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Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid as a New Business Owner

1. Not focusing on your target customer

- It’s one thing to have an business idea in mind, but all business ideas need a business plan. One thing that needs a lot of planning is targeting your ideal audience or customer.

I’m good at a lot of things, so naturally, when I started out I wanted to sell a variety of things. I quickly learned that as a new business, you’ll need a specific interest to stand out.

In my opinion, clicking on a website with a huge variety can be overwhelming. Don’t get my wrong, I love me some Shein! They‘re a large variety retailer, but they also have built a name for their brand over time. They say pick a niche, but there are people who make it work selling a variety. What I did was separate my interest or niches. I'd never want my accessory shop to share the same webpage or social media page as my travel business.

Focusing on an “ideal“ or “target customer“ allows you to make huge decisions like logo, name, tone & speech, and etc. If you’re targeting upscale customers, you might think about a logo that is very clean & straight to the point (look at most designer logos (LV, Fendi, Gucci, etc.) they’re really minimal). If you’re selling club wear or a wig stylist, it may be fitting to call your customers or clients “sis” or something similar.

Of course, not every customer will not fit the “target customer” profile. However, it’s still necessary to know who you’re targeting.

2. Mixing Business with Personal

- Social media has become apart of many of our everyday lives. Social media apps used to be mainly for personal use. Over the years, social media has paved a way for new and experienced business owners to earn more revenue & gain access to more opportunities.

It‘s important to understand why you need a business page for each app that you utilize. For one, do you really want your customers or potential customers judging you off your day to day life, or for mainly on how you run your business?

Personally, I don't share much intimate life details on social media so I wouldn't care if customers added me however; it just seems more professional if someone asks for your page info & it’s an actual business page. Business pages are free.

It also ensures your previous audience isn’t bombarded with too many “new business“ post.

To be honest, not everyone wants to see business posts all day.

It will benefit you more in the long run if you build your business page with the intentions of actually connecting and reaching your audience, instead of building with the idea in mind of just having a large following.

Lastly, business pages offer insights to analytics. You need to constantly pay attention to analytics to understand how & what you can change to continue to grow your new business.

3. Engaging in Negativity with Customers

- You should minimize engaging in any negativity regardless, but especially when it has to do with your business. Down talking customers is never a good look. Remember, you never know who is looking at your profile(s), & unfortunately some people will exclude you from certain opportunities based on how you carry yourself on social media.

Despite how popular unprofessionalism is displayed on the internet these days, in real life, people still rather work with professionals. Carry yourself like a professional when it comes to your business.

4. Keeping Track of Inventory and Finances/ Calculating Profit

- If you’re selling any physical products, you’ll more than likely need an inventory system. Inventory is very important. You need to know how much of each item you have available at all times.

You can create your own or use pre made templates that are available for use. Microsoft Office has free templates (Excel for sure).

If you’re someone that rather write things down physically, Amazon has inventory books. I’ll include my Amazon Influencer Link & you can check out the one that I’ve used in the past.

Check the "Business Essentials" tab, once you accessed the link:

Another thing is to begin tracking finances as early as possible. I highly recommend getting a business bank account & keeping those funds separate from your personal. I suggest this for two reasons. For one, it allows you to calculate the profit/loss easily. If your business funds are being deposited into your personal account, it becomes complex to go through the charges/credits & determine how much is business vs. personal.

Second, you‘ll be able to pay for business expenses straight from the profit. Once you pay for your expenses, you’ll be able to determine how much your pay will be.

Another reason to do is to easily provide proof of income when applying for anything that may be based off how much money you make.

Being a business owner is the most difficult when starting out because you can make $1k in a day & then not make sales for weeks. Be prepared for rainy days, it is very necessary.

There is no money coming, if you’re business isn’t generating revenue. With that being said, it’s your business, you determine everything. Paying yourself can be complex, simply because you need to calculate reinvesting in inventory & other business expenses. If you don’t reinvest often, overtime your business is vulnerable to failure.

I'll take a pay cut to ensure all business bills, fees, and obligations are paid in full.

Don't expect to make a huge profit starting out, this is a building process.

Instead focus on the type of inventory your investing in. Be sure it's something you can at least see a profit on.

The best inventory is items you can make a great return on. If you’re selling lashes & you’re target price is $10 per set, you need to make sure you're not paying more than $3 including shipping per pair. This gives room to give discounts as needed (running sales periodically), give sets to influencers, use a pair for creating content, etc.

Whatever you sell, be sure you can charge 2-3x the total cost. Profit margins will be different for different industries.

No matter what, if you’re not making a profit, it’s more difficult to be successful.

5. Not Expecting to Always be Working on Your Business

- When you’re building a business from scratch, it’s literally like a baby. It needs plenty of time and attention, not to mention money. The time & attention part is critical. If you don’t show up for your business, there is no room for growth.

I’m speaking on running a business with minimal help. You’ll soon realize you wear many hats: influencer, marketing director, content creator, bookkeeper, sales associate, customer service, inventory specialist, & more! It’s a revolving job. As long as you're dedicated and you also love what you do, you’ll keep pushing on the days that it gets tough.

Being a business owner has its ups and downs. It’s a learning process for sure! The point of starting a business, is to continually build it up.

If you don't take anything from this, take this: show up for your business everyday.

I hope you’re able to avoid these top mistakes and take your business to the next level sooner than expected 💓

Drop a comment for more business content & tips :)

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