Don’t fall for these myths: Tips to succeed with your start-up

Start-up myths: Catherine Wijnberg, CEO and founder at Fetola. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn
Catherine Wijnberg, CEO and founder at Fetola. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn

Starting a business can be an intimidating endeavour, with many entrepreneurs feeling as though they need to have a perfect plan and a lot of money to succeed. However, Catherine Wijnberg, CEO and founder at Fetola, warns that there are many myths surrounding business start-ups that can hold people back from taking the leap.

Wijnberg breaks down eight common myths and provides advice for aspiring entrepreneurs to get started and succeed.

Myth #1: You can’t start a business without a business plan

While a business plan can be helpful for focusing your strategy and communicating your vision to others, it is not necessary to start a business. The most important thing is to take action and start testing your concept. Once you have gained some momentum and a better understanding of your market, you can develop a business plan to help guide your growth.

Myth #2: You need a lot of money to start a business

It’s true that some businesses require significant upfront investment, but many successful businesses have been started with little more than a laptop and a good idea. As a first-time entrepreneur, it may be difficult to secure financing, so it’s important to choose a business model that requires little to no capital to get started. Your first business can help you build a track record and experience that you can use to secure financing for future growth.

Myth #3: Only really clever people can start a business

Starting a business requires courage, a willingness to learn and grow, and the energy to keep pushing forward. People from all walks of life can successfully start and run a business, and there are many resources available to help you improve your business skills.

Myth #4: I am too young to start a business

There are many examples of successful young entrepreneurs, some even in primary school. Starting a business at a young age can provide valuable experience and lessons that can be used in future ventures.

Myth #5: I am too old to start a business

Colonel Sanders famously started KFC at age 60, and there are many success stories of older entrepreneurs. Starting a business later in life can provide the opportunity to blend wisdom and experience with the energy and innovation of younger people.

Myth #6: You need specialist skills to start a business

While having specialised knowledge can certainly be helpful in certain industries, it is not necessary to start a business. As Emily van der Walt, a young entrepreneur who started a successful business selling pre-owned clothes on Instagram, discovered, sometimes all you need is a good product and a willingness to learn.

Myth #7: You need to live in a big town to start a business

While it may be easier to start a business in a larger city with a larger population, there are business opportunities to be found in smaller towns as well. Simply Bee, a natural product company that started in a tiny town in South Africa, is a great example of this.

Myth #8: All it takes is a good idea

While having a good idea is certainly important, it is not enough to guarantee success. Successful businesses require action and execution, and sometimes even a pivot in strategy along the way. It’s important to focus on putting your idea into action and making a profit from it.

In conclusion, it’s important to break down these myths and realise that starting a business is not as daunting as it may seem. While it certainly requires hard work and dedication, it is possible to start a successful business with little to no capital and no specialised knowledge. The most important thing is to take action, learn as you go, and keep pushing forward.

As Wijnberg puts it, “The one thing that all entrepreneurs have in common is the willingness to face the fear and do it anyway.”

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