What mistakes do you see people make when they first start their own venture/ intiative/ business and what advice would you give to women so that they can avoid making these mistakes?

Shazia Mustafa

Founder of Third Door

One of the big mistakes I see is people jumping in too quickly. My advice would always be, just don't go into setting up a business without doing your research. Speak to people in your field, ask those who have set up businesses what it is really like to run a business around a family. And if you go ahead with it, then invest! Invest in your personal development, marketing the business and childcare so you can give your business the attention it needs.

Most of them tend to rush in their venture without doing much of due diligence. “Slow and steady wins the race” – is my personal preference.

Tatjana Apukhtina

Co-Founder of TeaPro

I think people tend to get into too much detail too quickly. Always understand the big picture first, then work out the details.

Laila Datoo

Founder of a.life.more.mindful

The biggest mistake is doubting yourself as that can really hold you back. Doing the work early on, on self-belief, USP, money can help you a lot as we hold ourselves back. I would highly recommend women starting out to get a coach / mentor early on to help them iron out any fears/ limiting beliefs. I also think having structures in place - budgets, cash flows, marketing plans can be really useful as often we start with clients and then realise we don't have the systems in place to help us grow!

Rani Malik

Co-Founder of Venue 5 and Social Dhaba

Do some research on what you decide to do, do not expect miracles straight away to have positivity and do not give up on a few rejections, give it a chance don't keep changing from one business to another people will not take you or your projects seriously.

Teresa Faley

Founder of Letterbox Brownies

I'm not sure about others, but I know I've certainly made mistakes in my business journey so far!

I would say the main thing with hindsight I would have done differently would have been to make a better business plan at the beginning - in all honesty I kind of made it up as I went along, which has had it's ups and downs - I'd advise others to start off with a clear plan, including goals, forecasts, predicted problems, monthly or quarterly reviews etc - this will give you a better vision of what you are hoping to achieve.

Sarah Asgaraly

Founder of Beyond Sarah

The most common mistake is that often we find a web designer and paying a large sum of money, when there are tools such as Wix and SquareSpace where you can create a website instantly.

Fei Yao

Co-Founder of NewCampus

A little contradictory but two underrated pieces of advice.. 1) The internet is a goldmine. Learn from the mistakes of others, and do your homework online. 2) What you read online is not necessarily the only way to do something. Talk to people, and get creative. There is no rule book in entrepreneurship – which is challenging for many people who have gone thru a traditional school to job route to embrace as we have been taught to learn the rules and pass a test.

Praneeja Roy

Founder of Roy Events

I think the biggest mistake to make is not starting with a plan and knowing little about your ideal customer. Secondly thinking you need to take on every client you get initially as it is business, I did that. It didn’t necessary mean it was adding value to the company. Undervaluing your service or product, just because you are new doesn’t mean you have to sell it cheap! Knowing your worth and believing in your product will get you ahead.

Shabari Saha

Founder of the London Vegan Business Network

A lot of people, including myself, use the scattergun approach targeting anyone and everyone. It’s important that you do your own research into the market. It will save a lot of effort, time and resources in the long run if you focus on your target market.

Ensure that you have done a business plan, even if you are not looking for funding, and look at your business plan on a regular basis to check if you are meeting your goals and targets.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and support. Don’t feel that you have to do everything yourself. You can outsource a lot of the tasks, which can free up your time. For example, hiring a bookkeeper, virtual assistant or PR/marketing expert.

Tenesia Pascal

Founder of Earth To Earth Organics

Waiting, so many people say things like ˜I’m not ready, i’m just trying to find the perfect colours for our brand, the packaging isn’t where it needs to be. Often people have had an idea for years but I’ve met women who have sat on an idea waiting to launch it and because they’ve waited so long someone else who had the same brilliant idea beat them to it. Don’t wait, don’t do it, start it today you can tweak it along the way, you’ll get great feedback from your customers along the way. Share the journey with them and you can grow together.

Carly Thompsett

Founder of Anaphase Store

More with clothing brands that start up then ask me for help. I don’t mind giving some advice but I had to find out the hard way, so they should too. I learnt a lot of my lessons from failing or having to research something in a different way; I don’t wanna take those lessons away from that person. The main bit of advice I always give new brands when contacted is 1) don’t buy followers, 2) what you like isn’t always what your customers likes and 3) just because you harass a famous person to wear the designs you love, doesn’t mean you will sell out of stock in 5 minutes – cool it and take it slowly.

Priya Shah

Founder of BAME in Property

The most common mistake is rushing. Sometimes we have an idea we are so excited to share with the world, that in the process we forget that there are logistics, finances and people to think about. Taking a bit more time and planting the seeds properly is important and will be more beneficial in the long-run.

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