My Top 3 Mistakes When Starting My Business

At The Administration Agency, we talk a lot about getting the business support you need when you need it. When a stressed-out business owner reaches out for help, we see a recurring theme. They often touch on their regret of not reaching out for business support earlier – ideally when they started their business.

As part of The Administration Agency’s end-of-financial-year business health check, I reflected on my experience of starting my business. Did I make mistakes – yep – plenty of them! I want to share my top 3 mistakes when beginning The Administration Agency and what I wish I’d done differently. Hopefully, reading about my business blunders can help save you some business heartache!

Mistake # 1 – Neglecting systems

Systems! Without a doubt, this is THE number 1 thing that most business startups neglect in the early stages.

And it’s easy to see why. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs start their businesses, and the rush and energy of doing what their passionate about takes centre stage. The long-term exists somewhere hazy “in the future”. Scaling? Growth? Maybe, but not today – today is all about new clients and building leads funnels.

But as your business grows and develops, it can become harder to maintain the energy level to do ALL THE THINGS.

Originally The Administration Agency started as just me (then called Performance PA). But I’m only one person with so many finite hours in the day. As new clients asked to come on, I couldn’t service them all. So I knew I’d have to start scaling and taking on extra team members to meet the demand.

But as we evolved into The Administration Agency, I started to see that scaling, bringing on extra team members, and onboarding new clients demanded a level of systems that I hadn’t thought about initially.

We now use incredible onboarding, training, review and development systems (thanks ClickUp!) Still, I wish I’d implemented this from the beginning so the transition to an agency was smoother.

The Administration Agency Tip: Set up your systems early! Plan and implement with the knowledge that your business will grow and need to scale.

Mistake # 2 – OBM

When starting your business, having an online business manager can seem wasteful – almost a little over the top. I used to think that I could manage everything related to making sure the business was running smoothly – all while doing the business’s work. Unfortunately, it’s a recipe for disaster. The goal of scaling and growing your business is for you to step back from the day-to-day running of your operations. This is where an OBM is invaluable. They become your trusted and valued partner invested in YOUR business growth.

What can your OBM take care of? Think of the following suggestions:

• Managing projects – launch, implement and oversee the strategy of projects that align with the business goals
• Operations Management – manage and keep track of staff and business operations for both project and non-project-based tasks
• Tracking performance – measure and track strategies and implementation of projects in line with key performance indicators
• Solution Strategists – Research and advise on best practices in line with business goals and delivery outcomes

Mistake # 3 – Mindset

When I think about the first 2 mistakes, I see an underlying sense of FEAR—a lack of confidence and belief in the business’s success.

Starting a new business can be scary (and isolating, terrifying, exhilarating, exhausting, thankless, incredible – all within the same day!). When we approach our businesses with a lack of confidence in our abilities, it shows through. When we choose not to invest in systems that will help us grow. When we try and “do it all” rather than reaching out for help early on – not just to get the help we need, but knowing future growth will demand it!

By prioritising these things from the start, you are giving weight to a mindset that says, “My business is going to be successful”. Now will that instantly MAKE your business successful? Of course not! But it will never happen if you don’t start with that mindset.

Investing your time, energy and finances into your business makes a powerful statement about what you believe about your passions, abilities and skills to grow and develop a successful business.

Knowing what I do now, I regret not realising the potential The Administration Agency had to be successful. I wasn’t able to always see it because of fear. And don’t get me wrong, a healthy dose of fear is never bad! But I wished I’d looked at my mindset and understood how it could affect my business.

Making mistakes is part of running any business. The key is to take the time to reflect on them so you aren’t repeating them. But I also believe in SHARING our slip-ups. It can be a massive encouragement to other business owners who might already be feeling isolated, and it can help others avoid those same errors.

Do you have a business blunder from when you started? What would you have done differently if you had your time again?

Want to avoid the pitfalls common to a startup? Reach out today for a complimentary discovery call so we can create a unique plan to suit your business needs. 

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