Five common start up mistakes

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Date: 21 May 2021

An entrepreneur has made a simple mistake when starting her business

Launching a new business can be one of the most exciting parts of being an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, it is something that can be fraught with mistakes. Sometimes when focusing on the big picture, start-up founders often forget the importance of the smaller details. As a result, budgets balloon and the business isn't able to scale in the way the owners wants, and expensive mistakes slip in.

Whether you are an office manager or the CEO of a company, this guide has been created to make sure that you don't fall into the same mistakes. Read on to learn more.

Failure to file the right paperwork

In the excitement of starting a new business it's easy to overlook the essential paperwork and registrations. Whether that is registering as a sole trader with HMRC or registering your business with Companies House, filing your self assessment or organising a proper accounting structure, you musts make sure that all your paperwork is properly filed and all your registrations are complete. Failure to do so can result in a hefty fine.

Lack of clear strategy

The best businesses should be able to pitch themselves in just one or two sentences. If your business cannot say what it's about in just a few words, then it will be unable to survive. Before you start, you should definitely have a clear overview of what your business is about. This isn't just about your plan for the next year and a half: you should be planning a business strategy that covers the next five to ten years.

Hiring the wrong people

When starting a business, it can be tempting to hire people you already know (for example, filling key posts with friends and family). Yes, you can fill your vacancies quickly and avoid the costs of advertising, shortlisting, and interviewing external candidates. But this approach could easily backfire on your business.

They may lack the knowledge, skills or experience you really need - limiting your chances of success. Blurring personal and professional lines can cause tension and strain. Problems can also arise when 'casual' working relationships evolve. Employees have a range of employment rights which you must abide by. There are stiff penalties for breaching a range of employee rights from working time, holiday, minimum pay, working conditions and much more.

That's why it's important to consult an HR professional (or employ an HR manager) who can make your employment contracts, HR policies and recruitment processes are as robust as possible. 

Securing bad utility deals

It might not be the first thing you think about in the white heat of launching a world-beating app or technological solution, but start-ups need to think about budgeting and cost control from the very beginning. This is especially true when using utilities such as water, gas, and electricity in a physical office. These overheads are often second only to the costs of staffing. Make sure you look around for the best business water supplier and utilities supplier to make sure you are getting the best possible deal.

Undervaluing your services

When you're starting a business, you can be so eager to land your first clients that you undersell your goods or services. While this is a natural impulse, it should be avoided at all costs. If you're not properly compensated for what you are offering and your pricing doesn't cover your costs, you will end up going out of business in no time.

Make sure you completely understand the total costs of providing your goods and services. Set a pricing structure that covers your costs and includes a markup, so your business remains profitable. If you can confidently assert to potential customers what you believe you are worth, and you'll be surprised by who is willing to pay it.

Copyright 2021. Article was made possible by site supporter James Daniels.

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