The three biggest mindset mistakes small business owners make

By: Countingup

Date: 25 March 2019

A small business owner relaxes at his laptop after sorting out his finances and hiring professional helpForget reading, writing, and 'rithmetic - one of the key things schoolteachers are told to focus on today is a growth mindset. And they're teaching it to kids as young as five!

Why? Because we're increasingly aware that the key to success isn't what we do, but how we think.

When you're building a business, there could be a million reasons why you fail to hit the goals you've set. You're not making the sales you need, your finances are a mess, you're not marketing yourself properly… but the root of every one of these problems is the wrong mindset.

Here are three common ways business owners undermine their own success.

1. Trying to do it all yourself

There are usually two big mindset mistakes behind business owners thinking they have to do everything by themselves:

  1. No one can do things as well as I can.
  2. I can't afford professional help.

Both are false. When it comes to your core business activities, sure, you can do the lion's share. But when it comes to everything else? Not so much.

If you're an accountant, you're not necessarily a whizz with design or content, so just think how many more clients you could squeeze in if you outsourced some of your marketing tasks to a writer or graphic designer.

And if you're not an accountant, but you're still muddling through your own finances, you'll save time and money by hiring an accounting professional to take over.

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When outsourcing any part of your business to a pro, you soon find that not only do they do a better job than you, they'll do it far quicker, which puts paid to the 'I can't afford help' excuse too. You'll save yourself so much time that the extra clients you can take on will more than pay for the tasks you've outsourced.

2. Thinking you can untangle your finances later

This is a common mistake many SME owners commit in the early days - merging their business finances with their personal ones. Again, it comes down to a mindset problem. You're not thinking like a business owner. You're treating your business as a hobby, rather than a professional enterprise.

Not only will this make you look amateurish to your customers, but you run the risk of errors in your bookkeeping, as you struggle to keep track of which expenses relate to the business and which to your personal spending.

A dedicated business bank account will save you time, trouble and confusion down the line. Affordable solutions such as Countingup help you skip the forms and waiting periods - and because these automated systems can often be linked to your bookkeeping, you won't need to worry about accounting errors at tax time, either.

3. The biggest mindset mistake: thinking it'll all be really hard

We're bombarded with stats about how many businesses fail within the first couple of years, and stories of how hard it is to set up a business in the first place. And yes, there is a lot of hard work involved. But don't let fear paralyse you.

This is where a growth mindset really comes into play. Instead of thinking: 'This is all really hard, I don't know how to do this,' think: 'Yes, this is really hard, I don't know how to do this… yet. I will figure it out.' Then find a way to do just that.

There are tons of resources out there to help budding entrepreneurs. As well as the Donut sites, GOV.UK is an excellent source of information on the legal nuts and bolts of setting up a business.

When it comes to running and growing a successful business, remember this equation: the right mindset = the right actions = success.

Copyright © 2019 Article made possible by Countingup, integrated business bank account and accounting software

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