Starting out a home business? Tired of people ostensibly stuffing nauseating business rhetoric down your throat? Are all those erstwhile pearls of wisdom losing their sheen with each passing day?
Well, guess what! There some mistakes you may want to make while starting out. Yep, you read that right.
Granted, there are a few egregious mistakes that must be diligent avoided by one and all because they can be damaging to the entrepreneurial psyche, so we’re not even getting there.
That said, the tendency (or willingness) to make mistakes must not be downright abhorred because:
- They can soon unfold into one of your greatest, most reliable assets – experience, which rarely fails anybody.
- The tendency to dread the very thought of committing mistakes can enslave you into a debilitating mind-set of self-doubts, paranoia and reluctance.
- Over a prolonged period, the endeavor to ‘play it safe’ stifle your intrinsic creative inputs, which is not a good thing at all
Come to think of it; mistakes are not all that bad because they teach you a whole late. Better still, there can be such a thing as a good mistake! And when it’s planned and executed carefully, it can be the best decision you almost didn’t make!
#1 Not Quitting Your Job or Other Mundane Tasks
Let’s face it: for your home business to really take off, you’ve got to quit your day job eventually. If you never plan for this rather welcome mistake, it might never happen. Yes, play it safe and have alternative sources of income or savings when you’re starting out, but if you stay rooted within your comfort zone, how are you ever going to take that leap of faith?
Understanding the difference between a calculated risk and a wanton whim is what separates the good businesspersons from unsuccessful ones. When you start looking into the home business niche, you may want to plan both short-term and long-term, and that includes quitting your current job. The sooner you come to terms with it, the sooner you will be able to start living it and living well.
Your timeline should look something like this:
Home business idea → Business plan → Plan to quit your day job → Make savings → Quit your day job → Devote yourself to your business.
#2 Not Having Too Much Fun With It
A lot of people say you should do what you love. A smart businessperson will pick up a niche that they feel passionate about, BUT they will also know the difference between a business and a hobby. Being fiercely practical about your business plans is often seen to be a mistake, but this is a mistake that can hold you in good stead.
If you start pursuing a business idea only to satisfy your creative urges or to “try something new” you are never really going to be able to make much money off of it. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to know- and respect- the difference between fanciful ideas and old-fashioned hard work.
Work is still work, whether you are doing it at home or at an office space run by someone else. Sure, there are some good perks of starting your own home business, but you will soon realize that the very structures of the hard yard you detested are the ones that made sure you were being productive with your time.
#3 Not Being Your Own Boss
So you’re thrilled to break free from your fire-breathing, bonus-threatening boss; good, good. However, many aspirants get into the home business niche hoping to break away from the evils of traditional workplace environments, only to realise that you’re the one who loses out when there is nobody to keep your nose at the grindstone.
Now, some folks do have a penchant for self-discipline but it’s a fact that most people end up cutting loose and wasting crucial time and opportunities. Want to be your own boss? Wait until you can actually manage and discipline yourself.
In the meantime, make yourself accountable to those around you. Make your family, friends, clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, etc your temporary bosses. While you don’t have to keep everyone in the loop as far as your business plans and strategies are concerned, make sure you have a clear idea of what you owe to each person and fulfill that responsibility to the fullest.
#4 Not Specialising Just Yet
With all this pressure to “stand out” and “be unique”, a lot of newbie business-owners end up setting a ridiculously high bar for themselves.
A ‘good mistake’ would be to take a moment out and dethatch yourself, appreciating the fact that even globally renowned tycoons started from scratch and were mainly led by their passion to make a difference before whittling away the excesses and focusing on a particular niche.
You’ve got to have a background before you can start branding yourself an expert. That’s the kind of myopic vision that will keep you from learning different skills, meeting people across niches and discovering new passions. At this point, you need all the work, clients and references that you can get. If you’re a good cook, don’t try to become a “cupcake specialist” just yet. If you’ve a way with words, use them for articles and blogs, etc!
#5 Not Outsourcing Marketing
Marketing and advertising are like shiny keywords all new businesspersons flock towards like magpies. Instead of using up a chunk of your funds on marketing professionals, do it yourself.
Outsourcing will spend money you don’t have (or should save) and instead of hiring a team or investing in “foolproof” marketing tools and gimmicks, do your research and pick marketing techniques that suit your personality that you can do on your own.
You can count on countless classics like cold calls, door-to-door visits, flyers, e-mails, blogs, social media messages and giveaways to work well and you don’t have to pay someone else to do them for you.