4 Misconceptions About Starting Your Own Business

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Starting a business can be a scary endeavor. There are several common misconceptions about starting up; here are some of the biggest ones.

1. Data Analysis Is An Option Typically Only Used By Big Companies.

Analyzing results and trends isn’t so threatening thanks to all the tools available today. Business owners can hire companies to monitor their data or they can purchase programs, use Google Analytics to get some basic stats on their web traffic, and so on. No matter how far you want to delve into it, you should do something. Running or starting a business without any sort of monitoring is like driving down the highway blindfolded — you can’t tell what mistakes you’re liable to make and have no ability to direct yourself in a meaningful way.

If you assume your type of business wouldn’t benefit from this some kind of data collection, whether it be for sales, website engagement or some other area, you’re underestimating the practice. Human nature is somewhat predictable, so whether you’re selling gum or high-tech lasers, knowing how people perceive and interact with your business is key. As far as what to track, that depends on your goals and what areas of your business need improvement. But some examples are customer support time, social media responsiveness, bounce rates or website functionality.

2. You Can’t Begin Without Tons Of Money.

Nowadays, starting a business is much easier and more accessible to everyone. Of course, the amount of money you’ll need depends on the industry you’re getting into and what services you plan to provide. You only need to browse the Internet to find various books, tips and blog posts about bootstrapping (starting a business with very little capital). If you’re unable to find investors, it’s not a dealbreaker like some people will tell you. Plenty of successful businesses had surprisingly humble beginnings.

There are startup tools available online that cut costs dramatically, and many of these are totally free: There are free programs for virtual meetings, conference calls, design, organization and more. Just because you can spend a ton of money on software doesn’t mean you must. Always look for a way other than the obvious. We often mistake the most common route for the best route. Oftentimes you’ll be surprised to find that business owners only use the obvious methods because they simply didn’t know there was another way.

3. Customers Will Fall From The Sky.

Hopefully, most people are aware that “If you build it, they will come” does not apply to business… and probably never will. A lot of new business owners are thrilled at the beginning, only to panic later when they realize their first month went by without a single customer. Success, growth, returning customers — all of these things develop gradually. They don’t just appear after you’ve showed up for a few months straight.

Steady business is about momentum and various other factors. If something isn’t selling or something is consistently causing you problems, it’s probably time to tweak it. The most successful business owners didn’t get lucky or fall into just the right circumstances (usually). It’s more likely that they were analytical, recognized what didn’t work and tweaked until they started seeing a better response.

4. Big Businesses Shouldn’t Bother With The Local Scene And Local Businesses Shouldn’t Think Broadscale.

If you run a large business primarily from the Internet, serving a vast population from all over the world, you might be inclined to think of the local market as trivial. Similarly, a small local business may fail to see the use in developing an online presence and growing nationally. However, both of these mindsets are limiting, and there’s nothing that really prevents these kinds of growth. Small local business might profit from developing a separate online store, which could double or even triple their profits, while large businesses could end up discovering a whole new niche they were unaware of right in their own neighborhood.