Many people believe that starting an online business is easy. There’s often little investment involved. You can be up and running in almost no time. While these things are frequently true, there are also several common mistakes new entrepreneurs make in their haste. Here are a few things to avoid if you want to save time and money on your way to success.
Not Having a Handle on Your Finances
Most of us come from traditional employee positions and enjoyed regular paychecks every two weeks. You usually trade that luxury in when starting an online business. If you are starting a service-oriented business, your clients may only pay you once per month. If you are a creative, you may receive a lot of small sporadic payments instead of one big check. This switch can be hard to swallow for those unprepared.
Before you quit your day job, know how you are going to pay the bills during your transition period. For some that means having a couple months worth of income in savings, for others, it may mean taking a part-time gig or having clients lined up and waiting in the wings before giving your employer notice.
Not Being Flexible
When I talk to most entrepreneurs who have been around more than five years, where they are now is not where they planned. There is a good chance you are going to find some other income opportunities along the way that you want to pursue further. That’s the beauty of being in business for yourself! Be open to new possibilities.
Not Making Friends
We’re all guilty of it when we start out. We are scared to make friends with those in our industry because we are looking at these people as competition. These people hold a wealth of information and resources that help get us ahead. Don’t reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to. Ask questions of those who have gone before you. Get on Facebook and look for Groups of women entrepreneurs and business owners in your industry.
I understand you’re nervous. You want to make sure your bases are covered. But, there comes a time when you start hurting yourself with all of that research. There are a million people out there that are going to send you in a million different directions. No one is necessarily wrong. Advice is based on experience, and everyone’s experience is unique. When you have the basics covered, you have to decide whether you are going to do this or not. You have to choose one person to listen to and shut the rest out until you are seeing results.
Spending Money on the Wrong Things
There are so many pretty things out there. We spend so much time comparing our websites, business cards, headshots to others. You could spend thousands and thousands of dollars on shiny beautiful things that have little impact on your bottom line. Next time you think you need a new design, new tablet, new anything, ask yourself:
- Do you need it?
- Are going to make money from it?
Especially in your early days, your investments should consist of the essentials and learning how to effectively market to your target audience.
Focusing too Much on Traffic
Just as you need to focus your spending on things that make money, you also need to focus your time. I do it too! We get obsessed with vanity metrics or the newest platform and sometimes at the end of the day those things are just a waste of time. You shouldn’t avoid trying new things! Just be disciplined with your time and how you are using it to increase your profits. Are you strengthening your community or just looking for Likes? Are you getting people into your sales funnel or just getting some “warm fuzzies.” Keep tabs on your results. Make changes where necessary.