5 Mistakes To Avoid When You Start Your Own Business
Let’s face it. Running a business is not easy. And mistakes will happen. In fact, mistakes are your best teachers. But if they can be avoided, then why not! Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid when you start your own business:
1- Perfection Paralysis
Many business owners hold back on taking action as they wait for something to be perfect. They don’t start marketing until their website is fully developed. They delay working with clients until they have full clarity on their business vision. They avoid advertising on Facebook until they figure out who exactly they should target.
Don’t get me wrong. All of these points are important. But perfection is not required. Instead, take action. You will continue to tweak, enhance and change things in your business as you grow. In fact, you will do so constantly and your vision for the business is likely to change.
Whenever you hear yourself saying, “Yes, I will take action as soon as I….”, Stop yourself. The time is never going to be right. Take action. Don’t get stuck in perfection because time is money and when you are running your own business, you cannot afford to waste time.
2- Overspending in the Early Stages of the Business
Until you start to see some income coming in, avoid spending too much on your business. I am a firm believer in branding. I think it’s important for any business and it does wonders in attracting customers. But, and a huge BUT, don’t overspend when you’re just starting out because it’s not needed at that stage. As a solopreneur, YOU are the brand. Your voice is the brand. Your service is the brand. Just make sure you marketing message is clear. Start generating income and seeing results and then work on upgrading the brand. In fact, when you start growing, branding is an absolute must. But this should only be done in due time. The same point applies to your website. These days you can create great websites using WordPress and many other platforms at minimal cost. Just make sure you design a website that works for you. Avoid overspending except where needed. Test the business and see the response first.
3- Skipping Stages in Natural Business Growth
Businesses go through different stages of growth. A big mistake would be to skip some stages and start expanding before you’re ready. First, start offering your service. Get a response from clients. Improve on it and develop it. Next, start building your client base. Start generating income by serving more and more clients and doing so consistently. Then move on to growth and expansion, when you can afford to start developing new products and services, expanding to new markets, and leveraging your income. We often get distracted by possibilities and prospects that may not suit us in the current stage of our business. Stay focused on what is working for you today and build on that. Once you’ve developed your client base, are at full capacity, and you’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, then you can start moving towards expansion.
4- Forgetting About Marketing While You’re Busy With Existing Clients
Inconsistent income is one of the biggest dilemmas that business owners face. It’s one of the most stressful too not knowing where your next paycheck will come from. The main reason this happens is because we often forget about marketing, especially when we are busy with existing clients. That’s why many business owners go through stages of feast and famine. Marketing should be a top priority at all times whether or not you have clients today. It never stops, even when you’re at full capacity. f you can’t take on new clients because you’re too busy with existing ones, then you can refer them to other businesses in the same field. In fact, you should always have a couple of colleagues in the same field to refer clients to when you can’t take them on for whatever reason. They will do the same for you! Marketing never goes to waste. It should be continuous and automated so you have a steady stream of income. Make it your number 1 priority.
5- Drowning in Too Many Tasks
As a solopreneur, it’s likely that you are wearing all the hats in the business; meaning you’re doing everything from networking, developing the business, and delivering the service to meeting with clients, answering emails, doing the accounting, and running all the other admin work. In fact, I faced this problem immensely when I started out with my first business. I was busy all the time and had no time to breathe. The problem with this picture is that the majority of the tasks that I was drowning in were not even contributing to income. In fact, it was taking away from my income because I could have been spending that time marketing the business and bringing in new clients. No one should be marketing your business but you because YOU are the business. But you can certainly outsource the non-income generating tasks, such as keeping your accounts up-to-date, answering your emails, doing data entry and any other admin work. You can hire virtual assistants on an hourly basis and you will only pay for the amount of work they put in. For a few dollars per hour, you would be gaining some free time to focus on what really matters. Income!
Have you been doing any of these mistakes in your business? Share with me below what other mistakes you think are common from your experience!