Here are ten common myths related to both starting, and marketing, a small business. Let’s debunk each one.
Five Startup Myths
Myth 1: You need a lot of money to start a business
Not only is this not true, but having a lot of money will actually work against you. That’s because you will mistakenly believe that the money will somehow make you successful. It doesn’t. LinkedIn started in a living room. Apple began in a garage. My business started on my laptop. To get started, a business needs hard work, commitment and great ideas before it needs money.
Myth 2: Love what you do and the money will come
Loving what you do is no guarantee of business success. Not by a long shot. The most important thing about a new business is not your love of the business – but, instead, whether other people need or want what you’re selling at the level of value you’re offering it. If you love a business that has something people want, you’ve struck gold. But love alone isn’t going to do it.
Myth 3: Owning a business will make you rich
Very few small business owners come even close to what anyone would consider “rich.” But the vast majority of business owners (including me) still wouldn’t have it any other way. They are in control of their own destiny and most eventually earn enough to do quite well – better than if they were an employee. Get into business for the right reason – to control your own destiny.
Myth 4: Doing the work yourself keeps costs down and ensures it gets done right
Related Article: Top 8 Startup Myths That You Should Know About
This is the number one killer of small businesses. When the owner tries to do everything, they burn out and want to sell the business, but nobody wants it because they’ll be buying a company where they have to do all the work. That’s not buying a business, it’s buying a “job”. Learn to delegate, coach and teach. Understand how to leverage people to sustain and grow your business. There is only so much of you to go around. Real business isn’t about owning a job. It’s about building a team.
Myth 5: You need a big idea to make it
Some of the greatest success stories are coming from industries many people would consider unappealing: junk removal, plumbing, taxi services, catering, furniture moving. Don’t try to invent the next iPad. Instead, make a mundane business more professional and attractive.
Five Marketing Myths
Myth 1: Less is more
This should be “More is better.” Today, there is a high level of mistrust when it comes to business. You need to provide as much value-added content as possible about your service or product – not less. Online shopping web sites understand this, featuring photographs that depict every possible angle of a product. Large volume when it comes to content is a credibility builder. The more information you give away, the more people will be convinced that you are a market leader.
Myth 2: Sell the benefits
This needs to be “Sell the benefits AND the features.” Benefits are paramount but features are important too, for today’s tech-savvy consumer. The smallest most insignificant feature may be what makes the sale. A few years ago, I wanted to buy a camcorder but it had to film in the old 4 x 3 (square format) in addition to widescreen. Most cameras don’t do that any more, but the one camera that did is the one I bought. Cover all the bases – benefits and features.
Myth 3: Social media is all you need
Social media is vital. But your web site is still your number one marketing vehicle. It’s the only digital property you have 100 per cent control over. Social media can be leveraged to direct traffic to your site. But the good old fashion web site, with it’s “about us” “services” and “case study” pages is where people will learn all about you.
Myth 4: The cheapest price wins
In fact, a cheap price will often work against you. The Canada Goose company, known for its high quality winter coats, has a policy of never putting its products on sale. Never. The buyer response? Got to have a Canada Goose. A friend tried an experiment, giving away one of his products. Few people wanted it, but when he charged $2, people bought. Low price equals low quality in the mind of the buyer. Too many first-time business owners under-price what they offer due to a lack of confidence. Do not compete on price. Believe in, and compete, on the value you bring to the table.
Myth 5: Keep changing your marketing
If your messaging is working, stick with it for as long as you can. Today, more than ever – with marketing noise at an all time high, branding is dependent upon consistent messaging across all delivery channels. “Sameness” creates trust. That’s what branding is all about. How can you trust someone or something if it keeps changing all the time? When I ran a freelance writing business, I used the same message for 12 years: “Guaranteed satisfaction or I’ll keep writing until you’re happy.” It worked then, and it would work today.
The biggest job creators this year will be small businesses, not major corporations.
Start a business and you will be supporting the economy and your community. Just be sure you don’t buy into the myths and you’ll stand a much better chance of success.