Have you ever dreamed of launching a new business? You’re not crazy or even in a minority. In the US, better than 60 percent of adults dream about running their own business.
Of course, business ownership isn’t a challenge-free lifestyle. It comes with a lot of responsibility and more than its fair share of stress. On top of that, there are many new business myths floating around that might discourage you from making the leap into business ownership.
A smart business owner tries to work from facts whenever possible. So, if you want facts, keep reading and we’ll debunk some of those common new business myths.
It Takes a Lot of Money
One of the most resilient myths about business is that you need a lot of money to even start. The reality is that there are many types of businesses out there.
A retail outlet or restaurant deals with physical objects that you sell to customers. Those businesses can come with huge startup costs that spiral up into the millions. A lot of those costs come from securing and outfitting a building, along with inventory.
On the flip side, you can launch a freelance writing business for the cost of a laptop and a website. There are franchises opportunities that you can launch for a few thousand dollars.
You do not need huge sums of money. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest up front, you must start small and make up for financial shortfalls with a lot of hustle.
You Must Quit Your Job
You not only don’t need to quit your job, but you probably shouldn’t quit your job while you launch your business. Keeping your job alleviates a lot of pressure to succeed.
That steady paycheck means you don’t worry about making your bills, which can prove especially important if your business doesn’t take off right away. For the record, most businesses don’t take off right away. It’s often as much as two years before a new business generates consistent profits.
If you have a spouse, they will appreciate the financial stability that keeping your job offers as you build your business. That steady flow of income can also provide a small financial lifeline to the business, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your other financial responsibilities.
You Must Hire Employees
This is another one of those holdovers from the retail business model. Your need for employees will depend on the type of business you open and how busy the business becomes over time. There are a lot of businesses out there run on a day-to-day basis by exactly one person: the owner.
Bringing on employees should stem from a direct and identifiable need. Let’s say you run a woodshop that specializes in dining room tables. As long as you can fill your orders in a timely fashion and your weekly hours remain reasonable, you don’t need employees.
Now, let’s say that you’re spending more and more time on the phone. That activity cuts into your table-making time, which makes completion and delivery times longer. Now, you have a direct and identifiable need for an office assistant to field low-level phone calls.
Let’s say your average number of orders picks up, which drives up your weekly working hours to finish the tables. Now, you have a direct and identifiable need for a shop assistant to handle lower-level work like planing the wood or sanding tables.
It’s All on You
Every business owner has aptitudes. Some excel at planning the details. Some excel at working the big picture issues like branding and advertising.
In the very early days, yes, you will probably wear all the hats as you figure out where you excel. Once you figure those things out, though, you can offload some tasks.
Wait, didn’t the last section say that you don’t need employees. There is a difference between having employees and outsourcing.
Let’s say you don’t do all that well at bookkeeping or simply hate it, as so many business owners do. That doesn’t mean you need an in-house bookkeeper. You can find a third-party bookkeeping service that you pay a monthly fee to manage that task for you.
Let’s say you decide that you want the liability shielding you get from forming an LLC or a similar corporate structure. You can theoretically handle that legal business formation stuff yourself, but it’s a smarter move if you let an expert do it for you. You can read more here about the legal niceties of business formation.
It’s Something for the Young
All of the press around tech startups has done a lot to convince people that launching a business is something for young people. There is an unusually high percentage of 20-something entrepreneurs in the tech space. The problem is that the tech space is a very narrow area of entrepreneurship.
The reality is that people of all ages launch businesses and youth is no guarantee of success. In fact, the research suggests that entrepreneurs in their 40s often see substantially higher levels of success and speed of success in new businesses.
While youth may offer more creative thinking, it also comes with problems. Young people often act in impulsive ways or demonstrate poor risk assessment.
Older entrepreneurs may lack some of the creative juice, but they likely bring more discipline and better risk assessment to their entrepreneurial ventures. Beyond that, they often have a couple of decades of experience in a given industry. That experience can help inform their approach to solving routine problems that might feel new to younger entrepreneurs.
Launching a New Business
The new business myths can make you feel like launching a new business will prove impossible or take resources you can’t afford. That’s just not the case. While you will need a little money at the outset, you can launch potentially launch a business for a very minor amount of money.
You also won’t need employees or to quit your job. You don’t even need youth.
Drive is the thing you truly need. Drive will help you keep chipping away at the business.
Looking for more new business tips? Check out the posts in our Getting Started section.