Myths About Starting a Business


While a lot of people would want to start a business, it could be misleading to believe that entrepreneurship is the answer to their current financial situations. Simply having the capital doesn’t mean one is ready to start his/her own venture.
There have been a lot of rosy stories about entrepreneurship recently, but before you jump on the bandwagon, perform due diligence so you won’t end up frustrated later. Below is a list of common myths about entrepreneurship:
I can enjoy a flexible work schedule. Some believe that being one’s own boss would mean he/she can go to the business at their preferred time. They think that they can just come and go to the office, and work lesser hours than when they were still employees. But this is a myth for most ventures because if you do this, you will fail to monitor your business properly. When I was just starting a business, I was actually working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, which is almost 300 percent higher than the work schedule of an employee in a company.
If I have a unique product (or service), I need not promote. Please remember that there is no such thing as uniqueness in business unless you have invented and patented something. Unfortunately, business processes cannot be patented. If you offer anything that sells pretty well, competitors will definitely copy you. So learn to market your business, and always listen to the feedback of your customers in order to continuously improve.
Our food is great so they will look for us. This is the common belief of those who refuse to pay for a good location. While there are indeed cases where word of mouth was sufficient promotion, 99 percent of the time, out of sight is indeed out of mind!
I can have unlimited income. Ha! This is so untrue. The truth is that profit is actually limited by your production or service capacity. There are also several factors that limit your income potential, such as logistical or supplier constraints. So refrain from thinking you will certainly be rich. Maybe. Hopefully. But the truth is there are more business owners that earn just enough to get by. There are also those who suffer unlimited losses!
I have a knack for selling, I’ll definitely succeed. Even if you were awarded the best salesperson in your company, this doesn’t guarantee your being a successful business owner. Would your customer still pay for your product or service if they find it unsatisfactory? Do not underestimate the importance of other functions.
I can do what I want to do. Being a good cook doesn’t mean you can be a successful restaurateur. Being a good guitar player doesn’t necessarily mean you have what it takes to own and manage a music school. Entrepreneurship necessitates entirely different skills. This includes a mix of management, accounting, sales, production, marketing, and sometimes clerical functions. In business, you have to be a generalist. You should know at least a little of everything, so you would know how to check or monitor your employees. You’ll never know how to gauge the competency of your employees, if you don’t know how things work.
I can recoup my investment in three to six months. Nobody can accurately predict profit, but you usually get told what you want to hear, especially when buying franchises. There are business consultants who give an estimate on return of investments that seem very precise to the last centavo. In reality, you can consider yourself very lucky to get back your capital in two to three years. A large number of investors lose their entire investment, but who talks about them? Despite the best plans, there will always be risks.
I can delegate things I don’t like to do. You believe you are not a good manager, so you will hire a manager. But the truth is you still have to manage the manager. There are also many things in business that only you as the owner can do, whether you like it or not.
I did not write this article to discourage you from starting a business. I just want you to be cautious. Invest wisely and do not assume you will hit it big time because it is quite difficult to predict a venture’s outcome. The truth is that simple observation alone will tell us that only a small minority will be very successful in business. Nevertheless, entrepreneurship is a great option in this economy.

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.

You might also like:

The Seven Common Pricing Mistakes »
The Vital Role of the Business Model »
Starting a Business While Still Employed »
Business Lessons from Sun Tzu »
How to develop a good personal brand »