Thinking of taking the plunge and becoming an entrepreneur? Many people dream about starting a business. The idea of leaving the corporate environment and being your own boss is attractive – especially if you have a product or service that you’re confident you can sell.
But not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. It takes hard work, an inner drive, enough capital to get going . . . and usually, a bit of luck. The glamour and freedom of running your own business may seem great, but there are some hard realities to consider.
So, before you take the plunge and leave your job to start your own company, here are four myths about being an entrepreneur you should keep in mind:
- “I’ll finally have control over my own schedule”
Yes and no. Especially in the beginning, you’ll probably be working longer hours than you did in the corporate world. Your customers’ needs may dictate what you do and when you do it, even if that means working nights and weekends in order to build your brand and increase cash flow.
If you have a great idea, are passionate about what you’re doing and have a strong work ethic, you probably won’t mind devoting a lot of time to your new endeavour, but don’t expect to have a lot of free time outside of work for a while.
- “Google started without a business plan, so I can, too”
It’s true that Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page didn’t start off by writing a business plan – their idea began in the ‘90s as a graduate school project at Stanford. It turned out that they had a great idea (of building a better search engine) and they became incorporated almost three years later so that they could hire their first employee.
So no, not every great business starts with a clear business plan – but you’ll be better off in the long run if you do. Begin by writing out your goals and values, determining where your start-up funds are going to come from and putting together a plan of action. Yes, your goals and overall strategy will likely change along the way, but building a great business takes planning.
- “The more customers I get, the better off I’ll be”
Not always. Especially if you’re consulting or providing a service, it can be tempting to take on every potential client, but taking on too much business at once can be risky. You may quickly become overwhelmed trying to juggle too much and determining whose needs come first. This can damage your brand, your service, and your quality.
It’s far better to start small and take on a few clients, projects or products and see how everything is balancing out. If you clearly define your products or services, you’ll stay focused on your customers, and they’ll be clear about your areas of expertise.
- “In order to succeed, I have to go it alone”
You don’t necessarily need to find a business partner when you’re starting out, though you may want to, depending on your needs and goals. The important thing is that you don’t focus so much on your start-up that you isolate yourself and miss out on opportunities for learning, networking, and growth.
You’ll need advice and help from others to make your business work. Explore options for mentorship programs, chamber memberships or industry associations. You may also want to research funding, loans and grants for your business with the help of your accountant.
If you’re set on starting your own business and need help with accounting, strategy, or business planning, contact the experts at Accru today.