They might not be as famous as Big Foot, Bloody Mary and the Loch Ness Monster, but the business world certainly has plenty of urban legends of its own.
From statistics exaggerating failure rates to those who claim entrepreneurs are mostly men, a plethora of entrepreneurial myths abound, scaring off many would-be business owners from taking the plunge.
We examine a number of those business urban legends to dispel the myths that are keeping some from pursuing their dreams.
: Fifty percent of all new businesses fail.
: This seems to be one of the most bandied-about statistics in the business world. In actuality, seven out of 10 new small businesses last at least two years, according to the Small Business Administration.
New Census data shows more than half of the new businesses that opened in 2000 lasted more than five years, and nearly 70 percent survived at least two years.
: New business owners are not doomed from the start. While it won't be easy, fear of failure should not keep entrepreneurs from pursuing their dream.
: More men than women open businesses.
: In actuality, women are driving the growth of small businesses in the United States. According to the latest U.S. Census data, women start businesses at 1.5 times the national rate , and are estimated to own just over 8.1 million enterprises that generate nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employ 7.7 million Americans.
: While it may once have been an all-boys club, owning a small business is now gender-neutral. Women should not be shy to launch a venture they believe in. The opportunity for them to succeed is just as good as it is for men.
: It takes money to make money.
: Big bankrolls aren’t needed to launch a successful business. SmallBizBooks.com reports that dozens of businesses — including dog-walking and dog-sitting , personal training, cleaning and event planning — that can be started for less than $10,000.
: You don't need a boatload of money to start a business. Spending smart, rather than spending big, is the key to success.
: The biggest problem facing small-business owners is raising capital.
: A new study from the National Small Business Association reveals that the top worries of small- business owners are actually over the uncertain economy, a decline in customer spending and the cost of health benefits. Only 17 percent of business owners reported a lack of capital as their biggest concern, pushing the problem of funding down to No. 7 on the list.
: There is money to be had for small-business owners. While it might not be as readily available as it once was, money is again moving through the pipelines to small businesses, which have other issues concerning them more than getting a loan.
: You need a great idea to start a business.
: In reality, new businesses are started every day based on someone else's idea. Whether it's a new restaurant or clothing store, the likelihood of coming up with a runaway new idea like Facebook is pretty slim — and unnecessary.
Felix Dennis, an entrepreneur and author of "How to Get Rich" (Portfolio Trade, 2009), writes that it isn't about having a great idea; success is bred on how an idea, new or old, is implemented.
"It is the manner in which ideas are executed that counts," Dennis writes. "If you never have a single great idea in your life, but become skilled in executing the great ideas of others, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams."
: Entrepreneurs should not feel a need to try to reinvent the wheel. Success lies in the execution and not the idea.