People often ask me, “What’s a good way for entrepreneurs to keep their business finances in top shape?”
Whenever I get this question, you can bet that I’m smiling on the inside. Why? It shows a commitment to making their company successful when this question becomes top of mind. Congratulations on taking this step. You’re on the right path!
So, here are five ways to help you get started.
1. Manage Your Time Well
Running a business means that there will always some project to work on and some task to cross off the to-do list. To keep things from falling through the cracks, learn how to be a good time manager. One way to do this is by creating time blocks for specific activities. Many of the people I work with are very busy. So, for them, it is highly important to use time wisely. Do things like create standing appointments to go over financial reports. This will ensure that you don’t get so booked up that finances don’t get the attention that it needs.
2. Organize Your Office
One of the top reasons contributing to small business failure in the early part of their life cycle is poor management. When there is an increase of activity or you are simply handling too much on your own, even the simplest of things like filing paperwork or opening mail, can fall behind. These seemingly small tasks must be taken care of so that you don’t miss important notices and get hit with unnecessary fines and penalties.
3. Automate the Process
During the start-up phase there is generally a limited amount of capital. That’s when owners end up doing much of the work themselves. This means that there may be a trade-off of what gets prioritized and processed first. Marketing and operations task usually top the list leaving financial matters to fall behind.
I am a big fan of automation because it streamlines work and frees time by cutting down repetition. From a financial management standpoint, it is a good idea to look into solutions that allow the business to run smoothly without you. Technology can help with this. Many resources exist from free bookkeeping apps to paid accounting software. My favorite are accounting apps and billing software are those that include a one-time setup feature of recurring invoices to clients and fixed bill payments to vendors.
4. Review Your Work Flow
Workflow is critical to managing with efficiency. It includes what you do, how you do it and what tools you need to use to get things done. Periodically do a review of these steps to see where the bottlenecks are and planning improvements.
5. Outsource to Accounting Professionals
Wearing many hats and running the business alone can save you money early on. Over time, as the pace picks up, it considers whether you’ll be better off assigning finance tasks to others. Being busy is a good thing but if you can’t keep up when the cash starts flowing quickly in and out of the business, you can end up losing control and falling behind. Do yourself and business a favor and get help whether it’s a part-time bookkeeper that works in-house or a virtual accounting pro.
Financial success does not show up by chance. For the everyday small business owner, it takes time to manage it all. Decide which of the tips above you can use and begin working them in your business.