Feel Like You're Missing Critical Steps?
Worried you’re missing something important in your business?
I often talk to small business owner and entrepreneurs like you who are convinced that everyone else has their sh*t together and they’re the only ones suffering around their financial management.
Here’s a story from one of my clients (shared in From Zero To Zen) that may help put that into perspective if you’ve ever felt that way…
Janet has a wellness coaching business and she spent the first few years simply bringing her receipts to her accountant at year-end and letting him do her taxes. She didn’t have an accounting system and she tracked her money via her PayPal account.
Because she wasn’t making much and needed every penny she earned for her personal expenses, Janet typically drew from her business account as soon as she received payments from her clients and then had to put money back into the business when expenses were due.
Since she put everything on a credit card, that meant that she was making transfers several times a week, either out of or into her business account. There was nothing inherently wrong with this, except that Janet really had no idea how well her business was doing. Things were tight enough that in the back of her mind she thought perhaps things weren’t as great as she hoped.
The problem was that she just didn’t know.
When her accountant did her taxes, she often had to come up with a chunk of cash that she didn’t have on hand. A bunch of her subscriptions were due at year-end so she went into every January feeling like she hadn’t made a dime all year.
Janet started working with me in December after she decided it was time to really start understanding her finances. I helped her upgrade to a system that fit her needs and we re-created all her transactions for the year so she could have a clean set of books for tax time. Janet was nervous going into this work because she was afraid of what we’d find. She really had to dig deep and be willing to talk with me about how she ran her business.
It wasn’t easy for her.
Through our work, however, she started to feel more comfortable with the language and to get more excited about the process; she was beginning to understand her finances! Because we set her up in an accounting system with good reporting, Janet began to see how money was flowing in and out of her business. She could track her business costs more accurately and develop a plan for paying herself that didn’t involve making frantic bank transfers every other week.
For the first time, she knew exactly how much money she was making and how much profit her business was generating. Janet told me she felt so much better because she had a plan that she could rely on. The feeling of her finances spinning in the wind was gone. Through that process, Janet completely shifted her financial outlook and year-end is no longer a time of stress and strain.
She now goes into a new year confident in her numbers and able to focus on her business goals.
She learned that while she wants to know how to use her systems, she’s not really interested in doing the day-to-day stuff, so she uses her virtual assistant to help keep her transactions entered. She checks in regularly and does the monthly reconciliation and review to make sure everything’s still on track. Janet now feels in control of her finances.
Take a minute to answer these reflection questions for yourself:
1. How is my current system serving me?
2. What answers do I need to select my perfect program?
3. What steps will I take to make sure I can track my finances properly?
And for further self-review, give this following exercise a spin.
Pick Your Poison Exercise:
I do this exercise with clients who come to me wondering which accounting system to choose. It’s a great way to start thinking about what you want from your program and to start taking charge of your money. Sometimes we slip into a system or platform and we don’t really know why we picked it in the first place. Being clear about your needs and goals will help you make the right choice for your business instead of just picking whatever passes by in your social media feed.
Look at your financial system now. Does it give you the information you need to make good decisions for your business? How hard is it to export data? Does it generate standard financial reports? Review the criteria I listed above. If your current system gives you all you need, fantastic. Spend some time getting comfortable with how it works. If you can, check your financial statements and notice how money is flowing through your business.
If your current system doesn’t meet your needs, it’s time to consider other options. See what’s out there, ask for guidance from someone who works with financial systems, and find someone to help you move to the new platform. Once you’ve got a clean system, you can start getting comfortable reading your financial statements and using your data to your best advantage.
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