10 mistakes to avoid when setting up your own business

businessAre you considering making the break and wondering how to set up your own business?  It’s a jungle out there – but we can help. Follow these to leave your competitors in the dust and be an amazing success.

We have compiled a handy list of the top 10 mistakes to avoid when you set up on your own.

Serial entrepreneur Sarah Green has launched and run six businesses in the last 10 years: she has made these mistakes so you don’t have to.

  1. Don’t make a strategic/financial plan – plans are for fools. 
    No. You are a fool if you don’t create a plan. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages long but you do need to put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard to test whether your idea has legs.
  2. Do it all yourself
    There are some things that are boring to do and some things that need experts.  There is only one of you and you should focus on what you are good at.  This should feature in your financial plan.
  3. Be a control freak
    Attention to detail is a great asset to have but the time will come when you have to hand over certain jobs to others and you need to be able to let them just get on with it.
  4. Do the accounts and book keeping yourself
    When you start up it is normal to get stuck in with some of the admin jobs until the cash starts rolling in.  But if you don’t have the right experience then you could pay heavily by missing HMRC deadlines or getting tax calculations wrong, for example.  Bite the bullet and hire an accountant and or book keeper.
  5. Free form with your work time
    Make a daily plan outlining what you want to get done and stick to it. You will achieve your goals much more quickly if you don’t let your work time spill into your personal time.  Otherwise, before you know it, you will have procrastinated all day and find yourself finishing your day around 11pm (especially if you are working from home).
  6. Think that it’s going to be exciting and amazing all the time
    If you are used to a busy work environment and you are now working on your own, it can be a lonely game.  Get out there and meet fellow business people.  Get networking.
  7. Spend the money as soon as it starts coming in
    Get into a good habit of putting away money to pay for taxes and other longer term spends.  Set up an interest paying saving account along with your current account.
  8. Only pay yourself now and again and think you will catch up
    You have to keep yourself motivated so make sure you pay yourself what you have planned as soon as possible.
  9. Don’t get a business coach/mentor
    A trusted external adviser people can be a life line in your business especially if you don’t have a business partner.
  10. Lose sight of your original vision
    When you start your business, many opportunities will arise that could look more exciting or a better source of revenue that your original idea.  Stay focused but flexible during this stage – all that glitters is not necessarily be gold.


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