Worst piece of business advice you've ever been given

ended 27. August 2021

The Bank Holiday weekend and end of August is often a time for lighter stories, so we'd love to know what the worst (most terrible/absurd/misplaced/hilarious) piece of business advice you've ever been given is. We're going to issue the best to the local and national media over the Bank Holiday weekend. Just a line or two will do! Please ensure there's a pic of you in your media pack as if your quote is used, journalists will often want an accompanying mugshot. Deadline is wine time tonight. 

11 responses from the Newspage community

Before starting my commercial finance brokers, I was given some very antiquated advice about attracting customers online. One broker told me that business owners don't search online for finance, they just ask their accountant. Another told me that all online enquiries are fraudsters trying to rip you off. As one of the younger commercial finance brokers in my industry, I found this advice to be very odd. Needless to say this was incorrect and an opportunity for me to grow my business. Now a large percentage of business is generated from my companies online presence. In many cases, Bolton Business Finance out ranks brokers that are much larger and have been around much longer.
When starting out as a financial planner, a senior colleague said to me "Just try not to offend anyone!"
'Any publicity is good publicity' probably the worst advice I've received and anyone else can receive. If a restaurant was in the press for serving rat meat disguised as chicken I wouldnt be rushing to make a booking!
When I first opened Velvet & Rose boutique I was told by another shop owner to buy £30K worth of stock for opening! Slow & steady would've been a better option!
The worst piece of business advice I've EVER received is: 'good things go to those who wait.' This is simply NOT TRUE! And clearly, the hundreds of entrepreneurs we've worked with agree with me. Thankfully, the pandemic has made people realise that, hence the undeniable, and quite frankly, - colossal COVID-19 entrepreneur 'boom.' It's a brave new world, and I feel privileged to be a part of it." George Taylor (CEO at Gramersi.com).
As a trainee therapist, I was told to always cover my knees in case I ever had a client with a husband that had an affair with someone with nice knees!
One of my US clients back in 2014 was a film producer Brenden Hubbard - when I asked for a testimonial to share on my agency's website, he replied with the following quote: ‘‘Fucking incredible social media work by Marianna and her team.’’ I loved it & added it on my website verbatim. Few months later, I had a request for a phone meeting with a New Zealand based potential client. Turns out he only arranged the meeting so he could spend half an hour telling me off for 'cursing' on my own business website. I left the quote as it was.
Someone once told me I should switch my business model to have gig economy workers collecting children from school and taking them home "like Deliveroo". I told him that treating kids like they were pizzas would not be well received by parents. He thought I was missing a trick!
I think the worst piece of business advice I was given was 'take on every client to start with' Yes it gives you revenue, and some of those clients will become the best you ever had but I can guarantee 90% of them will turn out to be more hassle than they are worth. Know your limits, know your ideal clientele and don't deviate no matter how desperate you think you are.
I was once told that I should really consider not committing full time in my business as I didn't have the experience to do it.
Way too many to mention as when you run your own business suddenly everyone is an expert on your chosen profession. The line that fills me with the most dread is "Do you know what you should do?" People are always well meaning but often don't understand how a small business operates.