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The 5 Biggest Money Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

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

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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.

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3 Ways to Advertise Without Spending Any Money

Marketing is the lifeblood for growth for many small businesses. Yet, many owners throw everything at the wall - flyers, social media, commercials - often overspending by a significant margin without the commensurate return on marketing.

The key is finding the right channels that can deliver consistent and positive return on investment (eg. the amount you amount you generate for every dollar of marketing you spend).

But what about advertising your business for free? Getting additional customers without any incremental cost will actually make your overall business more cost effective as your blended marketing cost comes down. And lowering the overall cost of your marketing will allow you to do even more.

Here are some ways to market your business without breaking the bank:

1. Publicity

This is often associated with expensive PR campaigns to generate attention. But did you know you can actually generate free publicity with the right media outlets?

Publications such as The Straits Times are constantly sourcing relevant topics and content for their readers. The best way to get some initial exposure is to follow the writers that cover your industry and to reach out to them when you have something interesting to share.

Try sponsoring a content for your existing customers enticing them to fill out a customer survey, one that you think will provide insightful feedback. You can share the results with your favorite media outlets. Publications love these kind of surveys and will help you share it with their readers in a meaningful way.

2. Community service

People love businesses that are active participants in the community and have a genuine interest in making a positive impact on those around them. Word of mouth comes naturally to organisations that are actively involved.

Why not get involved today with something you are personally passionate about? There’s a wide range of volunteering opportunities available in Singapore. Consider a team event with your staff to do some volunteering together. This is a great opportunity for them to get together and share a common mission in helping the community.

Depending on your budget, you can also consider donating a portion of your sales to a charitable organisation.

3. Guest speaking

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This is one of the most underlooked opportunities to advertise your business. Events organisers are constantly on the lookout for interesting people from diverse backgrounds to feature as their guest speaker.

Look for events that have attendees from your target audience. Participating regularly will allow you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and provide additional social validation of your business. In fact, what often happens is once you become a guest speaker, you often get more invitations from other event organisers as they know you are willing to participate.


You are now ready to start looking for opportunities to generate free exposure for your business. As a small business owner, you carry the vision of your brand with you. Stay passionate and make sure you go the extra mile when engaging with those who want to learn more about your brand at these venues. You never know, they may become your best advocates tomorrow.

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Bacon ipsum dolor amet prosciutto cupim strip steak boudin. Drumstick shoulder alcatra porchetta. Bacon shoulder short loin drumstick. Rump landjaeger pork loin, brisket pork sausage leberkas spare ribs beef ribs tri-tip pastrami alcatra prosciutto buffalo.

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Is the Google Small Business Tool Worth Using?

Google has launched Google for Small Business with the goal of enabling small business owners to leverage more digital tools to grow their business. Apparently over half of small business owners are unaware that these tools even exist.

The website prompts you to fill out basic information about your business, such as your company name and website, and ask you questions about your goals: growing your online presence, getting more customers, among others.

After submitting the responses, you get a personalised step-by-step plan. For example, Google may encourage you to use Adwords to boost your presence and start a YouTube video channel to attract an organic audience. You also get tips on how to improve your search results.

Useful or not? Your mileage may vary depending on how familiar you are already with Google’s suite of products. Although it’s Google centric, it’s a great place to start for newcomers and you may end up learning something new. It’s encouraging to see Google continuing to invest in initiatives for small businesses.

Get started today.

Drei Alquiros

Bacon ipsum dolor amet prosciutto cupim strip steak boudin. Drumstick shoulder alcatra porchetta. Bacon shoulder short loin drumstick. Rump landjaeger pork loin, brisket pork sausage leberkas spare ribs beef ribs tri-tip pastrami alcatra prosciutto buffalo.

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Half of Small Businesses Struggle With Financing

It is getting harder and harder these days to obtain adequate capital as a small business owner. Only half of SMEs were even eligible for financing last year.

In most cases, the lack of cash flow and low annual sales volume lead to automatic disqualification for the small business loan applicant.

If your business generates less than $300,000 in revenue and you have less than a $100,000 cash balance, you may need to seek alternative financing options as your likelihood of obtaining business credit is low.

Click here for the original story from the Singapore Business Review.

Drei Alquiros

Bacon ipsum dolor amet prosciutto cupim strip steak boudin. Drumstick shoulder alcatra porchetta. Bacon shoulder short loin drumstick. Rump landjaeger pork loin, brisket pork sausage leberkas spare ribs beef ribs tri-tip pastrami alcatra prosciutto buffalo.

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