Starting their own business is a dream for many Americans. Maybe you have a big idea you are dying to get on the market, or you want to make your side-hustle a full-time job. Regardless of the business idea, starting your own business can also seem like a big risk.
Before you talk yourself out of your dream, know that many aspiring entrepreneurs are also afraid of taking the first step. Here is a list of some common myths about starting a business.
Your business needs investors
You do not necessarily need investors to start a business. Many business owners get their start by self-funding, otherwise known as bootstrapping. According to Inc., bootstrapping allows you to retain control of your new business. If you pursue investors, they usually want a stake in the company and may want a say in business strategy. Instead of relying on investors, you could tap into your savings, ask friends or family for money, or raise capital through a crowdfunding campaign.
You need to have written a business plan
Often, you need a business plan to receive funding from a bank or other investors. If you aren’t pursuing these options, you may not need a formal business plan. However, you will want to investigate whether your business has potential for success before you launch. Perhaps that means surveying the environment and then writing a quick outline with your goals, mission, and marketing ideas for the business. Your business plan may not need to be a formal 30-page document.
You need a business degree to run a business
Many successful companies were started by entrepreneurs without a business degree. Some entrepreneurs do not even have a college degree. A degree certainly helps you understand some of the ins and outs of the business world, but so too can experience. Or maybe you are an idea person who needs help with tracking expenses and marketing your product. That is okay too.
You must do everything on your own
Maybe one of the biggest myths new business owners believe is they must do everything on their own. It is your business after all, so you should make all the decisions. The truth is that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you are great at marketing your product, but you hate the numbers side of things. Even if your budget is small, you may be able to find friends or family to help. Or maybe you should invest in some good accounting software, so you do not have to spend hours looking over Excel spreadsheets. You might even be able to find college students who are looking to add to their resume and could assist your business for little or no money.
Your product/idea must be completely revolutionary
Not every product revolutionizes the market like the iPod. Some items are slight improvements on past ideas. Or maybe your product offers a new convenience. Just because you have not reinvented the wheel does not mean your product has no value. Inc. states that there is no replacement for analyzing the market, responding to the consumer, and then addressing a problem. You want to offer a product that addresses customers’ pain points, or the thing that keeps them up at night. If your business can do that, you have a good starting off point.
It can be terrifying to take that first step toward starting your business. However, you do not need a business degree, a bunch of investors, or to have invented the next iPod. Take your knowledge, examine the market, and get started.