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7 Finance Tips Every Business Owner Should Know

7 Finance Tips Every Business Owner Should Know

Business owners need to understand their markets well to succeed. An often cited statistic shows that most small businesses fail within five years of opening their doors. That means having the best support and a solid plan when you start your business is essential. It's not enough to just have a good understanding of your market.  You need to know and follow sound finance tips.

To achieve success, pay attention to these financial items and plan well to sustain your business as it grows. 

Financial Business Planning

The business plan as a whole is a key document for your small business and one of the first finance tips to take seriously.

But the specific financial portion is also important. It outlines capital expenditures, and shows how the business may recoup costs. It lays out a “road map” to financial success. 

When writing the financial part of your business plan, come up with the best numbers you can. There's a preferred format for this business plan component that you can read about in expert advice columns and elsewhere.

Essentially, the context of this part of the business plan document is that you're looking at your competition and market position. You're seeing who your customers are likely to be, and what kind of customer traffic you can expect. This leads to more concrete numbers that you can plug into the financial end of the plan.

Seasonal Cash Flow

You also need to think about money coming in and plan accordingly. When you have some sense of your funding sources and what you can get, you can plan to use that money over a specific period of time.

That planning takes a lot of the guesswork out of your revenue and expenses ledger, and helps you to be more confident about your long-term results. Get the right firepower for a business that works long-term. 

Manage Your Debt

Managing your debt is another one of the important small business finance tips. In planning for small business finance, it's always important to understand how much of your money is borrowed.

Debt service is something that big offices and government agencies do, too. They have specific projections for each of their capital debts and they work on those with refinancing and other strategies to save money.

Managing your debt means knowing what you owe and being on top of how you will repay the debt over time. You want to avoid default, where you can't come up with owed money in time, and suddenly get hit with downgrades and other issues.

A good debt service plan is key to being ready for anything that life throws at you as you grow your business. 

Invoice Factoring

Here's another handy tip for small businesses wanting to leverage their income to stay afloat.

The idea of invoice factoring works like this – suppose you are short on money to manage debt or pay other expenses. But you have invoices that are pending, where a client hasn't paid yet for work that was done or work that is in process. 

The idea is that you can sell these invoices for upfront cash, and use that to sustain your business. The company that purchases the invoices will earn some interest and take on the burden of recouping that money from the person who owes it.

This is a simple deal on paper, but it helps businesses plan and save!

Keep Emergency Funds

What's one of the best metrics for a small business?

That's right, it's cash on hand.

Whatever you call it, cash for a rainy day, a capital reserve fund or a ‘get out of jail free card,’ this money will probably be useful.

It also provides a buffer between your business and the insolvency that tanks so many small businesses all over the country.

Look At All Funding Options

Sometimes venture capital (VC) funding is the best choice, but other times, you may get a better result with smaller, more informal loans. You may be able to talk to a local bank or credit union that gives you a better rate and better payment terms.

So the more research you do, the better.

Lean Overhead is Good

Here's another big tip to help business owners enhance their financial situation.

Look at your business build, and ask yourself what's mission-critical and what's extra.

The lean overhead principle means you're investing less money into the business upfront and growing it gradually over time as you get revenue. That can be a lifesaver when money suddenly seems in short supply. 

This brings down your debt. It prevents you from spreading yourself too thin and taking on too much as a young business. It's often part of the equation when you write a business plan and do the other associated planning.

All of these finance tips will help you to remain more agile as you present your small business to the world.

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