Tom Jeffries

How To Avoid 3 Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make


We have put together a list of three common mistakes small business owners make, and how to fix them.

Haven’t Aligned Your Business Goals With Your Personal Goals

Most business owners start a business to improve the quality of their lives. Often taking a skill they have honed over years of working for an employer and deciding to go it alone to be able to improve their lifestyles through flexible hours and increased pay.

If you can’t explain the purpose of your business in a couple of sentences then you might need to review why you started your business. Without a clear sense of why your business exists and how it benefits your life you might be wasting your time.

The problem with most small businesses is that very few people have been trained in how to run a business. Therefore most business owners tend to stick to their skill, the technical work of their business, rather than spending time improving or growing the business.

I recommend that if you are struggling to stay motivated or your business isn’t going anywhere, then you go back to the drawing board and define the primary aim of your business based on your personal goals.

You Don’t Know Your Strategic Business Objectives

The truth is many small businesses don’t know where they are going. Objectives might have been mooted at the outset, but as the business has grown, simply running the business is the main objective.

Once you have a clear vision in place following the creation of the primary aim, then you need to define the strategic objectives that you business has to achieve in order to achieve your primary aim. This step is all about deciding where your business is going. Your Strategic Objectives should detail your company goals and objectives, with action plans that describe specific business functions and department goals.

Haven’t Budgeted Properly

Budgeting is essential to success in business. It is the most effective way to ensure your business has a future. Without it you might face the prospect of running out of cash and falling short of payments.

The truth is that many small business owners underestimate the cost of operating and growing a business. Without a budget, forecasting and measuring business success is extremely difficult.

Taking your business to the next level may require additional funding, but in this current economic climate this can be difficult to come by. However, even if you do secure funding it is essential that you produce watertight budgets and financial forecasts.

To ensure that you budget correctly I recommend that you dedicate time to budgeting. You might team need to ask for assistance from your accountant or financial team to provide you with estimates for your budget.


Your business should revolve around your personal life and goals – rather than the usual scenario of ending up as a slave to your business. Starting and owing your own business should be about improving your quality of life, not sucking it out of you.

You just need to figure out your goals and find time to set business objectives. Ideally this should involve building business systems that take you out of the day to day running of the business.

If you can’t find the motivation or time to improve your business, you can always consider selling your business. The first step would be to understand the value of your business and start planning the next steps in your life. If you’d like to learn more about how you could sell your business, see our information on selling your business.