Maintaining accurate finances, accounting logs and forecasts are essential to a business’ growth, but to manage these functions, you must have a specific skill set. Therefore, companies might need help from experts to improve their financial services.
While there can be many different challenges when starting a small business, managing finances is the top concern for most entrepreneurs. However, there are many ways you can improve the day-to-day management of your finances to better position yourself for success.
Check out 15 tips that could help you manage your small business finances effectively.
1. Keep Personal and Business Finances Separate
Personal and business bank accounts should be kept separate – doing so is critical for finance management. Maintain strong personal and business credit scores to increase the chance of your loan approval.
2. Use the Latest Technology and Software
Organize your business finances by using the latest cloud-based accounting software. You can also use bookkeeping software to understand the financial position of your business and to set budgets.
3. Perform Tax Planning
Understand and fulfill your business tax responsibilities on time to avoid penalties. Plan your taxes and maintain compliance with government tax rules and regulations to increase your tax savings.
4. Choose the Right Business Funding Route
Understand available business funding options and work to qualify for the financing you’ll need to grow and expand your business. Choose your investments carefully, and don't take on new capital unless you have a plan for how you’ll use it. To avoid expensive credit, you must have the right information to apply for a loan that can support your business.
5. Review Your Financial Position Monthly
Review your finances regularly to create financial projections. Monitor your costs, follow up on invoices and calculate revenue to review your financial position.
6. Set a Budget for Growth
Creating budgets can help you establish financial and revenue goals. You can manage your business’ finances by budgeting and tracking expenses, income and investments.
7. Establish an Emergency Fund for Your Business
Set sufficient capital aside to fund growth opportunities and take advantage of favorable circumstances. Keeping a cash reserve to cover emergency expenses can help you manage cash flow in down economic times.
8. Create Financial Projections
Planning for large expenses, such as rent, payroll, taxes, cost of products and services, debts and other operating costs in advance can help you reduce your financial burden. "If you're not looking five to 10 years ahead, you are behind the competition," said Tina Gosnold, founder of QuickBooks specialist firm Set Free Bookkeeping.
9. Consider Insurance
Insurance provides you with much-needed financial security for your business. You should get the right insurance to protect your business so you can keep your finances strong, even in difficult situations.
10. Track Your Cash Flow
Keeping track of your cash flow will help you identify the areas where you perform most efficiently and where you need to control your funds. Always track your income and expenses to avoid going over budget. You should also determine how much money you need for operating expenses and other financial considerations.
11. Optimize Your Billing Strategy
Billing can involve extra operations beyond bookkeeping. Having a good billing strategy can improve the way you manage inventory. If you don’t monitor your spending, you’ll increase your overhead costs.
12. Review Your Accounts and Prices
You should review your books and records at least weekly to diagnose any errors in liquidity, efficiency and return on investment (ROI) so that you can respond rapidly as problems arise. If you’re having a difficult time managing business funds, look for ways to cut costs and increase revenue. Also, reassess your prices if your expenses change or you add a new product or service.
13. Pay Your Bills on Time
Paying your business bills diligently can help you reduce debts. If you don’t know when your bills are due, you might not have enough cash on hand.
14. Outsource to Experts
To accurately manage your accounting records and finances, outsource to a team of professionals. Outsourcing your finance function will help you analyze your financial statements strategically for making informed decisions.
15. Follow Good Lean Practices
Being lean is a good business practice to maintain your cash flow. Lease or buy second-hand office equipment, supplies or furniture for your company. Renting equipment instead of buying can help you keep costs low and save more for the future.