I am addicted to making my own money. When a first time entrepreneur earns their first 50 bucks ON THEIR OWN WITHOUT A BOSS the feeling is empowering. Well, I can only speak for myself. :)
I have been a business owner in some capacity for eleven years. I absolutely love it and would not have it any other way. However in buying businesses, starting businesses and growing businesses I have learned so much. Many of the things I have learned I learned by making mistakes...plenty of them. I want to share the top three mistakes I made as an entrepreneur with you. Hopefully you can learn from them. Here are a few more tips on budgeting.
1. Don't think every opportunity is the best opportunity.
In the beginning I thought everyone that reached out to help me or support me were all "Team Lenise". Guess what? Many of them were not. People that I thought were "Team Lenise" would present to me what I thought are opportunities. I would jump at them without hesitation. After getting burned several times I realized that some (not all) get close to you because they want to see you fall. Some disguise that with what looks like an opportunity that you just can't pass up. Do me a favor: investigate, investigate and investigate again. Trust your intuition. If it seems too good to be true it very well may be too good to be true!
2. Create a budget and stick to it.
Whether you have created a budget for the year or for the month try your hardest to stick to it. Troubled financials is one of the biggest reasons that small businesses close. Every dollar counts...it all adds up! Don't be scared to switch vendors and price search. If you are going over budget research other vendors and make sure that you are getting the best price possible. I had an office supply vendor that I worked with for years; however I had to stop doing business with them after finding lower prices elsewhere. Loyalty is great, but business is business!
3. Don't ever get comfortable.
Business is booming. All that marketing you did has really paid off. Here is my tip: DO NOT STOP! Keep marketing and keep working hard like you did before anyone knew anything about you or your products/services. It is that same hunger that will keep you afloat. I remember when my phone in my first business (my law office) never rang. I did some effective marketing and for 2 months straight the phone rang off the hook. I got comfortable and way too confident. I stopped airing commercials as often. I figured I did not need it. Needless to say my phone did stop ringing and I had a drought for awhile. Once I started marketing again it picked back up. However had I kept the momentum going I wouldn't have experienced that drought.
There are so many other things that I have learned. However these stand out the most. Take the time to listen to stories from others. You can learn so much and avoid so many pitfalls if you just take the time to listen. I did not have the privilege of having a mentor when I started my first business. It was so competitive that everyone feared that the other person would take their clients. Silly, I know. Back then I did not know that business coaches, consultants, etc even existed. Had I known I could have saved myself lots of time, headache and money. But then again if I had known then I wouldn't be able to share with you!
What is your biggest lesson learned? Share below.