Whether you’re new to entrepreneurship or you’re a vet in the game, one thing that I’m sure you’ve become familiar with is making mistakes. Let’s face it, it happens. Often. But there are a few tried and true common mistakes that most of us make at one time or another.

Let’s explore the top 3 (and go over a few tips on how you can avoid them altogether)

Making yourself the focus

There’s a quote circulating social media about successful people putting their heads down and only focusing on themselves and not thinking about what others do. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really translate into smart business advice.

You actually do need to know what your competition is doing.

Not to copy their methods but to see what is working for them. You want to gain an understanding of how and why customers are responding to them, especially if your marketing efforts aren’t working well for you. The more knowledgeable you are about what works and what doesn’t, the better equipped you will be more effective in your marketing.  

You cannot go back in time and fix your mistakes, but you can learn from them and forgive yourself for not knowing better

Neglecting your administrative tasks

As your business grows, so will your responsibilities. It may be difficult to keep up with emails, paperwork and record keeping… but it’s essential to your long-term survival as a business. Neglecting the administrative tasks for even a short period of time can have a detrimental effect.

For example, if you get excited about a big order or contract that you just received and start ordering the items that you need to fill it, without a plan – you may not realize that you missed recording your expenses properly. Or you may not account for things like labor and miscellaneous supplies. This means you’re not collecting your expenses properly, and you’re not keeping track of all the money coming into, or going out of, your business. This is guaranteed to make your life much more difficult during tax season. 

Tip: Find software that helps you to track your business finances. There are free options like Wave Accounting and Quickbooks for Small Business. Or maybe you’re not yet fully set up with payroll capabilities. Check out check stub maker – simply cut a check to your employee and enter all pertinent (and factual) information into this website to produce a check stub for their records – until you’re able to purchase and implement proper payroll tracking software. 

The Entrepreneur's Budget - Tiffany Nicole Forever Blog

Selling Yourself Short

A common mistake for new entrepreneurs is to sell themselves short by undercutting their pricing. They rationalize that they’ll gain an edge on the competition. It’s easy to understand why this makes sense to new business owners – some believe that if their product is cheaper, customers will choose them over their competitors. Unfortunately, that rarely is the case – unless your product was created to be the low-cost option. 

If you have a quality product, people will pay you what it’s worth. Don’t discount your product and undercut your own profits thinking that it’s your pathway to beating your competitors. Instead, research companies that produce quality products. Pay attention to how they market and communicate to their potential customer. Ask in-depth questions: What is there brand’s message? How does their marketing presence differ from the low-cost options? 

Tip: If you take the time on the front end to get really familiar with your target market, you’ll be able to craft an effective marketing campaign that attracts the right customers to your product and brand!

*contributor written post