No successful marketer decides to start their own agency because they love accounting. Not even the most passionate digital marketers who love getting deep into the data, like I did when I started Adficient.
When it comes to conveying what your company is passionate about, many business owners start by putting pen to paper and writing out their mission statement. Obviously, this is important. As a brand, a mission statement allows you to own your organization’s public-facing story. But aside from what you write about your commitment to your community, there’s another way you can demonstrate what your company stands for and how you plan on changing the world: Your budget.
The way you spend your business’s capital represents not just what your team values, but what you value as a leader. You want to build a budget that paints an accurate picture of how you prioritize each part of your business.
For a startup to survive and succeed, it needs to manage cash flow with utmost care and skill. Founders and business owners often find it challenging to maintain a steady handle on their burn rate, and this has become a common reason for many startup failures.
Even if you’ve reached profitability or raised a significant amount of capital, you can still fall short if you don’t manage to meet your overhead, payroll, and other operating expenses that keep your business afloat.
Over the course of your life, you’ve probably known someone who holds on to all their receipts, no matter how old or trivial those receipts may seem. Maybe it was your grandfather and his shoebox. Maybe it’s your mother and her filing cabinet. Maybe it’s you and that overflowing desk drawer.
While the practice of saving receipts can verge on obsession, startups have good reasons to retain and organize those little scraps of paper with care. Receipts help your business keep track of expenses, so you can provide proof of purchase for any future exchanges or claims under warranty, understand what your organization is spending too much money on, reimburse employees when necessary, and, of course, deduct everything you possibly can on your taxes.
Part of your business’s success comes from leveraging whatever talent and energy you have to make your company grow. That philosophy should carry over into how you handle your credit card choices.
For business owners with buying power, luxury credit cards can be an excellent way to take advantage of an extensive list of luxury-focused travel benefits. Businesses go through multiple stages of growth and purchasing, so one of the crucial questions to ask as you consider your card options is, “When?”
Ask yourself: How confident are you in your company’s financial position? How much knowledge do you have about the transactions and activity that flow in and out of your books? Not to mention, how much faith do you have in the accuracy of your financial picture?
When you’re a small business owner, every dollar counts. If you’re new to business, then chances are your revenue stream isn’t predictable yet. You could be making $10,000 one month and $1,000 the next. Often, the line between failure and success is razor-thin, and you need to maximize every possible bit of revenue to stay afloat.
Seasonality is a common experience many businesses face when they’re building out their budget. There are obvious examples in the form of tanning salons and ice cream shops to tax firms and event space venues, but even a digital agency or SaaS startup can experience high and low points in cash flow throughout the year.
Here’s a few tips on how your business can plan for seasonal slumps and take advantage when business is booming.
Many business owners I talk to aren’t necessarily cut from the traditional entrepreneurial cloth. After all, we can’t all be 12 inventor/business moguls like Moziah Bridges of Mo’s Bows. More and more startups are being led by founders that come from working backgrounds at other startups, traditional businesses, and even large corporations. Part of breaking free to start something of their own is the freedom of self-employment.