The final most costly mistake made by business owners is wearing too many hats. In the early going, you may be tempted to try to handle all aspects of your business yourself, but it’s critical to have a support team to help you move the business forward.   If you feel like you are doing everything from production and marketing to sales and accounting, determine when it makes sense to either hire more staff or consider outsourcing key functions.  After all, you didn’t go into business because you enjoy working late to balance the books.  Your time is better spent growing your business, while professionals handle the support services. Many of these functions can be outsourced at a much lower cost than hiring your own internal staff (link).

Often, business owners will try to take care of all the “back office” functions, from day-to-day bookkeeping, to payroll, to human resources.  Errors in any of these areas can be costly in terms of lost productivity and opportunity costs.  After all, if the owner is bogged down trying to get payroll out on a timely basis, she’s probably not calling on that hot prospect across town.  By outsourcing some of these functions, you will be able to operate at your “highest and best” and make the most productive use of your time.  Outsourcing accounting and payroll is often less expensive than you might think and can actually pay for itself with increased output from your team members whose skills are put to better use in other functions.

We’ve covered a lot over the past few articles that we hope you’ve found helpful: choosing the right entity, properly pricing your product, assembling the right team, respecting intellectual property, and conducting market research. It takes a lot of skill and courage to run your own business.  Don’t let one of these six common mistakes derail everything you have done.  As a small business owner, the key is to focus on what you can do well.  Be aware of these pitfalls and know when to solicit help from others so you can stay on point with the task at hand.

John R. McCallum, CPA

John R. McCallum is a member with GranthamPoole PLLC and a recognized leader in the field of cost segregation and various real estate taxation matters.  He has also written, taught, and spoken on many topics in the area over the years.  Please contact John at, or 601-499-2400. CPA License # 5323

The above does not represent tax advice.  Each situation is fact-dependent, and you should seek the advice of a competent advisor. GranthamPoole PLLC is a provider of tax, accounting, advisory and strategic services, partnering with clients across a broad spectrum of industries and sizes.

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