Here it is. The list I have been working on for over a decade. But in actuality, this list is about 100 points long. The reason I know this is because I have made ALL THESE MISTAKES myself. And I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes that most new business owners make.
With that in mind, we need to make sure to LEARN from our mistakes as well, so let’s get to it and I will share below how I have changed how I do business over the years as a result!
If you are a business owner running your business from home, the worst thing you can do is stay home day after day. You can’t create impact on the world without real relationships, and these don’t happen on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere related to a laptop. Make a goal to leave your house/office several times per week. It will help you network, educate and get more ideas to run your show.
This really should be number ONE If you don’t know what you are doing, invest in the education you need to accomplish the tasks you have set out to do. This means a class, online course or business mentor (nice plug, eh?) But really it goes beyond that, you also need to make sure you PAY YOURSELF first. Put it in the plan and make it happen or there is a chance you won’t be in business very long.
Ultimately you want to know all the ins-and-outs of your business, but if you don’t know the basics behind an .xcl spreadsheet or .html file, please don’t do your own taxes or try building your own website. The thing is, too many entrepreneurs get caught up in the daily minutia & operations and tasks of their own business (way over their heads) so much that they no longer are connected with the vision that brought them there. You will know if this is you if you find yourself NEVER crossing off things from your list that will further the growth of your business. Ultimately, pay for services where someone is BETTER THAN YOU, learn what you can but STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW!
What I mean by this is when you first start your business you are always FOCUSED on what it takes to make it. Meaning you are focused on the bottom line. If you can shift your focus and raise your bottom line and never let your profits/earnings/bank account get below a certain amount, you will be wayyyyy ahead of the game. In addition, I do NOT support with all new businesses the formula that you should spend 25% of all profits on marketing your first and second year open. I have seen this quoted up to 40%. NO WAY…. and I mean NO WAY! How about you read number 5.
Do you really know who your ideal clientele is? Is it possible that it isn’t exactly who you thought it would be. I call this “driving the square through the circle” mentality. If it looks like a square, guess what…. it is square. What do I mean? It is a s simple as this. Query your audience, test your market, ask your friends, do your homework and then TARGET MARKET THE SCHIZMO (my word 🙂 out of that PSYCHOGRAPHIC. (Another new word? YEP!!! More on that one next week!)
1. I make sure to leave my house everyday. I network at the yoga studio, I take calls at the coffee shop and I save the real grunt work for the home office. You never know where you are going to meet your next buyer, your next lead or in my case, next client!
2. I finally got smart and realized that I didn’t know it all (though my family had been telling me that for quite some time.) I got a business partner who was the former COO of a major industrial corporation who became the assistant to the Mayor who them became a C-Level Head Hunter. I learned a lot from him. THEN I finally hired a business coach. Things got real fast! I still use the support and I still educate daily with one webinar a day M-F!
3. I started saying no to doing it all. Even though I knew I could build the website with my eyes shut, I realize as a visionary, it is NOT the best use of my talents and purpose. I now pay people to do these things for me while I stay focused on the prize.
4. I have raised my bottom line. I was able to bring my husband in on it and together we are a force. In fact, we have gotten so excited about this we have discussed not buying ANYTHING NEW for an entire year – inspired by one of my retreat attendees last month. If feels good to know you can buy it, but you are choosing not to. You can apply this to your business mentality as well and it will not only save you money, but it will definitely increase your MENTAL bottom line.
5. In some arenas, you have to pay-to-play. I have been using PSYCHOGRAPHICS (slightly different from demographics) for my strategic marketing efforts for the past year. In addition, if I find myself getting too watered down or not seeing the results I need with my business or with my clients’, I tighten things up even more and it usually produces a higher yield as my audience is even more qualified. You don’t need to spend a million on marketing until you have the million to spend. Got that? Okay… good!
If you have any questions, please jot a note down below – I would be honored to hear your thoughts, trials and successes in regards to this post!