A few years ago I started my own training and development business. Yup, I made the plunge into business ownership. I had a lot of ideas about what owning my own business would be like. Some were right and some were really wrong.
I was recently reading “Guerrilla Marketing: Job Escape Plan” by Jay Conrad Levinson and Andrew Neitlich (one of my mentors). They offer a list of 13 of the most common misconceptions about business ownership. Here are the 5 that most resonated with me:
- A Brilliant Business Plan is a Must: When I first started out I was perplexed and puzzled by the concept of creating a rock-solid business plan. I had never created one before and just knew the key to my success was blowing people away with one. No one has ever asked for one! A short business plan is a great start to your business. However, what you do need to have is a very strong marketing plan.
- You Finally Have Enough Money to Start: Wrong! A business can be like a “black hole”. It will suck all the money up you throw at it. You will always be able to spend more money on your business. The question is “should you?” One area that is a major “black hole” in business can be marketing. There are many ways to spend marketing dollars. Without a strong marketing plan you can go broke very quickly. With a good plan though, marketing does not have to cost as much as you think.
- If You Build it They Will Come: Hang a sign. Hand out some business cards. Tell people what you are doing…and they will knock down your doors. Wrong! No matter what your product or service, if you can’t sell it you will go out of business. Have I mentioned taking the time to develop a strong marketing plan?
- You Have to Have a $1,000,000 Idea: Let’s be honest, we all believe this one. We sit around and wish we could just come up with the idea and then we can start the business. The truth is the chance of you coming up with a $1,000,000 idea are about 1/1,000,000. Don’t wait for the idea. Businesses are started everyday that are based on passion, purpose and some hard work. You don’t need to find a $1,000,000 idea…you need to just find your niche. By the way, your niche is outlined in your marketing plan
- If Your Business Fails, You are a Failure: Wow! That’s a lot of pressure…and not true. Businesses fail everyday. The owners of those businesses can either sink or swim. Those who swim come up with a way to leverage their experience and learn. Those who sink let the failure label them and are never able to come up for air. Your new experiences, relationships and knowledge can propel you to success in your next business venture or your next job. You can add that to your personal marketing plan!
As you can tell, the mistake I made early on was not understanding that importance about a marketing plan. More specifically, underestimating the amount of work I would spend on sales.
If you are a business owner, what misconceptions did you have about ownership when you were starting out?
If you are considering your own launch, what questions do you have that maybe we can clear up for you?