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Don’t get startup starstruck

Written by Matt Westenburg

With more than 18 years of experience as a certified public accountant, Matt has helped companies develop & validate business models, raise capital and provide management expertise. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs who are passionate about achieving their goals and bettering the community. He was voted the Silicon Prairie “Service Provider of the Year” and has been recognized multiple times for his contributions to the local entrepreneurial community.

Many entrepreneurs get startup star struck thinking about how great their business is going to be and how much money they are going to make. The reality is that building a successful startup is not quite that simple. There are many different paths to startup stardom. Don’t wish for your business success on a shooting star, avoid these four common startup myths and you’ll have a better chance at a favorable outcome.

Only the newest ideas succeed

Startups are more than just a new idea. Fresh ideas and innovative problem solving are important but the market is full of good ideas. The success of a startup is often determined by who does it better. Facebook wasn’t the first social media platform, but it remains one of the best. The reality of a startup is that it also takes concrete business concepts, such as market research, investors and a lot of planning, before the fresh ideas behind the startup can develop into a profitable business.

Good products equal success

The quality of your product is important to your success as a startup, don’t get me wrong. Beyond offering consumers a quality good or service, however, startups need to build relationships with them. The business can’t develop without investing in customer service, marketing and market testing to make sure users are satisfied with their overall experience with your company. As you’re developing your product, also keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. Just because you can add more features, doesn’t mean consumers want more features.

The reality of a startup is that it also takes concrete business concepts, such as market research, investors and a lot of planning, before the fresh ideas behind the startup can develop into a profitable business.

Startup founders get to do their own thing

Many people dream of being their own boss and not having to answer to anyone, but that’s not the reality for startup founders. Many people have to report to investors or the city chamber of commerce. Think about all of the people to whom you are listening-employees, consumers, competitors-now realize that you also have to respond to these same people. To some extent you answer to them, even though you’re running the startup.

Best friends, best business partners

There’s a reason most successful corporations have a definitive separation between personal and professional lives. Most of us act differently in the workplace because of the additional stress and responsibility. Friends who found startups together will encounter many difficulties, especially when they each have a different opinion on what’s best for the company. While there are many examples of best friends who are also successful business partners, that tends to be the exception, not the rule.

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