As with most fields, Business has its fair share of old wives’ tales and myths- most of which are complete crap. My personal favourite, I must admit, is that all businessmen are psychopaths. I guess if Patrick Bateman was, well it must be true!..…
If you have followed me for any length of time then you’ll be well aware that I hate bollocks! I am not interested in anybody else’s BS, and I tell it how it is. So I am here to set the record straight and tell you why most of these myths and preconceptions about running a business are not only wrong but in some cases, totally absurd. And if you still believe them after reading this, then I would recommend you unfollow me and pursue a different career!
It takes money to make money
Believe it or not, a lot of the successful businessmen and women we know today came from virtually nothing. If you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at Amazon’s creator (also one of the richest men to have ever lived), Jeff Bezos. Born and raised in a working-class family, Bezos quit his job aged 30 and started Amazon (which was originally a book store) from his garage in Seattle. We know how the story goes- it was a hit, he expanded his lines of products and today, it’s one of the most valuable brands in the world. But if you take anything from his story, it’s that you don’t need a bulging bank account to launch a business- you need a solid idea and a shit tonne of ambition. The reality is, that most businesses can be started on a shoestring. But If you do need funding to get things going, do your research, perfect your pitch and get out there to find an investor. Read my article on top tips for raising investment funds here.
Being your own boss will free up more time
Time for a big wake-up call here. Over 60% of small businesses don’t have any staff. Yes, that’s right – in your quest to be the boss you have become the boss of a one-person business. That means you are the sales director, marketing director, finance director, IT team and receptionist. You are probably also the one who fixes the toilet when it breaks because the average profit of these businesses is £11,000 – which means you can’t afford to hire anyone to fix it for you!
If you aspire to start your own business and assign all the work to your staff, you’re in the wrong game! Owning a business isn’t a golden ticket to early retirement, it’s a way of life. If you want to be successful, you must adopt the attitude that ‘no task is above you’ and keep an eye on all branches of your business- everything from financing to marketing, distribution to import/exportation, recruitment to administration. Whilst it’s the natural progression of a company to hire experts in each of these fields, you’re the heart of the company and ultimately, it’s your responsibility. Sure, if you are successful then there will be opportunities later down the line to relax, enjoy holidays, and indulge in your hobbies – but if you are entering business for more free time on day one then you are deluded.
Belief in yourself is enough to succeed
Belief in your own capabilities and brand is absolutely vital in the dog-eat-dog world of business. If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect future investors and customers to? But belief alone isn’t enough. You have to have the skills. The ability. A plan – and the means to execute it. You have to have a great work ethic. You have to be disciplined and persevere. And they are just a few traits you need. But if you have all of them, and a lot more, AND belief in yourself – then success is within reach!
Every idea must be unique
Originality is important. We need pioneers. Someone needed to invent the wheel. But it doesn’t need reinventing over and over again. But often the people with the most original ideas try and bring them to market too soon, or without the required funding – when the world just isn’t ready for them.
Many of the most successful businesses I see have taken an already established idea or business model – and just improved it in some way. Maybe they have delivered it cheaper. Or they have found a more popular method of distribution. Or they just offer more friend customer service and a generous returns policy.
Adopting the same, or a similar concept as other competitors isn’t a death sentence, failing to understand what makes you unique as a brand, is. Invest time in understanding your consumers, get creative with marketing and find a way to put your brand’s stamp on whatever product or service you’re selling.
Don’t see it as ‘jumping on the bandwagon’, see it as a smart business move.
The bigger the team, the better your business will be
If you have employees, the chances are you’re generating turnover and hopefully a profit to pay for them. But could you be more profitable with a smaller or different team? As the famous saying goes, it’s all about ‘quality over quantity’, and this applies in business just as it does in life.
Having a big team may give you some of the necessary employees to fill the gaps you need. But are they the RIGHT team?Do they have the necessary skills? The right experience? A killer work ethic? Do they believe in your product and your vision?
Hiring for the sake of it, without proper consideration will only harm you. So before you post a job ad on Indeed, consider this: what do you REALLY need this person for? What will they bring to the team? Will their contribution actually benefit you financially? If you can’t answer the above, they’re probably not needed.
Some of the most profitable and successful businesses are actually the ones with the leanest teams.
For more tips on how to run a successful business or advice on how to get started, follow me on my social media channels for more real-world advice. And if you want to hire me to consult for your business, whatever stage it is at then get in touch today!