There’s a lot of advice available for the small business owner. A portion if it comes in the form of truisms that are handed down from one generation or technology to the next without a whole lot of critical thought or analysis. These five management myths may be true sometimes, but they aren’t the management bulwarks they appear to be:
Entrepreneurs are a special breed. You don’t need a special risk-taking gene to start a successful business. You don’t need to be an uber-efficient genius, either. Business entrepreneurs come from all walks of life. If you have or want to start a business, what you need is a plan, some useful tools, and a brain trust of mentors to help you over the rough spots.
Bigger is better. Successful growth may seem like the brass ring for the average small business owner, but know what you’re getting into before you diversify or expand. One of the things making your small business successful may be the ability to respond to challenges quickly, specialize your sales approach, and customize your products. Because you’re small, your customer service may be intimate, responsive and what sets you apart from the competition. Growth can mean big challenges keeping your business flexible and customer focused. Growth is good; controlled growth is better.
Underprice the competition. You’re in a battle with the competition for the customer’s dollar — or are you? Guerilla pricing and marketing tactics may help you find a niche, but quality and customer service will engage the marketplace and bring customers to you. If you’re thinking that success means selling more by charging less, you may be taking the wrong approach.
Play things close to the vest. You have to wear many hats to manage your small business, but being secretive and insisting on supervising everything yourself will hurt you. There are multiple approaches for most business challenges, and you’ll be in a better position to make the right decision at the right time if you surround yourself with a support system of smart, experienced people and businesses you trust. Don’t cross the line between prudence and paranoia.
Stick with a winning program. If you’re doing okay, why not stick with what works? It’s the cautious man’s guide to business. The only problem is that the marketplace is changing daily (and in some cases hourly). If you were in business selling typewriters a few of decades ago, you’d realize that the status quo is not your friend. Do monumental changes happen all at once? Well, maybe not, but the big take away truth here is that you need to anticipate new developments and adapt your business strategies to take advantage of them.