Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
Working for yourself can be extremely satisfying. Chances are you started your business to have more free time and to take charge of your financial future. If you find that you are facing an uncertain future and come across difficulties regularly, it might be time to take a step back and find out how to avoid some of the most common mistakes self-employed people make that impact their future.
Trying to Do Everything Themselves
Many entrepreneurs believe that they are only able to control the future of their venture if they do everything themselves. Instead of working less each month, they take on new roles and eventually get overwhelmed. As an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to outsource some lower level processes, so you can work on developing new ways of making your business better and more productive.
Not Keeping an Eye on the Competition
While you might have a good business idea, you are not the only entrepreneur trying to make money of the same market. Make sure that you keep a close eye on the competition, or you will lose the battle. If someone comes up with a better offer, you will need to think of ways of offering more value and improving your customer service, or you will lose your customers. Monitoring the market is important, and you can take advantage of business intelligence software that will provide you with regular reports.
Wanting to Be In Charge All the Time
While you are the one who built the business, you don’t have to be there all the time. If you are the only person who can go to meetings and send out quotes, you will not be able to take the well deserved holidays. Train people around you to improve your business. While it is hard to come to terms with being replaceable, you can keep on making the strategic decisions that really matter.
Not Changing with the Times
Technology changes, and so should your business. You don’t want to be left behind because your customer service is stuck in the 20th century. Offer customers different ways of contacting you; via email, online chat, phone, and video calls. This way, you are able to stay flexible and serve different markets at the same time. If you still post your invoices, try to improve your productivity by moving your administration to the cloud and send emails, invoices, reminders, and order confirmations online.
Lack of Retirement Planning
If you set up your business to retire early, you need to create a plan to pay for your private pension enough to do so. Further, you will need to get rid of all your debt and build up your assets, or you will not be able to afford retirement at all. When you are self-employed, it is your responsibility to create your future financial freedom.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the tasks related to running your business, try to take a step back and think about strategy, work-life balance, and retirement planning, so you can stay focused on your goals.