Over the last decade, a lot of different myths have grown up around the idea of being an entrepreneur. In many ways, it has become deeply romanticised. Reality TV shows and talk of ‘self-made superstars’ has convinced a lot of people that it’s the right choice for them.

Unfortunately, many quickly realise that owning a business is a very tough job; a high proportion of first-time companies close within twelve months. It is largely down to lack of preparation and a poor awareness of what the job entails.

So, if you do dream of starting a business, there are a few things that you should know. Keep reading to dispel some of the common myths about being the Head Honcho.

You Have to Plan for Everything

For a business owner, being prepared doesn’t mean predicting every major change for the next five years. It means having the skill to position your business in a way which it allows it to adapt to a broad range of circumstances. Take your office lease, for example. The misconception is to believe that a standard, 3-5 year lease is the only option.

Read also: Overseas Manufacturing Insights: What Smart Business Owners Need to Know

This is not true and talented business owners know that it can end up being a trap. Wherever possible, retain your flexibility. Prioritise negotiable leases, with changeable terms. Virtual offices are a great idea, particularly in lively cities like Singapore. They ask for no contract, so you can leave whenever you like. Visit www.servcorp.com.sg/en/virtual-offices for details.

You Have to Spend Before You Earn

For most entrepreneurs, this is true. Whether you’re borrowing money from friends and family or taking out a loan, most first time owners need to lend cash in order to kick things off. However, this can be a temporary situation. Thirty years ago, it might have taken an age to get established enough to start earning that money back, but things have changed.

Read also: Advantages of Getting a Business Loan

Now, virtual and remote workspaces allow entrepreneurs to start running a business at the same time as it is being set up. This might sound strange, but all you need to begin winning customers, meeting investors, and chasing leads is an office with the right resources. With a virtual workspace, you can access this on a ‘pay as you go’ basis until your own is ready.

You Have to Launch From Home

Technology has allowed entrepreneurs to move around the world at a pace which has never been seen before. These days, there is no real reason why you cannot pick a country on the map and make a home for your business there. Singapore is a superb choice and it has been appealing to start-ups and SMEs for many years.

While it isn’t easy to expand into a country with a different culture and language, there are plenty of support systems in place. Co-working environments are perfect for foreign business owners, as they bring like-minded professional together. Here, you can study how the locals interact, chat with market rivals, and seek invaluable advice on all aspects of the region.

You Are Bigger Than Your Employees

This is a really important piece of advice. Though you might be the boss and founder, it is imperative that you treat your workforce with kindness and respect. Try to resist the temptation to feel superior to them, because this puts a divide between you and the most valuable asset you have. Be visible, talk to people, and go in search of their thoughts and ideas.

If you are expanding into a region like Singapore, it can be daunting to have to recruit from an entirely different labour force, but it is worthwhile. You’ll benefit from their local knowledge and show the market that you’re serious about being a part of the area. In fact, local consumers a are much more likely to embrace your brand if you make it clear that you’re happy to step into their culture and customs.

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