Even though I’m just entering my second year as an entrepreneur, I am already finding I’m kicking myself over things I wish I had done differently. Things that could have saved money, saved time, or saved me a bit of my ever-diminishing sanity.
I decided to approach some fellow mom entrepreneurs to see if they had any words of wisdom in this regard. Of course there is no substitute to learning from your OWN mistakes, but sometimes it can be helpful to glean a bit of wisdom from others as well. I know for a fact there are certain mistakes I’m not going to make simply because of talking with other entrepreneurs about their regrets.
So without further ado, here are some of the regrets I hope to learn from second hand!
This was a common theme among those I spoke with. Most regretted spending too much time and money on advertising instead of building their businesses in other, more cost-effective ways.
costs rather th
an investing in advertising. She felt a better use of her time would have been
finding other ways to build her brand and get her product known. The writer’s strike had an impact on their business, and while they couldn’t have forseen the strike, putting aside some of their business earnings for contingencies would have helped.
Another business owner who, along with her husband builds and sells the coolest little recycled toy barns, also talked about her regrets over
shelling out valuable reserves on advertising.
"We spent a lot of money in advertising when we first started that did absolutely NOTHING. All those dollars. SO valuable at that time in a business, just flushed away. Unless you count the valuable lessons we learned about what not to do. Expensive lesson."
Janene of Trending Solutions also wished she hadn’t spent so much on advertising. She mentioned that she wished she had slowed down, and hadn’t rushed into getting her business off the ground without taking the time to assess all her options with regards to free advertising.
For business owners in any industry, outsourcing can be a huge investment, but with huge returns. It’s important to figure out what you’re good at, what you’re not so good at, and whether it’s best to just outsource to someone who really knows what they’re doing.
Stacy, inventor of Paci-Plushies, said,
"I would have hired a Sourcing Agent to help me
navigate through China. This would have saved me thousands and
thousands of dollars in prototype development fees alone. If I had
worked with a Sourcing Agent from the start, my final product would
have hit the market at least 6 months sooner than it is expected to.
The right sourcing agent will know exactly where to go to find the
appropriate factory to manufacture your product, can negotiate a lower
manufacturing price and will help you arrange all of the shipping and
I am guilty of this one! I’m constantly working through new ideas in my head, and always feel like if I don’t jump on them right away, I’ll somehow lose them.
Dianne, creator and designer behind Salty Chix advises new business owners to take a step back from time to time and really try to think critically about next steps.
"I am a ‘hurryaholic’, which resulted in me going too fast and not taking time to consider all the possible outcomes of most of my startup decisions. Slow down, take time to absorb things you are reading and learning!"
Listen to your heart
Especially when you’re just starting a new business, you will get advice and suggestions from every direction. It’s easy to get lost and lose your focus when you try to please everyone. Angela, President of HOISTedYOUcation regrets not having listened to her heart from the beginning, and starting her business sooner.
"Starting a business is, by nature, risky and
unpredictable. But, because our business model is
focused on self-enrichment and education, we reasoned that the risks
were definitely worth taking given the benefits we could offer our
customers, and we are so glad we did. Sometimes, listening to the heart
and gut pays off".
What advice would YOU give to someone just starting off on the road of entrepreneurship?