In recent years, entrepreneurship has risen in status from something reserved for only the daring and foolhardy, to one of the most desired occupations worldwide, due in no small part to degrading economies and changing mindsets on workplace ideals. However, with this increased interest come multiple misconceptions regarding what entrepreneurship truly is; making some talented hopefuls avoid dipping their feet in the entrepreneurship pool, while raising false expectations for others.
1. A Good Product/Service = Instant Success
Don’t get us wrong, an excellent product/service is essential for any business. But that’s only one part of the picture. A good product without a deep understanding of the market and excellent marketing is just that: a product. Not a source of income. And for excellent marketing you need good networking skills and a wide network. Most successful entrepreneurs already have retainer clients from their previous 9-to-5s, which helps them gain their footing and reel in newer clients via recommendations from older ones.
2. Full Schedule Control
This is a half-and-half situation. While on one hand you’re free from the constraints of a rigid daily schedule, most entrepreneurs, at least in their early startup days, end up logging in more work hours than the standard payroll worker. This is because businesses often start small, with sometimes the founder being the only team member, so without multiple teams to delegate, that one person (or 2 or 3) has to assume multiple job roles to help their hatchling idea take flight.
3. The More Clients, The Better
This is one of the biggest mistakes that an early startup can make. In the bid to successfully break even on their capital and garner fame, most young entrepreneurs accept every client that comes calling, and spread themselves even thinner by offering anything and everything under their service domain. This only leads to divided attention, reduced productivity, and low-quality projects.In the end, the business has nowhere to go but down.
4. You Need A Never-Before-Seen Business Idea
Anyone who sells something, either a product or service, under their own brand name is an entrepreneur. There is a limit to the number of things that can be innovated. Most businesses, even multimillion-dollar successful ones, offer essentially the same service with their own variation. Take Uber and Careem, or McDonalds and KFC; all big, all offering similar things. Or your local pizza shop, which is probably one among tens in your locale only, but might offer a different flavor than its competitors. Bottom line: You just need an idea-any idea-passion, and investment (more on that in a moment).
5. Venture Capital Is the Best Way to Finance a Business
Contrary to its media representation, venture capitalism, including incubators, only accounts for a small segment of the finance industry. Many entrepreneurs take bank loans, but most self-fund along with friend-and-family aid; at least until the opportunity for capital presents itself. Also, anyone with the slightest inkling of how new businesses work knows that venture capital is, at its best, a last resort financing solution. This is because these generous ‘donations’ bring with them a horde of investors who require timely paybacks regardless of profit; or lack thereof. This only puts additional pressure, and businesses often fail to make ends meet. The result? They fold.
These facts are by no means meant to discourage you from your entrepreneurial dreams. The field is ripe with opportunities for the willing. You just have to go in with your eyes wide open, start small, feed in all your passion, and above all, have faith in your idea.