Tools for Money Management
Small business owners often have tight operating budgets, especially in the startup years. Some can see this as a disadvantage, but careful money management and awareness where the money is being spent can help profits steadily grow over time. Many small business owners already have overwhelming to do lists and brush aside a through financial overview as yet another task that there is no time for.
This is one area that cannot be out off for later. By using tools that are easily available and staying on top of the business budget, entrepreneurs will find that the financial frustrations and confusion can be easily maintained.
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Many communities offer some type of free small business classes or workshops throughout the year. The Small Business Association (SBA) has a presence in most major cities, and one of their offerings are classes in basic business accounting, how to use money management computer programs, and more. Classes such as this are a great tool in deciding which type of money management system will be the best fit for your skills and business.
Also, it helps to showcase what options are out there for small business owners. Other groups with a focus on business and entrepreneurship will offer similar courses or even panels where seasoned business owners offer insights as to what has worked for them and why. These are highly recommended, especially for those just starting out. Classes can often be found through the SBA website and in the local newspaper’s business section.
The majority of businesses buy materials or products in order to create the goods they are selling. Maintaining a master cost list of items purchased and their cost per unit is an absolute must for all business owners. Consider that a small business owner running a corner deli is probably buying food and paper products from at least three suppliers, it is helpful to have this list on hand to know which supplier has the best price on which items.
Divide the list based on supplier and then under each supplier alphabetize the items purchased. List the product cost, how many units come at that cost, and finally have a cost per unit. This not only allows for smart shopping, but also is ideal when creating a new product. Consider when the deli owner wants to add a new menu item, he can quickly see his cost for the sandwich and make sure that his menu price will be profitable. This is most time consuming and tedious in the beginning, but once the list is created it only requires occasional updates.
The best advice any small business owner can receive is to have an accountant. This person is truly invaluable in their tax knowledge, handling payroll, and keeping the entrepreneur aware before any major problem occurs. Asking other business owners for recommendations is always advised. This may seem like another extra cost facing the business but hiring an accountant for the major tasks such as payroll and taxes is fairly economical and does not require paying an accountant full time as a salaried staff member.
Go to him or her with any questions because they have the information and experience to deal with any problems you may be facing. Most provide quarterly profit and loss statements, and can help come up with projected future earnings based on past performance. Use these tools to make adjustments as needed in order to maximize profits.
The finances of a business can seem more overwhelming than they truly are. By making use of the tools that are available to business owners and staying current with all financial matters, it is easily manageable. That management allows for greater insight into the business which ultimately translates into higher profits.
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