Mistakes everyone makes and how to avoid them

Starting a business is never easy and it’s often not a straightforward process. There are lots of things to think about, major decisions to make and a lot of pressure to feel like you’ve got to get it right. Off the bat, there are two major things to remember. Firstly, everyone makes mistakes. Secondly, you WILL make mistakes. You can plan all you like but everyone makes mistakes and that’s totally fine.

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Now whilst making mistakes is ok, obviously you don’t want to be making a lot of them. So there might not be a fool-proof plan to freelance success, there are a few very common mistakes that are easily avoided.

Forgetting to plan

Swept up in the fun of a new idea, it can be easy to push the planning part aside. It might be boring but without that solid plan, you’re jumping into the dark. So do some research and get stuck in with a business plan, that covers the financials and marketing.

No goals

Repeat after me: “goals are good”! They can give a business direction and really help to focus your activities. Make sure that any goals you set are SMART goals (specific, measurable, relevant and time-based).

Undervaluing what you’re selling

We’ve already written a whole blog on this (link), but it can be easy to under-price yourself. It’s a dangerous path to take as it undermines you’re overall value and it can be hard to bring the price up later. So start as you mean to go and value yourself properly from the start!

No idea who you’re customer is

Understanding who you’re selling to is vitally important to your business. It’s not enough to just think you’ll advertise a little, it’s crucial to understand exactly who you’re trying to reach, where they are and how they’ll react to marketing activities.

Being afraid of marketing

There are tons of different types of marketing but there’s no need to be scared! A little research can go a long way and once you know the best type of marketing for your business and target audience, get cracking! Never assume that business will magically come to you.

Overspending

Starting a business is an investment, but it doesn’t always have to be a large one. There are usually offers for smaller businesses and plenty of free apps, programmes and help out there when you’re getting started. Maybe hold off from putting in that order for a company jet for now...

Not reinvesting

Whilst you don’t want to overspend you don’t want to forget to reinvest in your business either. Without a little spending and reinvestment it can be really difficult to push your business forwards.

Doing it all by yourself

You might be working on your own for yourself but it doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. There is lots of help out there and learning to tap into it can help free up your time for other business activities that require your expertise.

Lack of commitment

As we said at the start we all make mistakes, but make sure that the fear of making one doesn’t bog you down. Running your own business means there are times where you’ll have to be decisive and commit to ideas quickly. It’s all part of the process for making your business successful.

Avoiding new technology

This one is a little bit of a no-brainer. Technology moves incredibly quickly and harnessed in the right way it can be incredible for your business. For example, you might still be doing your invoices in a long old template in a spreadsheet. When you could just be doing it in Albert and saving yourself a whole lot of time and money. Simple really.  

Lucy Watson