Listen, starting a business is seriously expensive. You have to go into the journey understanding you are going to have to make some sacrifices, it comes with the territory. I knew this from the beginning, you know, I just didn’t realize it was going to be THIS MUCH! I am in the business of being transparent so I can be honest here with you all in sharing that I am not financially as stable as I would like to be in beginning my business.
I made the mistake in the beginning thinking starting a business was going to help dig me out of what I considered financial hardship, but what I quickly discovered was….yeah no I’m in the same place right now. The truth is, however, you can definitely gain profit in business. We see people do it every day, but there are tools, principles, and guidelines you must practice in order to be successful in gaining income for yourself. Now let me go ahead and give you a disclaimer. This is Chronicles of A New Entrepreneur so I am right there in the trenches with you. What I want you all to know is that you are not in this alone, but I also want to introduce you to the people that I use as my guidelines to help me understand the proper protocols to work towards the original goal I had in mind. So in this post, I want to introduce you to some people, resources and important steps that I have utilized for myself to help me figure out the best way to manage the dollars of my business. I hope this is helpful to you, so here we go:
This book is phenomenal and a KEY resource for startup business owners. It is an investment well worth your time AND money. There are so many key pointers I got out of this book that I have implemented and am working on implementing at this very moment. Here are just a few:
…Become an investor for your company by drawing up a contract between you and your business
I haven’t reached a point in my revenue where I can do this, but it is definitely in the plan to be able to do this! This is my goal for 2018. One thing I learned is you have to be realistic. Honestly my business was operating at a deficit for the majority of 2017 and I barely started making a profit at the end of the year mostly because I am still building and putting in systems to ensure I can provide my clients what they need. I am establishing the budget based on what I did in 2017 and setting some goals, which of course includes drawing up this contract. Mrs. Dee suggests doing this instead of using your personal funds to pay for business transaction or vice versa. It is great advice, which brings me to the next goal.
2. Open a separate bank account- don’t mix personal and business
I actually have been doing pretty well on this goal. There have only been a handful of times I had to use my business account for personal reasons and I wouldn’t have if I didn’t have a choice. I will be really transparent here, money was really REALLY tight for us at a moment last year. I mean tight enough where I wasn’t certain I would be able to continue my business because I was thinking I might have to get a second job. It was scary, frustrating and overwhelming. My husband and I are a faithful couple and we knew God was going to bring us out, so I did my very best to pretend that my business account was not there. In the book, Mrs. Dee says ” one of the main reasons business owners mix both personal and business funds is due to lack of money” and she AIN’T LYIN! I have lived it and I am determined this year to avoid doing this at all costs! I know this involves healthier budgeting and management practices on behalf of my husband and I which brings me to the next goal.
This goal carries over what I learned about the importance of ensuring your own personal finances are in order before you embark into entrepreneurship. I realize this may not always be realistic, but Lord do I wish I had more stability financially before I went into entrepreneurship. A Facebook Group by Ce Ce Jones called MPA’s Money Goalers that I joined gives amazing tips on how to save money. She does challenges and asks really thought provoking questions. She also answers any questions you may have about finances fairly quickly! I am deteremined this year to join in on one of these challenges, I am thinking about this one Ce Ce just recently posted.
4. Learn The Art of Taking Donations- Caution
I discovered the “art” of this in working as an assistant in business to my sister Hiranda with Dream Makerz Outreach. She is the owner of a non profit (a recent major win!) and Dream Makerz is an AWESOME organization so obviously people initially were open to helping. Well the truth is, most “donations” where in the form of services or ended up being false promises. The truth is, God was really just blocking us from doing things out of order. Dream Makerz had not yet been established and we hadn’t fully established the entity and had no bank account. We realized out of trial and error that it is just better to get things in order before dealing with finances. Now we did work to find compromises, so people donating time and supplies were things we kind of got around, but money…. we are putting some systems into place for that, especially now that she has the official paperwork! And a side note to that, I realized to that if I ever took donations for my business, which is a for-profit, I need to write it up as an investment or loan and write it up on contract just in case!
5. I bought an Accounting course off Groupon for $5 (Yes, I’m not exaggerating) and in 2018 I am actually going to take the course.
If this was Facebook I would insert a laughing emoji here! Now can I be honest with yall? Money and numbers make my head spin! I went to school to become a social worker and we are not required to pay a whole lot of attention to bottom line and income and expenses and balancing books and what not, so this is all foreign language to me. The course I bought is so basic, but I haven’t gotten through it yet, but I KNOW it’s a valuable resource that I need to take advantage of! I mean $5? I’m silly, writing this to you all are making me want to start back on it right now lol But seriously, EDUCATE YOURSELF, whatever you have to do, get some information and make sure it’s LEGIT!