Even though you may have a robust customer base, unique products and committed employees, disorganized or negligent financial practices can sabotage your best efforts. It’s much like planting a beautiful garden but failing to water and fertilize it. If you think it’s time to give your company finances a much-needed makeover, there are some concrete steps you can take.
Come Up With a Budget
If the idea of creating a structured plan that shows how much money you expect to spend in relation to how much is realistically coming in intimidates you, don’t let yourself fall into that trap. In reality, budgeting helps you get your priorities in order and forces you to come up with realistic numbers for both your income and expenditures.
Look at past sales to estimate future profits while also remembering to include necessary expenses such as the various types of business insurance that are essential to your operations. Finally, remember to make room in your finances for an emergency fund. Even though you already have business insurance, you still need anywhere from three months to a year’s worth of extra funds in case difficulties or disasters strike.
Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate
As tempting as it might be to merge all of your accounts, it will save you countless hours of grief if you keep them distinct. Open credit card and bank accounts specific to your business, and keep all records separate. When tax time rolls around and you need to account for cash flow, profits, revenue and expenses, you will thank yourself a thousand times over.
Choose Modern Accounting Software
If you haven’t already upgraded to cloud-based accounting software, doing so should be your first priority. Unlike old-school desktop packages, cloud-based options let you track your finances in real time and from anywhere, enabling you to keep your finger on the pulse of profits, losses and revenue no matter where you are.
Hire a Professional Bookkeeper
If numbers aren’t your strong suit and you would rather focus on growing your business, you may want to seriously consider hiring professional accounting help. Taking this step does not prevent you from accessing your company’s financial information at your discretion, but it leaves the complex and often detail-heavy number-crunching to an expert.
This person can not only help you with your day-to-day operations but also can assist you in avoiding tax penalties and finding all of the available deductions for your business, making the dollars that you delegate toward paying your bookkeeper a worthwhile investment.
Find a Local Credit Union
Why would you want to patronize a credit union rather than a bank? For one thing, credit unions are often much more receptive to lending to small businesses than are larger financial institutions. Furthermore, they are often more flexible and do not have as many transaction fees or service charges. Because they are community-based, they are also more likely to care about your business’s growth and health over the long haul.
The financial end of your company’s operations may seem both dull and overwhelming. However, it is at least as important as product development, sales and customer service. Tending to it in a consistent, structured way, perhaps with the help of a professional, can furnish your company with a solid foundation on which it can safely expand and prosper.