Home – New Forums Get productive Myths about running your own business.

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #975098
    bluepenguin
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,026
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’ve been running a business now for long enough to have a small idea of what I’m doing. Lately I’ve been thinking of a few “myths” related to running a business that people seem to have ingrained in their minds. I’ve listed 3 below.

    Please feel free to add your own.

    1. You have to work 80+ hours a week to be successful.

    Sure, there are people out there that work 1 bazillion hours a week, and have plenty of cash and shiny gadgets with Apple logos on them, but there’s no rule that says it has to work like that.

    Generally speaking, this is one area where my generation, the Gen Y’ers have an advantage over those who went before us. We understand that working hard and working smart are two different things, and with the advantages of technology that our parents only thought existed in science fiction, some of us are able to set up businesses that run themselves.

    Of course, this kind of thinking isn’t exclusive to Generation Y, but as we’re typically much more lazy than out parents, it seems to fit just that little bit better.

    Regardless of how much you or your business is worth in dollars, if you only have 43 seconds to relax in a week, how successful are you anyway?

    2. 50%, 80%, 95% (pick a number) of businesses fail in the first 1, 2, 5 (pick a number again) years.

    I don’t know who comes up with these stats, but speaking from my own experience dealing all kinds of businesses, of the hundreds of clients I have dealt with in the last 8 years, I can count the failures on 1 hand. (Maybe it’s my amazing design and print that’s making them all thrive!)

    Far from the doom and gloom that everybody preaches at you when you’re starting out.

    I can only assume that, even if these statistics are accurate, they don’t tell the whole story.
    For instance; my business began as a partnership. After a few years, I bought out my partners, we shut down the company and reopened under a new business name. As far as statistics go, they would see that as a failed business.

    3. Businesses that look successful, are successful.

    It’s easy to look at a business and assume that, because the owner drives a big, black four wheel drive and their website is plastered with testimonials from extremely happy clients, they go home and swim in a big pool filled with money.

    The fact is, it’s impossible to tell how a business is doing from the outside.

    A friend of mine started a fashion business a few years ago and became quite depressed because a business she was in direct competition with was doing so much better than her.

    What did she base her assumptions on? They had more fans on facebook than her.
    On further inspection, it turned out that her competition had paid a few hundred dollars to get 30,000 facebook fans. None of them were real people.

    #1072355
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464
    Up
    0
    ::

    Nice post Blue Penguin. You raise some very valid points.

    Anyone else got any common misconceptions to share?

    Jayne

    #1072356
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,739
    Up
    0
    ::

    The problem with myths 1 and 2 is that they are arbitrary – that’s why they are myths and cant be measured. Success (myth 1) and failure (myth 2) mean different things to different people. Most startups on the FS forum place a heavy emphasis on freedom and perhaps less emphasis on pure financial goals. My guess is that many are happy working more hours for their own business rather than less hours for an employer – even if the financial outcome is the same. Of course on an economic basis that makes no sense but money isn’t everything to everyone.

    As for myth 3. In business perception is half the battle in selling in a competitive environment (rightly or wrongly) so I would encourage it 100%. Call it misleading but the fact is that consumers judge a book by it’s cover so the smoke and mirrors can give you an edge. Your assertion is probably on the money though – looks can be deceiving and a business shouldn’t measure itself against the apparent success of others but rather success with it’s own goals.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1072357
    DigitalDomination
    Member
    • Total posts: 184
    Up
    0
    ::

    Here are my additions;

    You need a commercial office:
    This simply isn’t true, and in fact, when I ran a successful building company I would often walk to a cafe to have business meetings as the board room or my office often made people feel like it was ‘on my terms’. They were always a lot more relaxed when we were somewhere else.

    You need to work 8-5:
    I’m not a morning person, i’ve never been a morning person (why I started my working career as a builder I have no idea). My working day generally starts at 10am and it works well for me. If i need to meet with clients, it’s typically between 11am-4pm as that’s the time i’m firing on all cylinders.
    Do what works for you – know yourself and play to your own strengths.

    #1072358
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
    Member
    • Total posts: 500
    Up
    0
    ::

    My 2c worth:

    Being in control of your own future is self-evidently a good thing…

    Remember, being in control means being responsible – which can be a scary place. The total up-side to it, though, is that you know how everything is going – good, bad or indifferent – and THAT is always a good thing!

    Kathy

    #1072359
    bluepenguin
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,026
    Up
    0
    ::

    Good point Kathy.

    When I get to the end of the week and I’m exhausted, it’s not usually because I’ve spent 50 hours staring at a computer screen, or because my 12 week old daughter has kept me awake during the night, or even because I stayed up late during the week to watch re-runs of Scrubs.

    It’s the responsibilty that wears me out.

    At times I get a tad jealous of the kids working at the counter of a service stations, or flipping burgers at Maccas – They arrive at work, do their job, and then go home. The day ends and any responsibility stops and resets. Regardless of how much money is coming in, they get paid the same amout everyweek.

    But for a business owner the responsibility is always there – and you’re even responsible for things that you can’t control. For instance, if a supplier lets you down, as far as your customers are concerned, it’s your fault. Or if one of your workers upsets a client, it’s your responsibility to make sure the relationship is salvaged as it’s your business on the line, not Ronald McDonald’s.

    #1072360
    Alex Honey: Int Design
    Member
    • Total posts: 151
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hello

    Interesting discussion.

    I agree that there are so many myths about running a business….most of which are perpetuated by those who’ve never done it.

    The most common one I hear (from people with a job) is ..’it must be great to be able to work flexible hours’ I just smile knowing those flexible hours are 6am or 10pm!

    Its true too that suceess is many things. Its also unique and idivdual to each business owner.

    I look forward to seeing where this goes

    #1072361
    King
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,212
    Up
    0
    ::

    another myth is that you will make more money than in your day job that you left behind. On an hourly basis this is not always the case.

    #1072362
    MattR
    Member
    • Total posts: 196
    Up
    0
    ::

    Myth: When you have your own business, everything becomes (tax) deductible.

    Reality: Fringe Benefits Tax !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.