It’s no surprise that one of the top stressors for a small business owner is money management. You don’t have to be a CPA or virtual bookkeeper to understand the basics of your company finances and use that knowledge to build your business. Here are a few quick money management tips you can use to grow your business (and your profit!):
- Separate personal finances from business finances. Not only does this make tax time easier, it helps you know where you’re at throughout the year as well. More tips on this principle here.
- Understand your balance and income sheet. Ben described these numbers in detail in this video.
- Set a strict budget and stick to it. The importance of a business budget cannot be overstated. Learn how to plan one in an afternoon.
- Create a business savings account. A few benefits of a business savings account include: the ability to earn interest, a stockpile of cash that is useful when tax season comes around, a boost in your credit score, fund protection (Business savings accounts are insured by the federal government up to $250,000), and the simple fact that it’s never a bad idea to have a little money saved for a rainy day.
- Be religious about tracking expenses. Every purchase you make exclusively for your business is tax deductible, which means it lowers your taxable income at the end of the year. You’d be surprised at how small expenses add up over time, which is why tracking every single expense is critical to money management. A few ways to track expenses can be found here.
- Don’t borrow more than you need. No matter how much profit you think you can turn your business loan into, don’t be tempted to borrow more than necessary. Even if you’re approved for a higher amount, take only what you need to avoid acquiring more debt.
- Pay bills early. Rather than waiting until bills are due, pay them as soon as you have the money. You’re less likely to spend money on things you don’t need if you simply don’t have the money in your account.
- Set your salary and pay yourself. The easiest cut to make when you’re the boss and funds are tight is to your own salary. However, this can easily backfire. Here are a few tips on determining your salary as a business owner.
- Cut costs where you can. From hiring interns to advertising, the ways to cut business costs are endless. Here are 20 ideas to get you started.
- Give yourself a financial checkup every year. Schedule an entire day to (or a few hours each quarter) to check the balance on all bank accounts, interest rates on your credit cards, monthly bills, subscription fees, and all other expenses. Write it out and analyze the numbers to determine what you can cut out and how you can maximize your profits.
- Outsource the things that use up your time. No money management technique can save you more than simply managing your time well. Since you’re the brains behind your business, you need to focus your efforts on what makes your business the most profitable. If it’s not graphic design, then find a graphic designer. If it’s not SEO, hire someone to do it. Accounting is a great service to outsource because an accountant can save you time and money.
What are your tried and true money management techniques?