Startup: Expectation vs Reality

Startup: Expectation vs Reality

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.

Entrepreneurship is often romanticised. Many of us imagine doing what we love, and becoming our own bosses can be attractive. In reality, you need to work hard, respect your limits, take risks, learn new skills, and overcome numerous challenges before you can build a successful and sustainable venture.

There are widespread assumptions among aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs about what it takes to build a successful new company. Unfortunately, a majority of those expectations are wrong.

Below, we covered the myths and realities of owning a small business, from marketing to entrepreneurial burnout.

Business Idea vs. Execution

Most people can come up with a good business idea, but few are willing to put in the effort to turn that idea into reality. If you are planning to execute your idea, a great place to start is by developing a business plan, also known as an execution strategy.

Good business plans should include an executive summary and sections on products and services, marketing strategy and analysis, financial planning, and a budget.

If you are looking to raise funds from institutional investors and lenders, keep in mind that having a good business plan is extremely valuable. You should aim to have a well-documented plan that speaks for itself. It needs to be clear and easy to read and understand.

Going Viral vs Branding

Social media and the Internet have changed the way people think about marketing. Many entrepreneurs believe that they can blow their brand overnight by creating a viral video or posting ads on Facebook. In reality, the process of brand development is much slower and more methodical.

Building a business from scratch is a marketing challenge. You need to build brand awareness and attract new customers while continuing to innovate and offer great customer service. You must use consumer feedback and market trends to tailor and refocus your brand messages and initiatives. Turning your small business into a brand is time-consuming and ever-changing.

Getting Rich Quickly vs. Becoming Profitable

While you may have a great idea and a sound business plan, you also need to develop your accounting and finance skills in order to make informed, profit-oriented decisions.

Great business owners understand that the best way to grow their wealth is to focus on their finances. The best approach for business owners to increase their wealth is to concentrate on their money. They prioritize maximizing their revenue rather than wasting money or overspending.

Also, keep in mind that your startup will likely take at least three years to become profitable. This is true even for the most successful companies. For example, the famous electric sports car brand Tesla took a decade to see actual profits.

Burnout vs. Working Smarter

Small business owners and entrepreneurs usually try to do everything themselves to save money. But it can backfire and burn you out.

One way to prevent exhaustion is by delegating some of your work tasks. Outsourcing can touch all parts of your business — from HR and finances to content production and social media. Start to build a picture of what you are good at, and what you’re not so good at, to determine where strategic outsourcing might be needed.

“Outsourcing isn’t about diluting your brand or cheapening it — quite the opposite: it’s about finding time to do more things that matter.”

Also, there are plenty of software apps that may help you to become more efficient and productive while not affecting your budget.

Apps like Hootsuite and Buffer can help you manage your social media content and marketing efforts. Other apps like Notion and Calendly, can help you to boost your productivity.

Plenty of Interested Leads vs. Plenty of Time-Wasters

When you first start your business, many people will show interest and want to talk to you about what you do. But that initial curiosity will pass, and interest doesn’t always translate into real sales. It’s easy to get frustrated and view people as time wasters, so take control of your own sales strategy and you’ll find it gets a lot easier.

A proper CRM-based sales funnel is a good idea to help you organize your sales. Get rid of the hassle and emotions by following templates and automatic reminders.

As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.” This applies to business as well. Keeping a realistic mindset, setting short-term achievable goals, and getting the right amount of work done are the essential ingredients for your small business to be successful.

But don’t forget about your health. Your business will not work without you.