Human beings have progressed throughout history using the sheer power of curiosity, intelligence and innovation -- business start-ups can open gateways to more innovation and improvement in our day to day lives. Unfortunately, many new ventures hit stumbling blocks that put an end to their potential and stop what could become great strides of progress.
It takes immense courage, passion, hard work and vision to create a start-up venture. But if you want your business to be successful, you have to give yourself a reality check and shed five common myths that lead to the downfall of many a start-up.
Myth 1: The idea is the be-all-end-all
We tend to believe that the idea is everything; that it has the power to either create or destroy a business. However, this is absolutely untrue. While a fine idea is certainly necessary, thoughts cannot materialise into tangible products or services unless there is a certain realistic and consistent amount of quality effort involved. Ultimately, the execution is just as, if not more, important than the idea itself. Unless one can work out everything that the idea entails in the material world, the start-up fails in its first step. It is essential to have at least a well-analysed, practical and feasible plan of execution immediately after the idea is conceived; only then can there be progress.
Myth 2: The plan has to be foolproof
One can always hope that there exists a foolproof plan of execution. But the truth of the matter is that there is none. What makes a plan truly great is its ability to adapt to the needs of the customer. Ultimately, the customer has the last word, and hence the start-up team and its plan must have the ability to change according to the requirements of those they intend to serve.
Myth 3: The team is supreme
This is a fallacy. The team in itself, even if brilliant, cannot succeed without a proper business model to follow. A successful start-up requires, without question, a carefully thought-out way to generate revenue from end customers. Business is, after all, about profit, and a business that fails to generate any revenue will crash and burn. Hence, while the team is indeed extremely important, it must know how to generate the revenue it needs to survive and thrive.
Myth 4: Businesses cannot run without intensive funding
A start-up with good potential can garner funding even after it begins its journey. Intensive funding in itself cannot make a business run well -- the execution overshadows funding in importance. The business model and ideas that you nurtured may begin to fall slave to the investor and you in turn begin losing sight of your goal and purpose.
Myth 5: It does not matter when one starts a business
Timing is more important than most people give it credit for - just look at this rundown of companies that crashed during the dot com bubble but which contained ideas that have caught on now, many years later. It all depends on the state of the market, the demands and requirements of the public, and the presence or absence of competitors. An idea might be a gem in itself, but it will not succeed unless it blossoms at the right time. There is a sweet spot in time between demand and supply, and the start-up that can harness that correct moment is more likely to succeed.