Money: the basic building block of business. From bookkeeping, to payroll, to cash flow, business finances can control your day, maybe even more than the service or product you offer itself. But in order to see the forest through the trees, it’s important to step back and look at the big picture of business money management from a fresh perspective. How do you make that happen in the hustle and bustle of things?
Finding the Right Help
New business owners or managers could benefit from the knowledge of a consultant or finance expert to begin building their business. A seasoned business owner can use the outside expertise to reinvigorate their perspective or to be held accountable for everyday decisions. If keeping up with the data is your weakness, the services of a bookkeeper would be beneficial and you as the business owner provides your own analysis. Finally, there is plenty of software available to help businesses manage their sales and inventory that can also save a ton of time in manual effort.
Cash Flow Projections
Cash flow is your business lifeblood. A business could have a stellar year in sales, but flop big time without the proper projections and budgeting. It’s important for business owners to always be aware of fluctuating budgets and changing circumstances to keep cash flow projections on point and healthy. In their article, Checklist for Managing Small Business Finances, the NFIB rightly points out, “projecting cash flow is…an art.” This art will decide all other aspects of your business finances, such as how to invest the rest of your money, if you’ll be able to pay back business loans, or whether or not you can expand.
Know Credit Options
There are ways to use business credit wisely, but first, businesses should understand all of their options for credit. Sometimes a simple long-term loan will do, but there are many other options for small businesses. The Small Business Administration is a great resource when researching options for business loans and credit.
Dealing with Payroll
For some processing payroll can be complicated and overwhelming. This often leads businesses to outsource this function to a company specializing in payroll services. At the very least, it may be wise to hire a consultant to help set up a well-run system from the start. Deciding how frequently to pay employees, setting up electronic deposits, and having hardcopies of the various documents needed to report to the IRS will be important parts of this function. In addition, a larger payroll service company can provide other important human resource services, such as 401(k), health insurance, and human resources compliance.
These tips are likely reminders of things you already know, but when it comes to business and money management there is always room for improvement. For more information the U.S. Small Business Administration or the National Federation of Independent Business offer great articles and resources to help businesses stay competitive.
About The Author
Jordan Hoover is a Dallas native returned home. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University. He of course loves writing, reading, playing music, and learning new things everyday. Connect with him over LinkedIn, at www.linkedin.com/in/jordanhoover
Top photo courtesy of Ken Teegardin @ Flickr CC