You gotta’ love that exciting sense of empowerment and general enthusiasm when your side hustle takes a bit more shape. You know, when you maybe have made a few sales, or got some promising traction.
It’s a bubbly feeling, and super promising. But it’s easy to not be aware of the range of problems and challenges you’re about to face. So we’ve teamed up with NobleOak Insurance to bring you some common early stage business mistakes, and how to avoid them.
#1 You Don’t Have Enough Cash In (Your Own) Bank Account
Starting your own business can be a damn amazing feeling. It’s your own little baby, you’re super passionate about it and you can finally see yourself (actually) enjoying what you do for work. But beyond the early unbridled enthusiasm is the sad realism of actually earning a dollar for yourself. You chuck early profit into marketing, production, maybe you even make a couple of hires. But there’s a good chance you’re putting in hours of work, and it’s easy to put yourself last when it comes to pay.
And while you always need to make an early sacrifice when it comes to wages, make sure you have yourself front and centre when it comes to future earnings. You can’t survive on tuna and rice your whole life (not enjoyably, anyways). So try to make sure you take a bit of cash for yourself here and there, so you can actually afford rent and enjoy life outside of work.
#2 You Thought You Could Do It Yourself
When it’s your idea and your business, it’s easy to think no one else will understand your point of view or passion. And sure, it’s likely most people won’t have the same amount of enthusiasm as you (it is your project after all). But it’s important to slowly build a team of like-minded individuals that you can trust. Whether it’s people internally who can help you and your business get to where it should be, or even external friends, mentors or contractors who will make your life easier. Believe in yourself, but don’t think you have to go about it solo.
#3 You Haven’t Got a Back Up Plan(s)
Sometimes things just won’t go to plan. AKA your t-shirt producer goes AWOL, you don’t sign as many clients as you thought you would, or your delivery company isn’t consistent. Whatever it is, problems are never going to stop. And when you put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to business, yeah that’s not going to end well. So having contingencies is super important, and they don’t always have to be super detailed (especially when starting out). But just having some rough ideas about backup printers for your apparel company will mean you’re not completely screwed when you’re hit with a shock email or call.
You’re also not indestructible, sadly. Injuries happen, family stuff happens, and when you’re the heart and soul of your business, it’s important to cover yourself for when life hits you when you’re least expecting it. Don’t leave it to chance, because this is your passion.
#4 You Don’t Love The Process
Let’s keep it real and honest here, there’s always going to be shit days on the job. You’re not always going to be raving about your day to day, but actually loving the daily and weekly grind is so damn vital. If you get to the point where you consistently hate your days at work, it’s time to start asking some questions.
So make sure that before you go all in, that you relish the grind and hustle. Appreciate that the day-to-day process is your regular schedule if you ever go full time on your side hustle.
#5 You Are Too Focused On Being The Hero
Running a business may just be one of the most underrated tasks of the modern day world. Everyone wants to be a business owner these days, and being an entrepreneur has never been more in. So it can often become easy to think that you’re the numero uno, when in fact your customer/s are what keeps you living and breathing. Shift your thinking to focus more on them and how you can help them, make them happy, and ultimately, make their life easier or more enjoyable.
Having an ego is important, because you need the self-confidence and belief in your abilities. But when you let that negatively fester, you start to think that it’s all about you, when it’s quite the opposite.