There is so much to consider when starting up a business these days. First, do you have the money? That's the big question. Next, do you have a product or service that people want? If so, will you make money selling it?
Starting up a business is risky. There's so much that can go wrong. And, so much that can go right. With so much information out there on starting up a business where do you begin? How can you possibly know whom to trust or what to believe?
Can you reasonable expect to see a profit in the first year or not? Should you market to the masses or narrow to a niche? Do banks lend money for start-ups or don't they?
Before you go out and spend thousands of dollars on product development and get all starry-eyed about bringing in the big bucks, you need to know the facts. Here are four popular start-up myths to ignore and four start-up truths to buy into:
Four Popular Start-up Myths
You'll make a profit in your first year.
Debunked: Starting up a business will not make you rich, quick.
Truth: It can take up to three years before your business sees a profit. That's three years of hard work and sustained effort. The start-up stage is not for the timid. It takes years of working hard and telling people about your company and your product before you can claim any sort of foothold on your market share.
I love it, so will you.
Debunked: You think you have the next big "it." You love it. Your family and friends love it. Therefore, the entire world will love it, too.
Truth: It's not about wanting everyone to love your product. It's about wanting your specific niche group to love your product and for them to tell all their friends about it. Create a unique product, specify your niche, and market directly to them. Don't make it personal. Make it business.
A professionally done website will drive traffic to your site.
Debunked: Not unless it's optimized with your niche market in mind and for how they are searching for your product or service on the Internet.
Truth: Figure out what keyword phrases your niche market is using when searching for your product. If you don't know how to write copy for the web, hire a professional copywriter to do it for you, making your home page and product pages keyword rich. Once traffic is on your site, make it easy for them to take action by giving them buy-in options at several price points.
Being interviewed by CNBC, Martha Stewart, or Oprah means you've made it.
Debunked: Sure, this kind of exposure will net you an increase in sales. However, it doesn't mean you've made it.
Truth: new small business owners who have had national coverage cannot afford the luxury of being lulled into the kind of false security that national attention brings. John Q Public has a very short memory and attention span. You're one big hit might generate great sales in the short term, but you can never sit back and rest. It is your job to constantly stay in the minds of your target market.
Four Start-up Truths
Banks will lend money to start-ups.
While it is true that banks won't give you a business loan without a business plan, you can take out a personal loan using your house or existing business for collateral. Market research goes hand-on-hand with writing a business plan. So, do the research, write your plan, and take it to the bank.
Being your own boss is a good thing.
Indeed it certainly can be if your boss is organized, has good communication skills, and knows how to prioritize. Don't become your own worst boss. Learn from all the things you didn't like about people you've previously worked for to create an ideal boss relationship with yourself.
You can save money by starting up from home.
While this is indeed true, don't skimp on the essentials for business success. Make sure you have an actual home office for your business, preferably with a door. Decide what your business hours will be and stick to them. No one starts up alone; so hire a business coach or mentor to guide you through the start-up process and beyond.
You'll be able to live and work anywhere in the world.
Yep. Just about. As long as your business is not location-dependent. And you have a good wireless laptop, a full-set of power-plug adaptors, use Internet banking, PayPal, and Skype for your Internet phone.
There is so much to consider when starting up a business, especially in these economic times. With the glut of information available on staring up a business, it's no wonder that many people get confused between what is fact and what is fiction. Before you go out and spend thousands of dollars on developing your product and get all starry-eyed about bringing in the big bucks, you need to know the facts. Here are the facts on eight popular small business start-up myths that will help you avoid the pitfalls and capitalize on the advantages to make your new business start-up a success.