5 Business Mistakes I made in 2013 - Hope you don't...

13 replies
This is something I wrote for myself less as resolutions and more as realizations after some introspection. These are things that have kept me from taking my business to its true potential.

Hope it helps someone out there as well :-)

1. Leaping before I looked

There's a certain level of leaping before you look that's good for your business. Some risks have to be taken if you wanna get somewhere. However, this shouldn't blind you to the consequences of the risks you're taking and the results you're expecting from your efforts.

I've set up sites, products and other things without thinking the business strategy through. Heck, I've started blogs for no damn reason except because it sounded like a cool idea at the time.

What that does is is that it WASTES time like nothing, and takes the focus away from the business - not cool.

Some due diligence is always good, and no matter how cool your idea appears to be at 2AM in the night - wait till the next morning before snapping up that 'I-just-have-to-get-this-now' domain that you thought about.

Saves time and money.


2. Being busy, when I actually wasn't

There's this innate tendency to say that you're busy with your business, when you're actually doing nothing productive (Facebook, Twitter being the usual suspects). This sucks - for family, for friends and for yourself. I'm guilty of being concerned with 'appearing to be busy' while I actually wasn't.

You end up taking time away from your friends and family by being busy being busy, and you do nothing for your business in the meantime either. I am changing this by keeping a check on what I do while am online, and making sure am not busy for no reason.


3. Not hiring enough help

That being said, I also made the big mistake of trying to do everything myself. There's only so much time everyday, and only so much energy you have to spare. Spend it learning something new (personally or for your business), try to come up with ways to build your business.

Let your workers/help/VAs worry about the little things.

"But I don't have enough money to..."
or
"I'll hire someone to work on Site X when I begin earning enough from Site Y"

Businesses don't run like that.

It's good to have the skills to set up a site, write an article, create some banners or video or whatever, but there will come a point where you hit a ceiling. To get past that, you've gotta hire others who are good at that thing - so that you can monitor them while you worry about growing your business.

This article really drove the point home for me:
Step-By-Step Guide: How I Doubled the Value of Websites | Flippa Blog | A blog about buying and selling websites, domains and apps.


4. Thinking everything will go right (or wrong)

I'm a very optimistic person. So it goes without saying that in my mind, everything - no matter how messed up the situation is - is gonna work out.

This is good, as long as you don't let it affect your ability to see failures as real failures. When your site or your product or your service is not working as it should be, any amount of being adamant that it will work out well if you just do X isn't gonna help. What is going to help is to see why it isn't working, and either solve that real issue or not continue down that route anymore (ties in to #1 - you shouldn't be where you are if that's the case)

The opposite is true. X doesn't work, Y is too tough, I could never do Z - these are nice excuses, but crappy business strategies. Get out there and do something. Even you cannot think it through (all the way of course), jump in and get things done. See what works, see what doesn't. Nothing is worse than not acting on your ideas.

5. Not generating enough traffic/leads

If you were looking for property in a mall, you'd take the front shop because: footfall. Online, you gotta figure out where traffic comes from. You need to be where your target audience hangs out.

This could be a forum, blogs, social networks - any place where your audience is, you gotta be there.

And it's not always gonna be free. In fact, I found that spending a few dollars to send targeted traffic to my page which DIDN'T buy was way better than trying to find a way to send free traffic to my page which bought sporadically. Why? Simply because the paid traffic showed me that my page actually sucks almost immediately.

That gives me more time to CHANGE and reduce those losses. BIG time saving. I've pledged to get big on lead generation and learn everything I can to drive more people to my page - any page for that matter.

Hope this helps someone out there too.

What are some other things you'd add to the list?

Sagar
#2013 #business #hope #made #mistakes
  • Profile picture of the author DNChamp
    Good points Sagar. With the new year here I am sure we all have things we want to do and should do. Hope we can keep it up lol.

    Good luck to your goals in 2014!
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    • Profile picture of the author zioncg
      Thanks for that post... good for you to get that out on paper to make the lessons stick. Good for others too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Karleen
    Thanks for the post Sagar. These are definitely my own issues to work on too. Another one I have is procrastination. That kind of ties in with being "busy" because it's all those little distractions like emails and facebook that cause me to put off getting my real work done.

    Sometimes it's just too tedious to create a post or do some blog commenting or try to get traffic to my site and I put it off while I "share" a cute dog photo on facebook. I'm definitely going to work on that this year.

    And I'm hoping to start doing some outsourcing this year. Like you said, we get to a certain point where we just can't do it all.

    So thanks for the good points for starting off the new year!
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    • Profile picture of the author Sagar Mehta
      Originally Posted by Karleen View Post

      Sometimes it's just too tedious to create a post or do some blog commenting or try to get traffic to my site and I put it off while I "share" a cute dog photo on facebook. I'm definitely going to work on that this year.
      Which I think is because it's a very easy way out.

      Hope you had a great new year btw, and all the best for 2014 :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author marclove
      meh... sad to say i have all 5 mistakes.. Started mid 2013 and jump straight without much research and knowledge. But its all good experience and am now how learning to not do those 5 listed.
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  • Profile picture of the author joshril
    I think #2 is very dangerous one...

    It's easy to say, "I'm working," when what you're doing doesn't provide any real value to your business.

    Been there...

    Setting time blocks to work in has helped me overcome this one a lot.

    No social media, no forum posting, no email, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author kolled
    Thinking that you're not ready to start a project because you need to look in to X first. That drags on to Y and before you know it, you're checking out Z. Time flies as you aim, aim and aim some more without actually pulling the trigger. Pretty pathetic scenario that I've been guilty of severally.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Yep, there are so many ways to mess up...for me it's all about focus.

    When you are able to harness the power of your mind for blocks of 30-minutes a few times a day to be totally focused on achieving a desired result, what you can accomplish is rather incredible.

    For example, if you have a plan that starts with finding your ideal business and you do nothing but focus on the steps required to accomplish that task for short periods of time - NOTHING else...you will accomplish the goal.

    BTW - this works no matter what you are trying to accomplish, picked this one as staying focused on execution only happens if you are convinced you are headed in the right direction with the right vehicle...doubt is the spark toward losing focus. Take away doubt and you can focus more easily.

    Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author GJG
      Valuable reflections Sagar.
      Jeff made an excellent point re. 30 minute blocks. I work best if I rotate tasks, spending 30 minutes at a time. Changing activity (and focus) after 30 minutes jolts your mind and allows you to refocus on the next task with renewed energy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    Absolutely brilliant post. You've made some really insightful posts and I totally agree with many of them. I especially agree with the fact that their comes a point where you have to hire in help. Period. I'm at that stage now and I'm sourcing article writers, some are good and some terrible but you don't know unless you test them out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Number 1 is my most mistake... and the other one? busy watching korean dramas online (soooo bad habit)..
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  • Sometime you have to come out with big loss to actually lean something that will make your business 10 time better. I think lean from your mistake is the best way to lean because if you don't make that mistake yourself you will never listen it's like a kid playing with fire don't matter how many time you her or he don't play it they will never listen until they get fire burn for them self
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  • Profile picture of the author IanM723
    Sagar

    Great Post! I think every business and entrepreneur needs to stop and review their business. I also think the big take home point is definitely to WRITE IT DOWN! I often think about one aspect or another of my business and where I am but I think writing it down gives it substance and makes it much easier to review.

    Thanks again, Sagar...Great Stuff! Good Luck in 2014!

    Ian
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