Marketing Maxims: Are They True, or Are They Just a Myth?
When it comes to starting a small business, you rely heavily on those common sayings you’ve been hearing all your life—“all you need is an idea,” and “you need to spend money to make money.” Starting a business is overwhelming and it’s tough to know whether or not you’re on the right path. The first year is all about following the rules in order to keep up with competition and stay afloat. You take what you’ve heard and you put it into practice in the hopes that your idea will soon blossom into the next big thing. This led me to wonder: Are these rules we’re following really true?
There are tons of apparent truisms in the marketing world, so it’s tough to know which to follow when you’re an entrepreneur or hopeful entrepreneur. Consider a few of these common sayings and whether or not they’re really worth the trouble:
Myth or Good Advice: 5 Sayings All Entrepreneurs Have Heard
- “All you need is a great idea and success will follow”
Myth. Having a great idea is important, but what really matters is how you put that idea into action. You need to have the right kind of motivation, be able to choose the right staff, find proper investors, etc. A great idea is nothing without proper management. In many cases, an idea as boring as a cheese shop will succeed just because the owner and staff have the proper management skills.
- “You need to spend money to make money”
Fact. Although there are exceptions to everything, this is a fact 90 percent of the time. If you find a marketing tactic that is completely free, chances are it is too good to be true. Those who take the free route generally find themselves marketing all over the place; however, if you spend a little bit of money on targeted marketing, you are likely to reach the right types of people. In the end, finding the right audience is well worth the money. Randomly marketing for free takes a lot of time and doesn’t usually yield much success.
- “You need a business degree if you want your business to succeed”
Myth. And if you don’t believe me, ask Bill Gates of Microsoft. While having a degree related to your field is helpful, it is not completely necessary. Many people are business-minded and have gone through other life lessons that they can transfer over to their business. A few of these cases include Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Steve Jobs (Apple) Steven Spielberg (Director and Producer), and Richard Branson (Virgin Group).
- “Getting your company to the top of Google is all that matters”
Myth. Getting your website ranked on the top of Google is extremely important. It is well-known that the top three organic positions on Google receive over 50 percent of all clicks from users. However, there are plenty of ways a company can succeed without a real presence on Google. For example, many local small businesses do fine when they focus their marketing efforts on community activities and outlets as well as local search engines. Some companies also create a loyal customer base simply through referrals and good social media efforts. In the end, it really depends on the type of company you’re running, where you’re running it, and the alternative ways you’re marketing.
- “It’s never a good idea to do business with friends”
Fact. Once again, there are exceptions to every rule; however, this common saying is generally some of the best advice an entrepreneur could receive. Starting a business is a scary thing, so many people cling to their friends and family in hopes that they will help. Many friends and family will also be willing to help because starting a business is exciting. Unfortunately, simply being comfortable around someone isn’t enough to help your business woes. You need someone who is motivated, has a strong work ethic and understands business. What your business partner does will affect your future, so it’s important to take this seriously. If you are able to keep calm and sort out the facts from the myths you’ve been hearing, starting a small business does not have to be stressful. Everything you may hear about the success and failures of other small businesses is really specific to that business. Your business will be different from the rest, and if you’ve done your research and are prepared to work long hours, you should succeed with flying colors.