You want to startup, be your own boss, sip champagne on a yacht and own a top floor penthouse in New York. OK, if the boss, champagne, yacht and penthouse bit of the story are dependent on your startup then the remainder of this post could damage your dreams. Please read at your own risk.
This post is sponsored by The Made in NY Media Center by IFP.
BS Fact 1: I want to be my own boss, enjoy my day and work my hours
Here’s the truth: Dude / Dudette, when you go to a job you do 9-5 hours, they can be boring, stressful or even meaningless on bad days. But they are 9-5. When you startup, you are your own boss, however you are clamouring tens (if not hundreds!) of other “be-your-own-boss” types to get a client. If it means working till late night or spending extended hours on a computer then so be it.
Don’t be fooled by the top startup life you see on the media. They, my friend are the ones who cracked it. And you can crack it too, however don’t think you will work 40 hours a week and build a successful startup. It takes more than that. There are times when I would spend the whole weekends on my startup. Sleep for only 6 hours and spend the remaining 18 hours on my computer working for the startup. So this is one of the top BS facts about startups.
BS Fact 2: If I can copy <insert famous blog here> and start my own blog as a business, earn money in advertising
Here’s the truth: Anybody who thinks starting up as a blogger and making a business out of it, is falling for the 10000000s of articles on the internet about making money by blogging. You can make a few dollars but not enough to call it a business. The famous blogs did it when the internet was still young. And any new blog now, is backed by famous bloggers or internet giants to really go big.
A lad from Scotland does not anymore grow a blog into a successful business. And advertising will not make you near enough money to make it a sustainable business.
I started a blog thinking advertising and native marketing will make enough money for me. It made some money but as a business it wasn’t enough or worth it. Advertisers are paying pennies for clicks and there are blogs on auto-pilot who copy, syndicate and us black-hat link building processes to make money. They add no value in the blog, they simple do it for SEO purposes and that’s how they make money.
An honest blogger cannot make blogging into business. You need a viable product or service that you can offer to customers / clients to make blogging a business. And remember, you’ve got to have been blogging more than a year to even see anyone approach you for ads. That’s from my experience. This is why it is one of the top 5 BS facts about startups.
BS Fact 3: Startups need a permanent expensive office to woo clients
Here’s the truth: What were you thinking when you invested thousands of dollars in renting an office space on the high street? You don’t want an investor coming up and asking you that.
For a start, look for co-working space or virtual offices to help you. These help you keep costs down and also give you the space to be in the zone to work. Today the world around us is digital – opportunities are digital. Generate leads through digital channels and meet your clients at their office. They will appreciate the effort and you will remain flexible – and so will your startup.
A startup never knows where the customers will come from, so please, don’t do the mistakes I see a lot of startups do and put 6 months’ worth of operating cash in renting office space on the high street.
BS Fact 4: My startup will be small and not generating much revenue, I don’t need to think about accounting
Here’s the truth: You are reading this article, written by a guy who thought accounting wasn’t important for his small blog business, till it hit him hard. Accounting is important. It does not matter if you are generating revenue, how much are you generating or even making a loss.
The fact is, as a business, you need to keep your personal and business accounts separate. Your startup will be paying bills and rather than creating excel sheets and writing it on paper, invest in a membership of an accounting software. I use freeagent to keep track of the business account. It has made my life easier. I can now focus on what I do and still be able to keep track of the bills. So when the year ends I can hand over the details to my accountant to do rest of the work.
It is important you think about your accounting software as soon as possible. Let it do the job for you and you should be focussing on your business.
BS Fact 5: My startup cannot fail, I am passionate about it, that’s what a founder has to be
Here’s the truth: Your startup can fail. Any startup can fail and most startups fail within a year of starting. You can be passionate about something, however if customers and consumers don’t like it or don’t see the value in it, then you will fail. It isn’t anything personal and a good entrepreneur should know when to call it quits on the startup.
I love blogging and the subject I was blogging on was employment and enterprise. However I could never ramp up the views on the blog or pull in more advertising revenue. And after months of thinking, I decided it was time to close that part of the business.
Startups can and do fail. But it’s the idea that fails, not the spark that led to it. As an entrepreneur if you keep your spark alive you will think of something else and have the time to do something else. Don’t burn yourself out on trying to save a broken ship, save your energy to build a new ship and try sailing with that.
And that’s all folks. If you liked my 5 BS facts about startups please share it with anyone who is planning to startup.
SPONSORED: This post was created thanks to the sponsorship received from The Made in NY Media Center by IFP. Media Center offers offers dedicated desk space, business development, mentorship, networking, and opportunities to build community with other entrepreneurs, technologists, storytellers, and visionaries.
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