5 mistakes to avoid when you are starting a business.

1. Not doing enough research.

Businesses are often launched on the background of a passion or by spotting a gap in the market. The first step before launching, is to test your idea. For that you need to have a fairly good idea about your prospective clients. Who are they? Work at getting to know them well. Create a profile with 100 questions, find out where they live, hang out, their typical profile, the magazines they read etc… This exercise will help you understand where to target your social media and communication at. Understand their pain point and how your products and services are fitting the gap or are helping with a solution. Test the idea around you, friends are not always our ideal clients but their feedback might be helpful, they could also help you, connect you with the right people.

2. Spending too much time and money on design

Yes design is important, but the first thing for a business is to bring money in, rather than spending it, building relationships and getting clients. By experience it is best to leave design work, to professionals. If you are just starting out, you can set up a WordPress.org site, with a great choice of templates from Themeforest, or set up a shop with Shopify.  It is usually not a good sign if you have to tweak your designs too many times to get clients through the door. If there is a demand for your products and service they will find you, even without the fancy website and logo. You always have the option to rebrand after a year in business, with the help of a pro.

3. Thinking that it will be plain sailing

If you just want another 9-5 job, forget about setting up a business. Having your own business, forget, about switching off, during evenings, or weekends. A business, means being on the deck constantly! Of course it is important to set boundaries and priorities to spend time with your partner or your family, we don’t want you to burn out on the task either. By having your own business, you will have to go the extra miles for your clients by providing great service, that can mean working, the extra hours. The amount of work to get your business out there is quite considerable, being present on social media, writing content on a regular basis, following up with clients, getting new leads etc… The key is to set priorities, and the priority number one is to focus on tasks that will bring in clients, what are you doing every day to get more visible to prospective clients? Working on a new logo might not be the most productive of you time allocation.

4. Being on every single social media

Ideally you should allocate at least 15 minutes a day for social media, interacting with groups, adding comments, following new people, pinning. If you have an account for every social media network you might end up, spending your whole day on there. Your ideal client will be on one specific network. Try to find out where they hang out, Instagram , Facebook or Pinterest. Use your time wisely, try to stick to one or two social media. By being active every day, you will build up relationships and create an audience.

5. Giving up too quickly

Yes, setting up a business is hard work and some days you will yearn for your desk job, wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t just give up because you feel this way, like in any other jobs, you will have the odd days where you hate every minute of it. Stick to your guns, if it is not working, try to think creatively, with new ways to get clients through the door, write blog posts about your clients pain points, build your mailing list. If you are running out of cash, go back to a temping job for a few months, to continue your business on the side. Being passionate about what you have to sell, will help you sticking to it, even when you feel close to giving up. If everything else fails don’t be dethered, take a deep breath and look into what worked and why it did not work. You might just come back with a better idea a few months or years later, there is a saying that goes like once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur.

What have you learned from setting up you business?

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