9 Top Small Business Mistakes You Need to Avoid or Fix NOW

by Insight.ng Content Partners
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small business mistakes to avoid

Running a successful business is no easy feat. Despite the best intentions, even the most experienced entrepreneurs can fall victim to costly business mistakes that can damage their operations. 

From failing to adequately plan for the future to neglecting customer service or not having a business account, there are many pitfalls businesses must avoid to succeed. 

In this article, we will look at the major small business mistakes and how to avoid them as an entrepreneur, regardless of your experience level.

9 Main Small Business Mistakes and How to Avoid It

  1. Not having a business plan

The first mistake most businesses make is not having a business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines the key elements of your business, such as mission, objectives, and strategies. 

Your business plan should include the following:

  • Executive summary
  • What your company does
  • A list of your services or products
  • Market audience analysis
  • Marketing and sales plan
  • Financial projections

It isn’t easy to track progress accurately and measure success without a plan. Creating a comprehensive business plan helps you stay organised and focused on achieving goals. 

  1. Lack of financial planning

Proper financial planning involves budgeting, forecasting cash flow, setting targets for revenue, and managing risk. It is essential to keep your eye on the cash flow of your business so you can make informed decisions on how to spend money within and on your company. 

This is one of the most costly small business mistakes you could make, especially when starting up. The first and critical step to fix or avoid it is understanding the requirement for opening a business bank account in Nigeria and following through by making the account official.

  1. Failure to monitor your finances 

Many businesses fail because they don’t pay attention to their operations or trends in the market. Taking time each month or quarter to review performance metrics allows you to identify areas where things are not going according to plan. This may include areas such as marketing forecast, sales forecast, cash flow forecast, and lots more.

  1. Buying assets with your cash flow

One of the common business mistakes is using your cash to buy assets. While buying assets can be beneficial if done correctly, it’s important to consider the long-term impact on cash flow. If your business is short on cash or operating with tight margins, it might be better to take out a loan instead of depleting existing funds. 

  1. Not separating personal expenses from business expenses

Another major mistake is not separating personal expenses from business expenses. Mixing business and personal finances can lead to costly and irreparable business mistakes such as overspending, inability to track expenses, and tax issues. Keeping track of what is being spent for each purpose helps you stay organised and take full advantage of deductions. One primary way to solve this is to get what is known as a business account.

  1. Not outsourcing your non-core functions

When running a small business, there may be times when it’s hard to find the time or resources needed to complete tasks. Hiring outside help can be beneficial to alleviate the burden on you or your staff members and help you focus on core operations. This process is known as outsourcing. Make it a rule of thumb in your business to outsource functions and services that are not part of your core operation or areas of expertise. 

  1. Lack of proper marketing

Marketing is essential for businesses of all sizes as it helps you reach potential customers and build brand awareness. Without adequate marketing, your business may struggle to attract new customers. 

Marketing should include both organic and inorganic marketing. With the rise of digital marketing channels such as social media, search engines, and content marketing, not paying attention to these areas is a recipe for failure, as you will be unable to attract new customers and retain existing customers.

  1. Failure to learn

To stay ahead of competitors, businesses and business owners must continuously strive to learn new skills and techniques. Thanks to digital online platforms, there is no limit to how much anyone can learn. 

Make sure you are taking advantage of available resources such as industry events, webinars, conferences, etc., so that you always have access to current industry trends that can benefit you.

  1. Not hiring the right people

Human capital is a critical factor to success in any business. Finding, hiring, and training the right employees for your business can be time-consuming and expensive. However, you must take the time to find people with the right skills who will help your business reach its goals. 

Failure to hire the right people can cost your business money and set back progress toward achieving objectives. Make sure you hire based on experience and skill set so that you don’t end up with an employee who isn’t a good fit for the organisation. 


There you have it. You have no reason to watch your business sink without knowing where you went wrong. Which of these small business mistakes hit a nerve with you, and what’s your plan to fix them? Share in the comments section, and we’ll gladly help you take the first step.

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