Bad business advice (version 2.0)

A short while ago, we brought 10 irritating & ineffective small business tips to your attention. Well, it seems like bad business advice has being doing the rounds for a long time now, because I recently came across 2 other posts that talk about entrepreneurial ‘guidance’ that should be ignored:Orangutang_iStock_000003420564XSmall

Both are by Nellie Akalp, and both make good points for startups and new & small business owners. We’ve included the ones that haven’t been touched on in our previous post.

1. Find the right time to launch

“Folks, I’ll be honest. There’s no ideal time to launch your business. Life will always get in the way. And if you strive for perfection before you even reveal your products to the world… well, you’ll be waiting a long time.”

It’s normal to want your product or service to be ‘just right’ before you share it with consumers. But sometimes you just have to force yourself to launch. That way, you haven’t wasted any time or opportunities; you’ll get useful feedback from customers; and from there on, you can only improve what you offer.

2. Quit your job

“The question is: do you have enough money to quit your day job? You’ll need 6-12 months of savings to cover both your personal expenses and your business expenses. You might be better off starting your business while you continue to have the security of a steady paycheck.”

Number 2 is pretty dangerous advice. If you’re rich enough, lucky you. Otherwise, go on with your other job; it might be difficult to juggle both but financially, it’s a very wise and safe thing to do. And then when your business starts blooming, you can take it on full-time.

3. Do what you love

“Most newbie entrepreneurs don’t realize that, yes, while you start your business because you love this thing, this industry, this activity, after a while you usually end up not doing it. You’ll still be in a field you love, but go into starting a business with open eyes and realize that you may be behind a desk more than anything else.”

Bad news: You might be following your passion, but you might end up doing things you don’t like or understand, like managing, marketing, and handling accounts (the horror!). So until your business grows and you can delegate/outsource tasks, there’s no way out except to learn and just do it.

4. Enjoy your flexible schedule

“…there is truth to this for many business owners, but if your customers want your products during the hours of 10 to 5, that’s when you should be open. No one likes coming to a retail store that’s got up and down hours. Stick to what your customers expect.”

Being your own boss means that you can tell yourself when to come in and when to work. But since a business has to cater to its customers, you’ll have to fix normal and consistent operation times.

5. Don’t bother: the market is too crowded

“Being ‘disruptive’ is a popular buzzword these days, and it’s wonderful if you can define a completely new product category. But business success doesn’t always hinge on finding a completely empty field. Rather than struggling to come up with a brand new idea, take a look at your target industry and see what’s missing from the current offerings. Then, figure out the best possible way to fill that void. Don’t worry about blazing a new trail; just worry about what new thing you are offering to the market and your customers.”

It’s unnerving to set up in a market that already has many established & reputable sellers. It’ll be tempting to take a completely new and unfamiliar route to avoid competition. But the latter will always be there, and it’s your job to stand out and ensure constant quality. Find something unique – or even slightly different – about your business and, believe me, people will notice.

6. Be everywhere

“…countless people are going to give you advice about advertising on Google, using Pinterest for your business, attending this networking event, getting on Instagram, Foursquare, Twitter, etc. Trying to be everywhere is a waste of time, as is choosing a social network just because it worked so well for someone else’s business. You need to be wherever your customers are. You can try out as many different social networks or real-world events as you’d like, but only stay in those places that are driving customers, leads, and sales.”

Nellie’s final words are great advice that we at HavePresence like to hear! No point in aiming for just any Internet dweller; online marketing has to serve your own business needs, which means targeting your customers.

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We hope that if you ever hear or read advice like the 6 ones above, you’ll head as far as you can in the opposite direction! Or, at the very least, consider your options carefully. What applies to others’ businesses seldom applies to yours.

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