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Looking for a less stressful way to handle your business' finances? Learn what mistakes to avoid and the tools that will help you master money even if you're a busy entrepreneur!
Small Business Finances
Around 27 million working-age Americans began or are running a business you may be one of them.
I remember when I started freelancing it was a supplemental income. Eventually, though, it transitioned into my main work.
I knew I needed to step it up and run it like a business. So I took care of the paperwork and started educating myself.
There are days those deadlines get tight and I'm stressed but I enjoy doing the work I'm doing and spending more time with my family.
Win-win in my book.
Whether you're freelancing, doing a side hustle, or launching a business, it will take work.
Not only do you have to work on the front end- so to speak – producing the product or service you're selling, but you also have to be smart about the back end stuff. One key component? Finances.
Quite simply getting the money squared away makes sure you're actually running a business and not an expensive hobby.
I shared a little bit of my story in past episodes, which I hope gives a glimpse of what to expect. However, it's limited to my own business which may be different from yours.
I know someone who has the breadth and depth of skills and can show you the ropes.
Today small business coach and author Sylvia Moe Inks is on the show to share her knowledge. We're going to discuss:
- the biggest mistakes small business owners make (& how to avoid them)
- creating a system to make taxes much easier
- a tool to cut down on the back and forth of emails
Hope you enjoy!
Resources for Business Finances
If you two are ready to start or grow your business, here are some resources to check out to make sure your money is best used wisely.
- Connect with Sylvia: SMI Financial Coaching | LinkedIn
- Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur: Blueprint for Building a Solid, Profitable Business <–This needs to be on your bookshelf!
- Lifestyle Business Guide: I created a free guide with the best resources to start your business on a bootstrap budget!
- Quickbooks: Track your money like a pro. I use them for my business.
Mastering your Small Business Finances (Even If You're A Busy Entrepreneur!)
Sylvia started out in the corporate world where she focused on finances, helping them increase their stock price or get to market.
She enjoyed consulting working with numbers but felt that she wasn't in the right spot.
Sylvia took some time off to start a family and figure out what she wanted to do career-wise. She then looked at financial coaching.
The niche she fell in love with was assisting busy and talented entrepreneurs who were fantastic with what they were doing but needed help with the financial side of things.
After working with many clients, she began to see patterns. In her book, Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur Sylvia lays out how you can build a successful (and manageable!) financial system for your business.
She found that there were three main things that people consistently get wrong when it comes to their business and finances.
Don't Mix Your Personal and Business Finances!
One huge mistake is that business owners were comingling their personal and business funds.
They people start out and say oh well I'm going to start out and I don't know this business is going to succeed.
I'm just going to do everything from my personal checking account.
So I've seen a lot of problems with that where you're trying to pay your personal bills and your business bills from one account.
The problem with that approach is you potentially have tax penalties from essentially thinking and telling your CPA that something was a business expense when it wasn't.
Learn to Outsource
Another area where entrepreneurs were hurting themselves was how they valued their time.
Bootstrapping in the beginning can make sense, but at some point, it can get to be too much.
It's the understanding your value of your hour that you are outsourcing tasks that don't make sense for you to do so that you have time to focus on your business as well as having time set aside for your family.
I mean the number one thing I hear from small business owners is that they're stressed out and you know they're overworked
Learning how to outsource can relieve stress and help you focus on your strengths, which in turn grows the business.
Hire the Right People
That said, when you do hire people to handle some of teh responsibility, take the time to vet them.
Sometimes, you go with a friend of a friend, thinking you're getting a good deal and helping someone out.
[Make] sure that you are clear of your expectations so that you're hiring the right person.
I share my book I have a business owner who hired an office manager and founder through my personal connections.
[He] didn't do a whole lot of background check on the person and ended up … embezzling funds from him.
The people you hire are really an investment in your business, so invest wisely and do your due diligence.
Thank You to Our Partners
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This episode was orginally released in July 2017. Show notes have been updated Spetember 2019.