Try not to mix your personal expenses and banking with with your business expenses and banking

Author: Randy Lang

WCAP Financial

Owning your own business is a lot of work. Truthfully the job never stops. You will be putting so much time and energy into your business in the beginning stages, hopefully setting it up for success. We all understand the importance of finding new customers and making our product valuable and profitable, but a lot of that has to do with what goes on behind the scenes.

It is important that you understand the financial aspect of your business. There are terms and strategies that are universal to the business world. For the most part these terms are somewhat known, but it is important that you truly understand what each one means in the business world.A Balance Sheet is one of the biggest financial documents related to your business. It lists the assets, liabilities and capital your business has within a certain time frame. This document is needed if your business needs a loan or a line of credit. The financial institution uses it to determine if your business can qualify for a loan or not. Expenses are goods or services that you pay for using the gross income that the business is making. This includes items such as payroll, rent, taxes and utilities. A liability is a financial expense, an amount of money that you need to pay someone. This can include products or services that you may have purchased on credit from a supplier. A liability goes under the Accounts Payable category. An Asset is something that the business owns. Whether that be cash or goods. This includes items such are inventory, property, vehicles and supplies. Gross Revenue or Total Revenue is the amount of money you have made from clients who have purchased your goods or services. It is the amount of money made before you start taking away deductions and expenses.

Try not to mix your personal expenses and banking with with your business expenses and banking. Sometimes business owners may use their personal money to help the business in a bind. This can really complicate things when it comes to accounting records for you bank and tax purposes. Just as people should live off budgets, businesses should too. If your business is following a budget, the money should stay organized and you won’t run into any accounting issues.

Make sure that you are building up your company with future leaders. While it is your company and you are the one that has put hours and hours into making sure it runs, there will come a time where you will need to take time away from work. Whether it be for a health issue, childcare, even a vacation. You will want to make sure that your business can run and progress without you always being there. You will want to find employees that are local, passionate, experienced and cost effective. Leadership positions can be rather hard to fill. Of course you may feel that no one can fill your shoes when it comes to working for your business. And you are probably right. But if you find people who display these traits, along with others, you may feel a little better about taking time off. During the interview process try having the future employees solve a difficult task regarding your business. Give them a set amount of time to think about their answer. When they come up with a solution, think about what they said. Did you like the approach they used? Did they think outside the box? Or did they not think the question was fair and were upset that they were given a time frame to complete the question. How the future employee handled this situation will let you see how they would handle a work challenge. It helps you see their character and what kind of a person they are and how they will handle challenges at work.

When dealing with business matters it is helpful if you can find a balance between patience and urgency. This can pretty much be applied to all aspects of your business. There are times in your business that you can take a step back and see how the situation will unfold, and there are times where decisions need to be made quickly and promptly. Helping you find that balance can be found through delegation. If you are the one making all of the decisions, your responses may be hasty at times. But if you have a trusted staff who is competent and able to make some of the day to day decisions, it will be help your business run more smoothly. As situations arise, make sure you are able to look at them individually and see how they will affect your business’ bottom line.

Running your own businesses means that you have worked hard day and night to get the business off the ground floor. Successful businesses have made it because they have understood their market, they have set goals, they have become the best at what they do. You need to make sure that you and your employees are accountable for goals that have been created that will help your business grow. Owning a business means that you have the skills needed to sell your product, service or vision. You are an expert in your field. Therefore, you will want to make your employees an expert in your field as well. It is important to have sales goals and service goals for your employees. You need to make sure they are held responsible for these goals. Employees are very valuable to a business. They help sell the products, they can bring new ideas to the business. But at the end of the day, you as the owner have the final say. Make sure you are comfortable letting your employees know who is in charge and who they answer to. They are responsible for making your business grow too, and they need to realize the level of accountability that they have.

Running your own business is going to be stressful. There is no denying that. It is how life works. You can have your businesses running smoothly and effectively, but more than likely you will encounter a few hiccups. Some people are motivated by stress. It pushes them to work harder and smarter. But some people do not handle stress well. In these cases, there are options that can help alleviate some of the stress. Whatever the source of stress is for your business, there is probably a company or service that can help you with it. Whether it is marketing for you business, payroll, product ideas, etc., there are businesses that you can partner up with that will help you tackle those areas and hopefully reduce some of your stress.

When you are starting and running your own business, it is important to remember that the market can change quickly. You need to be prepared to adapt and make changes as needed. Sometimes business owners will invest in a brick and mortar store, only to see the trend change to people purchasing their goods and services online. Or you may have a product that you are selling that gets revamped, and now you need to make changes to keep up with the current trends. Sometimes choosing to wait out the trends can mean the end of your business. It is ok to change your business model, business plans are meant to be changed. Make sure that you are willing to make those changes to give your business the chance to succeed.

Along those same lines is to remember as a business owner to keep innovating. You should take an interest in your competitors. See how they are running their business and marketing their products. What are they doing to get new customers. Social media is a great resource that reaches millions of people. There are experts that you can hire that can help your company maintain a social media presence. You want your business to be current, not outdated. Sometimes bringing in fresh new employees can help your business get through a slump. Generation Z is a very socially conscious generation. They may be able to bring unique ideas and experiences to your business.

Managing a business comes with a certain set of skills that are necessary for a person to have. These skills will help your business succeed and flourish. The first one is marketing. Marketing is what will bring customers to your company. It is where they will first have interaction with your business. You need to learn how the search engine can optimize your business. You want your business to have an online presence. You want the content of your website to be relevant and will produce results when customers are searching for businesses. There are guidelines that can help your business get to the top of the search engine results. The higher up on the search results a business is, the more business it will likely get.

Now days, businesses are not just subject to their geographical location. Especially with social media and the internet being as prevalent in our lives as it is, businesses are now international more than ever. While English is a very common language, it can be helpful if you have employees who are able to speak other foreign languages. Depending on what your product or service is that you are selling, you might want to research where a lot of your customers are coming from. When you have a business that is able to communicate through multiple languages, word gets out and other communities let their friends know. It is nice when a company can appeal to many different nationalities and be able to effectively communicate with them.

As a business owner you need to make sure you are well versed in your written communication skills. Owning a business is professional work, you need to appear professional. If you are able to write content for your website you will be money ahead. But if you lack those skills, don’t hesitate to hire that out. It is important that your website has proper speller, grammar, etc.

You need to make sure you stay up to date with the latest trends. Owning a business is a continual learning process. When you start with your business plan today, you may not be following the same one in two years. The world is constantly changing. You need to make sure you are following the market trends on your industry. You want to stay ahead of the competition.

Every good business needs to keep their records in pristine condition. Businesses need a budget that they are required to follow. Many businesses will actually fail because they haven’t managed their funds well. You need to make sure you have programs put in place that can help you with managing your finances. If this is something that you are not good at doing, hire it out. There is software and accounting agencies that can help make sure your businesses books stay up to date.

You have put so much time and effort into your business. Of course you have the expectation that it will succeed. But you need to remember you can’t simply sit back and wait for your business to grow. You need to make sure you are in it for the long haul. Stay atop of any market changes, and be willing to implement new ideas and processes. Make sure that you possess and maintain the skills that are necessary to help make your business succeed. Running a business is not a one time deal. It is something that will require you to keep working and learning and implementing new ideas.

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