by Dianne Jewell 16/2/19
I made the same mistakes as many entrepreneurs have made. Even though I read and listened and was taught by coaches, I didn’t listen but what did I know? I didn’t know any better.
You can get so caught up in the details of your business instead of growing your audience and client base. I work with startups and businesses who haven’t quite made sense of it all yet, so I see them fall fall into the some of these entrepreneurial traps which hold them back from exploding into a successful business.

5 Mistakes you might be making and how to avoid them

1. Not having a Big Plan

Many business owners try to get everything in place before start but often miss out on the one vital thing they must have. You must understand how you are going to get clients, keep clients, and get the work done to enable your business to tick over.
Granted you have to get the basics in place, and you probably do such as 
  • expertise in your chosen market
  • licences to operate
  • a market (clients)
  • hardware and software
  • a place to operate from
But have you thought about the whole business as a part of your life, and answered these questions?
  • Operational Plan – who does what and how you are going to cope with more work than you can physically do
  • Marketing Plan – how will you continue to attract your Ideal Client
  • Cash Flow Plan – how much money will you make and what will you do with it
  • Emergency Plan – what will you do for short term cash if the need arises (and it will)
The Big Plan operates in the background not the foreground of your business day to day.  It can easily be missed as you go about working on the workflows in your business. Give a minute to considering the life of your business and what you’ll do to keep the momentum going.

2. Focusing on the wrong market

Its happened, you’ve landed a big client! It’s a great moment, and you deserve to congratulate yourself. Wait a minute, ask yourself, are they your Ideal Client?  I have seen businesses get a client that isn’t suited to the offering they provide. Your Ideal Client isn’t necessarily ‘big’ or wanting a large amount of work done or willing to pay you a large amount of money for a job – they must “fit” your practice. Take things at a pace you can work with and don’t push growth where it can’t reasonably happen. 
Make sure you have a plan of action to operate from. It’s imperative to have the capacity to supply your service to all of your clients, not just some, and growing too quickly, i.e. taking on a big client when you’re not ready can be devastating to a small business. You’ll get a bad name for service and you know what they say about bad reviews, they spread quickly, much more quickly than good reviews. 

3. Not organising your Internal Systems

Your internal systems will enable you to deliver a valuable service and replicate it over and over. What looks easy is only easy because you don’t understand the mechanics of running a business. 
Your workflow will not flow and you’ll get distracted if you don’t have your systems organised. Your work will suffer and your business will stall, if not fail. The easiest way to get organised to be able to start is to do the minimum and build on that. In fact that’s the only way it will work as you don’t know what works best for you until you try it. 
Evernote and Xero works for me as does Agile CRM and Mailchimp but that ‘stack’ may not work for you. Research and keep trying to find your optimal stack.

4. Managing your time well

Wasting Time. Allocate time – use a scheduler like Google Calendars 
Time. I don’t have time. Its a waste of time. I need more time.
How you manage time and your health and energy will determine how successful you support yourself in this business journey.
Calendars like Google Calendars where you can overlay 5 or more calendars and ‘chunk’ time can help immensely in keeping you on track and using your time and energy in the most productive way to get work done.
As a business owner you wear many hats and even more if you have a young family. You have to optimise your time and prioritise your time. 
Work out what a good use of your time is – you could use your weekends to work on your business moreso than to take time off. There’s alot of work to do as you are everything to your business. 
Focus on creating one or two services you can offer then build from there. Focus on your core competencies, first. You can’t physically implement all of your business ideas at once. When you try to build too much too soon, you end up losing as nothing will get out there. You end up having many projects started, but nothing finished or in working order, to sell.
Your time must be allocated to work, working on your business as it stands and your life in proportions decided by you and your family. 
I am a WordPress developer and I know my way around Funnels but they took along time to learn and I can say, I should have focused on Accounting and Tax Agency instead of doing this work as its detracted from my journey. What are you focused on and is it going to give you a R.O.I. that makes it worthwhile?

5. Forgetting to promote your business

Too many entrepreneurs are trying to get everything in place before they start promoting. Yes you have to get the business processes in place before you can put yourself in front of potential clients, but you do not have to have everything 100% locked in from day one. Grow your processes as you grow your business and engage with your market in the marketplace where they hang out. You are losing potential clients when you spend time working on working on details of the business when you could be getting yourself out there in front of your market  not spending the necessary time promoting your business in public places like Social Media.