They saying that to fail means that you’ve at least tried, this is a great way to describe the first three months of my business start-up. In June 2015 I was given a 90 day period to get my business idea started by the New enterprise scheme from the Jobcentre. Before becoming officially unemployed I was a carer for my dad who had a terminal illness. So when he had passed I was left to wonder what to do with my life. So I grabbed the opportunity and said to myself it’s not about perfectionism it’s about just getting it out there. I am so grateful for that push because it has now lead me to running my own business that I finally knew I was meant to do. I now teach and mentor budding entrepreneurs how to get their business idea in motion so that they act like a start-up and launch it like a pro. It was not always this way and I had to fail many times to get back up to keep trying. Here are the five mistakes in setting up my business model:
1. Not Investing in the essential business tools:
As a new business and being inexperienced in managing one I aired on the care of caution and mainly used free tools for the first three months of the business.
I did everything the way, I took on every aspect of my business which lead to the slow launch of my products and services.
The majority of established premium business tools cost because they have been known to give the user better business results and save them time to focus on their special sauce aka talent.
For example I searched for a free learning management system which offered me free upload of courses and a number of users. I found it, signed up for it and found it not as user friendly and lacking many other features. After wasting months on the free LMS I finally invested in a great LMS that had great additional features that made my business much easier to run and saved me so much time. It provided me with more website pages that I could link straight to my own biz website.
2. Not finding my ideal clients pain point and providing the solution.
Many new business create products and services on something that would be nice to have rather than a solution your customer seeks to solve their pain points.
I started out stating I wanted to create personal, business and career development courses. This was an area of expertise I had and felt I could be a specialist in. This was definitely not the way to go about creating a product or service that would be highly on demand.
The biggest issue for most founders is finding these painful problems and matching them with the best solutions possible.
So the lesson here is, find your customers issues, pain point and then create a product or service that solves it got them.
3. Not having a business mentor or a support business group.
A big regret was not finding a business mentor at the start of my business journey.
A business mentor is someone who offers their knowledge, wisdom, and advice to someone with less experience in all areas business related.
In March I managed to get a free business mentor who I speak with once a month and provides me with some great resources, advice and keeps me on my ties. The lovely thing is I get someone at the end of the telephone praising my results and efforts. When working from home and alone it’s very nice to hear as it gives you that much needed boost.
4. Not asking for help from my family and friends.
When you first start out you have many people excited for you and offering their assistance. So why don’t you take it? For me I didn’t really no the directions I was initially going with my business and till I had clarity and a strategic plan in place I didn’t want to involve others as I didn’t want to look unprofessional.
I also felt that people would want to be paid for their time and efforts and as a start-up I didn’t have the budget for it.
When I finally had my exact business model and gained confidence in my offering I then started asking for help. It’s was more little things like getting my family to help me leaflet to local business in their area. Also if your friends and family have a business of their own why not do an exchange. For example my brother started out his own photography business of which I mentored him and gave him advice and in exchange he did my website head shoots.
So if you feel uncomfortable asking for free support why not provide them with a freebie in return.
5. Not setting up short term goals or working to deadlines.
When you work alone sometimes it feels as if you have 101 things to do and overwhelmed at where to start. So the best way to get started is by prioritising and giving things deadline dates. If theirs not pressure on getting something done it generally doesn’t get finished.
I remember when creating my first HTML and CSS website and spent so many months redesigning the site that I had around 11 versions of it. What I had done was spend almost 4 months fixated on my site and nothing else. With no short or long term goals I had nothing pushing me to get my business moving forward.
Now I have checklist galore on my wall above my PC monitor which highlights my daily/ weekly tasks. The excitement of putting a tick and drawing through with a red felt tip pen when complete pushes me.