- The myths about starting a business
- The myths about running a business
- What does this mean for you?
- More information and myth-busting for the facts about business
Q: There are several business myths out there. What are some facts that might provide insights as I start my company?
A: Many people still believe that nearly all businesses fail, that you have to devote 100% of your time to your company, and other “facts.” The truth is that many of these myths are false.
If you’ve ever seriously considered starting a business, only to be dissuaded by the perceived difficulty of the process, don’t worry – you aren’t alone.
Ironically enough, having unparalleled access to more information than any one person could ever consume has made it incredibly easy to mistake fiction for fact.
Of course, no single person or entity is to blame for this explosion of misinformation. When people have carte blanche to act and say as they please, they’re going to make up stories.
Call it human nature, call it cultural conditioning, but it’s impossible to avoid.
The key is understanding how to parse through all the information and distinguish the good information from the bad information.
Unfortunately, the subject of business ownership is plagued by a lot of wrong information. Finding the facts about business requires a bit of research — and you might have to ignore some of the preconceived notions about starting a company.
So, how can entrepreneurs avoid this misinformation and get down to the facts about business?
In this article, we’ll be discussing the facts about starting a business, the facts about business management, and what this means for the modern entrepreneur.
We’ll also go over some common digital tools that can help you run your business smoother.
If you’re curious about the facts about business ethics and some general business myth busting – you’re in the right place!
- The myths about starting a business
- The myths about running a business
- What does this mean for you?
- Common virtual tools that will make running your business smoother
Common myths about starting a business
There are plenty of genuine facts about business, but many are still repeating old, tired tropes when they discuss this subject.
Occasionally, these business myths refer to facts about business owners, making wildly generalized statements about these individuals without taking into account the way the market changes over time.
We’ve compiled a list of some common business myths. Many of these previously held misconceptions can be refuted fairly easily. Let’s get down to myth-busting!
90% of businesses fail
This is a very popular phrase. If you’ve ever spoken with someone about small businesses, they might have claimed that “there’s no point in starting a business, as 90% of them fail anyways.”
Here’s the truth:
That 90% figure is wildly exaggerated.
Despite this, the statistic is referenced frequently. As recently as 2015, Forbes magazine made this erroneous claim.
If Forbes magazine got it wrong, it’s easy to see how so many others would make the same mistake.
In reality, only about 65% of businesses fail after 10 years, with the numbers being significantly lower in the first five years.
Sure, 65% is still a large percentage — but it’s a lot different than claiming 9 out of 10 companies fail — especially when you consider the time horizon of the facts about business growth.
Your offerings must be perfect
On one hand, they’re an excellent way to grow your business and increase your brand recognition.
On the other hand, they can be very expensive, and a poorly-executed launch can quickly put your business in a difficult predicament.
Because offerings are such a big deal, many entrepreneurs are under the impression that they should only start their business when the product or service is perfect.
This isn’t the case. You can succeed with a “good enough” product or service as long as you’re committed to improving.
Yes — you should always strive towards perfection with everything your business does, but launching a product is a complicated affair.
You’re better off launching a product with some issues and fixing those issues in real time than waiting until the product is “perfect” to launch.
Read more: New Product Launch? Here’s How to Plan for Success
You need a lot of money or venture-backing to succeed
Money and venture-backing make owning a business easier, but it certainly isn’t required.
Thanks to tools like Alliance’s Virtual Offices, you can procure a professional and well-known business address, register your business with that address, and start building your brand – all for a fraction of the cost of traditional business ownership.
Knowledge and dedication are more important than money.
You can launch and grow a successful business for very little money if you know what you’re doing. You don’t need a fancy office suite or expensive primetime ads to reach your target market and grow.
While money and institutional backing are nice, they’re not anywhere near as important as an understanding of the market you’re hoping to corner.
Regular, boring, research can go a long way.
Look at companies like the now-defunct Friendster for an example of a business that had too much money and not enough sense.
Despite being one of the first social media platforms — predating even MySpace –, Friendster was simply incapable of reacting to shifts in the market and putting customers first.
In the early 2000s, the internet was still fairly slow. When Friendster saw swathes of users flock to the platform, they spent their time adding more features and ignoring customer frustrations instead of fixing the load times on users’ pages.
This is just one example of a company that had plenty of money but couldn’t capitalize on its success.
On the flip side, Hewlett-Packard started with less than $1000 before becoming one of the largest computer hardware companies on the planet.
The necessity of large stores of capital to start your company is a business myth. Understanding the market, being an expert in your field, and being willing to do the necessary research will take you further.
Your team needs to work in the same place
Thanks to the advent of digital businesses, Virtual Offices, and other online operations, this business myth has already been dispelled. This is one of the most outdated myths about business careers.
This might have been a fair assessment of the average business in the past. Today, the modern business landscape is filled with remote-only teams.
As e-commerce expectations continue to soar, it seems unlikely that remote work will go away. There is virtually no identifiable reason for you to force your team to work in the exact location.
Remote teams can be just as effective at growing a business – if not more so.
Read more: How to Start a Virtual Company
You need to wait for the right time to start a business
This business myth claims there is a right and a wrong time to start a business.
This is true on a micro level because if you’re not ready to start a business, then it’s the wrong time to launch this endeavor.
But on the macroeconomic scale, that idea is laughable.
Ken Fisher, an American billionaire and investor, once said that “time in the market beats timing the market.”
If you’re constantly waiting for the right time to get your business off the ground, you’ll always be waiting.
You can always think of a reason not to start your business in a given quarter. It could be an economic downturn or a shift in market sentiment, but at the end of the day, it’s always an excuse.
Rather than waiting for the perfect time to launch your business, get your business up and running and start reacting to shifts in the market as they come.
The longer your business is operational, the more knowledge you’ll retain. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to help guarantee your business’s success and make tough brand decisions when necessary.
Contrary to popular belief, starting a business is more doable than ever. Keep reading for additional business myth-busting!
Common myths about running a business
Now that we’ve done some business myth-busting about the launch of a business, let’s take a closer look at some myths about the running of a business.
Understanding these facts about business will help you streamline your business’s day-to-day operations.
We’ve put together a list of common tall tales about running a business:
You need to be passionate every day
Anyone who tells you that owning a successful company means being passionate every single day is either lying to you or oblivious to the facts.
Passion is great. A passionate owner creates a passionate environment, which brings in passionate employees.
Passionate employees are typically happy employees, and happy employees are more productive than unhappy employees.
That said, being passionate every day simply does not make any sense.
If you’re a business owner, you’re a human. Being a human comes with a whole slew of emotional baggage and psychosomatic issues, and owning a business doesn’t suddenly make you immune to the vicissitudes of life.
This applies to the world outside of business ownership as well. Anyone telling you that you aren’t allowed to have bad days simply doesn’t understand the human condition.
While enthusiasm and passion help, it’s impossible to be thrilled about work every single day.
Discipline and consistency are far more important than a passion for running a successful business. A detailed plan goes much further than sheer passion.
Read more: 5 Extremely Effective Small Business Strategy Planning Tips
You need to have an expensive office to build credibility
This might have been the case in the days before the internet, but now that digital businesses and other online operations are so ubiquitous, there are several ways to secure a professional office address to build credibility.
The credibility of an office is still important, but that credibility can be achieved in many different ways.
With a Virtual Office from Alliance Virtual Offices, you get a prestigious address that allows you to work remotely.
These Virtual Offices provide business owners with a professional and well-known address, access to physical workspaces and meeting rooms, robust mail-forwarding services, friendly and helpful staff, and a credible image for their operations.
Realistically, using a Virtual Office offers you all of the benefits associated with an expensive office without the exorbitant cost.
You need to take advantage of every avenue of marketing
Taking advantage of every marketing avenue in the modern world would cost a preposterous amount of money.
That would involve television ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, magazine ads, physical out-of-home ads, digital out-of-home ads, digital ads, and much more.
There’s just no effective way (or reason to) use every single avenue of marketing that you have access to.
Instead, you should determine the platforms your target audience uses the most.
The internet provides more data than we know what to do with. If you’re reading consumer reports and keeping up with general trends, you’ll have an idea of where your audience spends their time.
The facts about business are clear: They say that you should find the platforms and mediums your target market engages with and channel your budget into optimizing those areas.
You should try to appeal to as many people as possible
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Justin Goff, a multimillionaire entrepreneur and world-class copywriter, was once quoted as saying: “if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one”.
This means that you should try and find a niche.
People have different tastes. Finding a product or service that makes everyone happy sounds amazing, but creating something like that is extraordinarily rare.
When entrepreneurs set out to create something that everyone likes and no one hates, they usually come up with something that is of little consequence.
Niching your business will allow you to target a smaller subset of people better, making it far easier to beat your competition and bring in new income.
When you target a niche, you’ll have an easier time gaining brand recognition and loyalty, you’ll know exactly what’s expected of your business, and you’ll have an easy-to-identify market when you’re looking to expand.
Read more: Modern Business Solution: Boost Efficiency, Maintain Flexibility
You should handle as much as possible on your own to save money
Every minute that you spend answering your phones or dealing with registered agent duties could be spent on marketing or product development.
For your phones, use one of Alliance Virtual Offices’ Live Receptionists. A friendly and professional receptionist will screen all of your calls, allowing you to stop worrying about every phone call you receive.
For your registered agent duties, use a service like Inc Authority for a trustworthy point of contact for your government correspondence.
If you’re answering the phones, acting as your business’s registered agent, and dealing with customers, you might be saving a couple hundred a month.
This is great until you realize that customers are leaving you poor reviews because you’re multitasking on the phone, you’ve missed a subpoena that you were legally obligated to respond to, and you’re too busy to provide effective customer service.
You need to think in terms of opportunity costs — not just immediate costs.
“The customer is always right.”
If you’ve ever worked in food service, retail, or other customer-centric industries, you’ve probably had an overeager manager tell you that “the customer is always right.”
It’s a phrase with good intentions. For restaurants and retail stores, the advice isn’t inherently bad. Unfortunately, when you apply this saying to all business ownership, you’re in for a world of frustration.
When you use this phrase as a server or cashier, the stakes are relatively low.
You give a customer too much leeway and get admonished for it later.
When you use this phrase as a business owner, the stakes couldn’t be higher. If the customer is always right, you’re going to spend most of your time trying to perfectly cater your brand to each customer’s specific request.
You want to please your target audience. Taking feedback from your consumers is key to effective growth, brand recognition, and brand loyalty.
But if you take it too far, you’ll wind up upsetting everyone.
Rather than using a blanket statement like “the customer is always right”, give and take feedback freely and use the collected data to improve your business for all of your customers.
What does this mean for you?
You have to realize that business myths are just that – myths.
Starting a business is a frightening venture, and taking that risk means there’s a real chance that you’ll crash and burn on your first attempt.
Nevertheless, “more was lost by indecision than wrong decision” is a famous aphorism for a reason. If you allow these myths and rumors to distract you from facts about business, then you have only yourself to blame.
The fear of failure isn’t an excuse to remain stagnant.
Wildly successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have credited their early failures as major reasons for later successes.
Many genuine facts about business can help you understand the risks and the path towards success.
One of the key benefits of owning a business in the modern world is that you can start a new company without too much risk.
Before digital businesses were a thing, entrepreneurship was an incredibly risky and expensive ordeal.
With the introduction of modern resources like Virtual Offices, hybrid workspaces, and automation tools, you can start a business without risking the entirety of your life savings.
More information and myth-busting for the facts about business
There are several myths about business that mislead entrepreneurs.
While some of these may have been true at one point, The marketing landscape changes with time.
Investing in modern solutions and optimizing your spending are two of the most simple and effective ways to experience genuine business success in the modern world.
For more facts about business, careers, employment articles, and LLC tips, check out the Alliance Virtual Office Blog!
If you’ve found yourself confused about the facts about business and want to get accurate information rather than business myths, there’s no better place.
- Modern Business Solutions: Boost Efficiency, Maintain Flexibility
- How to Start a Virtual Company
- New Product Launch? Here’s How to Plan for Success
- 5 Extremely Effective Small Business Strategy Planning Tips
Alliance Virtual Offices provides several tools for established entrepreneurs, hopeful business owners-to-be, and everyone in between.
Contact us today to see how we can help you solidify your existing business or get started on a brand-new venture.