Small business finances checklist for the new entrepreneur

5th June 2017

As an entrepreneur, you may be an expert at making dresses, baking cheesecake, sculpting hair or training goldfish. However, that doesn’t always mean you’ll necessarily excel at business finances.

But this should never stop you from getting your dream company up and running. Ensure your new business gets off on the right foot by following these tips.

1. Separate your personal and business bank account

Even if you’re a sole proprietor you should have a separate bank account for your business income. You should even take it as far as paying yourself a salary out of your business account into your personal account. This will help paint a clearer picture of how well your business is actually doing.

2. Make sure you can accept payments easily

As a budding business, few things are worse than watching a customer walk out of the door or click off your website because they couldn’t complete the payment side of the transaction.

As a new business, you might need to switch between online sales and sales in your physical store. Your product might also be seasonal, and it may make sense for you to close shop during a slow period.

What’s important is to find an option that suits your business’ needs and gives you flexibility, while not locking you into a contract with monthly payments like a Yoco card machine or online payments. Read more about how to choose the best card payment system for your business.

3. Automate finance tracking wherever possible

Your time is valuable and should be spent focusing on building your business. There are a number of platforms that can automate your financial tracking for you. For established businesses, we recommend Xero, a cloud-based accounting software. However, if you’re a new entrepreneur you may want to start with more basic (and free!) tools. 22seven can be used for basic small business expenses and income tracking. If you use Yoco, the POS app and Business Portal automatically track all your sales, giving you almost instant access to what your best selling items are and best sale times are during the day.

4. Get help – early and often

In the early days, you may not be able to bring an accountant or full-time bookkeeper on board. However, it’s important to either upskill yourself or find communities or services that can help you.

Check out courses offered online by platforms like Udemy or Getsmarter. Alternatively, the CCDI hosts very affordable and informative classes. To get advice on tax, chat to TaxTim.

5. Ask for discounts

Ask for discounts and payment terms. The first one or ten times you do it might be awkward. But remember, the worst thing they can say is ‘no’. You’ll be surprised at how many companies are willing to negotiate or include a few value-added benefits.

Every business comes with its own set of challenges, but one thing that is universal to businesses of all sizes is that proper money management can either make or break you.

Keep an eye out for more financial advice coming your way in June.