Have you met our mompreneur Jenni Chase from the Studio Share Illinois? Jenni is sharing her top 5 lies a small business owner believes. If you are thinking about starting your own business soon or you already have one this is a definite must read!
Top 5 Lies a Small Business Owner Believes
I am in the trenches with lots of small business owners these days. Even though many are photographers like myself, I think the lies we believe probably sneak into the minds of just about any other entrepreneur…you be the judge….
Lie #1 – My value is defined by my work
Your work does not define your worth as a person. I don’t care whether a client loves, hates or is apathetic towards your product or service – you simply must separate out your value or you will end up on a roller coaster of self-doubt.
Lie #2 – If I raise my prices, I won’t get any new clients
If you do not make smart business decisions, you will not survive. Plain and simple. Take a HARD look at your cost of doing business (time, insurance, equipment, labor, materials, marketing, gas, etc…). If what you charge does not cover your expenses, pay for your time AND more – then you have two choices: Keep working like a dog for very little money or take the risk of pricing yourself competitively and getting the kind of clients that respect you and the top notch product/service that you provide.
Lie #3 – I can make a living with this as long as I’m passionate
Insert buzzer sound *here*. Forbes.com says that 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. That’s 80%. You need to understand your market, make smart financial decisions, and master time management skills…not to mention have an end product that is desirable and excellent in its craft. Passion? Absolutely. You gotta love what you do. But it’s way bigger than that. Owning a small business is not for the faint of heart.
Lie #4 I’m busy, therefore, I’m successful
Just because a lot of people are buying from you doesn’t mean you have a successful business. Do you have a handle on how effective your time is or how well-priced you are in your market? If you’re a photographer (for example) take a look at your client communication time, travel time, shoot time, workflow, editing process, follow up and product delivery. How many hours do you spend? You might be ‘busy’ but what if you could earn the same amount of money with half the clients and in half the time? What if, by making smarter business decisions, you could add more hours back in your day to play with your kids?
Lie #5 I have to give discounts to all my friends and extended family or they won’t like me
Umm, no. If you give discounts and don’t charge what your product or service is worth, you do two things. You make what you offer appear cheap/not worth the investment….and…You end up looking desperate (believing Lie #2)…and maybe Lie #1 starts to rear it’s ugly head because you don’t think YOU are worth it and therefore what you are selling is not worth it – so you take what you can get. Catch my drift? You might need to reread this paragraph.
Chin up. You can do this. Get up off the ground, wipe the dust off your jeans, put yourself around others who are like-minded and get back out there. Go show the world that what you have to offer will help them live better, play better, work better, BE better.