The 5 Biggest Money Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

5 min read

Small business owners are known to be scrappy and have the tenacity to weather any kind of storms. While some failures are fairly minor and can be quickly course corrected, making a huge making a huge financial mistake can create an unexpected drag to cash flow, hurting your ability to pay off vendors on time or even make payroll. In some cases, even the most promising business can be brought down with accumulated debt making it even harder to around things around.

Here are 5 major financial pitfalls to avoid when running your small business:

1. Combining your personal and business expenses

Failing to separate your personal expenditures from your business expenditures creates significant complications not convenience. Accounting and tax reporting also becomes more complicated down the road.

This would also mean that you do not have a limited liability entity to protect your personal assets from business creditors.

It is highly recommended that you open a separate business bank account to managing your small business finances. Consider a reputable professional organisation such as Corporate Services to assist you with your company incorporation in Singapore.

2. Not planning for future tax liability

All companies in Singapore are liable to pay corporate tax under the Corporate Tax Act.

Also, if your small business generates over S$1 million in turnover, you will need to be GST-registered as well. Be sure to check the IRAS website for the latest business tax information.

3. Incurring credit card expenses


This is particularly dangerous if you plan to incur credit card expenses without clear visibility on future revenue, exposing you to huge credit card bills. The convenience of credit cards make them all the more tempting to use but the financial damage from compounding expenses and interest charges is significant.

Consider using a debit card if you need a card payment option as this allows you to avoid leveraging your financial position unnecessarily.

4. Not having a clear budget

Doing the heavy lifting on building up some form of financial forecast for your own business is prudent. When times are tough, a detailed budget gives you visibility to where you can trim costs. You will become more financially disciplined and accountable to your shareholders (even if it’s just yourself).

As a bonus, keeping your financial plan up to date will also give you flexibility to raise capital as this is a key deliverable and requirement to any successful capital raise.

5. Not funding your business properly

Some entrepreneurs are die-hard bootstrappers (self-funding your business without external capital). This is prudent in some cases but also a drag in situations where the business needs larger amounts of capital to take advantage of the right opportunities.

In some instances, going into debt is a prudent way to accelerate growth, especially if the funds are poured into positive return opportunities. Raising debt also gives you ample cash to navigate downturns as opposed having too low of a cash balance which may affect proper business decision making.

With these financial insights on money mistakes, you will be more equipped to navigate around avoidable financial mistakes that others have made.

Nicky Minh

CTO and co-founder

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