Anyone who has ever started a small business knows that it can be quite a challenge. However, there are certain myths which, when shunned, open the door to profit and fulfilment.
1. I cannot afford to advertise, and I don’t really need it.
This thinking usually thrives when, in the entrepreneur’s mind, advertising = spending money. What does it mean to advertise? It simply means to promote, present, announce and market yourself, and there are countless cost-effective ways to do this. If you can’t pay for ad space in the papers, can you make a simple flyer? Can you offer a blogger freebies to talk about your business just a little? What are you doing with your own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts for which you only need data? You need to seize every opportunity to publicise your business, clearly stating the challenges you’re providing solutions to. That’s basic advertising, and it can accomplish far more than you think.
2. I cannot afford to be choosy when it comes to clients
There’s no faster way to run your business into the ground than taking on any and every client that comes along out of desperation for income. If you’re thinking that no better clients are on the way so you had better take this one who wants to pay peanuts, you’re buying into a myth that can cause you heartache.
If the problem you’re solving is not VERY important to your potential client, how likely is it that they will pay what you’re actually worth? This road usually leads to a place where you’re overextending yourself trying to prove your worth AND struggling financially. What’s more? Many entrepreneurs have learnt the hard way that it’s those clients who pay peanuts that stress you the most. It’s not worth it. Choose clients who know what they want, or at least can recognise it when you show it to them and are willing to pay well for it.
If the owner of the business is not passionate enough about it to speak about it, why should I believe in it?
3. I’m a doer, not a talker.
You may be someone who prefers to just do the work well, instead of talking about it. Well, if you own a business you need to learn how to talk about it, period. Hiring a marketing executive can only do so much for you. If the owner of the business is not passionate enough about it to speak about it, why should I believe in it? You’re the one with the vision, and you know very intimately the magic of your product. So, master how to communicate it!
Learn how to “sell” your products and services to potential clients and customers. Attend networking events and don’t just stand there sipping drinks and handing out your card. Learn how to talk about your business convincingly, in a way that shows how you add value. Practice it in front of a mirror, or to a friend’s hearing, if you must. When asked “So, what do you do?” always have a ready answer that will leave a lasting impression. This way, even someone who doesn’t need your service, will remember you when they come across someone who does.
Don’t let myths hold you back from building a successful business.
Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at] yahoo.com