etting advice as a small business owner is not a new thing. Everywhere we turn there is advice being told to us that will help our business. Not all advice is created equal, as we can get bad advice as quick as good advice. Bad advice can impact our small business in major ways. Here is some of the worst advice we’ve ever heard about small business:
THERE IS ONLY WAY TO GROW A BUSINESS
Growing a small business is about investing time and effort in all areas that are needed to ensure you reach and keep customers. If we focus on just reaching our customers, then we could be failing in areas that help us actually make sales or keep customers coming back. One area could slow us down as much as another.
MY WAY IS THE ONLY WAY
Even the top experts in small business will say that there is more than one way to do things. There is always general areas, like branding (for example). Branding is important for a small business as it is about building what our business is about, does, and stands for. How a small business goes about branding may be a little different from one to another. There are resources and tips to help our small business but using individual, one way only tips should be researched.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ONLINE
I do not know who began telling or giving the idea that small business owners do not need to be online, but it is a terrible idea. Being online is a must for small business. Having a website, taking part in social media, and being listed on business pages (like Google, MSN, etc) is very important. We live in the world of digital media. Our customers are online, so we need to be there. Small businesses need to be found where their customers can find and share their business. Being down the street is not being found by customers who live in a generation that finds the store in front of them on their phone, not by looking up. So, if you are not online, start now. Do not wait.
YOU HAVE TO PAY THOUSANDS TO BEGIN MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
Small business today is much different than the past. We used to pay thousands for marketing our business. Now, we can start a business and market it right away online without paying any money. Signing up and being active on social media networks is free, and an awesome way of getting our name out there. Submitting our business information to business directories to get our name to pull up for our customers is important. Setting up our website for success through ensuring everything is completed where we are found online through search engines, with the right information pulling up.
YOU CAN WRITE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN LATER
Small business owners being told that a business plan can wait to be written until later when they are sure how their business is going to run is a terrible idea. When you have a passion for starting a small business, it is a great time to write a business plan because it outlines who, what, where, how, and why of your business. Think of it as building a home. Nobody builds a home without a plan because they know things will be forgotten, costs will be higher, and it will take more time. How can one believe that a small business can be run without the same, if not worse, problems happening? My best piece of advice is to always research any advice given before implementing it unless the individual or company giving advice shows you resources with it. One small mistake can turn into a large mistake when you own a small business.