The road of entrepreneurship isn't paved with daisies, but many obstacles. As a business owner, you're bound to make mistakes. In the three years I've been in business, I've made some good decisions, but I've also made many mistakes.
While mistakes can make your business turbulent, they are also an opportunity to take a step back and learn for the next time around. Now when I have a problem in my business, I feel more equipped to handle it with the learnings from my past experiences.
Here are three common mistakes many founders make.
1. Hiring the wrong people.
When I first started my business, I hired a few people who promised pots of gold and only delivered rocks. When you're starting a business, it's easy to hire an employee or contractor who makes great sounding promises. When hiring, instead of only listening to their words, make sure they can also perform.
Now when I hire, I do a paid test project with the candidate to see if we are the right fit for one another. With this test you'll be able to see his or her working style, communication, and delivery. And if someone doesn't workout, it's okay to let them go. It can be hard after you've built rapport with someone, but if they aren't delivering on their promises it could be time to part.
2. Not having contracts in place.
When I was first doing business, I was excited to start projects and worried about the details later. Over the years, I've learned that having a contract and scope of work outlined before work commencement will not only help keep expectations aligned, but ensure you're also covered if problems arise.
When you first are starting your business you might not have funds for legal. But once business gets going it's important to invest in legal council to ensure all the contracts and documents you're sending have you covered.
3. Avoiding your finances.
I'll be honest, I hate looking at finances. I dislike negotiations. And I would rather worry about the financial details later. My favorite part of business is doing the work and prefer to not get bogged down in numbers. This was my biggest mistake because many times, I didn't make the right budgeting decisions. If something excited me I'd say "sure, we have the budget for this!" without actually being able to make an informed decision.
As a business owner, it's crucial that you have a comprehensive overview of your financial state to make informed decisions for the future. If you don't like this part, hiring an accountant or bookkeeper can help keep things on track. Learn this lesson now, and not three years later.
Running a business isn't easy--but by learning from your mistakes can help you grow for years to come.