Do you have any of these Small Business Misconceptions?
Starting a small business is a dream many wake up with every morning.
Whether it is because they wish to earn more or just in search of freedom and independence, almost everyone wishes to start a business.
And yes, they are right to want that because having a small business is the best thing that can ever happen to you.
You may have this imagination of how it is like to run a business.
But, have you stopped to think what is true and false about those beliefs you hold onto so close?
In this article, we are going to discuss more on these small business misconceptions many people have.
- You don’t need a website
Having a small business means you don’t have a large market.
It doesn’t matter how small it, you need a website to amplify your reach.
Here is the thing;
A website allows your business to reach an even wider audience. There are millions of people browsing through the internet daily.
Some are shopping, while others are looking for more information on products and services.
As such, having a website increases your chances of being discovered.
You may wonder, do you need money to create a website for your small business?
The answer is no, you don’t need any money to have a website.
Well, you can now have a free business website, thanks to tools like OLITT.
OLITT is a website builder, and with it, you can create any type of website for free.
If you wish to start an eCommerce website, OLITT allows you to create online stores without touching code.
In short, if your business is not online, you will be out of business soon (quoting Bill Gates).
- You need money to get started
This is another common small business misconception. Truth is, you don’t need money to start a small business, thanks to the internet.
Just look around you, there is a ton of proof that you do not need any capital to start a business.
All you need is a viable business idea and an execution plan. After that, everything else should fall into place.
To make it even easier for you, here are some small business ideas you can start now without money;
- Blogging – here, you create a website for free and start sharing your expertise.
- Freelance writing
- Web designer
- Consulting – get paid to share your perspective on something
- Programming – get an app idea, start coding and sell it
As you can see, most of these ideas only require you to have the skill (which is free to learn in most cases), a laptop, and a reliable internet connection.
- The Customer Is Always Right
How many times have you heard this phrase?
A thousand and one.
Ask anyone for business advice, and their first word is, listen to your customers.
While there is nothing wrong with listening to your clients, Apple has proved over and over again that customers do not even know what they want.
The company didn’t get to a trillion-dollar market cap by just listening to buyers.
Henry Ford once said that, if he had asked the customers what they wanted, they’d have said ‘faster horses.’ And look what the GM turned out to be!
It is not about ignoring the customer.
Just know that you will always have both positive and negative feedback. But that is just it, feedback. Learn from it and better what you are already doing.
If you are bending to every customer’s demand, you won’t grow.
- You Don’t Need A Team
Another big small business misconception is that there is no need for a team.
Well, this is true especially when you are starting and maybe operating under a shoe-string budget.
The last thing you want is hiring people and having nothing to pay them.
But as your business grows, as you start booking more business, you will need a team.
A team allows you to deliver take on more projects and deliver quality services or products.
But what you don’t know is that you do not need to hire full-time team.
Today, you can have a team scattered all over the world, thanks to the internet.
If you are running a web design business, you can go to Upwork.com and hire freelance designers.
Pay them once they finish the project and pocket the difference.
- Small Business Misconceptions: Marketing Strategies Are Pointless
After perfecting that business plan, you ignored marketing strategies because you think it is pointless to have one.
Well, you are preparing yourself to fail.
A business without marketing is like throwing a stone into the dark and hoping it hits something.
While a business plan shows where you want to be, marketing strategy is what will make that dream come true.
If you are planning to roll out your product throughout the country in under 6 months, only marketing will get you there.
Why do you think most successful entrepreneurs start by first identifying the market before creating the product?
This is because understanding the market allows you to tweak the plan to suit their style and taste.
- Small Business Misconceptions: Entrepreneurs Have More Time
You don’t miss to hear someone saying, once i have my business, i will spend more time with my family.
Well, that is a huge small business misconception.
Entrepreneurs won’t always have more time to spare. In fact, they have less.
This may contradict what you already know about entrepreneurship; a gateway to set your own working hours and working whenever you want.
But think about it;
The success of the business solely lies in you.
If you want it to succeed, you have to put more effort. And if you want mediocre results, put in the mediocre effort.
You are better off sitting on a desk somewhere if you want more time.
Don’t get me wrong here;
Once your business is successful and is where you wanted it to be, you can now relax and enjoy your fruits. But the thought of starting a small business so you can relax right away is suicidal.
- Small Business Misconceptions: You Need An Office
To run a small business, there is no need for an office, especially now there is remote working.
When running a graphic and design business means your work is mostly online, and your clients come from all over the world.
With such a business, all you need is a laptop and internet connection. This means that you can be working anywhere, be it on the beach, on a plane, or while cruising across the ocean.
What if you have a team?
Well, depending on the nature of the business you are running, you may have them working from home.
Is that possible?
If there is something the 2020 Pandemic taught us, is that everything we knew about commuting to work is wrong.
Most businesses can offer remote jobs. So before you spend money on office space, ask yourself if you really need it.
- Small Business Misconceptions: You Need To Take Huge Risks To Succeed
Blame mainstream media for this small business misconception. They are running stories of how so and so took life-altering risks and made sacrifices to see their businesses through.
Truth is, you don’t need to take insane risks to make it in business.
The reason why you hear about these stories is that they are dramatic and fit the headline-grabbing bill.
All you have to do is take calculated risks. Be smart and always have a plan.
- You Make Profits Right Away
There is no guarantee that the business you are getting into will ever make you money. Don’t be fooled by the ‘gurus’ on social media flaunting jewelry and supercars because most of them are living a lie.
Every time you start a business, there are some costs involved that must be paid. These include licenses, insurance, supplies, training, marketing, consultants, among others.
And then there is the fact of having to build relationships with the customers. In fact, the customer hears you between 6-8 times before deciding to make that purchase decision.
This means that most of your time and budget will be spent putting yourself out there and acquiring customers.
In fact, you may run a couple of losses at first just to get clients at the door.
- If You Build It, They Will Come
Maybe that used to work, but not now.
Because today’s consumer is so enlightened. They know exactly what they want and will not stop looking for it.
Additionally, there are more options out there. Unless you are running an extremely unique business, you have competitors out there.
For this reason, instead of creating first, and customer second, invert it.
First, survey the market you’d wish to enter to understand the demographics and dynamics.
And then come use the insights to inform your product development process.
- Mentoring is not necessary
Some people are able to figure things out on their own.
But often through trials and errors and more of it.
If you wish to succeed fast, make fewer mistakes.
Get a mentor.
A mentor is someone who has been in your current position and came out of the other side triumphant.
It is like having someone shine a light on the dark and help you identify pitfalls along the way.
Now, having a mentor doesn’t mean having physical interactions with someone. You can still learn from other people’s mistakes through their books or talks.
Final thoughts on small business misconceptions
These are some of the things people believe when it comes to starting a business.
Go through them and get a new perspective.