Female Startup Club

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My 7 worst business mistakes that cost me thousands of dollars

by Female Startup Club
May 6th 2022

Hey and welcome back to the show! It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl.

In this solo episode, I will talk you through a few, just a few, of the many mistakes I’ve made with my different a... More

Mhm Oh, hello. Welcome back to the show. Today. I'm tuning in from sunny Geneva where I'm here, just visiting my family and I thought that today I would do something a little bit different. I would talk you through a few, just a few of the many mistakes that I've made with my different attempts at business. And let's be honest, this is just a handful of mistakes. So these are the ones that I'm not emotionally scarred from that I can actually talk about, but there is probably another handful that I've totally blocked out of my mind and I'm not ready to talk about. But here we go. If you can relate to any of these, I feel you they suck and we need to talk about this stuff more than what I think we do. So let's get straight into it. This podcast is brought to you by Clay vo the email and SmS platform built just for e commerce brands.

Start sending beautiful branded emails in minutes with a free account at Clay vo dot com. That's K L A V I Y O dot com. Female startup precincts. Number one don't build a business that you don't actually enjoy. So you might sit there and be like, yeah, this isn't a big deal. It's not really a big mistake, but it actually is and it's a really important one. And let me tell you why time is passing us by yesterday, literally yesterday. The pandemic just started and now We're like halfway through 20, It is so nuts. We should be enjoying life not hating it. We spend so much of our life working that it may as well be on something that lights a fire in our belly and gets us excited to hop out of bed. If you've listened to the show for a while, you'll probably know that my now husband was first and foremost, actually my business partner for a different business when we met the short story is that he asked me to join his business and build the content agency arm to fund the development of the tech platform.

And while it was totally the right move, especially in that turns out he was actually the love of my life. The actual day to day wasn't right for me. And I remember this really clear moment that triggered me to change paths and do what I just wanted to do and do something for myself. I was sitting on stage, it was tech week in London, this is like Many years ago, probably 2017, I would say. And I'm talking on a panel with all these legit tech founders who are building these crazy businesses and we're talking about the tax benefits of bringing a business from Australia to the UK. And I was just so out of my depth and not in a good way, not in the way that inspires you to take the challenge head on and get better at it. I was like sitting there thinking, I actually just don't like this, I don't want to do this and this isn't the right thing for me. And you know, at that time I was in my twenties, it's all a learning, It got me to this point, yada yada yada fine, great.

But now I'm also just so laser focused on making sure that I'm happy with what I'm doing and I check in with myself to make sure what I'm doing is right for me still, I just don't think that it's worth losing years of my life on building something that I don't enjoy. So this is a mistake. I'd say it cost me more time rather than actual hard cash but still a mistake nonetheless and worth talking about number two doing stuff driven by money more than passion. And this is kind of similar to the first learning, but I've got a different example for you and this one is actually more of a tough one to swallow because I'm going to bring up the non ALc brand and I was so genuinely excited about the non alcoholic wine company. But in the end and with a little room for hindsight now, I think that this project was leaning more towards building this exciting brand.

It's going to be so glamorous and we're gonna have this huge acquisition, I'm going to document the whole thing rather than being something that I was truly passionate about when it came to like my core being so obviously we wanted to build the brand, we wanted to document the process right through to the acquisition and I am still so proud of the actual brand, the visual brand identity that we built. It was just so much fun, so cool. And that's what I really got swept up in. But I didn't have that burning passion or connection to the non alcoholic wine industry. So that's just like a personal kind of realization that I had for myself and obviously every mistake is an opportunity. I learned so much. Last year I learned so much about direct consumer. I learned so much about the wine industry. I learned so much about developing a brand fine, great! But I also lost about $30,000 in cash and that sucks.

Really, really sucks which leads me to number three, creating solutions for problems that no one really needs or would pay for. This is one I don't have a personal example for, I'm sure I actually do have somewhere tucked inside my brain, but like not off the top of my head. It's just something that we hear a lot about and I've spoken to with so many women on the show, Most startups fail. That's a hard fact and I think like for me, what happens is I'll have this little light bulb go off in my head, I'll think it's totally genius. I'll like run a million miles racing down the road, go off on a tangent, spend money, do all these things and then just realize after the fact that maybe people don't care enough to actually want to pay money for this solution. And so it's one of those things I think like if you're starting a business, make sure you seriously do the research, make sure you prove out your concept with your ideal target customers before you go all in.

It's such a critical mistake that we see kind of time and time again in these digital times. Almost all consumers tend to search online for a product or brand before making a purchase. So it's never been as important as now to have a home for your brand or your online business. If you've been thinking about taking your business to the next level and going online with it now is the perfect time to start building your website with zero, zero is the most affordable website builder on the market with beautiful designer made templates, simple drag and drop editing and business tools like a logo, maker and ai rider, which will save you hundreds of dollars per year that you can reinvest into your business and create your own website without any coding knowledge. Go to zero dot com forward slash F. S. C. That's Z. Y. R. O dot com slash fsc or use our code F. S. C. To get up to 71% discount plus three months free and a domain with any yearly plan number four, hiring too early.

This one sucks. This one sucks a lot and this is the one where you lose so much money, you lose so much time, you lose so much patience, you lose all the things. And it's also one where you can really harbor quite bitter emotions and I bet anyone who is listening to this episode who has a business or a side hustle or has a friend who has a business or a side hustle will know this all too well and has also made this mistake a zillion times over. I feel like I've done this with every single business and I've also repeated the same mistake over and over and over again in all of the businesses between my husband and I, we have hired agencies to help us with one thing or another with the best of intentions and you know, we've been so excited to just jump right in and get stuck into it. But the reality is, and this is the part that's really important to tune into the reality is that sometimes someone is trying to sell you something that you really do want and you do need it.

But the reality is that you're not ready for that service just yet because you need to have the right foundations ready to go so that you are set up for success when you hire that agency and it's such a tough one because seriously, I still haven't learned this lesson, but I am getting a little bit better at it and I'm a little bit better at spotting when I'm like going in the direction too quickly. But it is just always so much money wasted for no R. O. I. It's always a few $1000 here. A few $1000 there. It's always a multiple month retainer and it's always a real pain in my butt. So hiring too early especially when it comes to agencies. My advice here is just truly make sure you're ready, make sure you are set up for success so that when you do start working with an agency that can take you to the moon And this leads me to number five which is kind of similar making the same mistake twice three times four times maybe even 1/5 time you get the drift.

I have hired agencies too early. Yes, we've just covered that. But I have hired staff too early. I have hired contractors to early. I have signed up for software that I absolutely don't need yet. All of it. I've done a little bit. I get into the habit of thinking and I don't know if you like this but I get into the habit of thinking that someone has this magic bullet, they're going to know better than me and they're going to change everything which obviously there is those kind of you know winds that you can have and there's a lot of people out there who over promise and seriously seriously, seriously under deliver but I also want to quickly caveat this and this is like a bit of a spin and this is where I wasn't sure if I should put this in, but I decided to still put in this number five, sometimes it's actually the best thing ever and you hire the absolute weapon that you needed, all the stars align and that's why I think that this mistake is worth repeating because sometimes it actually pays off and that's where the reward totally outweighs the risk and the money that you lose.

Alright, number six, guilty of this so many times over as well, not having clear focus that ends up pushing you in multiple different directions. A total time waster, total money waster. I'm literally forever guilty of this with female startup club, I have a million ideas of what I want to do. I go off on some random tangent where I really should just be focusing on what's working right now and doubling down on that and kind of keeping those systems and processes and workflows going. I'm actually really working on this though, I'm strengthening my willpower and saying no to things to my own brain that don't align with my current goals or just parking them for a future future me to kind of jump into or just trying to be more realistic about what I have, the capacity for, what really helps me with this one is having a super clear north star that I check myself against and kind of keep on track with And number seven last one, lucky number seven Is it lucky number seven, I can't remember.

Oh my God. Anyway, I think seven is lucky. I like seven. Let's say it is seven is not understanding my numbers. My goodness. When I think back now about my DTC jewelry business, I had no freaking clue where my margins were. I had no freaking clue about anything numbers related. No, don't get me wrong, I had a financial model. I had all these things but I just didn't truly understand it. And knowing your numbers inside and out is absolutely critical in building a business. As we all know, we need to know where the profits lie. We need to know where the margins are. You need to know how much you can be spending to acquire a customer and where you can put a dollar in to get a dollar back all those kinds of things. This is like the one mistake that you shouldn't make. You really need to understand your numbers so that you can figure out how to grow and take over the world. Alrighty, that's my seven points if you love well not my seven points, that's my seven mistakes.

Actually. If you love this mini episode, please do share it on instagram, drop into my DMS or leave a review wherever you're listening to this episode have the best day and I'll see you next week. Mhm mm hmm.

My 7 worst business mistakes that cost me thousands of dollars
My 7 worst business mistakes that cost me thousands of dollars
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