If you own your own small business, you know it’s nothing easy. While the freedom and opportunities that come with owning your own business are wonderful, there are challenges as well. In this blog post, we will debunk five of the most common misconceptions about small businesses. Whether you’re just starting out or still growing your business, read on!
“Build It and They’ll Come”
Many people start their own businesses because they see a need that isn’t being fulfilled. They have a brilliant idea, or believe they can create a niche product or service that others want and need. Most of the time, they’re right! The problem, however, is that customers won’t come just because you create the product. Instead, success is largely dependent on your marketing practices. As a small business owner, it is up to you to make others aware of your product and tell them why they need it. Your brilliant idea is only the beginning. Make sure you have a detailed marketing plan that helps get the word out – you’ll be glad you do.
“You Have to Spend a Lot of Money to Make Money”
Sometimes, this is the case, but not always! No matter how good your idea is, there’s always the chance that you’ll run into unexpected problems or obstacles. When you start your business (or when you decide to expand), make a list of your needs, the things your business must have to function, and your wants, those things that would be helpful, but aren’t absolutely necessary. Start out by buying all of your needs, then be frugal with your wants. It always pays to spend your money wisely and track all of your investments. Then, the making-money part will begin.
Small Business Owners Work at Home in Their Pajamas
If you’re anything like me, you might take offense to this misconception. Many small business owners have offices, often with other employees that work for them. Even if a small business owner doesn’t need a brick and mortar building, he or she often has a home office or another area dedicated to work. While small business owners have advantages that include the opportunity to sometimes work at home, in their pajamas if they choose to do so, this isn’t always the case. Small business owners are often on-the-go. They sometimes work random hours and are always “on call” for their business. But on those days when they want to wear their pajamas while they do some work, well that’s one of the perks of being a small business owner.
Small Businesses Don’t Need to Use Social Media
Wrong! Small businesses arguably need social media even more than large corporations. Small businesses are built upon customer service and personal relationships, and social media is the ideal method to develop those relationships that will help your business thrive. If your small business doesn’t use social media, you are missing out on potential customers that could easily be reached through an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page. Don’t get left behind – consider creating a few social media profiles and getting in the game. Your business (and your bottom line) will thank you!
“I Don’t Need a Business Plan!”
Big mistake! Even if you don’t have a board of trustees or a boss breathing down your neck about every decision you make, you still need an in-depth business plan, and it should be the very first thing you do as a new business owner. Writing a business plan will help you in so many ways. It will give you long-term perspective, will force you to do research on competitors, will help you set targets and goals, and more importantly, will give you a detailed plan to follow every step of the way.
Even if your business has been around for years but you’ve never gotten around to writing a business plan, now’s the time to do it. It will help you in the long run and it’s never too late to get organized and develop a long-term plan for your small business.
Small businesses are the backbone of America. There are almost 28 million small businesses in the US and over 50% of the working population (over 120 million people) work for a small business (Forbes 2013). Whether you’re a new small business owner or an old pro, keeping these five misconceptions in mind will help your business continue to grow successfully.