Running a business today is hard. And it has never been as hard, especially because of all the options business owners now have for improving their enterprises and gaining leverage. Tips coming from all sides of the world, success stories, and not-so-successful stories – these all may be other people’s experiences, but not actually work for your company.
As harsh as it sounds, with all the options and advice out there, it may not be as easy to find relevant information and be sure it actually works in real life. Luckily for you, we have come up with an easy-to-digest list of steps you can take to improve your finances this year.
1. Plan Your Budget
This one is obviously a no-brainer, but many people forget that unless you have a budget and stick to your plans firmly, things can get out of hand very easily. Starting from the smallest things such as office supplies and refreshments all the way to the payroll, taxes, and investments, you need to jot down everything and take control of the money flow.
This, however, doesn’t mean you have to become a business miser overnight. It actually refers to realising where your money goes and assessing whether it is a good cause or not. If you see it is being overspent on things you don’t actually need, just bid it farewell and write it off your budget.
2. Save Wisely
Now that you have your budget all worked out, it is important to see how much money you actually earn. This does not refer to your personal pay, but to the profit your company makes. The first thing financial advisers will tell you to do is to save wisely, meaning that you don’t always have to pay for the most expensive equipment, marketing plans, costly office space, and so on. Instead, go for alternative and/or cheaper options, which will pay off in the long run. After all, making smart spending decisions and putting some money aside is the way to go.
Now that you have managed to save a little, put those numbers on a piece of paper and put on your thinking cap once more. Almost every financial adviser will tell you to take 7-10% of your savings and invest it. Since we are not such experts in this field, it would be better to talk to one and see what your options are if you are up for it.
Another form of investment may be to invest in people. We all hear good workers run away from bad bosses, so make sure to advance your own knowledge (by enrolling in an MBA, for example), as well as get into employee training. The best thing about this kind of investment is that their smarter decisions and more efficient work will positively affect the business you run.
4. Hire an Accountant
Another good thing about working with professionals is that they have probably seen everything and you can rely on their experience to be a valid source of information. Another expert you should definitely work with is a professional accountant. Think of hiring a very good accountant as another investment in your personal and your business’s future.
Paying taxes, doing your finances, reading all the relevant legislation, and knowing the right people to talk to in different economic situations are just some of the magic tricks (or skills, if you prefer) accountants have up their sleeve. And this is just the beginning; we will not go into details such as statements, revenue enhancement, profit improvement, maintaining financial records, etc. If all these things make you feel dizzy, that’s a sure sign that you should hire an accountant to worry about them instead of you.
5. Listen to Someone Wiser
Call them as you like: planners, educators, partners, financial advisers, unicorns, magicians. They sure go by different names. But one thing connects them: the skill to govern your money. These professionals will use their experience to your advantage and know exactly when you need to make the next move, whether that involves the stock market, investing in different funds, angel investments, etc. They can help you make financial plans work and actually help you understand the complex world of investment, insurance, and tax matters.
Last, but Not Least
And finally, don’t forget that when you are a business owner, you are responsible for a lot of people. Their lives and families depend on your decisions, so make them wisely. It is not just about you anymore, or your family and kids; you are doing it for a higher cause. So invest in people you work with, make them feel appreciated, and show them that what they do actually matters. Happy workers are the safest way to a stable future. Learn to feel their pulse and make tactics to stay true to your beliefs.