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Top 5 startup myths

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There are many misconceptions about running a small business. We’ve all heard stories about overnight successes, horrible failures and just plain luck.

It’s difficult to know what to believe about self-employment. Tell anyone you’re considering starting your own small business and you’ll receive plenty of conflicting advice and opinions.

To help you better understand what exactly you’re getting into, read these top 5 startup myths:

• Entrepreneurs make a lot of money. During the first few years of your new small business, you will earn less than you did as an employee. However, you’ll enjoy much larger income potential — in North America, 75% of millionaires are self-employed.

• A great invention makes entrepreneurs rich. It’s not what your small business does, but how it does it. Successful companies simply brand, market and serve clients better or differently than their competitors. Look for opportunities to improve on an existing product or service rather than invent something completely new. Inventions are risky, expensive and can take years to return a profit. Start a service instead.

• It takes money to start a small business. Some very successful businesses are launched with just a few hundred dollars. Others may cost millions yet still fail. A little company called Apple was born in a garage. Start small, think big, seek advice and get going.

• Running a business is easy. It just looks that way! In reality, Canadian entrepreneurs work 59 hours per week. As a micro-company, small business owners must endure considerable stress associated with getting, doing and managing all of the work. Be prepared to multitask.

• It’s lonely. True, you may feel some isolation if you choose to operate your business from home. However, with over 2.7 million self-employed Canadians, you’ll find a robust small business community available to help you network, learn and interact. Look up local entrepreneur groups in your community and get involved.

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