The Newly self-employed tend to make many mistakes.
Here are 10 stupid mistakes that are often made be newly self-employed people.
Don't make the same mistakes.
Being self-employed will usually allow you to make your own schedule. If you have a Dentist appointment then you can be sure that you will be able to make it and not have to worry about your work schedule. The problem with many newly self-employed people is that they may decide to lounge on the couch watching Television instead of actually working. You need to get into the habit of actually working hard. If you struggle with this then it may help to pretend that you have a boss and imagine what he would tell you to do.
When you work for yourself it is easy to get distracted. Instead of actually working you spend your day on Facebook, checking your email, playing Angry Birds, and reading Wikipedia articles. You need to force yourself to work and eliminate as many distractions as you can. It is vital that you prioritize the work you need to do in order to make a profit.
8. No Business Plan or Mission StatementCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yodelanecdotal/3329778720/in/photostream/
You need a business plan, or at least a mission statement. Regardless of how small your business is a business plan and a mission statement will help you to keep you business on track. We can often get distracted and focus on aspects of the daily grind that in reality have no bearing on our business. Expand you customer base, but keep a watchful eye on your business plan to ensure you do not shy away from your core business. Business Plans can however need to be re-written and changed around in some cases. Only you know what is best for you self-employment, however you do need to have at least a mission statement you can refer to and also get inspired from.
7. No Work Area Away From the FamilyCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chainsawpanda/3214876/in/photostream/
If you work from home it is easy to get distracted by your spouse and children. It is imperative that you set up a work area or office that is dedicated solely for your work. When you are working your friends and family need to understand that they should not ever disturb you unless it is an emergency. It is hard to work when every 5 minutes you kids come in and need something from you. If you worked cooking burgers at McDonald’s your family wouldn’t be coming back into the kitchen area every few minutes, so they should not do it if you work for yourself, regardless of whether you work from home or in a location somewhere else.
6. Hating Your BusinessCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/2369412952/in/photostream/
If you are self-employed then it is going to be important as to if you enjoy your niche or not. If you hate carpet, hate manual labor, and hate chemical smells then you will hate yourself if you open up a carpet cleaning business. If you love your job then you will be more apt to work hard and still be able to enjoy yourself while you work.
5. Selling to Friends and FamilyCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4605621230/
If you start a business where you will be direct selling to customers, then you need to have a potential customer base that does not include your friends and family. If you start of by hounding your family to buy your products they will begin to avoid you and hate your business. If on the other hand you begin to sell your quality product to customers, your friends and family will also be more apt to buy products from you. If your friends and family ask you to buy your product without you trying to “hard sell” your products to them, then they are much more likely to use positive word of mouth to spread your products to even more customers. Positive word of mouth is one of the most valuable and effective ways of getting free advertising for your business.
4. Not AdvertisingCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/klif/4158435690/
Many new business owners will not advertise in order to conserve their cash flow. Although saving money and not wasting it is vital, you still have to advertise. How can customers find you if you do hot advertise? Make sure you also advertise in a venue and method that will work for your business. If you build webpage’s for local bars, then you obviously do not need to Advertise during the Super Bowl. Craigslist works for many businesses and it is free, however you may find that you get more results by paid advertising such as in your local newspaper.
3. High Rent OfficeCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/http2007/440720582/in/photostream/
If you are a new tech company that consists of only a few employees, then there is no need to rent extremely high-priced office space in Downtown San Francisco. You can open up you office in an area where the rent is cheap. You are not a retail store so you do not have to have prime space. You simply need a working space and by saving money you will give yourself better odds of succeeding by not being undercapitalized.
2. Quit After FailingCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcgraths/3461327826/in/photostream/
Most successful business owners have had multiple failures in the business world before they became successful. Instead of looking at a business failure as a loss, you should instead be looking at failure as a learning experience and then move on to your next business and you will have much better odds of succeeding. If you fail working for yourself then you should not quit. You may have to go work for someone else for awhile, but never give up on working for yourself. You need to have not only a good idea for a business, but also the confidence to know that it truly can work.
1. Under-FundedCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/refractedmoments/223052548/
If you are under-funded then the odds of your business failing will skyrocket. If you cannot afford to buy advertising, then your business may not get any customers. If you cannot afford to upgrade your web server when you website becomes more popular than your business may fail because the website will crash and that will lead to no customers and no sales. It is extremely important that you have enough capital to keep your business running smoothly.
If you plan on quitting your job and simply working from home as a 1 man operation it is still important that you have some money in the bank saved up. If you are stressing about how to pay your monthly bills then your odds of having a successful career as a self-employed person will collapse.
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