There’s a lot of good advice out there about how to succeed with your business startup. There’s also a lot of bad advice, so it’s important that you are able to tell the difference. Below are some of the most common misconceptions about startups, and knowing what they are can help you avoid the errors that could result from believing them.
Your Role as Founder
One common misconception has to do with your role as the founder of the company. Many people think this means they need to be responsible for everything, but the fact is that if you’re trying to take care of legal, financial and data security issues with no expertise in those areas, you could make some costly mistakes. You also risk reinventing the wheel.
As an example, perhaps one element of your business involves fleet management. You may know a lot about the product you are creating but almost nothing about fleet management, so you might not realize how important vehicle tracking devices can be to monitoring your fleet with real-time GPS data. You don’t have to hire a lot of employees right out of the gate, but you shouldn’t hesitate to pay contractors and consultants when it will benefit you.
Another common myth is that a great idea is all you need. This can take different forms. Some people don’t take the time to test drive an idea with potential customers because their friends and family have told them it’s such a great one. Unfortunately, the people who have your best interests at heart don’t always have the objectivity that you need in this particular situation. The other way this can create problems is if you do not take the time to create a comprehensive business plan. It’s true that some people get a great idea and stumble into success, but why take the risk if you can plan more carefully ahead of time?
Like a great idea, funding can deceive you into thinking you’ve got the hard part out of the way. Even through getting the money you need from venture capitalists and angel investors, there’s no guarantee that your startup will succeed. They can only give you the money that you need. You still need to do the basic work of building the business from the ground up. It’s important to remember that getting funding is one of your goals, not the main goal.
A related myth is that you need a lot of money to get your business up and running in the first place. As long as your idea doesn’t require a large initial outlay for equipment, you may be able to start on a shoestring.
With all the possibilities offered by virtual working environments, why spend valuable capital on office space and related items when you can work from home or a co-working space and outsource many of your administrative tasks? What’s more important than whether you start with a little or a lot of money is that you manage your cash flow effectively and carefully track your finances.