10 Tips for Managing Small Business Finances
Education and organization are two keys to ensuring your business is financially healthy.
- Your firm will be more stable and less likely to fail if your funds are managed properly.
- Pay yourself on time, maintain excellent credit, keep an eye on your records, and plan ahead in order to manage the finances of your business.
- For small firms, debt financing entails interest charges in addition to repayment obligations, whereas equity financing is interest-free but may provide you less influence over your company’s operations.
- The purpose of this article is to provide business owners with financial management guidance.
Any small company owner who manages their funds well may find it difficult. Frequently, the abilities you contribute to the process of creating your product or offering your service are what make your small business successful. It might feel like a hassle if you don’t have much expertise handling business finances, and you risk developing poor financial practices that could eventually hurt your company.
The importance of managing your business finances
For each company owner, education is the most crucial stage. Business owners may build a secure financial future and prevent failure by being familiar with the fundamental abilities required to operate a small business, such as doing basic accounting duties, asking for a loan, or producing financial statements. Keeping organized is a key element of successful money management, along with knowledge.
According to Ryan Watson, co-founder and head of Unsourced Accounting, “there is nothing more scary, expensive, or unsafe than showing up at your accountant’s office at the end of the year with a shoebox of receipts and nine of your previous 12 bank statements.” The value of accurately recording your financial information all year long cannot be emphasized enough.
Tips for managing small business finances
Here are a few things you should do as a small business owner to stay on top of your finances.
It might be easy to attempt to squeeze everything into daily operations if you’re managing a small firm. After all, that additional money may frequently make a significant contribution to the expansion of your company. Small business owners should recognize their personal contribution to the firm and pay themselves appropriately, according to Alexander Lowry, professor and head of Gordon College’s master of science in financial analysis programme. Making ensuring that both your personal and corporate finances are in order is important.
Many SMB owners overlook to pay themselves, he noted, especially at the beginning. They firmly think that paying everyone else comes before starting the company. But if the venture fails, you won’t have ever received payment for yourself. Keep in mind that you are an integral component of the company and that you should be paid equally to other employees.
2. Invest in growth.
It’s critical to budget your money, consider development prospects, and pay yourself. This may help your company grow and progress in a sound financial path. Tobias Financial Advisors’ chief financial officer, Edgar Collado, advised business owners to constantly look ahead.
He stated, “A small firm that wants to keep expanding, innovating, and luring the greatest talent [should] show that they are prepared to invest in the future.” “The higher quality of service would be appreciated by the customers. Employees will value your investment in the business and in their development. Ultimately, you will add more value to your company than you would if you only used your revenues for personal expenses.
3. Don’t be afraid of loans.
Loans may be frightening. They may cause you to start worried about the costs of failing. But without the flood of cash that loans provide, expanding your workforce or buying equipment might prove to be quite difficult. Additionally, you may use loan profits to improve cash flow, which will help you avoid late payment problems for suppliers and staff.
4. Keep good business credit.
You might wish to buy more commercial real estate as your business expands, as well as extra insurance coverage and financing to support all of these endeavours. Obtaining clearance for all of these transactions and acquisitions may be more challenging with bad company credit. Pay off all of your debt funding as soon as you can to maintain good credit. Don’t, for instance, allow your company credit cards to carry a debt for longer than a few weeks. In the same way, avoid taking out loans with interest rates you cannot afford. Only look for money that you can simply and swiftly pay back.
5. Have a good billing strategy.
Every company owner has a customer that habitually makes payments and bills late. For your company to run smoothly on a daily basis, controlling your small business finances also entails managing your cash flow. It could be time to get creative with how you charge them if you’re having trouble getting payment from a certain client or customer.
James Tifurac, managing editor of Invoice Factoring Guide, said that having too much cash locked up in unpaid bills can generate cash flow issues, which are a major factor in business failure. “If you have a persistently slow-paying customer, as we all have, consider a different tactic rather than badgering them with frequent invoices and phone calls. The words should be changed to “2/10 Net 30.” The consumer will save 2% on the total amount if they pay the invoice within the allotted 10 days. If not, full payment is required within 30 days. What to Do When Customers Refuse to Pay Their Bills is a related article.
6. Spread out tax payments.
If you have trouble saving for your quarterly estimated tax payments, make it a monthly payment instead, said Michele Etzel, owner of Bayside Accounting Services. That way, you can treat tax payments like any other monthly operating expense.
7. Monitor your books.
This is a straightforward yet crucial practice. Even if you’re working with a bookkeeper, try your best to schedule time each day or month to check and manage your accounts. It will provide you a better understanding of your company’s finances as well as a window into potential financial criminality.
Terence Channon, principal for New Lead LLC, advised clients to “do not overlook bank reconciliations and spending some time each month examining overdue bills.” Failure to do so exposes the company to unnecessary spending or even embezzlement, especially if a bookkeeper is involved.
8. Focus on expenditures but also ROI.
You may get a clear picture of which investments make sense and which might not be worth continuing by measuring expenditures and return on investment. My Corporation CEO Deborah Sweeney advised small company owners to be cautious about their financial decisions.
Focus on the return on investment (ROI) associated with each of your expenses, she said. “If you don’t do this, you risk losing money on pointless or wasteful bets. Understand where and how your hard-earned money is being invested, as well as how it is paying off. Spend less on it and a little more on the efforts that do work for you and your company if it isn’t paying off.
9. Set up good financial habits.
Establishing internal financial standards can help to safeguard your company’s financial well-being, even if they are as straightforward as designating a regular period for reviewing and updating financial data. Keeping track of your money might assist you reduce danger or fraud.
Small business owners shouldn’t be discouraged from establishing internal controls, Collazo added, even if they frequently have limited resources (time, money, and technical skills. If you have staff, this is extremely crucial. Weak internal controls can result in employee fraud or theft and may put you or an employee in legal trouble if they break certain laws.
10. Plan ahead.
There will always be business issues that need to be addressed today, but when it comes to your finances, you need to plan for the future. “If you’re not looking five to 10 years ahead, you are behind the competition,” said Tina Gosnell, founder of QuickBooks specialist firm Set Free Bookkeeping.
Types of business finances
It is important to remember that business finances aren’t just about your earnings – they’re about how you spend your money and where you get it. When it comes to where you get your funding, you should understand the two main funding categories:
A loan that your business repays with additional interest is known as debt finance. You can immediately obtain funds through debt financing that you might not have access to for several weeks or even months. Debt finance includes bank loans, government loans, merchant cash advances, business credit lines, and business credit cards, all of which must be repaid even if your firm fails.
Unlike loan financing, equity capital is not repaid if your firm fails. You will probably need to give your backers a place at the decision-making table, though. Equity investment comes in the forms of venture capitalists, angel investors, and equity crowdsourcing.