Mistakes, although not nice at the time, can be valuable lessons! I started a business back in October 2011 called Funky Goddess. I had no finance or experience but even so, I managed to get my business off the ground and into over 100 retail outlets nationwide. I sold the business in May.
However, mistakes were made, so I would like to share with you some of those mistakes in order to prevent someone else making the same.
Learn From My Business Flop
- Try to do as much as you can from home. Avoid moving into a unit for as long as possible.
- Be careful who you confide in. Choose a successful business mentor who you know well and can trust. Don't go asking advice from everyone!
- Be honest with your business plan and finances. Don't assume your projected figures will turn out the way you planned.
- Ask for complete prices including vat when asking for quotes.
- Delay putting your product into retail shops. Stay as a website sales based business for as long as you can. Even if everyone all over the country wants you to stock it near them. You can't please everyone. Retail takes a higher percentage of your profit.
- If you must stock in retail units ask for payment upfront. You need Cashflow and the bigger the retailer the longer you will have to wait for payment. Usually they pay after a month or two months.
- Buy in bulk. I didn't have the finance to do this but if I did, I would buy in bulk first. It is cheaper.
- Get your product right before you start selling. I changed the box after a year and it was much better and cheaper to put together. Could've saved myself a lot of hassle if I'd gone for proper branding I was happy with in the first place.
- Don't go too big before you can supply the goods. Unfortunately my idea was so popular I couldn't keep up with demand!
- Patent your idea if you can. Although mine couldn't be patented, do if you can straight away. If it is a good idea, others will think so too.