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Starting your own business is an exciting undertaking, but there's plenty of apprehension that comes along with it — especially when your well-meaning friends constantly remind you that most businesses fail. While failure is plausible, focus on your positive mindset, and jump into your venture knowing that you have, and are willing to do, what it takes to make your idea a successful enterprise. You should also know the common myths that are lurking out there, and know what you can do to increase your chances of success. Four common myths are:
1. Don't Use a Credit Card – A statistic on Entrepreneur states that for every $1,000 in credit card debt used to start a business, the chance of failure increased by 2.2 percent. While it's not optimal to go into debt to start your dream company, it doesn't mean that you'll end up declaring bankruptcy if your startup takes an initial loss. As long as entrepreneurs use caution, business credit cards can be a boon to your business. When used responsibly, the best business credit cards can earn you thousands of frequent flier miles each year and provide other monetary bonuses. Once your business becomes profitable, make a plan of attack to wipe out the debt as quickly as possible and from then on, pay off your balance each and every month.
2. Devote Your Life to Your Startup – Yes, you'll put in lots of hours, and many entrepreneurs have put in 80 to 100 hours a week in order to become successful, but that doesn't mean it's the only way. This lifestyle could lead to problems with health and relationship, as well as make you want to give up. An article from Inc. says that a key to not burning out is to find a work/life balance that is ideal for you and your family. Maybe that means you get up two hours before the rest of the house so you can put in the extra hours without sacrificing time with your family and friends during evenings and weekends.
3. Come Up with Original Ideas – Not everyone is cut out to be Steve Jobs or the Google boys. A key to making sure your business succeeds is to put a unique spin on it and market it to your target audience. Anyone can create an calendar app for mobile devices. You need to put a different twist on it to make it stand out. Focus on one group of people who you can help — say single dads who need to be reminded to pick up the kids from school via a specialized app — and you have a better chance of success.
4. Don't Launch Until You're Ready – If every entrepreneur waited until they were ready, the world would have a lot fewer businesses and products. Your business plan and website will never be perfect, so think of them as works in progress. Only after you make a reasonable plan, jump in and take action will you know what areas are in need of improvement. Set a date for to launch your startup, and then do as much as you can to get things ready before then. After the launch, take time for a weekly reflection and planning session so you can tweak as needed.