Web Design Business Mistakes: Part 1

I intended this to be a short blog, but after reviewing nearly 12 years of running Back40, I am finding no shortages of material to write about. Hopefully some of these observations will prevent a reader from making a mistake or two in the future. So I present to you, in no particular order, some of my business mistakes – Part 1.

Website design company mistakes cartoon

Hiring an MBA as a bookkeeper

Not a good
idea. No matter how excited the MBA seems to be about taking a position they
are over-qualified for, take a pass. There is most likely an
alternative motive (or possibly a deep dark scary secret) for them to be pursuing a job
they are over-qualified for.

Long-term equipment leases

I signed a 5-year lease on a copier/printer/scanner/fax workstation. Never again. After a few years, the copier became out-dated and needed service frequently. I contacted my leasing company to get a newer machine, but to get an updated one I would have to sign another long term lease. I think this was their “customer for life” plan.

In a related mistake, the copier I chose to long-term lease was beyond my company’s needs. I chose the robust copier partly out of ego (look, I’m a real company now) and partly because I was convinced I needed it. Expensive mistake. I paid $800 a month for 5 years (nearly $50,000). And when the lease was over, I bought an $800 Xerox workstation copier. Duh.

Getting behind on payroll ta