A recent Small Business Survey by the  Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) asked the owners of small to medium sized businesses what were their biggest start-up regrets. One persons regret can certainly be a top tip for anyone else just setting out on the same course. If you are a start up looking for tips the short answer from this Small Business Survey is:  Not spending enough time on marketing and finances are the biggest start-up regrets of the UK’s small and medium-sized business owners.

If you are looking for lots of help, ideas and advice as you progrees with your business plans you are not alone; over 27% of small and medium entrepreneurs in the united Kingdom state that it they did not feel confident running their small business for at least the first twelve months.

“Starting your own business can be a daunting process. This research shows that many people who want to run their own business may need more help when they’re starting out. If you have a business idea, it’s essential you do as much research as possible to ensure your idea has the best chance to succeed.

“You should ensure you get as much advice as you can, from multiple sources.”

Rob Alder, head of business development at AAT

Small Business Survey Results

The ATT survey was of 501 small firms (businesses with less than 250 employees). Across all respondents 65% of small business entrepreneurs stated they had issues with at least one business area in their start up period.

Interestingly the biggest cause for these problems was identified as a lack of prior research.  You can see how this is compounded with a short time frame before launch – 26% of business owners said they started a business less than a month after researching the market.

The key question to business owners was: ‘What do you wish you’d spent more time on when starting out?’

19% said marketing
11% said understanding finances
8% said IT
5% said more focus on PR and social media.

Of those that had done research or found sources of business advice:

19% used internet search engines
22% went to an accountant,
11% visited business information websites
8% had looked for advice from trade bodies

Conclusion here has to be that the more research you do in advance the less problems and headaches you will have as a small business start-up

Image credit Olu Eletu