MoneyChisme: Personal Finance for the Latinx Community

How to Avoid Common Small Business Mistakes: Lessons from an Entrepreneur

January 18, 2024 Violeta Sandoval Episode 34
How to Avoid Common Small Business Mistakes: Lessons from an Entrepreneur
MoneyChisme: Personal Finance for the Latinx Community
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MoneyChisme: Personal Finance for the Latinx Community
How to Avoid Common Small Business Mistakes: Lessons from an Entrepreneur
Jan 18, 2024 Episode 34
Violeta Sandoval

Wanting to dive into entrepreneurship or start a business? This week I share how to avoid common small business mistakes. I'm sharing the mistakes I have made in the first year of my entrepreneurial journey with Money Chisme. I know my fellow small business owners can relate! It was rough and it was a huge learning curve.  

Wearing multiple hats? Yep, that's a typical thing for many entrepreneurs. I go into real talks on self-discipline, financial finesse, and the art of being kind to yourself when life throws curveballs.

But wait, there's more! I also go into consistency, market analysis, and crafting an operation blueprint.  We're tackling delegation and marketing head-on. Ever been scared of being too pushy in sales? I share my mindset on overcoming that fear and my journey to authentic marketing strategies that'll make your brand shine. 

Remember, this isn't just about keeping the lights on; it's about igniting a fire that fuels the entrepreneurial spirit. Stay tuned for more of this wild ride ā€“ because the right conversation might just be the spark for your next breakthrough. Cheers to continuous learning and unstoppable growth! šŸ’ƒāœØ

Support the Show.

Subscribe to the MoneyChisme Monthly Newsletter for more!


Get my Free Start Investing in Rental Properties E-book

Support/Apoya MoneyChisme:
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/moneychisme

Want to be a guest on the podcast?
http://moneychisme.com/contact-me/

Follow my Social Media:
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Disclaimer: Iā€™m not a financial advisor. The information contained in this video is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed professional before making any financial decisions. I shall not be held liable for any losses you may incur for information provided in this video. Please be careful! This video is for general information purposes only and is not financial advice.

DESCARGO DE RESPONSABILIDAD: No soy un asesor financiero. Las ideas presentadas en este video son opiniones personales y solo con fines de entretenimiento. Usted (y solo us...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Wanting to dive into entrepreneurship or start a business? This week I share how to avoid common small business mistakes. I'm sharing the mistakes I have made in the first year of my entrepreneurial journey with Money Chisme. I know my fellow small business owners can relate! It was rough and it was a huge learning curve.  

Wearing multiple hats? Yep, that's a typical thing for many entrepreneurs. I go into real talks on self-discipline, financial finesse, and the art of being kind to yourself when life throws curveballs.

But wait, there's more! I also go into consistency, market analysis, and crafting an operation blueprint.  We're tackling delegation and marketing head-on. Ever been scared of being too pushy in sales? I share my mindset on overcoming that fear and my journey to authentic marketing strategies that'll make your brand shine. 

Remember, this isn't just about keeping the lights on; it's about igniting a fire that fuels the entrepreneurial spirit. Stay tuned for more of this wild ride ā€“ because the right conversation might just be the spark for your next breakthrough. Cheers to continuous learning and unstoppable growth! šŸ’ƒāœØ

Support the Show.

Subscribe to the MoneyChisme Monthly Newsletter for more!


Get my Free Start Investing in Rental Properties E-book

Support/Apoya MoneyChisme:
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/moneychisme

Want to be a guest on the podcast?
http://moneychisme.com/contact-me/

Follow my Social Media:
https://www.instagram.com/money_chisme/

Tiktok:
https://www.tiktok.com/@moneychisme

Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/MoneyChisme/

Disclaimer: Iā€™m not a financial advisor. The information contained in this video is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed professional before making any financial decisions. I shall not be held liable for any losses you may incur for information provided in this video. Please be careful! This video is for general information purposes only and is not financial advice.

DESCARGO DE RESPONSABILIDAD: No soy un asesor financiero. Las ideas presentadas en este video son opiniones personales y solo con fines de entretenimiento. Usted (y solo us...

Speaker 1:

I tell you, when you're starting your business and you're starting to run your business, you really learn a lot about yourself and your habits and your mentality. And you know I had a lot of things where I like procrastinating and stuff like that, so I really open my eyes to some of the habits that I had. Welcome to the Money Cheesemade Podcast, a fun and safe space for personal finance, investing and entrepreneurship tips, where we get the cheesemade on all things money, with sass and humor. I am your host, violeta, a first generation Mexican immigrant, a real estate investor, entrepreneur, and I am here to help you kick ass in the financial game. Each week I not only bring you expert tips but also share the financial freedom and entrepreneurship journeys from our own community, because, you know, representation is important. So grab un cafecito or, si quieres, an adult beverage and let's get into this week's Money Cheesemade. Hola, hola. Welcome to another episode of the Money Cheesemade Podcast. So since it's the new year, I've been really taking the time to, you know, reflect on this past year. You know January is kind of that timeframe like December and January really are those timeframes where you're kind of like reflecting over, you know, what you did last year, doing your like vision boards and all that, and I've been doing the same and while I'm resisting, you know, from beating myself too much, what I, you know, I guess, failures but I don't really want to call them failures mode or like a shortfalls, I guess I don't want to, you know, beat myself over that, like the mistakes. Like you know, I feel like I wasn't as consistent last year. I could have been creating more content and stuff like that, and there was a lot of things that prevented me from that. It was just like a huge learning curve, you know, as being my first year, you know, standing up Money, cheesemade and, you know, building. It was pretty rough. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. I mean I had, like this huge learning curve, like I had to figure out what marketing was, like social media, like figuring out my voice, what I want this, you know business to do, and all of that, and figuring out, like who I'm targeting, like what my target audience is, and all that, and it was like it was a lot. It was so much learning of not only that but of myself as well. Like you know, let me tell you, when you're starting your business and you're starting to run your business you really learn a lot about yourself and your habits and your mentality. And you know I had a lot of things where I like procrastinating and stuff like that. So I really opened my eyes to some of the habits that I had and I really had to make sure that, you know, I held myself accountable for that and one of the reasons I feel like I just, you know, kind of procrastinating and stuff like that, besides it being a habit, because I do work well under pressure, I do my best.

Speaker 1:

Whenever it's like last minute and stuff like that, it's so weird, it always like works out but it does stress me out. And I think one of the reasons I did that is because I, you know, I have a nine of five job Currently I'm still in the military and that's a steady paycheck every two weeks. It's like clockwork and I get that and so I don't really feel the strain yet to like make sure that my business is really growing and all that. And you know, putting all my time and effort into creating money cheese man because I know I'm not relying on income of it. So it kind of, you know I guess, made me a little bit lazy in that sense, but at the same time, it's really a good thing as well, because this gives me the opportunity to actually take my time with creating my business and learning all these things that I had to learn all last year and, you know, build all these systems that I need and really, just, you know, take the time to build this business correctly.

Speaker 1:

And, although I did stress myself out with procrastinating to put out content, because I'm like, all right, every Thursday I'm gonna do the podcast, and then I'm like, oh man, I was working and doing all these other things, and now it's like Wednesday and I have to record something and then edit it and put it out for Thursday. And you know I stress myself out a lot for no freaking reason. And the thing is, I do want to give myself grace and that's one thing that I also want. If you are a content creator or someone that's creating a brand or a business or whatever it may be, that you do give yourself that grace because with me, like you know, doing this podcast, making content and learning everything as I went to build this business, and not only that, but like, still have my career, still do the real estate, investing stuff, trying to plan my family, you know, taking care of my stepson and you know, just, you know, I am also the first gen, eldest daughter, so of course, I'm taking care of this family and also making sure that my parents are going to be taken care of. So it's a lot and, you know, I want to make sure that I still also give myself grace.

Speaker 1:

And then it was also a struggle because, like you know, my husband gets out of the Navy this year and then I plan to get out next year is when I'm able to. So then that's a whole bunch of like transition and making sure that we're preparing for him, cause that's like a paycheck, and then figuring out what he can do and come up with the you know, that difference, and then same thing with me next year and, honestly, I felt like 2023 was a blur. So, with that being said, I want to dedicate this episode to all of the entrepreneurs out there, everybody that's out here. You know just wean it, figuring things out, trying to get you know this business, their businesses, you know brand or you know, just being, you know, trying to be influencers or whatever it may be. You know, I want to dedicate this episode to y'all, to like show like you know what we're out here trying to get it. So in this episode I want to talk about the things I've learned over the past year my first year, you know, bringing up Maniche's, may and just things that I've seen and heard and kind of like share my experience a little bit and you know, some of these things hold small businesses back and, you know, really just take the time to learn from them.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so the first mistake that some small businesses do is the inconsistent hours and you know, this one kind of like popped up obviously for myself as well, but it came to mind because I don't know if some of y'all are on TikTok. I am, I'm always on TikTok and it's like probably one of the reasons that you know I have inconsistent hours per se as far as like content creation and stuff like that. But anyways, there's this guy named Keith Lee on TikTok and he does like food reviews and he goes to like different cities and usually they're like he tries to go to the mom and pops, you know, restaurants and gives reviews and like promote them, like free promotion and all that. But there was like this big drama like a few weeks ago, I think, sometime last year, towards the end of last year, and he ended up going to like Atlanta and he had like a horrible time because one the customer service, you know Sucked or whatever I guess, but primarily was the inconsistent hours of these restaurants, like they open whenever they felt like it. You know they were never open whenever they said they would be like. You know that was one of the things that really irritated him and so there was a big old drama over that.

Speaker 1:

Now this is something that I have seen myself personally as well, with small businesses that are around in my own community that you know I get it. Most of us start, you know, our own business because we want to, you know, have ownership of our own time and be able to have the freedom To go, like, if we have kids, go to their events and stuff like that, or just have more time to ourselves and all that and that's. That's great. But what people fail to realize at the beginning is you're putting in a lot of work and you're putting in a lot of time, and one of the things that you have to make sure is that you are being Consisted in your business because you are barely starting off. And so here there was like two.

Speaker 1:

There was one restaurant and then there's like another like clubhouse, kids clubhouse thing, which I will talk more about it later and the problem was that they were closing like randomly and Inconsistently. You know, having these hours, you say you're open from like nine to five, but then people would go and you would be closed or you'll be closing early or whatever it may be, because, I get it, you weren't getting a lot of customers and stuff like that. But that's also putting off customers that are, you know, planning these things, maybe are planning To take your kids, like, for example, this one was the clubhouse. It's like you're planning to do like a playday to get take the kids, but now it's closed. So it makes it hard for the community to support you when you're very inconsistent with your hours and it really caused this business to struggle even more than what it was already. And I get it because it does. You know, like we're in California and this was like the summertime, so like you didn't, they didn't want to like pay for the AC when they're not getting customers and all that stuff. Um, and I get that.

Speaker 1:

But like if when you're starting off your business, you really need to be consistent about these things, about your hours, about your product and all that stuff, and you know you should take that into account when you're creating a business. And starting a business that you know we're at the beginning You're not really gonna get a lot of sales as people start like Knowing who you are and stuff like that. You start off a restaurant. People are starting to get word of mouth, people may want to. You know you gotta do a lot of things and at the beginning You're going to go negative, which is one of the reasons they'll say that it takes like at least a minimum five years before you actually start making a profit in your business. It's because a lot of startup costs at the beginning. Now, this can be the case.

Speaker 1:

I'm in with those that have online businesses and you know, like our content creators and like me like I'm going to raise my hand right here, also guilty of this that I have inconsistent hours in the form that I am Inconsistent in showing up in social media and like YouTube and stuff like that, and you know that can. It's the same thing, same concept is inconsistent hours and it's something that you know. I really have to take accountability right and, you know, take steps towards being more consistent, and I think I've come come up with a better system and kind of a better Schedule now to hopefully, you know, nip that in the butt, but also creating systems to allow me to, you know, delegate some stuff and be able to, you know, do have that spare time and use, have more time to create content, all that stuff. Because what that was one of the issues last year was that, you know, I was doing everything myself. I was doing editing, sending out the emails for guests and, you know, figuring out content and all this stuff and then at the same time, was trying to create my course and, like, I mean, it was a big old, a lot of stuff that I was doing for myself and I had zero systems and Zero schedules, zero time management, nothing. It was just a complete mess last year that now this year I've taken, like towards the end of last year already had started taking steps to create systems and started, you know, training my sister to help me out and stuff like that. So I'm taking that into this new year. I have a better schedule to hopefully, like you know, keep me on track and help me stay consistent and showing up on social media.

Speaker 1:

Because when you don't have these things, you don't have good time management, you don't have systems in place, then you have nothing to cover down for you. When you do want to take that time off, you want to take that vacation, you want to go to your sons or daughters or whatever, like I don't know ballet lesson or whatever it may be, without you know setting systems or hiring people, delegating stuff out, you really mess yourself up. And this is one of the things that Joseph from life the plant way I think it's episode 30, I believe I'll link it down in the show notes, in the description, whatever and you know he goes into the importance of these systems to ensure that you can own your time. So really, with inconsistent hours not showing up whatever, you make it hard for people to support you because you're not available to support all right. So mistake number two that I had to learn last year and that some, a lot of small businesses fail to do as well at the beginning, eventually you kind of figure it out, because then you realize that you haven't been doing this and that's one mistake that you're doing and that is, you know, not doing the proper market research and, you know, figuring out, identifying your target audience. And again, I am raising my hand because I was guilty of this last year and, honestly, I probably should lay my hand off for all these mistakes that I'm talking about, because this was me all last year and I'm still working on this and making sure that you know I do my market research and all that anyway.

Speaker 1:

So back to the kids clubhouse that I was talking about and mistake number one um, on top of the inconsistent hours that they had, they also failed to do the proper market research. On top of, like other things, because they bought this business with kind of, kind of on a whim and because this they're the second owner of this business and they bought it on a whim and didn't do their due diligence, but that's another topic, um, but really they failed to. In part of doing that due diligence is was doing the market research to figure out your target customer, because honestly, I mean, it's a cool idea having a little clubhouse for kids and all that. But here, where I am, most of us have teenagers, including myself. My stepson is about to be 14 next month and this clubhouse caters to, like um, toddlers up to, I think, nine years old or 11 years old, I believe it was the hours are from like I think it was like nine to five or something like that Monday through Friday and then Saturday, sundays, I think they were open for maybe five hours, I believe.

Speaker 1:

Now, the demographics of our population of where I live, it's like you know, the kids are like around five percent of the population for that age group and the thing is their hours are from nine to five, which means that Monday through Friday, any kids that are school age which is basically five through uh, the 11 years old that I that I believe they had targeted they're in school. So during that day, like you're not gonna have kids coming in unless they're babies. And with the demographics being already like I think it was like five, ten percent, I forget which one it was like you already have a very small market and then you knock out more of that market and so you're really like have maybe 2-3% of the population of customers that on top of that, like who's going to go take them? Because a lot of us, you know we work during those times as well. So, needless to say, they were struggling and you know it was. It was hard because I would see them. You know, like Facebook, we have the community page and stuff like that and I see it all the time. But yeah, they were set to close in December. Luckily, you know, the community ended up kind of rallying for them towards the end and so far they've been able to just remain open because they have made a few changes. They're adding more stuff and now they're being a little bit more creative, like just scheduling for parties, that you have to kind of make appointments and stuff like that, so she already knows who's coming and if to stay open or not or whatever. So hopefully it works out for them. But the problem is that, as every time that they posted there, like the community is like yo, we need more things for teenagers to do, like none of us have like young kids anymore. You have very little people that have like infants and people that it can actually go support your business during those timeframes like it's hard. And so we'll see. We'll see what happens for them this year. Hopefully they, you know, make a few shifts and changes and stuff like that to where maybe I could bring my stepson to go play video games or something and and find kids to play with all right.

Speaker 1:

So my next mistake that I did last year that I kind of started fixing it towards the end of the year and I kind of already touched up on it at the beginning was, you know, not delegating. I did everything myself and I know a lot of small businesses that do this because you know this is our business, we want to do this. Like this is like it's very hard, especially for me, the like I have to control everything, and it's very stressful, and it's one of the reasons, you know, like my anxiety is so high all the time is the need to control a lot of things, and especially with money, cheesemen in my business and my brand, like I want to do all these things and have this control. So I know lots of other business have the same mindset that this is your baby, this you're creating your business, this is going to be your livelihood. You're going to, you know, support your family with this or whatever, and get financial freedom, build wealth through this, and so it's going to be hard to let go and to delegate, but this is what can prevent a small business from growing and just you stay small, because the business is only going to grow as big as how much time you have to give that business.

Speaker 1:

And this is one of the mistakes I I did was that, you know, I um kept myself from really growing, like you know, on social media and stuff like that, because I did everything myself and because of that I burned myself out. I got tired. I didn't want to do it. Sometimes I just want to like, relax after work, but no, I have to, you know, record a video or a TikTok or whatever. And it got to the point where I was like you know what, I'm burnt out, I'm gonna take the time off today, and then what results is then? The next day I didn't post or whatever, or I didn't get this done in time, and so that ended up just kind of hindering my growth.

Speaker 1:

So this time I'm delegating. Like I said earlier, I am teaching my sister how to, you know, do a lot of things for me, kind of like the admin side. I am currently searching for someone to edit the videos for me, especially the podcast, because the podcast interviews that's what takes me so long Videos recording myself. It's a little bit easier because I could stop and pause and whatever, but I'm still going to, you know, find someone to send these videos, and they do that. So then I could focus on growing my business, because as a business owner, that's your job. Your job is to grow the business. It's not to do all these little things or whatever. Now, again, if that's what you like to do, then delegate something else that you don't like to do.

Speaker 1:

My last mistake that I did last year that I'm trying to fix this year, it's kind of something that's kind of iffy for me and that is the marketing and like selling your stuff and, you know, being more active in your marketing and advertising, and I think I don't know if that applies for other small businesses. I'm sure it does. I see it sometimes and I think it's just a mindset of kind of worrying that you're coming off to salesy and I know I had that issue last year. I'm hoping to not do the same thing this year. And you know my mindset was like you know, as I'm putting out content which, by the way, I wasn't consistent anyways, so that wasn't gonna work and you know like. But the idea for me was okay, I'm gonna be putting out content and, you know, making this, and people are gonna go into my link tree or whatever. Well, not link tree because I'm not using link tree, but they'll go into my links page and you know they'll see the products that I have and if they're interested they'll go for it.

Speaker 1:

Right, the problem is that you know a lot of people don't do that, and so you really have to make an effort to also promote the products that you have, and so that's one of the things that I was kind of worried about last year that I don't want to come off like as salesy, as I'm pushy or whatever, but at the same time I have to let you know that these products, that my course is available, that this is available or this freebie is available, and you know I have to promote and market that. And I know it's something that I have to kind of like work through that mindset to overcome the idea that I'm going to be just too pushy, too salesy or whatever, because you know it's a balance. If you do have to balance, you know constantly just promoting everything and whatever, but you know, promote it when applicable. If I'm talking about something, about real estate, investing, then okay, push the the course or whatever, but I'm not gonna push the course if I'm just talking about, you know me going out to feed the chickens, kind of like a just a day in my life type deal. I'm not gonna be pushing it there and that's pushy, obviously. And so just learning that balance and to overcome that mindset.

Speaker 1:

But something that goes along with that is the mistake of not knowing how to market and how to promote your products and stuff like that. And I was guilty of that. Like I don't know how to market these things, you know, I just think that well, I thought that you could just post it and people like be like okay, yeah, I'll buy it whatever, or I'll take the course or I'll do this or whatever. And that's not the case. You really, depending on the type of product or thing that you're selling service you really have to market it a certain way. And so last year is I was creating my course and all that stuff. Like I didn't think of the importance of that or whatever. I was like, okay, I put more time and effort in actually creating the product or course, because that's what's important to me and everything like that. But I'm really sucky at telling you about the course or what you know it's going to do and stuff like that.

Speaker 1:

And that's part of the marketing part, and that's sometimes one of the mistakes that small businesses do is they don't understand the importance of marketing effectively. So this year I want to take more time into doing these things properly and, of course, planning it out, because I feel like that was one of my downfalls as well was that I wasn't planning out my marketing. It was like I'll launch it this day and then I'm just going to do whatever. I just really need to put my ass in gear and do it properly this time promote when applicable, not just like whenever, every day and pushing whatever, because people are gonna get annoyed by that and just finding that balance. But I have to be comfortable with selling.

Speaker 1:

And another thing that goes hand in hand with marketing is the advertising part of it is creating Facebook ads or Instagram ads or whatever, or TikTok ads, and at first it's kind of like do I wanna spend the money on there? Like I could just make a TikTok myself or post on Instagram or whatever, and that's free advertisement and yes and no, but you also wanna put money aside to actually make an ad. This also a mindset shift for me, because at the end of the day I know I was taking one. I went to a workshop for a tax strategy workshop, I think it's. Oh my God, I can't remember who was hosting that workshop, but I'll put it once I figure it out in the description if you're interested.

Speaker 1:

But she was talking about the taxes are gonna be taken out, but advertising can be deducted or whatever, and so you might as well use that money for yourself, to promote your business and make more revenue or whatever, than just sending it off to Uncle Sam, Because either way, that money is gonna be out of your pocket, so you might as well invest it in your business, and so just that mindset shift is like okay, so I need to start advertising this year as well. So that will be. One goal is to maybe do one, maybe second quarter and maybe one on the last quarter or whatever, and kind of test out stuff, because I might as well spend the money and promote my business rather than just spending it on taxes. Thank you so much for listening.

Speaker 1:

Don't forget to like and share this episode so others can also find this podcast. Don't forget to follow me on all my social medias listed in the show notes below, where you can also find resources to help you in your financial journey If you're interested in becoming a guest on the podcast, you can find that information in the show notes. Other than that, thank you so much for your support and I will see you in the next episode. Bye.

Learning and Reflection in Entrepreneurship
Small Business Challenges
Mistakes in Delegating and Marketing
Promotion of Podcast and Farewell