Keeping your small business financially sound is one of the most difficult – and important – aspects of running a successful company. When something is amiss with your financial management, it can quickly spiral out of control and threaten the very existence of your business.
We’ve put together a list of the most basic steps you need to take to ensure that your small business stays on track financially. Of course, seeking expert advice is always recommended, but these tips will help you get started in the right direction.
1) Track Your Expenses Carefully
This should go without saying, but it’s important to keep a close eye on your expenses. In fact, you need your records to be impeccable.
Many small business owners make the mistake of letting their spending get out of control, without realizing how much it is actually impacting their bottom line.
Create a budget and stick to it as closely as possible. You should know exactly what you’re spending and why. This will enable you to understand which costs are generating a sufficient return and where you may be able to cut costs.
2) Keep Your Personal and Business Finances Separate
One of the biggest financial mistakes you can make is commingling your personal and business finances.
Not only does this make it much more difficult to track your expenses, but it can also lead to serious legal problems down the road.
If you want to keep your small business financially sound, it’s crucial that you maintain a clear separation between your personal and business finances.
3) Manage Your Taxes Properly (from Day One)
Another mistake that many small business owners make is failing to properly manage their taxes.
This can be a complicated process, but it’s important to ensure that you’re paying all of the taxes you owe and taking advantage of any deductions or credits you’re entitled to.
Failing to properly manage your taxes can lead to significant problems down the road, so it’s important to get this right from the start.
4) Put a Solid Invoicing System in Place
Late payments and unpaid invoices are one of the biggest financial problems faced by small businesses.
If you want to ensure that your small business is financially sound, you need to put a solid invoicing system in place.
This should include sending invoices out in a timely manner and following up with clients who are late in paying.
You may also want to consider using software that can help you automatically send reminders and track payments. This is especially useful if you need to send a large volume of invoices each month.
5) Build a Healthy Cash Reserve
One of the best ways to ensure that your small business is financially sound is to build up a healthy cash reserve.
Now, this is certainly easier said than done, but it’s important to have a buffer of cash on hand in case of unexpected expenses or slow periods.
Ideally, you should aim to have enough cash to cover 3-6 months of operating expenses. This will ensure that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.
Of course, these are just a few of the most important steps you need to take to ensure that your small business is financially sound. For more detailed advice, be sure to seek out the help of a qualified accountant or financial advisor.