If you’re reading this, then I would like to congratulate you for taking the path of entrepreneurship! It’s obvious that you have taken the step towards freedom and creating your own extraordinary life. Good for you!
With hard work and dedication, I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll be swimming with the big fish of entrepreneurs soon!
For those of you who can’t swim, um….well…(thinking of another analogy)…oh how about, you’ll be stomping with the big dog entrepreneurs? Too dated?! Oh well, I tried…I digress.
FIRST, let’s talk about what NOT to do.
I have coached and consulted with many first time entrepreneurs and have previously started two business on my own that were a flop (womp, womp).
My job is to make sure, you start out ahead of the game and dominate this business, entrepreneurship, branding thing a lot quicker than I did when I first started.
I’m sure right now you are UBER excited to get started that you are just itching to go out on the corner and shout from the top of your lungs...
“HEAR YEE, HEAR YEE, COME ONE, COME ALL - MY BUSINESS IS OPEN.”
You know what you have to offer, everyone wants it and the flood will start any minute. That sounds great and I’m glad that you have that motivation because you’re going to need it. I can identify with your enthusiasm to getting started but like the saying goes, “this is a marathon, not a sprint.”
I, along with many other entrepreneurs, learned that the hard way. Rushing to start a business is not the way and half-assing won’t get you to the top.
What will help propel your entrepreneurship is consistency and knowledge. I believe...well I KNOW the GREATEST step I took in my business was knowledge.
The more I knew, the better I was at all aspects of running my business. It changed me tremendously.
Picture it (in Sophia’s voice) your riding in a luxury car, fully equipped with GPS and a full tank to get to my destination. Yeah that will be you, unlike me - the girl on a bike, lost with a paper map. What?! Too much? Well, you get the gist.
This series of mistakes will identify six of the most common mistakes made by first time entrepreneurs based on my experience and the reports of other entrepreneurs.
You will be so glad that you've read this because the information that will be revealed throughout this series will enlighten you about the do’s and dont's of entrepreneurship. So without further ado…let’s get started.
MISTAKE #1 - NOT USING DATA
If you’re anything like me, statistics was not your favorite subject in high school or college.
The only reason I was in the class is because it was required, otherwise you wouldn’t have caught me anywhere near numbers of the sort. The only numbers I ever cared to understand were the one’s in my bank account, otherwise they were useless.
By thinking this way, I did myself a TREMENDOUS disservice. Not only is it beneficial to know the numbers for my product but it can also help you earn money. Let’s discuss.
PROBLEM: NOT KNOWING WHAT’S WORKING
Even before starting my business(es) or even thinking about venturing down the entrepreneurship road, I would tell all my clients, you can’t keep doing the same thing, expecting to get different results. Yo, you have got to tweet that!
It’s insane to think that you can but here’s the kicker….you have to at least know what you're doing is or is not working to determine if you need to change your approach.
How will you know?
Well, when I started I have to say that I didn’t ask myself this question and just assumed everything I was doing was working.
Smh! I was totally lost.
I mean, I knew about data and that I probably should do it, but the thought of having to read and learn how to do that was exhausting. So like many people, or first time entrepreneurs who get overwhelmed, I kept pushing it back until I eventually hit a brick wall with a painted scenery.
What Amber?!…yeah, I know…just wanted to make sure you were still with me.
Though the view was great, I had nowhere else to go and had to face the music.
Side Note: Where does that saying come from - face the music? Like, why would I face sound waves as if it was a hard thing to do? Okay, again, I digress.
What I’m trying to say is there’s no way around it. You have to know if what you’re doing is working and the only way to find that out is by taking data *insert dread music here*.
I thought taking data was only for college and that I would rarely if ever need it in my adult life. Ha! So much for thinking.
Many entrepreneurs already know that it’s all about numbers and you have to adapt to that mindset. You will have to know if a product is selling or how many followers you acquired from a single post.
SOLUTION: USE DATA
Using data will help you know what’s working and what’s not instead of trying to wing it like me and several other entrepreneurs I have worked with in the past.
Creating a website is one of the first things you will do when you make the decision to move forward as a laptoplifestylepreneur - hahaha, I love coming up with these.
The second thing you should do is track your traffic. You can do this with Google Analytics.
Google Analytics are entrepreneurs best friend. It helps you get to you know your traffic by keeping tabs on:
- how many visits you had on a particular day to your site
- how long someone typically stays on your site
- what are you best blog post
- even let you know if you website is loading slow
Who has time to wait for a website to load? Not me!
You don’t have to pay anyone to teach you. You can teach yourself and learn at your own pace. Did I mention this service is FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! As entrepreneurs, we love the word free - in most cases. That's another topic for another time.
Here's an example of what your Google Analytics dashboard will look like once you get started.
There’s also trackers like:
Just as tracking your success on your website, you want to track your success on social media.
Yeah, it’s just social media but you still have to remember this is your business therefore you should treat it as such. Entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, Womenpreneurs, or all those in between aren’t just posting things to post them.
They have actually taken time to think about what to post and you want to make sure it’s actually being effective and drawing in the audience that you seek.
For instagram post, I like to know what my audience is responding to and what they’re not feeling. I accomplish this by using iconosquare.com.
Here’s a picture of what my Iconosquare looks like:
It tells me how many followers I have gained and lost over a certain period of time. It also gives me optimization for particular hours to post on certain days and my comment rate. There’s an entire list of information you can get from this bad boy for FREE! I love it!
Other free options for social media include:
*Note: I am not affiliated with any those mentioned above. This is simply my go to list and a list of products I have read about or heard good reviews.
Stay tuned for the next second mistake most commonly made with start ups and entrepreneurs.