Opinions

8 Misconceptions Of Working In A Start-up

Start-ups are cutting-edge businesses in which the founder is free to do what they want, right? Wrong. Here are the eight biggest myths of starting a business.

Share this article

Share this article

Start-ups are cutting-edge businesses in which the founder is free to do what they want, right? Wrong. Here are the eight biggest myths of starting a business.

Opinions

8 Misconceptions Of Working In A Start-up

Start-ups are cutting-edge businesses in which the founder is free to do what they want, right? Wrong. Here are the eight biggest myths of starting a business.

Share this article

From innovation to flexible working, start-ups aren’t always as they are made out to be. Minutehack looks at the eight common misconceptions.

Innovation

You work for a start-up? Cool! That must mean you’re at the cutting-edge, right?

Wrong. Yes, while we assume that start-ups are new, exciting and innovative, the reality can be somewhat different. Some of the best start-ups have simply readdressed an old problem in an entirely new way.

Take Uber; whilst we must acknowledge their use of smartphones and data is innovative, the idea of a roaming black cars isn’t exactly new.

Failure is bad

Your first business idea could be horrendous. In fact, you might find that your first few ideas are abysmal. But failing fast can be good, and some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time can attest to this.

Max Levchin, co-founder and ex-CEO of PayPal, tried his luck with four business ideas that failed before he came across PayPal, a company that generated over $9bn in revenue last year.

Funding will save the day

There are huge misconceptions around funding, namely that you need lots of money to do well, and that this alone will be enough to make your business success. Then there is another misconception in that people assume all start-ups kick-off with a lump sum of venture capital funding. This is also not the case.

It’s also worth noting that securing money doesn’t guarantee success, although of course it does help if you spend it wisely and where you know it will make a difference. You should also avoid falling into the trap of thinking investors will find you if you simply have a great product – there are no guarantees.

Funding a business

Not all start-ups begin with pots of cash

Start-ups are only for the young

The age-old belief is that, to launch a start-up company, you have to be young with few ties. However, a glance back through time suggests this is incorrect.

Robert Noyce was over 40 when he established Intel, WhatsApp’s Jan Koum was 35. A study by the Kauffman Foundation indicated that the typical successful start-up founder was 40 years-old, with at least 6-10 years of industry experience.

Flexible working

Working for a start-up means free thinking ideas and flexible working, right? Wrong, some start-ups can work ridiculous hours, whilst others – especially those established by those previously working in commercial environments – can be very stringent on working hours and location. It’s not a holiday.

Some start-ups can often work up to six days a week, and 14 hours a day.

Work hard and succeed

To launch and maintain a start-up, you have to have passion and a great worth ethic, but sadly these attributes alone don’t guarantee success.

You’ll also need a viable business idea, a business plan, a realistic cash flow forecast and a marketing plan, which identifies your target customers and how you will reach them. A business partner might be a start to.

Let’s not forget that over 90 percent of start-ups fail – this alone proves that hard work won’t guarantee you success.

Being your own boss

One of the attractions of the start-up world is the assumption of being your own boss, but even this is something of a fallacy.

Yes, on paper it’s true, working for yourself you are your own boss, but it might not be as liberalising as you hoped.

In leather chair sitting senior businessman with gray beard.

Starting up can mean more bosses, not fewer

A boss can take many shapes and forms, and just because you don’t have a boss assigning clients, cases or workloads you to, you will still have people to answer to, like clients, customers and investors.

You don’t need a business plan

Start-up entrepreneurs can consider a business plan to be ‘a waste of time’ but the reality is far from that.

Investors want to see a business plan before investment and besides, there is a danger the company lacks direction and focus. Establishing a business plan early is essential to the growth of the business.

Related Articles
Get news to your inbox

8 Misconceptions Of Working In A Start-up

Share this article