Financial Planning Errors and how to avoid them


It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. Financial planning is one of the most difficult things to do, and it’s even harder when you’re starting out. Financial mistakes are common for entrepreneurs: there are so many decisions to be made, and each decision can have a big impact on your future success. The key is understanding which financial errors are the worst for your business, then taking steps to avoid them in the future. In this blog post we’ll talk about some of those financial planning errors that could hurt your business – and how to avoid them.

Missing financial plan

Probably the worst mistake is not having a financial plan. Many entrepreneurs create a business plan, but often forget the financial planning or only approach it half-heartedly.

Financial plans are often developed after businesses have been created, rather than before they are started. Entrepreneurs will create a business plan but neglect the financial aspects of it all together, which can lead to problems down the line as you may find that you don’t have enough money on hand and need loans to pay off bills while waiting for income from your new company. It’s also possible that there may be more debt than investors are aware of, which can lead to bankruptcy. Financial plans should be established and followed as closely as possible from the beginning in order to avoid these issues.

The purpose of a financial plan is not just to give you a set path for your finances but also help ensure that your business will succeed by providing accurate projections about how much money you’ll make, how much your investment will cost and when. Financial planning also helps account for all of the possible risks that may come up in your business so you can be prepared if any problems arise.

Overly optimistic sales planning

Start-ups often make the mistake of overestimating their products’ marketability, which can lead to failure. Financial planning is especially important for start-ups as they will need a lot more capital than established companies due to higher risks and lower assets.

In order for your business’s finances to work out in the end you’ll want to prepare for the worst case scenario and make sure that you don’t plan on making more money than your company is really capable of. Financial planning will help give your start-up a chance to succeed by having accurate numbers, which can then be adjusted according to how quickly things are progressing in order for you to know if it’ll all work out or not.

Too little estimation of marketing costs

Marketing is often the biggest expense for start-ups and small businesses. Financial planners often overlook it when estimating costs in their forecasts, but this can be a costly mistake. The cost of marketing varies widely depending on what type of business you are running; however, most studies show that new companies spend 30% to 50% or more on advertising and promotion.

The cost of marketing can be a significant drain on your resources if you are not prepared to spend money in this area, but the benefits make it well worth the investment for any company that wants to grow or maintain its market share. Spend some time exploring different types of marketing strategies before deciding which will work best for your own situation.

Unplanned investments

Unplanned investments are investments that you weren’t expecting and when they happen, it can be a risk. They are typically not your main focus for investing because there is no strategy for them. Everyone wants to be prepared for anything that life throws their way. Typical examples are repairs or unplanned new equipment purchases.

Refusal of public financial aid

Financial planning should be done with all aspects taken into consideration, including the varioussubsidies one may qualify for. Many Start-Ups and small and medium-sized enterprises are critical of raising external capital because the shareholder relationships might change. Although this is understandable, it should not lead to a situation where a good idea can not be implemented due to a lack of capital. After all, start-ups could seldom be raised only with one’s own funds. Fortunately, the state offers a wide range of funding and financing options. These range from raising equity capital to bank loans and various support programmes.

Future scenarios are not simulated

Financial planning is an integral part of a successful startup. Financial projections are often made by founders and investors to determine how the company will perform, what it might be worth, or if there’s enough money to pay for certain projects. Financial forecasting is also used as a way to estimate how much funding the company will need in order to continue growing and succeeding. Financial plans may be created with assumptions about cost-cutting measures that can help a business survive tough times and achieve profitability more quickly than expected. Financial forecasts are typically created in one-, three-, five-, seven- or ten-year periods indicating when funds are predicted to run out. Financial estimates should always take into account different scenarios such as economic downturns, unexpected expenses, etc.

Failing to adapt planning in the light of changes

Failure to adapt planning in the light of changes is a common mistake for start-ups.

For example, many start-ups underestimate the importance of cash flow forecasting because they don’t really know how much money is coming in. Financial planning starts with a budget and then forecasts out as far into the future as you can manage. Financial planning should be an on-going process for start-ups considering new information, not just a one-time checkbox.

Incorrect calculation of employee costs

Incorrect calculation of employee costs is another common mistake.

For example, many start-ups are not properly calculating the cost of their employees in order to stay afloat as a company. Financial planning should always include an analysis on how much money will be needed for payroll taxes and benefits such as healthcare insurance or life insurance premiums. Inaccurate calculations could lead to the company going under.

A study by Intuit Financial Services found that “more than a third of small businesses go out of business because they don’t have enough cash on hand.”

Not enough equity

Not enough equity in the company is another reason for companies failing.

When start-ups don’t have enough equity in a company, they might not be able to borrow money or get an investor on board if their business becomes slow. Financial planning should always include projections of what it will take from the start-up’s capital sources and how long those resources can last before more are needed.

Incorrect estimation of cash flow

The incorrect estimation of cash flow is a factor in the failure to adapt planning in the light of changes can lead to companies not being able to pay their employees, run out of money before they have implemented all their plans or gone bankrupt due to unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters or excessive competition.

Ignoring the tax

Start-ups often underestimate the importance of taxes. Financial planning should always include projections for income tax rates as well as other factors such as property tax.


Conclusion paragraph: It is critical for start-ups to plan ahead and be realistic about what they need. Many of the mistakes founders make are easy to avoid, such as failing to account for taxes when estimating cash flow or not taking into account employee costs. A financial plan should be created with a team that includes an accountant who can help you navigate through all the complexities. For new businesses, it may also be necessary to seek public assistance to get started. With some careful planning before launching your business from scratch, it will save time and money down the line by avoiding these usual startup errors.

Project Information

Project reference number: 2020-1-ES01-KA226-HE-095810
Project acronym: FINANCEn_LAB
Project full title: Digital Simulator for Entrepreneurial Finance
Starting date: 2021-03-01
Duration: 24 months

This project has received funding from Erasmus+, Call 2020 Round 1 KA2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices, KA226 - Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness.

National Agency of the Applicant Organisation: ES01 Servicio Español para la Internacionalización de la Educación (SEPIE)

With the financial support of:
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