RUSHING INTO NAMING MY BUSINESS
I started out with help from The Prince’s Trust and it was a bit of a rush to get a name for the business and start running it with the help they were giving. I went from my name, Dina Mistry to Wild Clove. It wasn’t until 2 years later I thought about how my business is perceived and what I wanted it to say about me. That’s when it became The Playful Indian.
Take time to think about naming your business. Think about how it makes you feel when say your business name, does it make you feel proud? Does it with with you if you are your brand? A brand is a working progress and will develop as you grow but your business name, ultimately, will stick with you.
NOT HAVING A PLAN OF WHAT TO SELL
As mentioned above, I had an idea of what I wanted to do but it wasn’t very well thought out. I loved making everything from polymer clay charms and arm/finger knitted scarves to greeting cards and other bits and bobs. It wasn’t clear who I was targeting my products to and it was all very mish-mash. It took some time to figure out what was working and what I wanted my business to be about and who I wanted to sell to. This is what business plans are for.
It’s a good idea to figure out clearly who your target audience is and if your products would appeal to them. Having too many varied items is not only going to leave you confused but also your customer.
NOT LOOKING INTO COSTINGS
I spent WAAAAYYY too much money when I started out. I think it was a combination of excitement to create ALL the new things but mostly not looking into enough suppliers and basically shopping around for the best deals. For example, greeting cards I found a printed who printed a minimum of 500 cards which thinking back was ridiculous since i was just starting out and didn’t know which designs would and wouldn’t work.
Before you do anything, do your research on suppliers. Look into as many as you can, ask for samples and get the best deal that suits you and your business.
NOT PUTTING ASIDE ENOUGH CAPITAL
I had nothing when I started out. Funding from The Prince’s Trust helped me test trade and have money for a new computer and a few other bits. I wish I’d invested in things that I could have helped me grow my business over time.
If you’re thinking of leaving a day job, have a few months’ salary put aside for business AND personal needs. Think about what is most needed long term and invest in it. For the rainy days/weeks/months you’re waiting to be paid by buyers, this will come help you continue your business smoothly without stressing when you’re next due some income.
DREAMING BUT NOT PLANNING
I saw where i wanted to be but i didn’t think or plan out how i would get there. Sure i had a business plan but i never updated it. I never set myself goals so i never knew where i was going so to speak.
Always have a plan. Plan for the week, the month and longer terms. Ask yourself what you want to achieve for each of these and what they will mean for your business.
So, that’s my mistakes. What mistakes have you made that you would advise others not to make?