by Katie McDermott and Jane Whitehead | Featured Contributor
Starting your own business is one huge, daunting, exciting, ecstatic, worrying, wonderful roller coaster and we’re so glad to have done it! Having said that, when we started ‘Katie & Jane‘ we were under the illusion that, after reading and receiving lots of advice, some things were imperative to being successful, but we have found our journey so far to be a little different! There’s a lot of business advice flying around and here are six myths that we found not to be quite so true for us in our first year of business, maybe some of them will resonate with you too.
Myth #1: “You must have a completely unique & complex idea”
Wrong… It’s ok to keep it simple, but, of course, still significant. Even if the idea has a complex thought process behind it, if you make sure it’s delivered to the end user in a simple, innovative and meaningful way, it’ll have the best chance of it being a success.
Myth #2: “Pick a funky name to standout!”
People want to see credibility and honesty in your business name and picking a colour, fruit, animal or a combination of all three without reason may not add that to your business! Before you join the masses and call your company something like ‘Violet Pear Dog’, have a think about what sets your business apart from the rest (hopefully not just your funky name!).
Myth #3: “Do only what you already know”
Just because you’ve worked for years in one industry, we say you shouldn’t feel you are limited to stick to what you know when creating a business. Just because you’ve worked as a PR Consultant for several years doesn’t necessarily mean you would be best setting up a PR agency. All the knowledge you’ve built up in previous jobs will be so much more valuable when you start transferring those skills to your new product or innovative idea.
Myth #4: “Before you start you need a mentor”
We hear the word ‘mentor’ quite a lot. It’s almost as if finding an amazing mentor will be the secret to having a successful business and get you on the track to world domination. We found ourselves searching for this one remarkable person but when we arranged meetings with people we admired and were inspired by, it just wasn’t to be. One memorable ‘mentor’ turned up having had a few too many ‘afternoon bubbles’, which gave us a story to tell, but wasn’t very helpful!
A mentor could be a valuable asset for your business, just don’t try to force it; it should be a natural collaboration that fits in well with your company, you as an individual and more importantly, your vision.
Myth #5: “Take all the work you can get in your first year”
The pressure of keeping financially on the straight and narrow can mean that you hunt out and take every single piece of work you can get, even if it means you are offering services you didn’t set out to in the beginning. Even though it’s a little daunting try to stay selective and true to yourself, your vision and don’t give up – it’ll help you shape your future business exactly as you imagined.
Myth #6: “The only way to create a sustainable business is by getting investors on-board”
Everywhere you look investments are being made in start-up companies. For the companies it gives a potentially priceless air of credibility and for investors, the potential to make a fortune. It may be beneficial to gain credibility and an experienced mentor (see #4) but business owners don’t need to exclusively rely on that. Remember with no investors, you keep all control over your decisions for your business and its future and think how proud you’ll feel to have built up a successful business all on your own. Maybe one day when you’ve come so far you don’t need the money, the valuable investors will come knocking!
We’d love to hear your business myths (or truths!) – tweet us using the hashtag #katieandjane
Katie McDermott and Jane Whitehead – Social Media Trainers and App Developers – Co-Founders of ‘Katie & Jane’ based in Birmingham, UK
Katie & Jane are on a mission to make their mark in the tech world through social media and app development with a difference.
Firstly, Katie & Jane are experienced social media trainers with a mission to make social media simple through bespoke training and consultancy, helpful toolkits and fun eCourses. They know social media isn’t rocket science so aim to lead and inspire people to use social media effectively in business.
Secondly, they are addicted to apps! Katie & Jane get excited about the role they play now and will continue to play in the future and the power they have in connecting and engaging people every day. Some friends go so far as to call them ‘app-geeks’ (but they don’t mind!). Katie & Jane were finding it increasingly hard to get their hands on beautifully designed apps that were fun to use, meaningful and packed with useful features, so… they started to create them!
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