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Swift 6: Online business myths busted

By Nick Leech - December 1, 2016

In this latest Swift 6 video, I’ll be looking at six of the most common myths surrounding doing business online. These misconceptions can be really damaging for a business, because they can stop you realising your full potential.

So if you’re thinking about starting a new business, but don’t think you’ll be able to succeed. Or you’ve already started a business, but feel like you’re doomed to fail, then I suggest you check out the video to see if you’ve fallen into the trap of believing one of these six myths.

1 – You need a new ideaSo many people think they need to come up with something absolutely new to launch a successful business.

But in reality, there are many great online businesses that are based on tried and trusted ideas.

In some cases, being first with an idea is actually a disadvantage. Think MySpace vs Facebook. Or Yahoo! Vs Google.

MySpace and Yahoo! made it big first, but Facebook and Google won in the long term.

If you go with a tried and tested idea, you’ll be able to learn from the mistakes of others. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to be a trailblazer.

2 – You need a lot of money

Money helps, of course, but you don’t usually need a lot of it. Obviously, if you’re launching an ambition project with employees from day one, then you’ll need funds.

But if you’re creating a one man-band start up, then really the biggest thing you have to worry about is how long you can live without a regular income.

Even then, if it’s something you’re starting in your spare time you’ll have the salary from your main job to support you.

You may have to tighten your belt while your business gets off the ground, but you certainly don’t have to have a huge bank balance to launch a new company.

3 – You need to make a lot of money

Again, it would be nice, but it’s not essential. In fact, you can run a profitable business without clocking up huge revenues.

What really matters is how much money your business spends. Remember the Dot Com bubble of the early 2000s?

One of the biggest contributing factors to the bubble bursting was a large number of businesses that didn’t make much money but spent absolutely loads of it.

Control your expenditure and your small income will translate into a nice little profit. Don’t spend what you don’t have to. Weigh every decision.

4 – You don’t have to answer to anyone

A lot of people start a business because they want to be their own boss. And I’m not trying to put you off here.

But just because you don’t have a boss, doesn’t mean you’ll be completely independent.

In business, you always have to answer to someone.

If you’re running a service business, it’ll be your clients.

If it’s not them, it might shareholders, or the bank manager who gave you that loan.

In some ways, you’ll have more responsibilities than when you were an employee.

But on the upside, you will be able to pick your own hours and work where you like. At least most of the time, anyway.

5 – The big guys will always win

Yes, there are huge online businesses like Amazon out there, and yes they do have a massive slice of the market.

But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to failure. Now clearly, if you’re planning to go head to head with a company the size of Amazon it’s going to be a tough fight.

And to be frank, if you don’t have a huge amount of resources behind you, it’s a fight you will lose.

But you don’t have to go head to head with an internet giant to start a successful business.

Develop your own niche. There are plenty of people out there who would rather buy bespoke furniture than go to Ikea. And plenty of businesses that would rather work with a small marketing agency than a large one.

If you pick your battles, you’ll find you can score some big wins.

6 – You should do everything yourself

This is a big one. Sometimes people can spend ages struggling on a task they’re not suited to because they feel like they shouldn’t be spending money on it.

But if you think about it, this really doesn’t make sense.

If a task is eating up all of your time, then you’re wasting a valuable resource.

There are some circumstances when it makes sense for you to roll your sleeves up and do something yourself – it might be part of your business that you need to learn from scratch. That’s a good use of your time.

But if you’re spending hour after hour trying to get a logo right, then you have to wonder if that’s the best use of your time.

In a worst case scenario trying to do everything yourself can actually cost money in the long run. If you’re focusing your time on the wrong things, you’re going to miss out on landing new clients and customers.

Prioritise your time and don’t be afraid to spend money to make up for your lack of ability in a certain area. Just make sure you get a good deal.

So that was “6 online business myths busted”. I hope you found it useful. See you next time.