6 MISCONCEPTIONS THAT STUNT THE GROWTH OF YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR
It is so very natural for young entrepreneurs to dive into the business and then start having self-doubt and some misconceptions about how the business has to be done. Let us examine today 6 misconceptions that stunt the growth of young entrepreneurs.
Google had conducted a survey a few years back to see what young people think about popular brands. It turns out that brands with an entrepreneurial story behind them are considered the coolest. As young people are trying to navigate away from the “corporate jungle” towards the land of supposed “entrepreneurial paradise,” a lot of misconceptions arise. Perhaps this has to do with the media or the advice they receive but often these insights can derail a person from taking the plunge in the start-up world Or cause them to jump on the entrepreneurial bandwagon when they have no business doing so.
Here are some of the misconceptions they have while they get on that entrepreneurial bandwagon, hoping to be next Elon Musk or Steve Jobs.
- Older people aren’t innovative.
It’s a misconception as old as time. The reality is that every successful businessman, old or young, relies on a combination of innovation and experience to succeed. In order for your business to move from a great idea to great success, it will require all sorts of skills, and some of them can only be acquired with time, for example, wisdom and foresight.
In today's world, there are innumerable cases available of older people completing graduation. They have learned to adapt to the changing world. In fact, in my opinion, older people are more willing to accept technological changes then they were a couple of decades ago. The Internet has changed the rules of the games, with the Internet, anything is possible, no matter what age you are and no matter where you're located in the world.
- You need a business plan
Do you need a business plan before venturing into the new business? The answer is not necessarily. A study conducted by William Bygrave, a professor at Babson College, examined whether writing a business plan before launching a new venture affects subsequent performance. The analysis revealed that there was no difference between the performance of new businesses launched with or without written business plans. The data suggest that unless an entrepreneur needs to raise substantial startup capital from investors, there isn’t a compelling reason to write a detailed plan. Even more impactful data was uncovered by Anthony K. Tjan, coauthor of Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck. As part of the research for the book, he and his colleagues interviewed hundreds of successful entrepreneurs around the world to understand better what it takes to build a great business. It turns out that about 70% of the entrepreneurs surveyed who had a successful exit (an IPO or sale to another firm) did not start with a business plan.
The majority of successful entrepreneurs spend less time planning and more time doing.
- If my product or service is good, I’ll be successful.
Providing a great service or product and figuring out how to market it are different animals. You need to have a balance between a great product or service and a brilliant marketing plan. One does not survive without the other.
Relationships and connections can make a huge difference particularly early on when you haven’t built a brand yet and need someone to give you a break. You need to open your contact list and initially start marketing to the people whom you know and can depend on giving you the right kind of support and review about your product or service. You also need their help in promoting your product in their circle of influence.
It’s easy to overestimate the demand for your services. I am a business efficiency coach in real estate. There are probably very few coaches in India who do coaching & consulting exclusively in the real estate industry. When I estimated potential revenue, I tended to focus on how strong and unique my coaching was and tended to neglect annoying details like lack of access to decision makers, lack of awareness in the decision makers regarding the importance of having a coach to grow their business and economic downturns, which are frequent in the industry, that might impact client ability to pay.
- I will be a master of my time.
The appeal of breaking out of the traditional, 40-hour workweek draws many to the prospect of starting their own business. What lots of people find is that while they leave behind their old schedule and creative limitations, they exchange them for new demands. Sure, you will be master of your own time in some respects, but entrepreneurism often requires great sacrifices. It can consume every minute of your waking day; the work doesn’t end when the clock strikes 6 p.m. While founders may not have to punch a time clock, they often slave away the first few years, logging hours that easily surpass those from their “corporate jungle” days.
Yes, many who dive into entrepreneurship are passionate about their business and that great idea which pushed them into becoming an entrepreneur and they love what they do, so working long hours may be fine for them. But just beware of the myth that entrepreneurs don’t have a tight, even strict schedule to make and maintain a successful business.
- You need to know everything
Another misconception about running a new business is that everything depends solely on the entrepreneur and he has already decided that he has to and must know everything about the venture he is starting. This might be true at the earliest stages, but taking this idea too seriously is also the best way to guarantee burnout.
Real entrepreneurs thrive on being in a constant state of learning. They enjoy creating, improvising and pushing boundaries. In her bestselling book, Rookie Smarts, author Liz Wiseman asks the question, “Is it possible that we can be at our best when we are underqualified, doing something for the first time?” The answer is yes, with the right mindset we can. Being new and even somewhat naïve can be an asset in today’s rapidly changing world. That’s because succeeding at entrepreneurship requires energy, innovation and the ability to push yourself outside your comfort zone. It’s often not what you know, but how fast you learn that counts.
Most of them are not even masters of the products or services they provide. What I mean by this is that they do know almost everything about the product or service but they may not know the fine nuances and technical details of how it works. At times, The idea also could be given to them by someone else and they have just handled the marketing and sales part of the business.
- The more clients, the better.
This is a very popular misconception. Early on it’s tempting to take on any and every client that shows interest in your product or service but spreading yourself too thin can be risky. I’ve seen young entrepreneurs twist themselves into a pretzel trying to offer different services to different clients or trainers conducting any and all sorts of training as they try to appease everyone and capture as much potential business as possible. The danger is that when you don’t clearly define your products or services, you can lose focus and confuse the marketplace on your areas of expertise.
Also, let’s face it: All clients aren’t good ones. Some are extremely high maintenance, unrealistic, unreliable or price hagglers. You definitely want to be selective enough to weed out clients that may become more of a problem than they’re worth.
Another mistake entrepreneur makes is taking on too many clients too soon. By trying to serve too many clients, you could end up decreasing your credibility, quality and overall brand, which could have longer-term consequences.