Time is a small business owner’s most valuable commodity. Between maintaining finances, scheduling appointments and sifting through payroll, a business owner’s day is shot. More often than not, small business owners become so overwhelmed with the nuts and bolts of running a business, there is little time left to practice the skill that helped them start the business in the first place. A salon owner works on spreadsheets instead of styling hair. The proprietor of a clothing boutique spends more time with payroll than sniffing out hot clothing trends.
In order for a small business to succeed, a business owner must have time to practice his craft. A well-run financial system allows time for an owner to focus on more important aspects of the business.
Below are four simple ideas to help you manage your small business’s finances. Because remember this: the better managed your business finances are, the more time you have to work on your business. Plus, the less likely you are to crash and burn your company. Just saying. : )
1. Eliminate Excess Paperwork
What might seem like a no-brainer is in fact one of the most crucial tools to helping you find more time. Owners of small businesses often get buried in a mountain of paperwork. Between building lease agreements, worker scheduling, unopened mail, and Excel spreadsheets, an office can quickly become clogged with paperwork, and you will spend more time searching for a piece of paper than actually working.
Eliminate excess paperwork. Immediately throw away papers you don’t need. Have a dependable filing system that is always maintained. Whenever possible, make payments online. Deal in email, not snail mail, because in an increasingly paperless world, why get lost under a mountain of paper.
You can also use services such as Acrobat that allow you to keep all your documents in one place. You can even designate workspace with team members to further organize (and not confuse everyone else you’re working with).
2. Use a Business Credit Card
There are plenty of credit cards out there, all with different points systems and reward opportunities. As a business owner, you spend money (plenty of it!). Why not have that money earn you cash back, frequent flier miles, and all sorts of other rewards? Often times, business credit cards have better rates and reward programs than personal cards. A business credit card also allows you to more easily separate business and personal expenses.
3. Use ERP Software
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a necessary tool for any small business. These applications for financial management range from ERP software to invoice processing software and will save you time and stress from keeping files. ERP software connects all the different financial aspects of your business — payroll, outside investors, and products and shows their interrelation in easily accessible spreadsheets. ERP software connects the dots of your business, allowing you to more accurately see the financial inter-workings of your company.
4. Focus on your Strengths
Whenever possible, stay away from tasks you aren’t good at. If it takes you all day to fill out a spreadsheet, stay away from spreadsheets. If you get easily confused with payroll, find another way to do it. This isn’t always possible, but the more time focused on your strengths, the better your time is spent.
Running a business is not easy, and it only becomes harder if the finances are not well managed. By following these four ideas listed up above, you’ll allow yourself more time to focus on the important creative aspects of your business, ultimately helping your business grow.
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