Why should you care about learning and continuing to sharpen your business skills? Why, when it’s entirely possible to start a business, run it as self-taught entrepreneur by just scratching the surface of bare minimum marketing knowledge? Here’s our take on it!
But Everyone Else Wings It Too
When everyone else and their grandmother keeps winging it with reasonable success as a result, why can’t you too? Why not simply copy them?
Your business isn’t theirs so what they do should never (and can’t!) be copied as is. This includes their chosen business model, strategy and tactics.
Based on what you see, you may believe you understand how that company works, but there may be a handful of other branches providing monetary streams you have no idea of that support the portion you think is the only one.
Building for the long haul is an exercise in patience, analysis, trial and error, and learning from past mistakes. If you work 16-hour days without weekends off or vacations taken, and the business makes only 10.000 € a year, something is severely wrong. Other decisions must be made and we’re absolutely here to help.
But They Don’t Talk About Business Skills
You don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. Have they gone to business school or spent years learning on their own? Not everyone wants you to know the full picture, but keep their cards close.
Maybe they have an MBA, or it’s utter chaos in their books, because they listen to people who have no idea of what they’re talking about. Either way, their business is theirs, figuratively and literally, so focus on your own.
Our two favourite examples of regurgitated myths are: 1) “You need to niche down!” (no, you really, really don’t) and 2) “Plan your marketing strategy for Instagram this year” (they’re talking about tactics, not strategy, and the difference is astronomical).
If a self-proclaimed expert stays away from actual business books, our advice is to stay away from their teachings. Your firm will thank you.
But They Have Success In [Random Market] So Why Can’t I?
Why on earth would anyone want to follow others everywhere they go? Saturated markets are their own beasts to tame and if you have the option to choose something more unique, why not make things a bit easier on yourself?
If you’re among the first, or the only one even, you have far more control of pricing, the value proposition itself, and generally positioning yourself as a market leader in your field.
I happen to have a copycat in my personal business, who keeps a close eye on my craft shop and its outwards visible actions. She goes as far as to steal ideas and specific wordings in social-media captions. Maybe she’s lazy, maybe she wants to punish me due to perceived success of some type, perhaps she hopes to push me out of the market or simply doesn’t understand copyright laws and stylish business behaviour.
“The Copycat” merits a blog post of their own, because as a phenomenon it’s aggressive, repulsive and draining to deal with emotionally, but for the purpose of this particular topic I want to emphasis the power of originality.
Lukewarm doesn’t win the race ever. Nobody remembers a firm without personality, whether in brand identity, voice, social responsibility, and products or services themselves. If you(r business) lack(s) courage to be your(it)self, the bank account will not be as fat as it could.
Even if you have a clear brand, you may still find yourself closing doors sooner than expected, if the market is oversaturated.
In our neighbourhood, numerous beauty shops (spa, nail salon, etc.) have opened during the pandemic. With high rents to pay in addition to all other costs, we’re wondering how they think there’s space to prosper.
Does a single one of them offer digital products in addition to the physical ones and the service provided? No. And sadly it’s no surprise.
But I Don’t Have Time To Learn
Who builds a house, bakes a fancy, patisserie-style cake, or composes a symphony without learning the skills first?
What makes you think running a firm means you acquire this particular knowledge by osmosis?
If you believe keeping a business afloat means no time investment made, unfortunately you’re in for an extremely rude awakening. By graceful fluke some of us make a million when lifting the tip of one finger only, but that’s not the usual story.
Owning a firm means successfully switching between Entrepreneur, Manager and Technician hats (as per E-Myth book). It includes understanding not only the value but actual necessity of making time for business strategy and various analytical tasks to happen.
If you only want to cut hair, build cars or work as an expert consultant, you should work in a firm owned by another person. They will sort the business portion for you.
But if you’re ready to own a firm and do what’s best for it as well, you’ve come to the right place. A huge number of your competitors don’t adopt the mindset of life-long learning.
Please post your thoughts in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!