Figuring out how to manage finances is one of the most challenging things you’ll face as a small business owner. Often, people get into the business world because they have an exciting idea or product to share. The chances are that you won’t have a lot of experience with accounts, taxes and cash flow too.
While learning as much as you can about money matters can seem like an exhausting process at first, it’s something you can’t afford to overlook when you start bringing your company to life. Knowing these 8 simple things about finance will help to keep your organization on track.
1. Sometimes You’re Going to Need a Loan
When you first launch a business, sometimes it’s tempting to try and do everything by yourself. The last thing you want is to be in debt before you’ve ever started making a profit. However, the truth is that most people simply don’t have the capital required to handle the demands of a business without a little support. A loan can be the most useful tool you have when it comes to starting your business, and even overcoming cash flow problems. Just make sure that you compare your options so you can ensure you’re getting the best interest rates.
2. Have a Billing Strategy
No matter how good you are at staying on top of things like cashflow, there’s nothing to say that your clients will be just as efficient. Most companies will have at least one customer that always seems to be late when paying their bills. Too much cash tied up in your unpaid invoices can quickly lead to cash flow problems. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that you have a billing strategy in place. The good news is that there are tools online you can use to automatically invoice clients and send them reminders when they’re late.
3. You Need to Pay Yourself
When you’re running a small business for the first time, you might find yourself trying to put everything you earn back into the company. Any extra capital is a great way to help your business grow, but you also need to look after yourself and your family too. Remember that you’re playing an important role in your company, and you deserve to get paid for your work. Don’t focus on everyone else and forget to look after yourself.
4. You Need to Spend Money to Make It
This phrase might sound like a cliché at first, but it’s true. If you want to make real progress in any industry, then you need to be willing to invest in yourself and your business. With that in mind, make sure that you take risks from time to time, and invest in your growth. This could mean that you need to take an extra loan out at some point so you can afford to buy additional equipment, materials, or pay for staff, but a good risk analysis will help you to see if it’s worth it in the long-term.
5. You Must Remember to Look at ROI
Speaking of investing in the long-term, it’s a good idea to have a way to track your return on investments. Every time you start pouring money into projects for your business, make sure that you set up a measurement system that will show you which of your strategies are good for your future, and which might not be worth the effort.
6. You Need to Constantly Monitor Your Books
Monitoring your books might be an obvious task for financial health in your business, but it’s something that people often forget that they need to do regularly. If you’re the kind of person who might leave managing cash flow to the end of the month, try setting up an hour in your schedule each day where you can look at your incoming and outgoing expenses and make some crucial notes. The last thing you want to do is neglect your accounts.
7. It Helps to Establish Good Habits
Make sure that you do everything you can to develop good financial habits – even if it just means that you block aside some time at the end of each week to check that everything is running smoothly in your business. Running a small business often leaves you strapped for time, but your financials aren’t something you can afford to cut corners on. Start building good habits for your finances now.
8. You May Need Help
Finally, don’t expect to become a professional accountant overnight just because you’ve decided that you want to run your own business. If you don’t know anything about taxes and deductions, and you don’t have time to learn, then invest in an accountant or bookkeeper to help you. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long-term.