The 6 mistakes small business owners make

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Creating, running and growing a small business is like being on a rollercoaster. The highs are high, but the lows are super low. And when those lows hit, it’s tough. Some of the lows are, sadly, caused by our own brains others come out of left field and are sent to try us.

We need to be ready for both. To have the strategies to cope and adjust. To think on our feet so that these problems don’t completely derail the rollercoaster.

And this is where I come in. You see I’ve been through all of these problems myself. I’ve felt the pain, the turmoil, the stuff that keeps you awake at night. I’ve worked out how to deal with them and I help to equip my clients with the strategies to deal with these themselves.

This also means I know which of these are the most common. And that, my friends, is what I’m sharing with you today.

Listen to the episode here:

Wasting time on websites and branding

When you first start out, you don’t need the shiny website, you don’t need the pro logo, you don’t need the photo shoot.

You need to immerse yourself in your customers to understand what problems they have that you can solve really well.

You need to develop an irresistible offer that solves that problem.

You need to get out there and sell it.

You need to make money.


All of that you can do with a simple landing page, social media profiles, selfies taken on your phone and a PayPal or Stripe account. All of this you can create yourself.

Keep it simple until you’re ready to invest.

Not having the right strategy

Well, I would say this, being the strategy queen and all. But I see so many small business owners going in completely the wrong direction for THEM. Other people’s strategies aren’t a good fit for you, and creating one that aligns with your vision, your goals, your values ensures you have a strategy that you will feel great about.

This is why so many businesses owners feel out of alignment. They’re copycatting the wrong strategy.

Getting clear on WHY you’re doing what you do, on who you’re doing it for, on what problems you’re solving, on your positioning and messaging, on your goals and how you’ll reach them, on your income streams, on your marketing and sales systems BEFORE you start is crucial, because then you save wasted time going down a rabbit hole that’s not meant for you.

That didn’t work for Alice, and it won’t work for you.

Not recognising mindset issues

We all encounter mindset issues as we grow our businesses. The thing is, being in business illuminates any mindset problems you already have as we deal with things like being visible, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, etc. It brings up all those old memories, behaviours and patterns that don’t serve you.

And it’s not just the bad stuff that sets us off. Fear of succeeding is a huge one for many people and can trigger a range of ‘what if’s’ that will stop you in your tracks and have you making up excuse after excuse NOT to do the thing that will make you successful.

But I see so many people brushing these aside and carrying on regardless. Which sadly means they sit there, either getting worse or they trip you up down the line, as they wait for you to deal with them.

Most people see mindset issues as negatives. I actually see them as a big waving positive flag highlighting that something needs to be worked on, that you need to go deeper and heal old wounds, to rewrite limiting beliefs, to reframe bocks so that you can step out of self-sabotage and grow into an even better version of you (even though you’re pretty damn awesome already, you know).

Don’t ignore the waving flags people. They’re important.

Creating courses and packages too soon

We all see the seductive draw of ‘passive income’ online. People saying they only have to work for 30 minutes a week because their automated funnels are selling for them, while they sip their Mojito, poolside in Bali (which is rarely true, sadly).

So it’s understandable that people start their business and immediately want to add in courses and programs from the get-go. But here’s the rub. They won’t sell. They may eventually, but it will be a while before you see a profit.

You need to learn your craft. You need to immerse yourself in your customers to ‘truly’ understand how to serve them. You have to build a tribe that adore you. You have to work out who YOU are in this business and how you can be different.

My advice to all newish businesses is to work one-to-one first. Spend time in the trenches with your customers. Understand their pains, problems, desires and dreams. Create that income, immediately. And then grow out from there.

Once you’ve worked with clients you’ll have a better idea of the courses or programs you need to create, and they will sell much better too.

Focusing on the wrong things

It’s hard when you start out. You don’t know what you don’t know. And then you go online, looking for answers. And BAM!


This new tactic. That new system. This new silver bullet (that will never work, btw).

When all you need to focus on is revenue generating activities.

That’s it.

If it doesn’t bring you money, then don’t do it. Park it until you have plenty of cash flow in the business.

And this means focusing almost entirely on sales and marketing. The right marketing will raise your profile, build your brand, create your tribe and bring in relevant leads. Sales will convert those leads into paying customers. And repeat.

Only once you’ve reached multiple-six figures can you start to focus on other activities. Until then, fall in love with sales and marketing because they’ll be your closest friends for some time.

And if you don’t love them, come and see me. I can change that around.

Investing in the wrong people

Ok, this is a big one and it makes my blood boil.

I see SO many small business owners investing in coaches who promise the world and don’t deliver. Coaches who have no real-life experience of building businesses, yet make bold claims suggesting that they do.

The results of this can be devastating and as well as suffering from a loss of much-needed money, these business owners suffer from a drop of confidence in themselves – when it wasn’t their fault in the first place.

This is why I push the importance of doing your due diligence. Checking out the creds of the person you’re looking to invest in. Make sure their experience and results match the claims. Getting as many genuine recommendations as possible. Because once you find the right one, well that’s just magical.

And that’s it my friends. If any of that resonates, do let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Listen to the episode here:


For those conscious souls ready to step up and serve. Suitable for established or new coaches.