It is often believed that start-ups and small businesses are two different entities. The word startup evokes pictures of hippy, high-tech companies creating next-gen robotics apps run by twenty-somethings of fresh-out-of-college (or drop-outs, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates).
However, small businesses are boring and conventional firms, run by older people who are not competitive in their business. These are just some of the numerous myths about startups out there. This article debunks five of them
Myth 1: All Startups Are Tech-Based
Not all entrepreneurs are creating mobile apps or advanced technology that transforms worldwide — you don’t need to create robots to be considered a startup. You can operate a cafe, open a bakery, or launch a line of clothing, and still be seen as a successful startup.
Eric Pasveer pursued his passion to start Le Coffee Guy and carried out his plans to become a famous and prosperous startup. Cath Kidston founded a successful retail home furnishing and clothing chain. Alan and Gary Keery opened Cereal Killer Café, the world’s first international cereal café. The list of non tech-based startups is endless.
Myth 2: You Need A Brand-New Product or Service Idea to Succeed
Think about how long people have been doing things, selling, and buying. People have been wearing clothes for thousands of years, eating food, using some kind of transport to get around, and so on.
Those items have evolved over time, but a new item that is completely replaced, say, by the wheel has never been a blockbuster. The way you are most likely to find a successful niche or opportunity is to refine existing ideas to better serve customers.
Develop a clear and precise business plan based on your “better mousetrap” and go from there rather than attempting to conjure something unheard of from your imagination.
MYTH 3: You Have to Be Young
Let’s get right to the point on this one: entrepreneurship is for people of all ages, cultures, and walks of life. The average entrepreneur is 39 years old, according to reports, and the rate of success of startups owners above 40 is five times greater than those below 30. We’ve already made our point?
Harland David Sanders, Kentucky Fried Chicken, founder of KFC, was 62 before he franchised the restaurant we know and love today. Robert Noyce was 41 when he founded Intel and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman was 35 when he founded the professional networking site and 43 when it went public.
Myth 4: You Can’t Make Mistakes or Take Risks
Many people are of the opinion that an entrepreneur or business owner can never make mistake – this is simply not the case. Entrepreneurship, just like any other career or business, is rife with risks and any entrepreneur worth their salt ill will recognises that.
Making mistakes and taking risks is a part of being a business owner and entrepreneurs and it is completely fine to do so, if you are willing and prepared to handle any repercussions.
You can do so by taking care to have the necessary types of business insurance, for example professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance amongst others. By doing so you are making it clear to yourself, you customers and any possible investors that not only are you willing to make mistakes and takes risks to ensure the success of your business, but also that you take the responsibilities that come with being an entrepreneur and business owner that you are taking your business seriously.
Myth 5: Quitting Is Never an Option
It’s ironic that some people think a real entrepreneur never quits. A true entrepreneur should be sufficiently conscious of their company to realise when it fails. They should know when to throw in the towel and reduce any financial losses they may have. You have signed up for recognising failure as a possible outcome, not just success.
Successful entrepreneurs are making mistakes, learning from them and then doing each venture a little better. Instead of refusing to admit they made a mistake, a smart businessman learns a lesson from it and continues to the next part of their mission or taking a step back and being able to admit defeat when it comes around.
By taking the leap into entrepreneurship, you’re never going to feel 100% safe— after all, if it were convenient, everyone would do it. With these five myths debunked, hopefully in whatever decision you make you feel more confident.