When looking to start a business, the amount of information available to entrepreneurs is endless. It can become difficult to manoeuver through these streams and determine fact from fiction. Below, we will help bust some of the most common entrepreneurship myths to get you on the right track.

Myth #1: My schedule will be more manageable and my work-life balance will benefit.

Not necessarily. To get your start-up off the ground, the hours you work to establish yourself may be longer (and harder) than a regular job. Being a business owner means that your work day never ends and you are directly accountable to your clients, partners and investors as well as potential clients. Sure, your business may be your passion and it may not always feel like you’re working, but the bottom line will depend on the amount of dedication and hard work you invest.

Myth #2: My product is so good I won’t need to market it – it will sell itself.

A significant number of entrepreneurs think they don’t need marketing, but this is a major mistake. Think of all the new products that are launched globally each year. Without marketing, how will people know that your product exists? If you can’t afford to hire a marketer or a marketing company, there are many self-marketing tools that can help get the word out like Facebook ads and local networks. Also, it is important to have a clearly defined target audience. You may think your product or service is for everyone, but once you know who you are targeting, it will be much easier to figure out which media channels to use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them.

Myth #3: I should never give my service/product away pro bono.

Giving away a free sample of your product or service is a great way to grow your brand and show the value that your product or service has to offer. However, it is important to make sure that these offerings do not hurt your bottom line. Free samples and services should be included in the budget as an advertising cost.

Myth #4: Entrepreneurs do not need a business plan anymore.

Business plans are still an essential part of any business, but maybe not for the reasons you’d think. Yes, a business plan will help you on your path to funding, but for a plan to be truly valuable it should evolve as your business grows. A successfully fleshed out business plan will help you gain the confidence you need to pitch your idea or product to prospective partners, clients and investors. The key is to create a living document.

It will also force you to do market research and develop a marketing plan, as well as better understand your costs and potential sales revenue. Mapping out a business model first can help lay the foundation for your business plan. Ready to get started? YES can help with one-on-one coaching and essential workshops such as the Business Bootcamp.