My Top 3 Business Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned: Call Me “Human”.

We all make mistakes…everyday. Every hour it seems sometimes. You may have spoken to an employee in a harsh tone or put the dishwasher on the wrong setting. It could be ANYTHING but the point is…we all make mistakes. And you know what they call a person that makes mistakes? Human. You know what they call business owners that make mistakes? Entrepreneurs. It’s a part of life both personal and as a business. It’s not important that we have made the mistakes, but it’s vitally important that we LEARN from those mistakes. You know what the definition of “insanity” is; try not to do that.

This blog is designed to share with you the top (3) mistakes I have made since 2010 when I first opened my firm. Some of you will nod your head in appreciation and sympathy yet some of you may wonder about my train of thought at the time and scratch your head. I GUARANTEE….if you are doing anything innovative and progressive in your business, you will have these “wonder and scratch” moments yourself. It’s a learning process that I am actually thankful to have been apart of because it makes me better as a business owner. So here it goes:

1. I made the MISTAKE of failing to recognize, appreciate and pursue a consistent market. What does that mean? Simply put, in the beginning I focused on small business owners. Not even small business owners but “micro”, mom and pop-type businesses. Unfortunately, while these people need access to legal services, they are not the market that has consistent cash flow in order to be able to afford the boutique and specialized services that KLP provides. I started to focus on “established” and larger business markets.

2. I made the MISTAKE of not realizing the actual cost of hiring an employee. There are hundreds of taxes it seems and an endless array of regulations and rules. Even hiring 1 employee requires endless paperwork and education on the issue that I was not prepared for in the beginning. In theory, the process to employ people should be seamless and easy but I soon discovered that it was not only NOT easy, but expensive. I had to change to a TRUE independent contractor model to save time and money.

3. I made the MISTAKE of not setting aside time for strategic planning and client development. The old adage “If you build it, they will come” could not be further from the truth when operating a business. Even if you are the BEST in the business, people are not clairvoyant. You have to set aside time on a regular, consistent basis to plan long term and short term for the direction you want to take your company. Now, I set aside Fridays for 4 hours to plan for the next week and next quarter of my business to make sure I hit my goals. It’s well worth the time.

Discussion Question: Now that I have shared with you the MISTAKES I have made, what are some of your mistakes and what did you learn (what are you doing differently now?). Don’t be shy. Mistakes just prove to me that you are actually doing something and not standing still.

Best Professional Regards,

Dar’shun N. Kendrick, Esq./M.B.A.

For the Firm

3035 Stone Mountain Street, #630, Lithonia, GA 30058 * (678) 739-8109

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10 responses to “My Top 3 Business Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned: Call Me “Human”.

  1. All of the mistakes I made when I started my business 12 years ago can be traced to one source – not hiring a qualified business coach. A business coach can see costly mistakes a mile away and help you head it off at the pass.

    • I agree Jackie Kiadii, I worked with a business coach and had 2 mentors before starting and they really helped with the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

      • Thanks for the comments everyone. Yes—mentorship is very important. As a young lawyer, I think I learned faster than older attorneys about the “business of law” because of good people I could call and ask questions.

    • Coaching is so important. I have a law degree AND MBA and I still need coaching. Its hard to critique oneself. Thanks for being the first to respond.

  2. My mistake was not spending enough time on my brand/image that I wanted to be recognized for. When you’re clear about your brand/image, it helps to stay focused on your target audience.

  3. Dar’shun, thanks for sharing your experience, building a business today is so much easier because of professionals like you who take the time to share valuable experience and insight. Thanks!!

  4. This is a great post that so many of us can identify with. My mistake was diving right in, and not starting out with a real plan first. Your mistake number 3 resonates with me, as that was my biggest mistake. I didn’t set aside specific time to plan. I was pretty much winging it, and as a consequence I didn’t lay the foundation that would have saved me from wasting time and money. I now understand that no matter how busy I get, I must commit time every week for short term and long term planning and review. I actually look forward to my weekly planning meetings now!

  5. In hindsight, my mistake was trying to start and operate a business on a shoestring. I began my business on the assumption that my customers would steadily increase and planned for that, but I did not plan for a sharp drop in demand due to the economy. Sure, when the paying market for services dropped, my business didn’t have far to fall, but I realize that proper capitalization for a startup and planning for tough times is key to business longevity.

    • You’re not alone Kemya. Many business owners fall into the trap of “running” a business and not “planning” for business. We all make them. Lesson learned. Thanks for commenting!

    • Yes Unfortunately businesses have to PLAN for everything. Expect the best, plan for the worst. That’s the business creed. Thanks for sharing.

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