5 Common Self-Employment Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Becoming self-employed can be a great idea, it can be vastly fulfilling to be the master of your own destiny, doing things your own way and reaping all the rewards when things are going well. But it is also inherently a way of making a living that is risky in many ways. If we look at 5 common mistakes we can make as self-employed we may then try to avoid them.

1. Mistakes In Financial Planning & Projections

When making our financial projections it’s important to plan well as if your business is viable you will be able to show this in your financial planning. It is vitally important to show evidence of where you think your turnover and profit are going to come from, what are you selling, how many and at what cost? If these figures don’t work out in a realistic way then you need to alter your approach before you get into any trouble.

2. Hiring The Wrong Staff

If you need to hire staff then it’s key to get the correct people in as staff are going to be the people who represent you in their dealings, are responsible for using your resources wisely and above all must be able to justify the cost of their salary in what they bring back into the business. There is so much to getting the staff right from how you reward them, to how you advertise the positions and what to ask at the interview.

3. Choice Of Your Office Or Premises

Where you set up your office or premises can be a make or break decision, you should consider are your customers likely to come to your premises? Are they on foot or will they require adequate car parking facilities. It is also important to plan for what level of office equipment you need for the staffing of your office, for example it’s easy to underestimate the type of internet connection you might require is, and these days it’s simple to compare offers from all broadband providers and see what is best.

4. Not Knowing Who Your Target Customers Are

If you have a product or service to sell you need to be aware of who you are selling to, it’s fine to think that it’s so good everyone will want to have it. But in reality it’s very rare that you will something that universally appealing so naturally you will be best served to know what group or groups your customers come from and then you can make sure that they are who gets your attention most.

5. Wasting Resources On Ineffectual Advertising & Promotion

Which brings us to our next point, it’s staggering the amount of wasted revenue on poor or miss-directed advertising businesses go through. Advertising can be a waste of money when it’s not clear, doesn’t give the customer a good message or reason to buy from you. So make sure you are monitoring your spend and ask customers how they heard of you and why they chose you over a competitor.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.