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We are seeing the emergence of a growing forward thinking class of entrepreneurs around the globe as opportunity in the form of technological advancement and lowered barriers to entry presents itself on a wide spread basis. We’ve all heard the entrepreneurial stereotypes. We picture early stage entrepreneurs eating noodles and sleeping on couches, trying desperately to get a small business loan, just barely scraping by while trying to get their dream out of their garage and into mainstream society. The struggle is real! Then, when they finally make it and the hard work pays off, we imagine their lives involving catered private jets and limo services.
In reality, many perceptions are myths. If your goal is to start and run a successful company, it’s important that you know what you’re really getting into. With the hardworking start-up founder in mind, we wanted to debunk some of the most popular entrepreneurial stereotypes:
Myth #1: Starting a business requires a lot of capital.
The classic mindset is to try to get a business plan or product 95% right before taking action, or “If you build it, [they] will come.” No! Absolutely not! If you have a proven business concept and people know about it, sure they may come, but there are a number of steps you have to take before arriving at this stage.
First, test your concept or product with consumers at as low of a cost as possible. It’s better to start small, experiment with your idea, and then look to raise the dollars needed to create an actual business. This will not only help gain a bit of traction, but will also help you figure out if there is truly a demand for your concept before you pour hard earned money and time into it.
Myth #2: An entrepreneur’s work consists mostly of strategy and vision.
Strategy, creativity, and vision are certainly large parts of entrepreneurship and creating a successful start-up. However, the time spent on the nitty-gritty areas of the business often far surpasses the rest. Little things inevitably add up, and in a small start-up company, the daily grind can amount to a lot of your day-to-day activities. This should not be discouraging; it is what you signed up for when taking on the role of business owner, accountant, administrator, customer service representative and marketing director all at once.
Myth #3: Start-ups arise from fresh perspectives, outside the native industry.
Often there is a perception that anyone can start a company in a field they see opportunity, or with the mindset of “why doesn’t it work this way?”. This does happen, however, it is not usually true. Most successful companies have arisen in response to a problem or lack of service being offered, often providing a solution that the founders encountered themselves in past professional lives. Inherently understanding an industry is a key component to a startup’s success. If you are trying to break the status quo as an outsider, finding an insider to partner with or receive advice from, can be integral to your startup’s success.
Myth #4: All of the greatest startups are founded by university students in dorm rooms.
Stories on younger founders are often those that get the most attention, like the Zuckerberg’s of the world, creating Facebook at the ripe young age of 19. However, social media platforms launched in the same period, like Twitter and LinkedIn, were founded by people over the age of 30. Age should never act as a deterrent to taking a leap of faith into the startup world. There are countless stories revealing successes of individuals starting businesses even after retirement. If Craig Newmark can found Craigslist at 42, Reed Hastings develop Netflix at 37, and Benjamin Franklin invent the bifocal at 76, who is to deem younger folks more equipped to invent and create successful businesses?
Founded by serial entrepreneurs, LendingArch, an innovative online lending platform in Canada, always has its eyes and ears open to those looking for the cash injection needed to sustain or grow their small business. Learn about the merits of using a personal loan to fund your business strategy by visiting our expand your small business page.