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Brutal business myths

There’s a lot of advice for business owners out there, but not all of it will actually help you grow your business. Check out these common business myths and how to break through them, from AmericanExpress.com:

Myth 1

The customer’s always right

Because it’s impossible to make everyone happy, you can’t run your business by customer consensus if you want to stay in business. However, it is important to understand who your best customers are, look at things from their point of view, listen to what they need, and ask for feedback on your process and product.

Myth 2

What you want is what your customers want

Success in business is based on filling a market need…not on your own dreams. It could be that your dreams and a profitable market align, which is a wonderful position to be in. However, you also need to build good distribution and marketing for your product and/or service, too.

Myth 3

The only financial metric you need to focus on is sales volume

As AmericanExpress.com points out: “Sales are vanity, cash flow is sanity. It makes no sense to grow the sales of a company if they keep losing money. Is there less money at the end of the month than at the beginning? Fail. Successful small business owners focus on cash flow and know how to read their cash flow statement.”

Myth 4

Teamwork should equal consensus

A great team can be the difference between success and failure for any business. However, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree with every decision. The input from each team member should depend on their role. Sometimes decisions need to be made by management—and then it’s up to the team to get things done through collaboration rather than consensus.

Myth 5

The lowest price will attract more customers

Having a loss leader (a lower-priced product that gains the attention of your desired market) can be beneficial, but you don’t want to base your entire relationship with your customers on price. The best formula for decent profits is to deliver value to a specific segment of the market at a price that’s fair for the deliverable. If your product is priced lowest, you’ll need to have the highest volume of customers to make it work for your long-term business viability. 

Myth 6

Success is solely measured by money

While money is important—after all, no one goes into business to not make it—the level of value you provide, the level of satisfaction you get and the cash flow you derive from the company are also key measures of success.

When running your own business, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Start by busting through the business myths covered above to ensure that you’re operating and growing your business from a place of truth and solid advice. 

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