Being your own boss can be incredibly liberating, but it’s also difficult to balance between running your business and handling your personal finances. As an entrepreneur, you have the benefit of being able to make your own hours and toil away at the office in whatever outfit makes you feel most productive, but this freedom also means that you have more control over where your business’ funds go. If you’re not careful about how you manage them, these funds can run out before you know it! Use these 10 tips to stop wasting money in your business today.
1) Not using your strengths
Talents and personality traits play a big role in how well we perform at work. Yet, when you’re miserable or stressed out, you’re less likely to use your strengths. You might still be doing good work, but it probably doesn’t feel that way. Is it time for a change? If so, think about what would make you happier and more productive. If you want to stay put, think about what adjustments can be made—like taking on different responsibilities or working with new people—to help bring out your best self. No matter what, it’s never too late to try something new: Even if you fail, there are lessons to be learned along the way. Don’t underestimate yourself! (And don’t forget to have fun.) After all, finding meaning and purpose in your work is one of life’s greatest joys.
2) Spreading yourself too thin
Being involved in too many projects can be distracting and make it harder for you to focus on any single one. Even worse, when you’re spread thin, you’re forced to react instead of proactively planning your business. This can lead to poor or inefficient choices that damage your company over time. It may be tempting, but try not to take on too much at once—you don’t want your business model crashing and burning before it even gets off the ground!
3) Anxious mind, fearful mind
What if I can’t make a profit? What if my company doesn’t succeed? What if I lose all my money? Running a business is stressful. There are many factors that you have absolutely no control over, and that alone can be enough to stress you out. How do you combat fear and worry in your business? By not letting fear paralyze you; by being brave; by accepting uncertainty; by breathing.
4) Set your goals
Sometimes, especially if you’re a first-time entrepreneur, you’ll want to give up too soon. When that happens, look back at your business plan and think about what your goals were for reaching those milestones—and get out there and work hard! It may be tough at first, but persistence is key. Remember that Walt Disney once said: All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them. And he did. So why not you? As Walt also said: A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, anything is possible.
5) Ignoring your instinct
There’s something very powerful about our gut instinct. It tells us when something isn’t right or if we should try harder, but many of us ignore these feelings. Try listening more carefully to what your gut instinct is telling you and take action on it if necessary. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to do that at first – with time, you will learn. In fact, research shows that women are better than men at trusting their instincts. When they don’t trust them, they tend to doubt themselves a lot more and second-guess their decisions instead of taking action immediately. We need to trust ourselves! After all, we know ourselves best. If you find yourself doubting yourself, stop and ask yourself why. Chances are there’s some external factor causing you to doubt yourself—and once you identify it, you can work through it and gain confidence again.
6) Getting stuck in one method or product
Most new business owners have a go-to method or product they swear by, even if it hasn’t proven effective. If you feel your productivity is decreasing because you’re stuck in one method or product, think outside of your comfort zone and try something different. By trying new approaches and seeking feedback from others, you’ll figure out what works best for your audience.
7) Having a business partner
In small business, having a strong team is key for long-term growth. Not only does having a partner allow you to delegate tasks (and take on fewer of them yourself), but it also doubles your opportunities for referrals and collaborations. It can be tough to find a perfect match, but if you’re both invested in your business, your skills will complement each other—and create value that neither one of you could produce on your own. Plus, partnering up just feels good! You have someone to share your successes with, and even failures won’t feel as bad when you have a trusted friend at your side.
8) Ignoring reviews or comments on social media accounts
If you’re active on social media, you’re likely tracking your follower count and Likes. As a small business owner, it may seem like everyone is raving about your brand and product. However, most people forget that each brand or product has critics as well—people who aren’t impressed with what you have to offer or believe there are better options out there.
9) Focusing only on short-term gains rather than long-term growth
Many business owners feel pressure from their own short-term goals, like generating a certain level of revenue or reaching a specific number of customers. It’s easy to get wrapped up in numbers, but it’s important not to lose sight of long-term goals, as well. When you focus on growing your customer base or improving customer satisfaction while looking out for long-term gains, you end up winning on both fronts—and save money in the process.
10) Jumping from one business idea to another before you find something that works.
Every entrepreneur knows that time is money, and wasting time on business ideas that will never make you any money is an incredibly expensive mistake. Before you move forward with a new idea, try your best to test it out—can you sell it? Can others see value in what you’re offering? Will customers pay for it? If yes, then great! If not, be realistic about whether or not there’s actually demand for what you have created.