“A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise one learns from the mistakes of others.” That’s one of my favorite quotes, and a pretty solid piece of advice — learn from others’ mistakes so you don’t have to. Unfortunately, I made a plethora of mistakes during my first year in business, but I learned from them. I hope you can learn from them too!
So, to all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, this one’s for you.
In the pressure to get everything done, I felt I needed to rush. It was a horrible idea! I never fully developed one thing before starting another. It showed!
I know there are times when every business owner just needs to get something out there to meet a deadline. However, whenever possible invest enough time to do everything with excellence. It makes a difference and people notice!
The other drawback to rushing? Burn out. I felt like I was running around constantly and not getting anywhere. It caused a major crash and burn. Then I fell behind… So I had to rush some more to catch up. Vicious cycle.
Not Setting a Firm Budget
I know, I know, you would never start something without setting a budget. I wouldn’t either, normally. Yet somehow my common sense went right out the window! I saw all the things that one could possibly use for business and I felt I needed them right that moment.
Thankfully, I paid cash for everything and didn’t take on any debt, but I spent through much more of my capital than I should have. It’s always nice to have a little cushion in the bank account. If I had it to do all over again, I would have spaced out my purchases to ensure I really needed all those things I bought… Because, unfortunately, I didn’t need half of it! I would also set a FIRM budget and keep to it.
Not Creating Enough Content
While my business website is just that — a business website– it does have a blog. Generating fresh content is a great way to keep potential customers coming to your site. I totally dropped the ball. A situation I am rectifying this year by creating several months’ worth of content during my slow season. I recommend having a cache of posts in your arsenal when you get your site up and going. It takes the stress of blogging off of you so you can focus on more important details. You know, like, working with your current clients…
Neglecting Social Media
I didn’t neglect it completely, but I certainly put in on the back burner. Like I had better things to do? Brand awareness is paramount for new businesses. Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinkingI
Again, I’m sure you’re already on top of this, but make sure your social media game is strong… Or, at the very least, consistent. You can use a platform like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule posts in advance. It’s been a lifesaver for me!
Business is, well, serious business. BUT staying up nights worrying about things never helped me. Not once did I ever solve any problems by worrying about them. In fact, worry usually kept me from logically approaching my problems. This is a hard one, but if you’re starting to really stress and worry about things, try taking a step back and refreshing. Approaching things with a clear head goes a long way in actually resolving issues.
There’s so much more I’d love to share, but it’ll have to wait for a future post. Any entrepreneurs out there willing to share their biggest mistakes? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!