June 17th, 2010 Archive

Mistakes Worth Knowing

June 17th, 2010 by Liz in Financial Freedom

Mistakes are everywhere, and everyone makes them. Some get over them quickly and take all they can from the experience, while others wallow in failure and slowly fall into the abyss.

Don’t be afraid of mistakes and failures. Like it or not, they are, in fact, unavoidable. <g> We all need to accept that making mistakes is as normal part of living as breathing. When you learned to walk you didn’t do it perfectly the first time – you got up and fell down, then you got up again and again and again until you KNEW how to do it.  Then you moved on to running…

It just depends on how you look at things and how you deal with mistakes when you encounter them, as to whether the mistake will benefit or harm you in the long run.

Let me tell you, entrepreneurs aren’t spared from this experience – far from it – if anything we seem to make MORE than our fair share of mistakes. From the startup rookie to the most seasoned of experts, no one is exempted. The failures, though, tend to keep us on our toes and remind us to keep our eyes on the goals we’ve set for ourselves and our businesses.

But, just because having some failures is inevitable doesn’t mean that we need to make every rookie mistake in the book…  We CAN learn from the mistakes of others and get on with making some new and truly spectacular ones of our own …

 Below, are a few mistakes that small business owners should watch out for in protecting their money-making ventures. These were shared with us by a friend through one of our online magazines, Small Business CEO Magazine.

Source: GettyImages.com

 

Proceed With Caution From a small business owner who helps others start and manage their online businesses, Latoya Hackett, is an article that warns us about the 8 Detrimental Mistakes That Small Business Owners Make.  To protect your business, you should be aware of the following so you wouldn’t have to subject your livelihood to harm. They may seem trivial at first glance, but when left unchecked, they will certainly do more harm than initially thought.

Underestimating Your Project or Service Time

Murphy’s law – anything that could go wrong would go wrong – is a funny but non-amusing thing. Like it or not, it strikes at its fancy and spares no one. This is why you need to pad your deadlines and time. You can’t expect everything to go smoothly all the time. You must keep yourself from being burned out and leave room for unexpected issues that may arise. Observe how long you do a task or service and always consider that when committing whatever deliverable you have to give. It wouldn’t hurt to add a little extra time for good measure. 

Incorrect Pricing 

You shouldn’t sell yourself short. Instead, you should know exactly what costs come into your production and factor all aspects into your pricing. Include man hours, materials, miscellaneous and security fees if need be, etc. You don’t want to end up giving free service unknowingly, or discover that your production expense ended up costing more than what the client paid. Giving discounts and free service to loyal customers is a business perk you could give to maintain good relationships with your clients. But you can’t do it all the time, nor for everyone, or you’ll end up losing profit. For any business, that is definitely not good. <g>

Not Charging for All of Your Time and Cost
 

I know, sometimes you cut out some hours where you feel you did not really do what was asked. Or, you cut off some production time to make the client believe that you actually work faster than you really do. That’s all well and good sometimes, since you owe it to the client to give the task a 100 % and whatever slack you take goes into your own time as an added bonus. Again, doing this at times is okay, but in the end, you have to shape up and find out which tasks you should charge and which you could offer as a freebie. After all, you deserve to be compensated for the services you provide.

Not Receiving Timely Payments
 

In order for your business to keep operating smoothly, money should flow in and out at a steady pace. That wouldn’t happen if you lag in collecting payments or you let some of your clients get away with paying late. Always make sure to keep track of when you should deliver your invoices and be vigilant in monitoring the payments you receive. Opening a company credit card is also good for back up, just in case. 

No Business Systems or Procedures

Winging things and doing some tasks on the fly is good for honing your think-on-your-feet skills every once in a while. It doesn’t hurt to keep things interesting sometimes. <g> But if you don’t have procedures or systems to follow when doing tasks or producing deliverables, you could be wasting precious time in figuring out how to go about things every single time you have to do them. They can be simple or elaborate, as long as everyone is aware of and could follow them well. This would ensure a smoother operation within the company and could boost productivity in the process.

Buying Advertising  “Just Because”

Before spending money on anything, you should be aware of all the factors involved. You can’t just buy advertising without finding out how much it costs, how it could help your business, will they be shown to your intended market, the possible results it could bring and other information that would help you figure out if shelling out money is worthwhile. If you choose to go ahead with buying advertising, you should also have the capacity to check and assess its results to ensure that it was, indeed, a wise investment.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin 

The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out before you even get to enjoy your first paycheck. As a startup business owner, who may or may not be starting out with much, you might feel that you should cover everything to save up on costs. Or, you might feel the need to do all the tasks just to prove that you can. Well, stop it! <g> You must learn your limits and know where your strengths lie. Spend your time wisely and focus your attention on these strengths. Swallow your pride and accept your weaknesses, and find someone who is better at them than you are. This way, you’ll be saving time and effort and end up doing more for the business.

Not Getting Help Soon Enough

The thing with getting help is, you need to take action before it’s too late. After all, what use would the it be if the business has already gone up in flames. <g> As soon as you see the need for it, seek help. Do what you need to do, and don’t hesitate or second guess your decision. Finding help at the right time may just be the very thing that saves your business. 

Have you ever committed any of these common small business mistakes? How did you overcome them? Are there other mistakes that you want people to watch out for? Let us know through the comments section below. 

Keep your businesses safe everyone!
Liz