By Michael Gunther
Whenever we work with a business — no matter what stage of the Business Life Cycle they’re in — the leaders tell us what they think it takes to be successful. After hundreds of these kinds of conversations, I’ve found that many of these beliefs are, in fact, myths. Here’s the top 7 myths of owning a business and how to overcome them.
Myth #1: “If I build it, they will come”
When an entrepreneur perceives a demand for their product or service, they mistakenly expect that opening a retail location or office will bring business through the door. Truth is, 82% of all businesses close within the first two years.
Overcome this myth by conducting research to ensure there is a market for your product or service. Then, create sales and marketing strategies to build a demand.
Myth #2: “My passion is enough”
It’s common for people to create businesses around their passions, whether it’s cooking, building, or painting. But passion will only carry a business so far without the proper strategic growth plan in place.
Overcome this myth by determining realistic goals and strategies for:
- how you will make money from your passion
- how you can train others in your passion
- how you will push past the drudgery if your passion suddenly feels like a job.
Myth #3: “I need to have an original product or service”
Actually, the opposite is true. An original business idea is not a requirement to success. What is required, however, is an established need — either perceived or created — in the marketplace.
Overcome this myth by taking an existing product or service and applying a different twist or approach, making it more desirable or more effective.
Myth #4: “Everyone can be my client”
New business owners often think everyone can benefit from their product or service. In reality, every business needs to have a clearly defined target client to whom they will sell, so they don’t waste money marketing to people who will never buy.
Overcome this myth by creating a clear picture of your ideal clients, including demographics, psychographics and technographics, before you spend a single marketing dollar.
Myth #5: “My business will grow, grow, grow”
Sure we hear stories of companies that grow from zero to millions in a short time. While this is true for a select few businesses, most do not achieve this result.
Overcome this myth by developing a “slow and steady” growth plan to help you build a profitable, sustainable business aligned with your goals. Remember: it was the turtle who won the race, not the hare.
Myth #6: “I will make lots of money, right away and won’t need startup capital”
While 64% of millionaires are self-employed, most businesses live client to client. Capital is a required aspect of starting and growing a business and most people underestimate the amount they will need.
Overcome this myth BEFORE you get started by understanding your profit potential. Recognize your need to earn a consistent return on investment for your efforts, and calculate your breakeven point to include paying yourself and making a profit.
Myth #7: “I will have lots of free time”
You’ve seen them: business owners playing golf and jet-setting around the globe, giving the illusion that business owners have lots of free time. Well, new business owners are often surprised at how time consuming running a business truly is.
Overcome this myth by building your systems and team so that you can step away from the business. If you don’t, you will only create a job for yourself — not a business.
Research and planning are required to be successful in business. Become a business myth buster: review these myths and recognize which might be your stumbling blocks. Then, channel your entrepreneurial passion and drive into taking the steps to create a realistic business model.