Although rewarding and exciting, the journey to starting a successful business is often littered with potholes. And while there’s no fool-proof way to achieve start-up success, you can learn from the mistakes of myself and others to help make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
Here are our top five mistakes start-ups make that you should try to avoid.
1. Expecting success straight away
To develop a successful business takes time, hard work and a lot of perseverance. All too often new entrepreneurs get disheartened when they don’t achieve immediate success. Even worse, a lot of businesses crumble before they even begin, as they’re unable to deal with the challenges that come their way. By planning for the worst, you can make sure to put the necessary safety measures in place so that if the business takes longer than expected to get off the ground, you’re able to cope.
2. Creating the perfect product before your start selling
Why waste time perfecting a product that nobody wants to buy? Rather, focus your energy on developing a MVP (minimum viable product) that you can use to test the market. This way, you’re able to gain valuable insights from actual consumers, which you can then use to further develop and perfect your offering down the line. Trying to be perfect at everything from the get-go can be detrimental for a start-up, and can really slow down your momentum. That’s why it’s important to always consider the cost versus benefit, helping you prioritise what is essential to the core product.
3. Trying to do all at once
As an entrepreneur, time will always be your nemesis. With an endless list of things to do and only limited hours in a day (not to mention limited funds in the bank), it’s essential that you learn to prioritise the most important tasks that are actually going to earn you money. Focus on the crucial few tasks that bring the most rewards or add the most value to your business, and then let the rest of it take a backseat.
4. Not knowing who your ideal customer is
When it comes to marketing and selling your product, it’s vital that you have a good understanding of who your ideal customer is. In today’s world, it's not enough to simply try a broad approach to marketing, you need to understand your customers inside out. Take the time to do the necessary research to find out who you’re trying to reach and where you can communicate with them. Understanding your customer will also drive your marketing
strategy, playing a key role in helping you decide how best to engage with your target market, so that your efforts are well-received.
5. Not understanding social media for business
Gone are the days when your business could get by without making use of social media. But to get the most out of social media, you need to do more than simply have a presence. At the very least, you need a sound understanding of how each platform works, which ones to focus on, and how your business can use them to harness the marketing potential of the Internet. For example, running ads on social media is an easy and cost-effective way to get your business seen by you target market. Tackling something new may be intimidating and take time to learn, but if you’re not willing to adapt and embrace technological advances it can really hurt your business.
So, there you go a few mistakes to avoid when starting out. If you’d like some help in regards to what actually TO DO starting a business then grab your copy of our free Start A Business Toolkit, it outlines all the first steps you need to take to get your business off the ground. Get your toolkit here.
Have an amazing day and remember it is never too late to create a life you love!
Finding and nurturing balance in our lives is one of the most important things we can do. But it’s also one of the most challenging. All too often we find ourselves excelling in one aspect of our life, to the detriment of another. Do you find yourself neglecting your health when you’re going through a particularly busy time at work? Is a bad relationship eating up your energy, leaving you with very little to put into anything else? Whichever way the scales are leaning, it’s a good idea to start working at creating more balance in your life. Here’s a couple of steps you can take to help.
Define what balance is for you
It’s difficult to work towards something, without a good understanding of what exactly that thing is. A balanced life will look different to every person depending on where your priorities lie, so it’s important that you spend some time defining it for yourself. Focus on figuring out what works for you, without putting too much importance on what other people think or expect. Also remember that the right balance for you today, may not be the right balance for you tomorrow. As your priorities change, so too will your idea of a balanced life, so make sure that you’re redefining what makes you feel balanced as you go.
It’s a process
Remember that balance is not a final goal, but an ongoing process. You can’t expect to go through your entire life feeling entirely calm, relaxed and content. Try not to be too hard on yourself if you have a frantic and unbalanced day. Rather accept that life happens, and refocus your attention to be more balanced tomorrow. That’s why it’s important to view balance in your life over a period of time. That time period should be minimum a week, but could be as long as a month. By analysing your life in this way, you’ll be able to gain a far deeper understanding of your current state of balance and where your imbalances lie.
To keep balance in your life, you first have to figure out what boundaries you need and then stick to them. Remember to not only set boundaries for your work life, but for all aspects of your life such as your health, personal development and relationships. Think about what your non-negotiables are and what your nice-to-haves are, so that you know where you’re able to compromise when the situation calls for it.
Having a balanced life means being realistic, so make sure you’re not setting your expectations too high. In reality, you aren’t always going to be able to get everything done. And guess what? That’s okay. Life and circumstances are constantly changing and if we’re ever going to keep up we must be able to adapt. Be careful not to put too much pressure on yourself to excel in every area of your life, all of the time. Rather, simply refocus today on what you weren’t able to prioritise yesterday.
By being present and entirely focused on the task at hand, you’re sure to find that you’re more productive and able to get more out of your time. Being balanced doesn’t mean simply dividing your time evenly between your key priorities. It’s about truly being engaged in those activities, allowing yourself the opportunity to gain everything you can from the experience, whether at work or spending quality time with your family or friends.
As with many things in life, if you want it you have to go for it. It is the same with having balance in your life - you have to create it. I assure you that you are not alone in striving to create balance in life. In TAC She Sisterhood you will find the support from a lot of likeminded women on the journey to create a life and career where they thrive, come and join us!
Remember it is never to late to create a life and career you love.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.