Setting up Simple Financial Management Muskogee OK
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Setting up Simple Financial Management
Don't Launch Your Start-Up Until You Have the Finances Under Control
By Nora Caley
Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money to start a business. What you need instead is good financial management. If you plan carefully, control spending, and monitor the money that comes into your business and the money that goes out, you can prevent a monetary emergency later.
Besides preventing disaster, there are other reasons for sound financial management. If you know how much money your business is making and where the money is going, that can help you estimate your future profits. By making accurate projections, you will be able to decide whether you should expand your business. Your well-organized and accurate financial records might help you get a loan or other funding.
Financial management also makes it easier for you to pay taxes. If you are a sole proprietor or you are self employed, you don’t get paychecks with taxes withheld. Instead, you have to pay estimated taxes four times a year, and financial management makes it easier to figure out how much to pay.
Another reason to maintain good financial management is the analysis helps you see whether your business is succeeding. Sometimes when a business fails it’s not due to a lack of sales, but the inability of the business owner to control how much money the company spends, and how quickly the company gets paid for the products and services it sells. Proper financial management will help you keep track of these important details.
First, make sure you separate your business funds from your personal funds. That means different credit cards for your business and your household, and separate checking accounts.
If you have written a business plan, you might already have a projection of your business’s income and expenses for at least the first year. You can use this part of your plan as a guide for the more detailed financial plan you will write.
If you didn’t write a business plan, or if the financial pages of your plan didn’t include a lot of specifics, then write a cash flow analysis for your business. Start with a spreadsheet. If you have Microsoft Excel, set up a spreadsheet in which the column headings are months, and the rows show money in and money out.
The first row should be Cash On Hand. That’s your starting point, the money you have in the business checking account. The next few rows could have titles such as Cash Sales, Collections from Credit Accounts, and Other Cash Injection. On the bottom of that section, put a row called Total Cash. This section shows cash you actually have, not customers’ payments that you expect will arrive in the mail or be deposited into your account soon.
The next rows show the cash paid out. These rows include purchases of raw materials or ingredients, office supplies, advertising, gas mileage, shipping, and other categories. Don’t forget to include loan payments, credit card fees, and checking account fees. On th...