By Elise Morgan
The world of business is full of myths and preconceptions – some helpful, others not so. It’s likely you’ve bought into some of the common beliefs about what you need to do, or who you need to be, to find success in business. Below we take a look at some of the most prevalent business myths and sort fact from fiction, so you can stop believing harmful myths about business and reach the success you deserve.
Female led businesses are less profitable
This is a lasting myth that should be dumped immediately. Numerous studies and research have debunked this myth and show that if anything, the reverse is true.
Over the past 15 years, women owned businesses have enjoyed 58% growth in profits. That’s not the whole story on profitability either. A major study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that having a woman at the helm of a business significantly increased net profits. What’s more, mixed gender boards outperform all-male boards.
Great ideas make for a great business
Sure, a great idea can be the beginning of a successful business. But not all great ideas are created equal. If you can’t commercialize an idea, you won’t be able to make money from it. While great ideas can create change and inspire people, without a tangible product or service, you’ll be without profit.
Great business ideas are backed up with plausible business plans that mark out a strategy for growth, identify key markets, plan for establishing a customer base and protect profit margins. Without this it won’t matter how much capital you have behind you; your business will struggle to survive in a competitive world.
Build it and they will come
It doesn’t matter what your product or service is; you’re going to have to market it to reach your customers. This is the case even in verticals that have high levels of customers actively searching for products. Thanks to the internet and numerous advertising avenues, most markets have a high level of noise from competing brands and consumer information. You’ll need to stand out to be found and heard.
Don’t build it and wait. Build it and shout about it! Promote it, talk about it and market it to relevant audiences so you can shape a customer base and make the sales that translate to success.
The harder you work, the more success you’ll realize
Of course, you need to work hard to move your business towards success, but there is a limit. Working hard at the expense of your sleep, weekends and vacations has been proven to damage your health and business productivity. Staying late to answer emails or just get ahead on the next day isn’t reason enough to clock extra hours at work and is unlikely to take you closer to business success.
Instead of working longer and harder, work with purpose and a clear goal. Working towards clear goals has been proven to improve the chances of business success, particularly if you make them specific, measurable and share with others.
Women aren’t great with technology
This is as persistent as it is untrue. Thankfully, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and Oracle’s Safra Catz paid this one no heed, and neither should you. This myth likely comes from the fact that women are underrepresented and underpaid in the tech industry.
Women’s ability to think and solve problems is no different than men’s. Typically, less women study STEM subjects than men and this creates a gender bias when recruiting for tech teams. That said, technology development relies heavily on creativity, empathy, and out-of-the-box problem solving skills, all of which women are more than capable of. If you’re a woman with an interest in tech, don’t let this myth hold you back.
Business is an ever-evolving world – what may have held true in the last decade is not necessarily true today. Just as our workplace practices and policies change with time, so should our beliefs and approaches to how we work, what we share and how we walk the path to business success.