Moving into our second year, we made some very expensive business mistakes. And I mean, who wouldn’t when you haven’t run a business before? The more you know right…
First Business Mistake: Not Having a Service Agreement from Day One
We discovered this the hard way after taking on one of our first clients. We were BEAMING with excitement. Doin’ the happy dance. We were both still working full time in other jobs. Hayley was working on their content in her lunch breaks in her car in the middle of summer (in QLD – NOT IDEAL), on top of working 18 hour days to fit it all in. And then, the client ghosted. She shut her business down without telling us and kept making an excuse that she’d paid her invoice (but wouldn’t send proof). The invoice wasn’t huge, but it was a kick in the guts for two gals who were working their butts off to make this dream happen. And then, well, we couldn’t do anything about it. So that kicked us down but got our butts into gear.
How To Fix It
We contacted our pals at Wordfetti & had them put together a totally comprehensive custom Service Agreement for us. This is hands down one of the most crucial investments you can make in the early days of your business.
If you need one yourself in 2022, check out Foundd Legal’s templates or enquire with the team there to get some advice. We have used these for everything from our Affiliate Agreement to our Website Ts & Cs. They are THE BOMB. If you offer similar services to us, check out the Digital Strategist Service Agreement.
Make sure you use the code OHMYDIGITAL at checkout for 15% off any templates.
P.s. After years of spruiking Foundd Legal’s templates we finally joined their affiliate program, so we may earn a little commish when you purchase a template through one of the links above or use our code. As always, we only recommend things that we genuinely know and love X
Second Business Mistake: Thinking We Could (or Should) Offer Everything
Did you know that we used to offer Website Development? Yeah lol. We built entire websites for $600 or less. INSANE right! You can check out an example of one we built for a beautiful client here. It was fun, but my god the amount of time we spent building websites vs the return on investment, was an eye-opener. One day Hayley messaged Katy and was like “um…do you even like offering websites? Cos I hate it” turns out Katy hated it too. So we canned it. It was like a HUGE weight was lifted off our shoulders.
Our advice? Stick to the things that light you up, the things that you KNOW you’re killer at. And the things you know will help you grow. We started off offering lots of little bits and pieces services, and in the early days, we needed to. But in the long run, they had to go so we could have the time, mental space and room to grow even bigger.
How To Fix It
Here’s how to figure out what you should actually be offering, and ditch the rest like a dud high school relationship.
Lean into the services you get great feedback on
If you’re anything like us, you probably have a tendency to think the work you find ‘easy’ or that just flows is easy for everyone and therefore not valuable. But that is sooo not true! Chances are if you’re always getting amazing feedback on a certain service you offer, then it’s probably something you really enjoy and comes naturally to you – so embrace it! Lean into these services rather than trying to conquer things that just aren’t your cup of tea.
Keep upskilling yourself
One benefit of working a 9-5 is having a dedicated training budget you have to use up every quarter! It’s a lot harder to stay accountable to continuous learning when you’re your own boss, but this is something we’ve been really focused on lately. Not only can you offer a better service to your clients but you’ll be able to discover more of what you love (or don’t). Try blocking out even one or two hours per week to focus on your professional development.
Stay on top of trends
This is a huge one for our industry! Things change fast, so by staying ahead of the curve, you can offer management of new platforms or advertising through new channels before anyone else. You might also find that something you offer right now is decreasing in popularity, so this is your chance to replace it before it’s too late.
Ask your customers
Still not sure what your current or potential customers want from you? Ask them! This goes back to how we always underestimate how valuable our skills are to others… There might be something you can do in your sleep that others desperately need help with or just don’t want to do themselves. You never know unless you ask! This can be as simple as putting out some questions or polls on your socials to get quick feedback, or even sending out a more formal survey to some of your customers or your email list (just be sure to pick a subset of people who fit your ideal customer so the answers don’t lead you astray).
These were the biggest business mistakes we had in 2018. We really hope these tips help you avoid learning these lessons the hard way! Stay tuned for next week for our next birthday confession…