BUSTING THE STARTUP MYTHS

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Once you launch your startup, you will find that everyone you meet is a business consultant from your next door neighbor to your Great Aunt Edna. You will never find yourself with so much unwanted advice as you will in the early days of your business. The key to success is to be able to separate myth from fact.

MYTH: QUALITY PRODUCTS ALWAYS SELL

Build it and they will come. Yes, that is true if you are an extra in a Kevin Costner movie but in the real world it takes a great deal more than a good product to build a successful company. Marketing, staff and financial backing are just as essential as the inventory.

MYTH: LOWER YOU PRICE AND YOU WILL MOVE MORE UNITS

If you give them away, you will move even more units. That doesn’t make it a smart business strategy. Value your product fairly and competitively but resist the urge to shrink your profit margins too much.

MYTH: YOU CANT COMPETE IN CORPORATE AMERICA

Once upon a time there was a Harvard drop-out in his mother’s garage that wasn’t afraid to compete with the corporate establishment. You may know him as Bill Gates.

MYTH: FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT

Upgrade to first class. Spend money on a really nice Italian suit. Wine and dine your potential customers. In other words, live like you are a success. This is common advice and it is horrible advice. Investors don’t want to support the spending habits of someone who is acting like a frat boy with a credit card.

MYTH: CONFIDENCE SELLS

Confidence is an asset but overconfidence will sink a ship quickly. You must be open to listening to constructive criticism if you ever want to be successful.

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