1. Create a Budget and Stick to It
It’s important to create a budget in order to prevent your small business from sinking into debt. This will help you differentiate the “must-haves” from the “wants” in every facet of your operations. While 59% of entrepreneurs who apply for a loan use it to expand their business, ensure you aren’t just opening business loans and credit cards left and right with no real grasp on how much you’re spending. Creating a budget for your business and sticking to it, then use loans to pay down unnecessary expenses that will allow you to focus on longer-term investments in your business, such as investing in staff and technology.
2. Save For a Rainy Day
Make sure you are ready for any seasonal fluctuations or downturns in the market by saving up for an emergency fund. This will also add peace of mind if setbacks or hurdles arise, as many business owners experience at some point or another. It’s not whether you experience a setback or not, it’s about how prepared you are to weather the storm when it arrives.
3. Reinvest in the Business
When your small business experiences rapid growth and increased profit, celebrate the victories! But don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. Make sure to reinvest capital back into the company so it continues on a growth trajectory. Reward yourself and your team for hard work but don’t go overboard. Instead, hire more people, invest in more marketing, or look at new platforms or technologies to help your business succeed (and keep the momentum going).
4. Don’t Ignore Your Personal Finances
Owning a business takes a ton of hard work and dedication, so it can be easy for small business owners to get so caught up in growing their brand that they neglect their personal finances. Many businesses offer their employees a 401(k), but if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to plan for your own retirement. Many self-employed folks and small business owners should be concerned about their retirement savings to allow them to slow down later in life. But very few are saving for retirement--just 13% of those tax filers participate in a workplace retirement plan. Similarly, make sure you are saving money for your own personal rainy day fund rather than just pouring all of your money back into the business. You need an income too.
5. Seek Guidance
Despite many finding success as entrepreneurs, 60 percent of business owners feel that they aren’t knowledgeable about finances or accounting. As an entrepreneur, you’re a thought leader and an expert in your field. Partner with an organization like Lead Bank that is an expert in small business banking to help you turn all of your hard work into long-term success.