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As entrepreneurs, we have to continually work at creating a financially healthy business.
As our companies grow, so does our financial education - at least it should. How often do we get so focused on the day-to-day running of our business, that we neglect one of the most important aspects of our entrepreneurial journey?
The ability to “work smarter not harder” goes hand in hand with mastering your finances in order to, not only keep your bottom line above the water, but to keep you way above the line.
These are the finances you need to master for 2022 and beyond.
Is there a difference between business finances and business accounting? Yes, and they work together to help you grow and maximize profits.
Business accounting is the reporting, analyzing, and interpreting of your financial information. Think of your business accounting as the visual representation of the state of your business.
Learning a few basic accounting terms will help you in the long run. Along with learning how to manage the accounting basics of your business will put you steps ahead of your competitors.
Business finances use the above information in order to allow you to manage your money. Think of your business finances as your strategies to maximize profit and minimize loss.
Financial Management is the foundation needed to achieve your business goals. It lets you plan for immediate and long-term needs and wants. Quality financial management will show where you need to make changes or adjustments to your financial health. In short, these are the visual guides to see the profit you are making.
Your statements give you a visual representation of your financial health. Use this to correct any unnecessary overspending throughout the weeks, months, and years.
Your statements will give you an insight into what habits to get rid and what to nurture in order to fulfil your business goals. Use a cash flow projection to guide you on how to support sales and set sales goals, allowing you to plan for future purchases, goals, and more.
The big takeaway here is that you need to understand your cash flow patterns and how they affect your business in the long run.
Ground your financial objectives in concrete, obtainable goals. Use your current finances to set goals for what your business will look like a year, five, ten, twenty years down the line. Create realistic budgets to align with these goals.
Invest in the things you know will help you attain your goals and grow your profit.
Opening a new location
Hiring more staff
Updating current locations with practical additions and solutions
Turn your current finances and understanding your statements into financial literacy that will help you ground your future financial health.
You already have a business plan set in place. Solid financial management stands on a pillar of a variety of assets, depending on your unique needs and goals, industry standards, and revenue. Invest in a financial management system is a great place to begin visually understanding your different financial components, be it investments, payments, incoming cash, etc.
The ability to see your actual day-to-day will allow you to budget, spend, and strategize in order to fit your goals. You will see your finances from all angles and in a better place to make informed decisions while continually growing.
Realizing short and long-term goals
Executing business plans
Adjusting departments as needed
Creating up-to-date financial reports
Pro tip: Up-to-date financial records will allow your employees to not only see where the company is heading, but how their departments directly affect everyone’s bottom line.
Bookkeeping is a catch-all term that can describe anything from what you send to your accountant, to payroll, to your day-to-day transaction management. A bookkeeping system that works with and for you will 1. Show you where you are making profits and should expand and 2. What isn’t working and where you need to make changes.
You’ll need an entry system that can handle your transactions, balance your accounts, help you catch any errors, and stores important documentation.
Now is a great time to invest in an entry system that best fits your business. Choose from a single or double-entry accounting system. Single-entry is perfect for smaller businesses that don’t require tracking every transaction twice.
Hiring a bookkeeping service has never been easier. Software lets you take control of your bookkeeping yourself, but you can also outsource your bookkeeping to an online firm or hire an in-person bookkeeper.
Pro Tip: If hiring a bookkeeper, be clear and upfront on what your bookkeeper will and will not do to save yourself future headaches.
The easiest of the finances to let fall by the wayside is budgeting. In fact, most small businesses do not document their budget or bother to create a budget at all. Ignoring the fact that most businesses expect their budget to go up in 2022.
The first trick to sticking to your budget is, simply, creating a budget. Most businesses who take the time to create a budget will often stick to it.
Concentrate your focus
Communicate to staff and employee what goals you are all working towards
See what your pain points are and make a plan to fix them
The ability to make informed decisions
Once your budget is in place, you’ll have a greater understanding of how your pieces are in motion. You can look forward to funding the goals you always envisioned, be it expanding or generating more income.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to review your budget every few months or create an emergency fund.
Many of the finances listed above will take days, weeks, or months to get up and running the way you want them to. But are there any changes you can make now? Definitely!
Start by reading through your financial statements to get an idea of your financial health
Write a list of poor business habits you want to get rid of
Write a list of the best business practices for your you want to implement
Make a map of where you envision your business growing in one, five, ten, and twenty years
Thinking of getting a loan? Look into debt versus equity funding.
The number one thing you can start today - trusting your team and the tools you already have set up. A client that sees happy, engaged staff knows that everything behind the scenes is working as smoothly as possible. Trusting is one of the first steps to having a company that can both flourish and stand apart from the competition.
One of the best things about today’s emerging and constantly developing technology is that there is almost an automated solution for all of your needs. Take the time to invest in software that will not only make your life easier, but will also help you scale your business.
Keep in mind, once you implement a software, you’ll need to educate yourself on the best practices and also give yourself time to learn the ins-and-outs. You don’t want to have invested money into something that you will not use.
Bookkeeping (see above)
Document and data storage
Email and social media marketing
Stay engaged with whatever automation software you decide to implement. The first step is easy. Sticking with it until it becomes a habit is the hard part. Automation is one of the easiest ways to manage your finances into a healthy and stable future.
As a business owner, it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day. You promise yourself that you’ll get to a task tomorrow or next week, and it just gets bogged down in the noise and chaos of everything else.
Finances are not the most fun or glamorous part of the job, but it can help you set up the things you want to accomplish and grow. It’s just as important to set money aside to create the goals you always envisioned when starting your business.
Pay yourself what you’re worth
Invest in what you want to grow
Consider purchasing additional insurance policies
Manage your business finances and customer billing
Review your finances on a monthly basis
Plan for the future
Mastering your finances won’t be a simple fix, but you’ll be happy you started when you did. Begin where you feel most comfortable and keep growing from there. Before you know it, you’ll be exactly where you always envisioned you would be.