If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and are inspired to launch your own business, don’t let some common myths hold you back. Your big idea or venture may never come to life if you think that certain obstacles are standing in your way. Maybe you know someone that launched a business and failed miserably, or think you should wait until you have more money to fund the venture on your own. Maybe you’re just not confident enough that your amazing idea will really take off. Or maybe you’re just scared to try something new. Whatever the case may be, it’s a good idea to re-examine some of your fundamental beliefs about entrepreneurship and make sure you haven’t already started believing some common myths and fallacies about launching a small business venture.
Here are six common myths about staring your own business:
1. I have to get my business degree first. While having a degree in business or some college-level training in entrepreneurship can help you focus on the right things as you launch your new venture, there’s no guarantee of success from having a degree. All entrepreneurs end up learning as they go and need to have strong communication and organization skills, a passion to succeed, and the ability to learn from their mistakes. These are qualities that you can’t always learn at a business school, so don’t think you have to wait for that degree in hand before you follow your dream.
2. I’m waiting to launch with a revolutionary idea. This is one of the biggest myths out there and probably stems from reality shows and success stories you see in entrepreneurial and business magazines. While some inventors and geniuses do manage to run very successful businesses, you don’t have to have a revolutionary idea just to get started. In fact, your business might actually end up being a hybrid of other successful ideas. Ultimately, it needs to be very well managed and your projects need to be executed with passion. Whether you’re running a small retail store, opening up a car wash, or want to provide freelance services, do whatever it is that you’re passionate about with 100 percent commitment and learn how to manage all aspects of operations.
3. I need more money. Many businesses begin very small and then generate enough revenue to fully support operations. While having money to fund your own business is an ideal situation, you can get a loan if you need help in the financing department. Starting a small, scalable business is also a good idea because you can seek out investors as the business grows. Don’t think that you need thousands of dollars just to get started. Put together a solid plan, crunch the numbers, and just get started with what you have—even if you’re on a bootstrap budget for a while.
4. I should wait until the economy gets better. Very few businesses are completely sheltered from the effects of the economy. If you’re waiting for an upswing, you could be missing out on dozens of business opportunities. Think of a way to succeed even during a recession. What would your target market be most responsive to? Can you at least get started with a good business plan, build up your business network, or find some local resources that may end up helping you in the long-term? Remember that you can always start small and build your way up—there’s no need to go all out right away if you’re worried about the economic climate.
5. I’m waiting to figure out which businesses will be the most profitable. While some market research is necessary for your business launch, don’t waste time waiting for that “next big thing” to just come to you. Certain niche industries are always more profitable than others and you can do some light research to find a potentially-profitable business that you can genuinely resonate with and make your own. Take some time to review trends and data about popular startup businesses. Read about entrepreneurs who had similar goals as you when they first started for inspiration. Then, just go for it.
6. I need to go part-time or quit my day job before I can branch out. Many small business owners started their venture as a hobby or just put in the hours on weekends and when they had free time. If you’re really passionate about making this business succeed, you will find the time to make it work. Don’t think you have to scale back on your regular job (or quit altogether) just to get started. Begin with a plan and work that plan at every opportunity so you can get started.
Sabah Karimi is a writer at the personal finance blog Wise Bread and Yahoo!.