When you are new to the business world it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. A bunch of people say one thing, and another group say another. It can be confusing to say the least.
So today I wanted to share a few nuggets of wisdom from my experience of being a business owner. This should help you out as you go about getting your business off the ground and hopefully, well off into the future. Ready? Here we go…
Six Small Business MYTHS
Small business myth number 1 : “Build it and they will come”.
Just because you threw your hat into the ring by starting a business DOES NOT MEAN customers will suddenly “find you” and want to do business with you. The truth is YOU HAVE TO FIND THEM. This means working your tail off to get either yourself, or your marketing materials in front of your target market.
Small business myth number 2 : “The lowest price always wins”.
Some companies can get away with competing on price, that’s for sure. Wal-Mart is a perfect example. But that formula is a poor one for the vast majority of small businesses. The truth is you need to start thinking about how to better explain the VALUE you can offer the customer. IE: How your company can STOP THE PAIN the customer is experiencing from poor service (or whatever their problem is).
Small business myth number 3 : “You have to spend money to make money”.
While it’s harder to get a business off the ground when you don’t have all that much cash, having too much can have its own set of problems. This is because when you don’t have much, you tend to spend it wiser (and measure the results regularly). When you have too much, it’s easy to throw money in all directions without regard to how effective it might be.
Small business myth number 4 : “The customer is always right”.
This myth is probably as old as time itself. While it has some truth associated with it (after all THEY ARE THE CUSTOMER), the fact is you can’t run your business by the rules the customer thinks should apply. Do you need to see things from their point of view? YES. Do you need to cater to their needs? YES. Do you need to make them happy? YES. Are they ALWAYS RIGHT? NO! You need to learn when they are and when they aren’t to be a profitable business owner.
Small business myth number 5 : “I need a fancy office to impress potential clients”.
If you are starting a wealth management company then this may be the case. For most everyone else, this is a giant mistake. The truth is HIGH “fixed overhead costs” like rent are one of the fastest ways to doom your new business. If at all possible, simply work the business out of a home office until the business can EASILY support something better.
Small business myth number 6 : “You need a business plan”.
I get a lot of questions on this one and I’ll tell you what I tell everyone else. I’m NOT A FAN of them. Do you need to think through the process of starting a business? YES. Do you need to have an idea of who your target market is? YES. Do you need a plan on how to reach those people? YES. Do you need to measure the results as you go along? YES. However this DOES NOT MEAN you need to get “bogged down” in some 50 page document that spells it all out. Keep it simple and you’ll be just fine.
Well, this wraps up my favorite “myths” about starting a small business. If you have any other myths you would like to share feel free to post them in the comments below. The same goes for sharing your thoughts on the myths I spoke of above. I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say!