Wearing all the hats as a business owner can be really challenging. And one of the hardest hats to wear? That’ll be the ‘Chief Accountant & Bookkeeper’ hat. Learn ways you can lean into discomfort and become more financially empowered.
Starting your own business means freedom; you get to do something you love, decide how and when you work and have control over the money you earn.
With this freedom comes the obligation to deal with budgeting issues without the luxury of a bookkeeper and chief accountant…and that can make many female entrepreneurs feel way out of their zone of comfort, especially when they underlying money blocks.
You have to wear a lot of hats as a business owner, and unfortunately this is a hat you cannot avoid wearing. The most empowering thing you can do is lean in! Be brave and follow my useful tips to help you manage your business budget and make it work effectively.
1: Keep Your Business & Personal Expenses Separate
One way to avoid a budgetary mess is to separate business and personal finances. I cannot tell you the number of business owners who are operating from one bank account and it sure does make your ‘Chief Accountant & Bookkeeper’ hat a whole lot heavier to bear!
Having separate accounts is a no brainer and will make things so much easier and cleaner for you. You don’t necessarily need to fork out for a business bank account, although this does depend of your business status, so always check what you need according to the laws where you reside. In many cases a standard current account will do the job until your business grows.
When it comes to your monthly money meeting (see more on that below), everything will all be in one place, so you’ll be able to clearly see what’s coming in and what’s going out, as well as being advantageous when you’re working out your annual taxes etc.
2: Schedule a Monthly Money Meeting/Review
Every month I highly recommend that you schedule a time for a full review of your budget. Ideally you’ll already be automating your accounts (see #5), so this review will be as easy as looking at what you have earned, what you have spent and deciding what areas of your business can be run more efficiently and with fewer expenses.
Being pre-emptive and solving issues before they arise is much easier than solving problems later on, plus how will you know if you’re overspending or meeting your money goals unless you’re actually taking the time to check? You can make it a fun experience by calling it a money ‘date’ or rendezvous. Light a candle, put on some soft music and enjoy showing up for money.
Taking stock of your business finances every month can make your business more productive and successful.
3: Encourage Split Pay, Monthly Subscriptions & Retainers
You may have heard of the phrase ‘Feast or Famine’ which pertains to the fact that for many entrepreneurs one month the money is rolling in abundantly…and the next, it’s distinctly lacking.
It can be tough not knowing how much you’re going to earn from one month to the next and this uncertainty can put a strain on budgetary planning. Reduce some of this uncertainty by encouraging your clients to split pay (pay in 3 or 6 instalments, either weekly or monthly), subscribe to your services (pay monthly over the course of a year, or on an ongoing basis) or put them on a retainer. That way, you will have a clearer idea of how much money you will earn.
What is a retainer? Here’s a great definition courtesy of Contract Calculator:
A retainer is typically a regular payment by a client to a service provider or an individual to be on ‘stand-by’. That payment then enables the client to access the skills and experience of that worker or service provider on demand, or for a set period of time.
I recommend offering split pay or subscription for any payments over £250. Paying in instalments will often suit your clients better too, so don’t feel awkward about offering different payment options.
Incentivize the above options by offering a small discount, or offer free bonuses such as an eBook, a masterclass/webinar, or partner discounts from other female owned businesses (offer to do the same for them to support their ‘feast’ ambitions too). You’ll find that your clients will be more open to subscriptions if they feel valued and special.
Many entrepreneurs start a membership site as a way to grow a recurring monthly income, so this may be another thing to consider.
4: Put by Extra Funds for Special Expenses
Many opportunities only come along once and sometimes you just get an intuitive nudge from the Universe that it’s exactly the right time.
It’s important to have the funds available to take advantage of these opportunities, especially if they are a potential game-changer for your business. It could be a esteemed business event that usually happens in another country and yet this time, it’s almost right on your doorstep and you know it will connect you with hundreds of awesome soul clients… or a brand new course presented by someone you really admire which you know is going to have a massive impact on your business success, or maybe even some new software which will automate a time-heavy task for you, enabling you to free up hours of time each month.
Putting a little money aside regularly for a special expenses fund will ensure you can invest in these opportunities when they come along.
5: Automate Budgeting Tasks & Free up Time
Still doing your budgeting and expenses on paper? In which case, it’s definitely time to get automated!
There are so many great online software accounting programs out there which will make budgeting in your business much easier. Not only that, it will provide metrics that will help you monitor your business growth and save you a whole load of time manually inputting figures, especially if you’re taking payments online because you can link things up, meaning everything gets automatically fed in.
Getting rid of those notebooks and slips of paper will make your business way more organised and efficient, plus it will save you big headaches finding everything when it’s tax return time.
Are You Nervous About Wearing Your ‘Chief Accountant & Bookkeeper’ Hat? Join my next FREE 5 day ‘Tapping into Money’ challenge
Now that you’ve got your business budget under control, what other money mindset troubles are holding you back from the success you deserve? That’s the topic of my free challenge called tapping into money. Very often women in business fall into bad money patterns or habits and don’t realise it’s an issue because it’s just how they’ve always handled money. Join me to investigate if your deep-seated money beliefs are holding you back from the profits you deserve! Register here tappingintomoney.com/challenge