By Daniel Hunter

IT issues are the most common teething problems for start-ups in their first year, according to new research.

The survey of 2,000 small business owners who have been in business for more than five years, conducted by business development consultancy Sandler Training, found IT problems were the biggest hindrance for 27% of start-ups in the first year.

Pricing (22%) and decisions on hiring new staff (18%) completed the top three issues.

The study also found that the timing of launching your own business can be crucial with nearly half (47%) stating that they wish they had started their business over a year earlier.

Start-ups are also spending a significant amount on outsourcing and external consultants — averaging £22,450 a year. The Scots are outsourcing the least with an average of £18,750, compared to their counterparts in the East of England, who are spending £25,420. Despite these high figures, over two in five (42%) business founders state that, if they could turn back time, they would have outsourced more.

Shaun Thomson, CEO of Sandler Training (UK) said: “This insight on outsourcing is indicative of businesses that have what it takes to be successful and play to their strengths. Business skills are not innate. By trying to do it all, you can stall the growth of your business and worse, make some very costly mistakes. It’s best that you focus on your strengths and outsource the areas of weakness — whether its IT, marketing, sales or accounting.”