Entrepreneurship is hard enough, by itself. The struggle is real when it comes to balancing a personal and business life. But let’s be honest, nothing is harder to most business owners as managing the finances of their business.
If personal finances are not your expertise, then managing business finances is going to be just as challenging. However, there is no need to panic because you have me. As an entrepreneur, I am here to deliver my best tips and tricks to navigate the hard road of entrepreneurship, in the financial aspect.
When you first begin your entrepreneurship journey, funds may be limited anyway, so the need for a budget is not initially present. Whether you have money to start with or not, being an entrepreneur is all about being resourceful. Certainly, there are things that we just need to spend the money on, and then there will be things you can get for free or cheap.
Here are my top tips for deciding if you should spend or save your money:
Tip # 1 Open a separate business checking account and business savings account.
It is super important to separate personal and business spending. For two reasons, you could get in big trouble by the IRS for co-mingling funds. Additionally, it makes it super easy doing tax time to determine income and expenses. Being self-employed has some additional implications; therefore, it always helpful to seek the advice of a tax professional. Additionally, it is important to save in business so you can re-invest it back into your business.
Tip #2 Remember, just because it costs a lot, doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for your business.
I know entrepreneurs who have wasted thousands of dollars (money you do not really have) on expensive services or products thinking it would jumpstart their business. You do not have to have the latest and greatest equipment to run your business. For instance, I needed a new laptop because my old one was big, slow, and old. My first instinct was to run out to Best Buy to buy a brand new computer. However, those new computers are expensive and I did not quite have the revenue to spend $700+ on a laptop. Instead, I looked into refurbished laptops. I realized my goal was to conduct business more efficiently. I needed the computer to have Wi-Fi, process faster, and have Microsoft Office. That’s it and that’s all. I saved over $600 doing so.
Tip #3 Seek out mentors in your related industry.
While others may feel that others in their industry are competition, this isn’t true. Talk to others about their biggest challenges, what has worked best for them, how are they are marketing themselves. Please note I did not say copy anything that anyone is doing in your industry. While the internet is important for research, talking to people is just as important. For example, when I was learning marketing for my business, I talked to a social media strategist and learned all the free or cheap resources I could use until I could afford brand management.
Tip #4 Bartering services is a great way to save money.
Connecting with other entrepreneurs is a great way to obtain the services you need, while exposing your business to other people. Both business owners benefit because you need them and they need you. After work is completed, you have a new client that can speak to your work, which could lead to additional leads and partners. Remember, it still needs to be your best work because although this person is not paying you, your reputation and credibility is on the line.