As small business owners, it’s important to have a strong understanding of financial management. However, with so much conflicting advice out there, it can be tough to know where to turn. Unfortunately, even Hollywood is guilty of perpetuating bad financial advice in movies. While it might make for an entertaining storyline, following these bad financial practices can have serious consequences for your business.
Here, we’ll be breaking down some of the worst financial advice from the movies and offering alternatives that are grounded in reality.
“If you build it, they will come” – Field of Dreams (1989)
The classic line from Field of Dreams might be inspiring, but it’s a terrible piece of financial advice for small business owners. Simply building a product or service and hoping people will flock to it is not a sustainable business strategy. In order to be successful, you need a solid marketing and sales plan in place.
Instead of relying on this unrealistic sentiment, focus on developing a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes things like market research, target audience identification, and competitive analysis. This will help you reach the right people and increase your chances of success.
“Money can’t buy happiness” – Pretty Woman (1990)
While it’s true that money can’t buy happiness, it can certainly buy stability. As a small business owner, you need to have a strong handle on your finances in order to grow and succeed. Ignoring the importance of money and financial management can be a major misstep.
Instead of downplaying the role of finances in your business, make it a top priority. Create a budget, track expenses, and invest in your business wisely. This will help you stay on top of your finances and give you the stability you need to grow and thrive.
“Go big or go home” – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
While it might seem like a good idea to go all in and take big risks in order to get big rewards, this is a dangerous mentality to have in the world of small business. In reality, sustainable growth often comes from slow and steady progress.
Instead of taking big risks, focus on making smart, calculated decisions. Diversify your investments, prioritize profitability over growth, and always have a solid financial plan in place. This will help you stay on solid ground and increase your chances of long-term success.
“Never give up” – Rocky (1976)
While persistence is certainly an important quality for small business owners, blindly pushing forward without considering the financial realities of your business can be a recipe for disaster. If your business is losing money and has no hope of turning things around, it may be time to call it quits.
Instead of simply never giving up, take an honest look at the financial state of your business and make decisions based on data and facts. If it’s time to move on, don’t be afraid to do so. This will free up resources and allow you to focus on more promising opportunities.
“Put all your eggs in one basket” – Wall Street (1987)
Diversifying your investments is key in any financial portfolio and the same holds true for small business owners. Putting all your resources into one product, market, or strategy is risky and leaves you vulnerable to external factors beyond your control.
The smart choice is to spread out your investments and allocate resources to multiple areas. This can include multiple products, markets, and strategies. By spreading out your investments, you mitigate risk and increase the likelihood of success in the long run.
“It’s not personal, it’s just business” – The Godfather (1972)
While it may be tempting to separate your emotions from business decisions, neglecting to consider the personal impact of your decisions can lead to financial missteps.
For example, cutting corners on employee benefits or mistreating customers can lead to decreased morale, decreased customer loyalty, and a tarnished reputation. These negative effects can impact your bottom line and ultimately harm your business in the long run.
Instead, strive to balance financial considerations with ethical ones. Treat employees and customers with respect, and always consider the impact your decisions will have on your relationships.
“Money talks” – Working Girl (1988)
While money is certainly a powerful tool, relying solely on it to get ahead in business is a mistake. Strong relationships with customers, employees, and business partners are key to success in the long run.
Focus on building strong relationships by being a good communicator, being reliable, and delivering on your promises. By investing in relationships, you create a network of support that will help your business succeed, even in tough times.
“The early bird gets the worm” – The Social Network (2010)
While being first to market can have its advantages, it’s also important to consider the financial implications of being an early adopter. Developing a product or entering a market too early can lead to increased costs and decreased profits.
Instead, wait for the market to mature and then enter with a well-developed product or strategy. This will help you avoid the high costs of being a first mover and increase the chances of financial success.
Financial management is a critical aspect of running a successful small business. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re relying on sound advice, rather than the often-misleading messages from Hollywood. By avoiding these bad financial practices and focusing on smart, data-driven decisions, you’ll be better equipped to grow and succeed in the long term.