22 May

Business mistakes to avoid part 1

Before I kick off the biz column today couple of things to tell. Monday is a bank holiday and so no blog post from me. I’ll also be in China, whizzing over with Gem on Saturday for 3 days, bonkers but required!

Next Tuesday we’re holding a flash sale of one off pieces from my pad along with some samples. If you’re a VIP you’ll get to see the flash sale 24 hours before anyone else. If you are not a VIP and fancy becoming one you can register here (for all non VIP’s flash sale goes live on Wednesday)!

Right then down to biz this is actually a two parter, with the second part being published next Friday. I see a lot of businesses especially newish ones make mistakes, companies folding, barely scraping by and often times this is caused by a number of similar common mistakes. I used to make many more mistakes then I do now (I still make mistakes  don’t get me wrong) but I’ve savvied up and wised up!

Below are the most common mistakes businesses make:

Always questioning

I used to fall victim to this a lot. Second guessing questioning yourself, having doubt. In the early days I had zero confidence but now I’m tougher and I listen to my instinct more. I’m here to tell you stand strong and stay stead fast in your ideas. Rome wasn’t built in a day right; just because you build something does not mean people are going to flock to your business. It takes an extraordinary amount of effort, determination and will power to not give up, but don’t.

Growing too rapidly

This didn’t happen with us, initially we moved at snail pace and then a stonking great concession hit (great) but now we are motoring and expanding big time. It’s easy to get swept up in expansion plans but cash flow is everything don’t grow too fast if cash flow will bring you down. You’ll need investment, you’ll need a strategy and you’ll need an exit plan in case it goes wrong.

Don’t tackle to many projects if you can’t give them enough attention. I have learnt the hard way. Each month we get approached to do all sorts of things from collaborations to interior design, to TV and many we reject simply because we just don’t have the time. Understand your limitations. That said push yourself to the max just be aware that you can’t be awake 24 hours a day, only 20!

Thinking of social media as a quick fix

Social media is not a quick fix think of it more as a Dutch oven than a microwave.

Too many businesses these days expect instant results on social. They think sending out a few tweets, grabbing an image from Pinterest and expecting a reaction is all that it takes. Wrong! That doesn’t really engage anyone. Engaging your followers means writing content that intrigues, tantalizes and makes them come back for more, otherwise what exactly is the point?

Nothing gets handed to you

I’ve known in my time quite a few businesses go under simply because they under estimated the work involved, or weren’t hungry enough. Nothing gets handed to you. No one just discovers you, it requires a really strong work ethnic, and whilst friends are out dining on a Friday night you’re still cranking out last minute emails. That I hate to say is reality. Everything starts and ends with you, you simply cannot resent it. Being in control of your own destiny is I find incredibly addictive, seeing the results when you work and push things just that little bit harder or longer pays off it really does and it inspires you to push further!

Find a mentor

You can’t do everything alone, even though as I mentioned above things won’t be handed to you, going solo is a tough gig . I didn’t have a mentor but I would have loved one. If you don’t have a mentor find people who are doing something similar or that inspire you and ask them to lunch. Sounds scary I realise and you might get many no’s but if you land one yes then you’ll be receiving invaluable information and the mentor will feel empowered to helping you. Win win!

Have a lovely weekend x

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