road can be hard and gruelling, and perseverance alone can take you to the top.
4. You Need to Follow Your Role Model
Do you have a role model, someone you look up to in the business world? If you do, great! But just because you look up to someone, it doesn’t mean that you have to ape everything they do. It’s not necessary that what worked for them will work for you.
You should have your own identity. Be your own person. Apply experiences and advice from others, but you’ve got to see what works for you on your own. It may be hard at first, but the struggle is definitely worth it.
5. Business Knowledge Is More Than Enough
You have an idea and you know what the business is all about. Is that enough to start a company and make it successful? Unfortunately, no!
Your determination and approach to handling problems are what determine the success or failure of your organisation. Business and industry knowledge can always be built, but developing a mindset of perseverance and determination is more important.
Tony Robbins, businessman and philanthropist says, “The most painful mistake I see in first-time entrepreneurs is thinking that just having a business plan or a great concept is enough to guarantee success. It’s not. Business success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics.”
6. Entrepreneurs Always Take High Risks
A very popular misconception, risk-taking is not the primary characteristic of every entrepreneur. Take too many rash decisions and you might just see your business going under. A good businessman knows when to take risks, and calculated risks at that. Look before you leap!
7. Partnerships Always Fail
There may be a few uncomfortable aspects to starting a business as a partnership, but the advantages are much more. Being a lone wolf in a business setup can be unsettling, and quite frankly, impossible to manage.
You need someone who can help you with things that you can’t handle on your own. For example, having a partner who can take care of marketing and sales will give you the freedom of developing products and/or services. Sharing responsibilities is a key success factor for any startup.
8. You Must Know Every Statistic
Of course, being an entrepreneur means having to know more about your products and services than the average person. But it doesn’t mean that you should know every bit of information and market statistic.
Be an expert in your own right and have a good idea of what features and solutions you can offer. It should be just about enough to educate your customers.
9. Don’t Launch Your Product Unless It Is Perfect
Giving customers a perfect product is the aim of every business. But if you keep trying to perfect it and wait too long to launch it, chances are a competitor might roll out their product before you do!
That’s not something you want. Get your product out there, imperfections and all. Make the necessary corrections and upgrades, and improve your product along the way. You don’t learn when you wait. You learn only when you’re doing something.
10. Never Give Up, Ever!
Although running a business successfully requires a lot of hard work, patience, and perseverance, you also need to know the importance of knowing when to let go. You may be extremely passionate about what you have started. But if it doesn’t seem to be working after giving it your best, it may be best to let go of it and save your resources instead.
Knowing when to let go is one of the admirable qualities of a good businessman.
After being an entrepreneur for over 10 years, Bri Seeley says, “I have officially closed more businesses than I have kept alive. And that’s a good thing. I have a very important rule: when it stops feeling good, it’s time to release it.”
Keeping these points in mind will help you overcome some of the struggles that experienced entrepreneurs have faced in the journey, giving you a better shot at making your business grow successfully.