I have had numerous people over my career ask me what I thought the most common mistake business owners, particularly start-ups make. The list is short and simple:
1. Not setting up the business properly. This would be from a legal standpoint.
2. Not setting up your accounting systems properly. Whether you use QuickBooks or some other method, be sure that you are organized and using the software properly.
2. Not filing payroll reports/sales and use tax Reports/other misc forms (at all or filing incorrectly). We all know that we need to file a tax return, but you need to be aware of ALL the other forms that your business must file. Here are a few: payroll reports, sales and use tax, business property tax listing, annual report, etc.
What do these all have in common? If you do any one of these three incorrectly, it could cost you much more to correct the problem in the long run. The ONE thing that I urge small business owners to do is seek professional help. You should look at it as an investment. Will it cost you money? YES! Is it worth it? Absolutely.
My recommendation is for the business owners to build a team. You will be in a much better position with a skilled team verses trying to do it all alone. We are here to either help you and/or to give you referrals if it is something we do not do (i.e. attorney, bookkeeper, payroll provider, bankers, etc).