Small to Medium Enterprises (SME, 1-19 employees) are important, as they comprise 90% of enterprises with employees, employ 29% of the workforce, and contribute 28% to GDP,

However, starting a business is glamourised with pithy calls to action such as “follow your passion!” Sure, a minimal amount of passion is needed to get out of bed, but so is a pulse, so such aphorisms are not only incomplete, but they are unrealistic and are therefore unhelpful.

A more realistic mantra, based on evidence is “see a need, fill a need,” Bigweld in the movie Robots, 20th Century Fox, as “[b]uild it and they will buy is not a strategy, it is a prayer,” “you cannot create a market or customer demand where there isn’t customer interest.” The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Steve Blank.

Other well-meaning yet dubious advice along the same lines as “follow your passion” is “create a Business Plan.” I admit that Business Plans can be useful, and so can water, but there’s a time and place. See my post Business Plans – When Are They Needed?

Lastly, for a relatively short evidence-based introduction to starting a business, read my 5-episodes that introduce my eBook Starting a Business – With Facts, Not FaithEpisode 1: Starting A Business – Introduction.

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