A. A Controller – You feel that you have almost everything under control, your life is swimming in business meetings, financial proposals, hotels and coffee? (I envision you as a Dragon from BBC One’s Dragon’s Den, that calibre).
B. A Scroller – You scroll through Google and many Pinterest boards late at night, looking for the next simple yet effective tip to help you feel organized and financially secure? (I envision you working your way up to the point where you may approach a Dragon for worthy investment in the future).
Congratulations if you are A. This is a powerful place to be. How did you get there? Sharing knowledge and wisdom is beneficial for those of us aspiring to be just as successful like YOU. We are all trying our best to improve and build our business, aren’t we? Otherwise we wouldn’t be here, right? Check our top tips and add your own in the comments section below, we’d love to hear them.
Thank you for joining us if you are B. You may not feel ready for that pitch just yet but we can help with that. You’re in the right place! We have compiled some of our top tips to keep your finances stay under control and organized. So simple that YOU can start TODAY:
1. Keep your business & personal finances separate!! Please don’t make the mistake of sharing your personal bank account with your company bank account, or even mixing up different company bank accounts.
Separate your Personal & Business Money by using separate bank accounts. EVEN IF YOU ARE A SOLE TRADER. It helps you to keep a better track of your business cash and stops you spending every penny thinking it’s all yours (because at least 20% belongs to the tax man). This will also save you SO much time when it matters most.
2. Get yourself a killer spreadsheet.
Hands up if you’re a sucker for spreadsheets? Or are you a little bit scared of them? The fact is, we can overcomplicate them if we’re not careful.
Start with 2 tabs – 1. Income, 2. Expenses. Add colour to the tabs if it makes you happy (right click on the tab, select “Tab Color”, click on your colour, et voila!).
No time for that? That’s okay. Get your planner out today.
Create an effective weekly routine. Choose a good time for you (e.g. every Wednesday 5pm for 30 minutes) so you can update your spreadsheet each week at a set time.
Have a place where you keep all your receipts together and during that allotted time, just go for it and as much as you can get done in that time frame. You’ll see and feel the difference soon!
3. Create helpful folders.
Create a new folder called “Accounts” on your computer. Have it visible on your desktop if it helps.
Within it, create two subfolders “Invoices” & “Receipts”.
Move all your digital invoices and receipts into the relevant folder. These may be saved in your inbox so go ahead and drag them over to the folder, drop and they’re in!
Take a picture of any physical receipts and invoices and save them to the folders. This will help you avoid needing to keep physical copies.
As mentioned earlier, don’t leave it until the last minute. The danger is when you’re scurrying around for the information at the end of the quarter, you might leave some important information out! That big business purchase you made last month, or that receipt you meant to file but left in the car. Luke has some stellar advice here - https://www.middletonpaservices.com/post/cooking-the-books
So now we have the money tracking bit sorted. What next?
So glad you asked. The more money we have, the more we like to spend, right? If you're like me, I've seen way more of the Amazon delivery guy than I'd like in the past 2 years. Less travel expenses, more gadgets to stuff in a drawer… I’m going to say something that might hurt but we need to cut out frivolous spending and find creative ways to grow. This we can do, I promise.
These are some of the things YOU can do TODAY to make a difference to your bank balance tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day, you get the idea):
1. Audit your memberships & subscriptions.
Totally get it! All of us are guilty of signing up to things that we feel will really help us in our business, only to find 6 months later, you had the best intentions but haven’t had chance to check it out, you’re not getting any benefit and yet you’re still paying.
£10 here, £30 there. It may not seem a lot but if you have 2 or 3, that money could be better spent elsewhere (including paying yourself). It’s sneaky and all adds up.