If you are planning on starting a business, you have likely heard advice from many people, telling you exactly what you should and should not do to make your business successful. Many of these came up while working on Stow, where I am a co-founder. Unfortunately, there are many myths about starting a business. These myths may prevent you from ever starting a business or may cause your business to not be successful once it is started. A 2015 Entrepreneur article talked about some of these myths.
You Need a Full Business Plan
While you should not just start a new business completely on a whim, knowing exactly where your business is going and exactly what you are going to do is not necessary to start a business. Instead, you can allow the plan to shape itself as it is developed. Create a short business plan. Make it about two or three pages, and go from there. As the business develops, you can expand upon your original plan. You may even find your business plan will take a different direction as you develop it.
Waiting for the perfect business plan may prevent you from ever starting your business. Plus, if you are not at least a little flexible, a great alternative may arise, and you might be so focused on your original plan that you will miss out on what is a better direction for your business.
You Have to Start at the Right Time
If you are waiting for the perfect time to start your business, there is a good chance the perfect time will never come. One of the biggest reasons people hold off on starting a business is that they do not have enough money or they feel the economy is not right. When I started my business my wife and I were expecting our third child. In many cases, you can start out with only a little investment and work on it part time while you allow your business to slowly expand. You do not need to wait for the economy to be just right either or for a fortuitous door to open. Fortunately, there are many successful businesses started during a recession. Some of the most successful are Microsoft, FedEx, and General Electric.
You Need to Work 24/7
While you will need to work hard, especially in the beginning, when starting a business, you should not burn yourself out. Make sure it is an enjoyable experience, and do not be afraid to delegate tasks to others to make the process easier and more enjoyable. You will be amazed how much cutting out the fat in your life can provide you with time. Be brutally honest with yourself about how you spend your time and eliminate things that don't add value. Cancelling cable TV is a great place to start.
Overall, starting a new business should be an enjoyable experience. It should not be something you put off because you do not have all the details worked out or because the timing is not right. If you have a plan, go for it. See where your ideas lead you.