At the birth of your career as an entrepreneur, you may have looked out at your future through a pair of a pair of thick framed, rose-colored glasses. As time passed, reality set in. Do you remember believing these optimistic misconceptions?
1. “I’ll have more time.”
It’s pretty safe to say this is the farthest from the truth. Well, technically you can boast of an unlimited supply of vacation and sick days, but unfortunately none of these are paid. Unless you’ve inherited the business of a wealthy relative, business owners are usually working more hours than their employees.
The owner here at OSC Web Design puts it best, “You get to work any 20 hours a day you want!”
When you’ve reached the point that almost every single hair on your head is white, the hope is that you’ll have a team of underlings to keep your business on track. While you’re sailing the Mediterranean they’ll call you with a few obstacles (“The office is on fire!”) and you’ll tell them how confident you are that they can handle it.
Even though business owners envision the day they stop spending all their time working, you know what they say: Entrepreneurism never dies. No entrepreneur will stand by to watch their business run wrong, and wrong often includes any other way than how they ran it.
2. “My revenue should really escalate by 6 months.”
There is an important word here: should. With all the time, effort, and unfailing devotion you’ve invested into your business, you’re probably outshining every employee on the planet. You’d win employee of the decade! It’s too late though. You’ve chosen the path of entrepreneurship and there’s no turning back to a safe life of ordinary employment.
Let’s be honest here though, most business owners don’t start reaping a monetary reward until 2-3 years down the line. There’s money coming in, but the majority is reinvested back into the business to cover marketing and various expenses you never would have imagined (Did you really spend $400 on balloons for that promotional event?!).
Gene Marks from Entrepreneur.com says, “..a new product takes a long, long time before it’s profitable. Figure about three years — more than 1,000 days.”
3. “Why would I need marketing? My business sells itself.”
Take a look at the big boys. There are Toyota dealerships all over the place. Even with all of the word of mouth referrals they receive, they have a long history of consistent marketing. They’re very active on social media, and respond to each customer comment with a personal message or “like”. Toyota even maintains a consistent blog, aligning with inbound marketing best practices.
We hate to use the bandwagon argument here, but practically every business (that’s successful) does it. If you sit stubbornly in your office waiting for the herd of customers that are bound to come looking for your products, you will probably be disappointed.
It is possible to attract customers to you, but it takes a little work. With a solid inbound marketing strategy, you can begin nurturing users through the purchase process and into your arms – figuratively.
4. “When my website launches, traffic will come.”
Oh what a sad, sad moment it is when you realize this is not true. Following right along the lines of the above misconception, success usually doesn’t just happen. As you probably know already, search engines like Google are the rulers of the web. If you aren’t using the techniques they like and can understand, you won’t be in their search engine results.
To keep your business in Google’s good graces and grow site traffic, start with these tips:
- Invest in search engine optimization (SEO).
- Ask your web developer to run a keyword audit.
- Write blogs targeting keywords or hire a marketer to do it for you.
- Get your business on social media and post often.
While we discourage you from living in state of delusion, we aren’t trying to banish all of your positivity. As you probably know already, entrepreneurship is a steep hill to climb but it can be done with perseverance. This start-up did:
In 1975, two 20-year-old men set up shop in their parent’s garage. They began working on a prototype of their product. They sold their Volkswagen microbus and a Hewlett-Packard calculator to generate $1,350 to to invest in their dream: Apple. Today, it’s worth $586 billion and is #1 on Forbes ‘World’s Most Valuable Brands’ list.
If two guys can start Apple in their parent’s garage, your business can succeed too.