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Starting / Business startup

Mistakes made by start up micro businesses

In my work life, I come in contact with a lot of start up micro businesses and have discovered some of the mistakes they have made. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to learn from them, and hopefully avoid the same mistakes ourselves.

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Here is a collection of mistakes made by start up micro businesses that I have seen firsthand. I hope by sharing them, you can avoid them on your solo journey.

  • Making decisions based upon advice you heard at the pub rather than paying for, listening to and acting upon specialist advice.
  • Advertising beyond your business’s capacity to serve.
  • Providing discounted or free work for friends/families/charities and not leveraging off it.
  • As discussed in the article on five tips for naming your business splurging on branded stationery, and then changing the business name, structure or contact details and the stationery has to be thrown away.
  • Designing a website with no contact details, and pages which do not link pack to the home page.
  • Incorrect contact details on anything!
  • Not understanding property insurance – what is insured and under which policy? Check with your insurer as sometimes home insurance will extend to the home office, however you will need to let them know about it.
  • Want more articles like this? Check out the business startup section.

  • Focusing on the parts of the business that you enjoy to the neglect of the parts of the business that don’t interest you.
  • Purchasing software when similar freeware is available to download from the internet.
  • Using a spam filter that treats potential new customers email as junk.
  • Delaying issuing invoices because you are too busy earning money and have no time to bill clients.
  • Not chasing payment of invoices in a timely manner and continuing to work for a client when payment is overdue.
  • Registering for GST, and all the paperwork that comes with it, before it was economically necessary to.
  • Confusing your bookkeeping records by not having a dedicated business account, or by paying for personal expenses through the business.

For better of worse, those were just a few mistakes made by start up micro businesses in the journey of growing their business. What mistakes did you make in your first year in business?

Heather Smith

is a Chartered Certified Accountant & Xero Accounting Advisor specialising in moving businesses to the cloud, improving productivity and profits. She's written six books including Xero for Dummies & Learn Small Business Start-Up in 7 Days.

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