business mistakes to avoid

Business mistakes will be made but you can avoid these ones easy enough.

I hate making mistakes, especially business mistakes. But wow, I’ve made a lot over the years. Nothing too major, nothing too drastic. Lives were never in danger. So all is well.

As we head towards the 2016 finish line, I’m spending a lot of time in reflection. I’m thinking about what was good, what was bad, and what was down right ugly about this year. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my finest year on record.

And I don’t want to have a repeat of it in 2017. There are things I would do different. There are things I will do different. I’m not waiting for the clock to strike midnight on January 01, 2017. I’ve already started; I’m moving forward. I know it won’t be 100% error-free but there are things I will avoid.

If you’re new to business or old hat, here are the 3 business mistakes I made in 2016 that I’ll never make again.

Business mistake #1 – Money misconceptions

I spent way too much of my hard-earned cash flow this year. I put everything on my credit card and now I have a hefty bill to pay. I’m not saying that some of it was not spent well, but I think I would be less stressed if I did not have such a huge debt right now. Just before Christmas too. How lovely. It’s so easy to get sucked into that ‘you gotta spend money to make money” scenario. And honestly, it’s usually people selling a “must-have” product who say those things. Sure, you do need to spend money in business. Just be sure to spend it wisely (because I didn’t always do that in 2016).

My advice: Think long and hard before over-spending on your business. Ask yourself this: will my business go on without this product or service right at this very moment? (this is especially pertinent to freelancers)

Business mistake #2 – Following the pack

There is a real follow-the-leader “thing” happening online these days, especially on Facebook. I have joined so many private groups and clubs that I cannot keep up with them. And some of them are PAID groups. Sure, it’s a good place to share information and “meet” your tribe, but it’s also easy to compare yourself to others and feel like you’re just not good enough to compete. I joined one group as a way for more business leads. I got a couple okay leads and one small, one-off job that didn’t even cover the membership fees.

My advice: Don’t pay for social media group memberships. There are enough free groups and chances are, the members will be similar or the same. 

Business mistake #3 – The wrong reasons

I’m an over-thinker. I don’t make decisions quickly or without deep consideration. But, I did make a few rash decisions in 2016 that turned around and bit me in the arse. Hard.

Like the time I took a copywriting “test” job without near enough information about the client. I needed to write a web page in less than 24 hours (overnight, mind you) with little to no understanding about the company. I mean, was I mad? What on earth was I thinking? I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking I would have an “in” with the company. They dangled a position in front of me and I was starving for it. But, of course without asking enough questions, I failed their little “test”. The position was also going to pay me peanuts so I don’t know why the heck I wanted it in the first place. It was a rare occasion where I wasn’t thinking about money.

Sometimes, the Universe does have your back though. This one turned out well but I tell you, I was tormented for weeks over this mistake. Now, there’s no way I would ever change MY rules to impress the big-wig of any company.

My advice: Never bend your business processes or policies, no matter how big and shiny the potential client may be. 

I could actually write 3 more business mistakes that I made in 2016 but enough is enough. I’m learning from these ones and pushing forward.

Did you have any big business blunders in 2016? Let’s talk about them in the comments.