Wouldn’t it be great if money did grow on trees and you could pick a few dollars when needed? Just think, you could buy that expensive piece of equipment to help speed up production or have a cash cushion available while your cash flow recovers from a large outstanding receivable. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a money tree. As an entrepreneur, you need to have a yearly budget and stick to it. It is vital that you understand what your spending habits are and how to manage your money on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. It takes a lot of skill to manage money. The big question is: how do you know when you should and should not spend money? You need to ask the following questions:
- Is this a want or a need?
- How will this purchase help to increase the business productivity?
- Can we really afford to purchase new or will used equipment work?
It is so important to look at the bigger picture! What are the advantages and disadvantages? Look at ALL the options and weigh each one carefully.
Using your credit card can be a very convenient way of conducting business but if you are continuously carrying over a balance each month then you are probably paying high interest charges for that convenience. Some business owners like to use their card to reap the benefits of reward points which they accumulate and use for business travel. If you don’t pay off the amount each month and your balance continues to grow, then you need to re-evaluate your spending habits. Watch your spending and make sure you pay off the balance every month.
When was the last time you actually looked at your financials? They are a reflection of your spending habits that show you what the bottom line is and whether you are in a profit or loss position. If you do not keep up with what revenue is earned and spent on a regular basis then you could be finding yourself running your business in a deficit position.
Do you really need that new top-of-the-line gadget? It’s great having all the bells and whistles if you know how to work them. Sometimes simplicity is the best option. If your business needs state-of-the-art equipment to function then you need to make sure your budget reflects that and possibly cut down your spending in other areas.
Are you planning for the future? Now is the time to invest in yourself and your business. The economy is unpredictable and so it is important for you to put some funds aside for a rainy day.
A top priority is to understand your business’ spending habits and to justify the dollars that you spend. Once the money is gone, it is gone. It is all about balance within your business. Remember you are the boss! You need to take control of your business and make wise decisions. Your business viability depends on it.
We offer seminars on a variety of related topics such as Small Business Financing and Insurance. Check out the schedule. For more information about any of Halton’s other Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.
Have a tip about sticking to your budget? Share it here. At the end of the month we’ll submit all entries into a draw for a chance to win a voucher for an upcoming seminar (Value $25).