Study: Small Business Owners Share Top Mistakes Made When Starting Their Business

In acknowledgement of October’s Small Business Month, Intuit QuickBooks Canada conducted a survey among Canadian small business owners asking them to reflect on the start of their business and entrepreneurial journey so far. 

Established and Early Start (those who started a business over the last two years) entrepreneurs share insights around their top business concerns, advice needs and past mistakes to help guide the future generations of entrepreneurs. 

When asked about their biggest mistakes, nearly half (47%) of Early Start entrepreneurs report expecting to make a profit right away and Established Business respondents say trying to manage all parts of their business without outsourcing extra help (47%). Other top reported mistakes from Early Starts include:

  • Trying to manage everything alone without outsourcing help (40%)
  • Overspending due to lack of budget management tools (35%)
  • Not creating a business plan (30%)

Early Start business owners are also bracing for another wave of economic uncertainty; by learning from past mistakes and leaning on each other they can pave the way forward. Key findings from the study that reflect this mindset include: 

  • As Early Starts prepare for economic climate changes, 4 in 5 (79%) respondents anticipate the shifting economic climate will have an impact on their business and over 1 in 3 (34%) note their top concern is ensuring sufficient cash flow for the business to survive.
  • However, success isn’t always about the numbers with 3 in 4 Early Start respondents (74%) say that seeing customers use their products is very important to feeling successful and 3 in 5 (59%) value creating products or services that have a positive impact on the local community.
  • The top thing Early Start respondents wish they knew when they first started their businesses was to develop strategies that would help them better prepare for scaling their businesses (30%).
  • Learning among small business owner networks is valuable, with 95% of Early Start respondents saying they’ve learned something from fellow entrepreneurs. 
  • There’s an eagerness to learn more. Early Start respondents are most interested in receiving advice from other small business respondents when it comes to managing cash flow/payroll (27%).

We’re seeing that connecting with other entrepreneurs can be important when navigating the small business landscape and achieving success. More findings from the report, click here

Intuit QuickBooks recently launched a Small Business Hub to provide small business owners with the resources they need in order to succeed – check it out here.  

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