Okay, okay, so mistakes are lessons, right?
The goal of this article is to tell you the 7 most common mistakes work at home moms make when they are starting a home-based business so you can avoid them. Let’s get to it.
In no particular order, here are the top 7 mistakes…
A niche is a product or service that no one else is offering or very few are offering. If you have an idea for a business and your google search nets you thousands of websites… not a niche. If you look for something and can’t find it anywhere. NICHE!
2. Going free.
Free websites are not free. You pay for them with lack of sales and customers. Even if you aren’t selling a product and choose to be a “mom blogger” as a business, building on a free service like WordPress that allows you to get a free site but lists your URL like yourcompanyname.wordpress.no.one.is.going.to.find.you.com is death before you even get started. Go with wordpress if you want too, but be sure to go to godaddy.com or your registrar of choice and register a domain name and install wordpress so you can have your own yourcompanyname.com website.
3. Lack of branding.
Choose a brand or company name that is unique, interesting and memorable. As an example, JanesBeadsNecklacesandMore.com is not memorable. BeadMeUp.com would be stuck in the back of their minds for years. Why do you think Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, Amazon and others remain at the top of their game? They are unique names or mashups that stick.
4. Giving up to quick.
Many a mom has started a business and quit three months into it because they aren’t making any money. The problem may not be you or your product. The problem may be your ability to promote your business and market yourself. It may also be one of the issues above. Think about what you need to do to build. Do you need to rebrand? Do you need to learn marketing? Do you need to hire help? Figure it out. Failure and quitting are not options.
5. Doing something that will make money rather than something you are passionate about.
If you couldn’t do it for free. If you couldn’t do it all day without getting bored. If you couldn’t talk about it for hours without your eyes glazing over… it’s not for you. Your business needs to reflect your passion. If it doesn’t, you are most likely struggling because you’re not in love with what you are doing. Answer those questions. Be honest with yourself. Are you head over flip flops with your business?
6. Allowing yourself to work 23 hours a day.
If you are using all of your time to build or manage your business, you’re on your way to burn out. When you get burnt out on work or building your business it’s easy to get frustrated with lack of sales or time and simply walk away. Set hours and fit your business into it. Use people around you when you are just getting started. Involve your family and work as a team to help get your business off of the ground. You’ll need those long days now and then, but until then, keep your hours reasonable.
7. Not being legal.
If you are serious about your business, you need to be sure you are legal. In most states it’s as simple as going to the Secretary of State’s website, printing the forms and mailing them in with a check. I also recommend trademarking anything you don’t want used outside of your business.When you are legal you will be able to get trademarks and copyrights on your work before it has an opportunity to be taken. Trust me on this one… do the paperwork.
Now that you have read through these seven rules. Put them in action. Go back through each one with your notebook. Answer the questions and walk yourself through it. You’ve got this.
Krista Conway is a freelancer and entrepreneur living in central Ohio with her husband and three sons. She talks about freelancing and business ownership on her blog www.KristaConway.com.
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