Much like your well meaning friends when you are looking for advice, everybody has opinion and some of those opinions are based on facts. Then there are the others. You’re on your way to starting a business and you’ve read all of the articles that give you advice about what to do before the big launch date. Some who have been in your place say that some of that advice isn’t necessarily true.
You DON’T need a Business Plan
If you are planning to seek funding from an outside source, you absolutely do need a business plan but don’t waste the long hours putting a plan together just because somebody said you should. You should, of course, have a plan but make one that helps you keep your startup activities organized.
You Don’t Need to Register Your Business
Although you don’t have to register your business at the beginning, you can start your business as a sole propietor and you can file for a DBA (doing business as) to use a business name, keep in mind that, without incorporating, your personal assets will also also be at risk should you run in to financial trouble related to your business.
The Internet Makes Advertising Easy
Far from it, unfortunately. Imagine going to a trade show where you were trying to sell your product or service to potential buyers. Now imagine that the trade show was in a stadium where people who do the same thing as you filled the seats and the buyers stood on the field to make the decision about who will get their business. If you understand this analagy, you understand the problem with the internet. Internet marketing is relatively cheap but getting yourself noticed online is very expensive.
You have to be all in!
Some believe that the only way to succeed as a small business owner is to quit your job and put your life savings in to your dream. It’s true that some businesses may require that but not most. Many small business owners started a business as a part time venture and as it grew, they converted it to a full time operation. Your dream is important but supporting your family is vital.
Entrepreneur Equals Freedom
Possibly years down the road but for many years entrepreneur equals a huge amount of work. You won’t have a job with regular work hours, you won’t have benefits, and a sick day means no income. Getting a business off the ground is hard work. Probably harder work that your old job.
A Good idea Fixes all Problems
A good idea without great advertising, appropriate funding, and contacts who can help you get it in front of the eye of the public won’t take off. Start with a good idea but don’t forget the real world business aspects of it.
You’ve heard it before but in this case it’s true: This is your business and your experience as you grow will be different than somebody else’s. Don’t feel bound to any one way of building your business startup. You’re an entrepreneur because you’re doing something new.