Avoid These Big 7 Small Business Mistakes

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I am a self-taught web designer and webpreneur.

Back in 2002, I didn’t even have a computer. I’d just spend more hours at the radio station I was working at and manage my small web site.

Everything I know today comes from trial and error.

And err I did.

Gretchen from Retired by 40 Blog was kind enough to give me the chance to share my story.

From pricing myself too low to not setting a proper budget, I did it all.

All these mistakes allowed me to grow my small business more, get better clients and also do my share to provide for our family.

I hope you like the article and we’re both looking for your own experiences and tips.

14 COMMENTS

  1. this is the first time I have visited your blog and to admit I am impressed and is a subscriber to your blog now. Read your post on retiredby40blog and left my comment there.

  2. I read your story over at retiredby40blog and it was awesome, as usual 🙂

    I was surprised to read your point of view on pricing yourself too low. I always thought that was something every new entrepreneur kinda has to do in the beginning, to attract clients, since a new business doesn’t usually have a huge portfolio. Your point of view, however, is an eyeopener!

    • Well .. it depends.

      See, when I first started getting web design clients, I had a well paying job, so I actually priced myself pretty well. I didn’t have to worry about getting jobs, I had my salary.

      Then, when I lost my job, I had to accept almost any pay for this. Let’s say I did the same work even for 15% of my normal rates. Which is indeed low.

      As soon as I started gaining some more traction, I was able to refuse to work for small pay and get back to a better rate. Still pretty small, compared to others, but enough for me to earn my living.
      Ramona recently posted…The 11 Top Benefits of Having a Company BlogMy Profile

  3. I went over to the other site to read your story. I could relate to so many things you have brought out. It is not always easy when you want to be your own boss but the payout is worth it. Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it just means you discovered something that will not work.

  4. With your business understanding and expertise after years of trial and error and experience, you have gained a lucrative business in what you really enjoy doing. And provide tutorials.

    I have attempted with several blog sites of my own. But they’re left ‘desolate’. Instead, I’ve put much time on freelancing, editing and proofreading. Do you think it’s rather illogical not to look after my own blogging website, abandoned and should have developed one as a business venture? Today, I promised my daughter to co-write with her on her writing website she joined in. And that, I will need to write and fill in more content with her. At the same time, enjoy the time with her while building her writing group. Well, things are quite slowing down.

    Suggestions?

    • I did the exact same thing, I started developing blogs in the past, just to abandon them later on.

      However, the one thing that gets me going right now is following my own rule! I made it a rule to write at least 2-3 articles a month! I do my best to stick to my plan and achieve this goal each month.

      My plan is to make money from blogging, I don’t expect to get rich or anything, but if others can do it, then so can I! And if there’s anything I learned from reading this blog (and other similar ones), it’s that perseverance and focusing on your goals are important!

    • I think for many freelancers (both designers, such as I am, or content writers, such as you) a good blog is actually a GREAT promotional tool and a reliable portfolio as well. Instead of having to link potential clients to all kinds of third party web sites, you just send them to your blog. It can earn you some advertising revenue as well and turn at least some of your readers into paying customers. I’d say get back on the blogging saddle 🙂
      Ramona recently posted…The 11 Top Benefits of Having a Company BlogMy Profile

  5. You definitely caught my attention with mistake number 1. I been wanting to start my online business but never had the guts to study more about the options available. Now, that I have incurred some debt, I am forced to start working. I guess, starting is a challenge in itself. Thanks for this wake up call post.

    Just a question about rates. I would think that it is logical to price yourself low when you’re just starting out. When is the right time to increase your rates and by how much?

  6. There’s the saying “everybody makes mistakes” but when it comes to your own business it’s always better to avoid them! Big or small, a mistake is a mistake.

  7. These “big small” business mistakes (and lots of others, I’m sure) will affect many entrepreneurs for years to come!

    I’ve already done quite few of them:
    not starting sooner: check!
    not keeping an eye on my budget: check!
    pricing myself too low: check and doubleckeck!!
    …and so on and so forth.

  8. One lives and learns, that’s what I always say!

    I’ve also made mistakes (a lot of them) when I first started freelancing. I’m not sorry I didn’t start earlier, there was no way of knowing what earning potential freelancing has.
    However, for me the opposite happened. I made the mistake of delegating some of the tasks to others but failed to find the right people for them. I do admit I tried to save a buck when hiring, but never will I ever make this same mistake again. Maybe you could write an article about how to find the right people to help you out? 😀

  9. Starting an online business begins with filling a need and building credibility, but the factors that go into making your online business a smashing success don’t stop there.

    To enhance your shot at success, try these tips for online business-
    1. Not worrying about money.
    2. Undervaluing what you’re selling.
    3. Giving away too much and getting nothing in return.
    4. Underestimating the obsession and drive it takes to succeed.

    I hope this will help you out. 🙂

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