Many people dream of starting their own business, but believe it’s impossible to do, buying into common myths that keep many individuals from starting their own business. What’s Stopping You?: Shatter the 9 Most Common Myths Keeping You from Starting Your Own Businessby Dr. Bruce R. Barringer and Dr. R. Duane Ireland, provides insightful tips and advice on how to be a successful entrepreneur, using revealing case studies to dispel many of the common myths that prevent the typical American from stating a new business.
Those 9 myths include:
- It takes an extraordinary person to start a business
- Starting a business involves lots of risk
- It takes lots of money to start a business
- It takes a great deal of experience to start a successful business
- The best business ideas are already taken
- Can’t compete against Wal-Mart and the other big retailers
- It’s almost impossible for a new business to get noticed
- The internet wasn’t all what it was hyped up to be
- It’s easy to start a business, but difficult and stressful to grow one
Starting a new business does involve risk, but it’s not as risky as many people think. A lot of people find it extremely difficult to quit their “safe” jobs and start their own businesses. Authors Barringer and Ireland lay out three activities that individuals can do to assess the real emotional and financial risk involved, and they include: determining what you want out of life, having a good sense of what’s “the worst thing that can happen” if your business fails, and researching the business opportunity. These are activities that enable an individual to set aside risk aversion and make an objective decision regarding whether starting a business is right for them emotionally and financially.
“Many people start businesses for highly personal reasons, it’s not purely a business decision,” stress Barringer and Ireland. “Starting a business can transform someone’s life, but people don’t do it because they are hesitant because of the many myths involved. We don’t blame people for believing the myths, starting a business is no easy task, it’s a challenge, but one worth taking in many instances, and we hope to help readers evaluate the specific challenges they might face in becoming an entrepreneur.”
What’s In a Name?
While at first glance, naming a business might seem like a minor issue, but it is an extremely important issue for a new business. A company’s name is one of the first things people associate with a business, and it is a word or phrase that will be said thousands of times during the life of the business. A company’s name is also the most critical aspect of its branding strategy. It’s important that a business’s name facilitate rather than hinder how the business wants to differentiate itself in the marketplace and how it wants to be viewed by its customers.
By dividing companies into four different categories, it makes them easier to evaluate in regards to a name:
- Consumer Driven Companies – If a company plans to focus on a particular type of customer, its name should reflect the attributes of its clientele (example: Children’s Place clothing store).
- Product or Service Driven Companies – If a company plans to focus on a particular product or service, its name should reflect the advantages that its product or service brings to the marketplace (example: 1-800-Contacts).
- Industry Driven Companies – If a company plans to focus on a broad range of products or services in a particular industry, its name should reflect the category it is participating in (example: General Motors).
- Personality or Image Driven Companies – Some companies are founded by individuals who put such an indelible stamp on the company that it might be smart to name the company after the founder (example: The Trump Organization).
“New businesses must build a brand from scratch, which starts with selecting the company’s name. One of the keys to effective branding is to create a strong personality for a firm, designed to appeal to its target market– Starbucks created a brand that denotes an experience framed around warmth and hospitality, encouraging people to linger and buy other products other than coffee,” state Barringer and Ireland. “A business ultimately wants its customers to strongly identify with it, but people won’t do this unless they see a business as being different from its competitors in ways that creates a special and valuable experience for them.”
About the Authors:
Dr. Bruce R. Barringer is Associate Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Central Florida, where he works closely with the University’s technology incubator. His research interests include feasibility analysis, firm growth, and entrepreneurship.
Dr. R. Duane Ireland chairs the Department of Management at Mays Business School, Texas A&M. His research interests include strategic alliances, organizational resource management, and entrepreneurship. A Fellow of the Academy of Management, he co-authored a best-selling textbook on strategic management.