I wanted to share with you something I have been wanting to talk about for a while. Failure.
Most creative entrepreneurs do not talk about their failures. They share with you their achievements. They share with you their goals and successes. They share cold hard numbers of the profit and revenue they made. BUT they hardly ever speak towards what they did wrong before they found solutions that worked.
I want to talk to you about my failures. The 3 mistakes I made when I started my web development business.
I want to be honest with you and I want you to learn from my mistakes so that when you start your service based business, you do not make the mistakes I made.
I started my web development business officially in 2015. But I was running it for 3 years at this point behind the scenes, without a real business name.
I was a freelancer who designed websites and took on clients, ran everything in my freelance business from marketing to looking for clients to billing and book-keeping. I ran a business, but I did not tell people that I ran a web development business. That's mistake #1.
Mistake #1. Not acting like you run a service based business
I loved developing and designing websites, but I hated being called a freelancer. I was foolish and in 2012, I did not even realize I was running a business so I told people I was a web developer.
Here's why that was a mistake.
THEY thought I was running a hobby.
"How cute?" they said. "You make websites, let me see some of your work. ... That's nice... I have a friend who needs a website... you want to make it for him?"
Of course I agreed the very first time this happened. How on earth did I not see that me being a hobbyist web developer would mean I WOULD NOT get paid?! Silly me. What am I doing? Running a business?
YES I AM. At this point I had not taken it seriously for what it was. I was a business owner.
I provided high quality service, developed beautiful websites, and provided customer service at a startup friendly price. I owned a web development business.
Takeaway: Value yourself and what you're doing. If you run a business as a photographer then you own a photography business. If you run a business writing copy for clients then you own a copy-writing service business.
Putting value in what you do and giving prospect clients a way to distinguish you as an established service and resource to do business with a way to make yourself look established is vital if you want to be recognized and of course, get paid like a boss!
Mistake #2. Not managing your money early on
Again, I was foolish. I kept books and all my receipts and invoices, but I never managed my money.
I had never understood how much money I was truly making.
What my expenses actually looked like.
AND of course what my bottom line was (that's profit)!
All of this as you may probably know is important. Managing your money is important. Being able to understand what your profit is at the end of the day and how much money you're putting back into your business is very important.
Why didn't I manage my money?
It leads back to my first mistake. I didn't know I was running a business.
I was always excited every time I made a sale or was paid by a client, but I didn't document it as much as I documented my expenses.
I had recipes and invoices saved in several different folders on my computer. I had no idea what the total amount of expenses were. I had no idea what the total amount of revenue was.
Takeaway: Keep track of every transaction. No matter how big or small. Track every expense. Track every sale. Track every invoice.
THEN keep track of all the totals. How much revenue are you making? How much are you spending in expenses? And whats left over?
REMEMBER: Revenue - Expenses = Profit
Mistake #3. Not understanding what my audience and target market was
Someone please tell me why I was completely out of my mind in 2012?!
YES, I had no clue what my ideal client looked like let alone what audience I was serving.
Not knowing my target market led to many other issues in the early stages of my business.
I went through several clients who were not a good fit for me.
I was not able to create a step by step system for on-boarding clients because each client was different.
Every time I acquired a new client, I had to set up a new way of on-boarding them, invoicing them, and figure out new ways to work and communicate with them.
This wasted lots of time and energy. Its as if every time I acquired a client, I had to run my business according to them.
DO NOT DO THIS. Understand and be specific about the audience you are serving. If you serve creative entrepreneurs, be explicit about how your process and services serve only them. If you serve fashion bloggers, make sure your business distinctly reaches fashion bloggers with how your business runs to the services you offer.
Takeaway: Be specific about who you are serving early on. The sooner you decide this, the sooner you will be able WOW your clients with your amazing targeted business!
I want to teach you more about how to run your service based business or even how to take your idea and turn it into a service based business. Do you want to learn more?
If so, I'm hosting a webinar where I'll be teaching you how to build, package, and launch your service based business! It's totally free to attend and super valuable to miss!
It takes place on June 16th at 2PM EDT. I hope to see you there live! BUT if you cannot make it live, by signing up for a seat you'll get the chance to view the replay!
Sign up for the webinar BELOW!
Can't wait to hear your business ideas!