I’d like to preface this article by saying I don’t believe in mistakes. I like to look at ‘mistakes’ as lessons that teach me how to move forward and grow my business. In saying that, there are a few small business mistakes that many small business owners seem to make, and I’d like to share them with you so that you can learn from other people’s lessons.
As a business coach for women, I often ask the women I work with, “what would they tell someone just starting out?” And throughout my time of working with these women – here are some collective mistakes they’ve shared with me about what they wished they did differently when starting their business.
Small Business Mistakes to Avoid
Not Having an Ideal Client
One of the easiest small business mistakes to make is to not have an ideal client. So many business owners hit the ground running with a brilliant product or service, without stopping to consider who their ideal client would be, or if there is even a market for that product.
Taking the time to figure out who exactly you’re selling to will make your entire marketing strategy that much easier down the line.
Niching Too Soon or Too Late
I recently did a solo podcast episode, To Niche or Not to Niche, where I broke down when you should and shouldn’t niche your business. On the one hand, finding your niche early can be the perfect direction for your business. So can settling into your niche once it has presented itself to you over time.
The trouble starts when you panic and think you need a niche to start your business, so you force one upon yourself that just doesn’t work. Another niche mistake can be holding off on niching because you don’t want to lose any existing or potential customers that don’t fall in that niche.
Your business is unique, so don’t get into your head that there is a specific time you have to find your niche. Let it evolve over time and accept it when it does.
Avoiding Setting Up Systems
While it may seem dull and time-consuming, setting up systems can be one of the most exciting things you can do for your small business. Having great systems in place saves you time and money, freeing you up to grow your business and work on the projects you enjoy rather than spending hours doing menial tasks.
There is no such thing as it being too soon to automate parts of your business and set up systems. In fact, the sooner you start, the better.
Doing it Alone
Say it with me: There is nothing wrong with needing help. So often small business owners make the mistake of thinking they need to do everything themselves. This just isn’t true. Getting help can not only benefit your mental health, but it can also give you valuable insight that could help your business grow. Not sure if you need help in business? Check out my article, 10 Signs It’s Time to Hire a Business Coach.
Quitting Your Day Job Too Soon
The last small business mistake on the list that new business owners frequently make is quitting their day job way too soon. Small business owners seem to think that, if you’re serious about your business, you have to jump into it headfirst with no safety net. While this way of doing things can certainly keep you motivated, it isn’t always the wisest option.
The start-up phase of any business can be a slow and tedious process. You aren’t just starting a business, you’re learning how to be a business owner and everything that goes along with that. This takes time, and there is nothing wrong with starting your business on the side while you figure it all out. It will give you the security and time you need to take risks in your business, let your niche evolve naturally, and teach yourself a completely new skill set.
By learning these lessons early you can save a whole lot of time and regret while building your business. These small business mistakes are easy to avoid once you have the know-how, and getting them right the first time will set you up for business success.
Looking for more advice? Join my Facebook group, the Australian Business Collaborative, to get tips and advice from thousands of small business owners.
Have an awesome day,