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Who knew running a small business was so expensive? Not many new small-business owners, it turns out.

In a recent survey by Bermuda-based insurer Hiscox, one third of 500 U.S. business owners with fewer than 100 employees said higher-than-expected costs was their single biggest start-up mistake, followed by hiring the wrong people, not knowing how to market and sell products, and not securing enough financing.

Owners also said they lacked a sufficient understanding of taxes, financing and credit, and hiring and firing before launching their business, the survey found.

According to Hiscox Director Kevin Kerridge, new business owners often have energy and passion for their products and services, but tend to neglect basic business skills.

“Cash flow, human resources, marketing and insurance issues can seem boring, but are hugely important,” Kerridge said in a statement accompanying the survey results.

In September, we listed the top 10 mistakes made by start-up entrepreneurs, led by going it alone, asking too many people for advice, and spending too much time on product development, rather than sales.

As that article observed, there are as many mistakes as there are entrepreneurs.

What was your biggest start-up mistake?

via wsj.com


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