To be successful as an entrepreneur, good money management practice is crucial. Entrepreneurs start their business with an idea and lots of energy, however as the business gets very engaging, they start to unconsciously develop bad financial habits. Here are some of those habits and how you can break them:
Keeping one account for both personal and business funds
A lot of small business owners often make the mistake of combining both business income and expenses with personal income and expenses. This is a very bad practice as it is almost impossible to monitor your business funds and performance in general.
Solution: Get your business registered and open a business account solely for business funds.
Not keeping financial records
How do run your business if there are no records available for checks and balances? Some business owners think they can keep track of expenses and incomes in their head but thats impossible. It can never be accurate and will only lead to business decisions made based on wrong statistics. You would also end up spending more than you earn and will eventually end up in debt. Note that without financial records to back your decisions, you cannot approach an investor to request for funds.
Solution: Start keeping records so you can plan more effectively for your business. There are tools out there that help to automate your records.
Making late payments
Taking a loan and not paying as at when due is bad for your business. This affects the reputation of your business and lowers your credit score. A credit score shows your credit worthiness. Banks and investors make use of this score to evaluate the risk posed by lending money to a business and the probability of paying back.
Solution: Ensure you keep records and make repayments when due. If you are not sure of when you are to pay back, clarify with your account officer or the officer in charge.
Excluding yourself from your business payroll
You might think you are managing your funds well but in actual fact, you are not. You end up dipping into business funds with no proper structure to guide you. Therefore, it is better to set aside an amount for yourself. Besides, you are also working so you are entitled to it. You have needs and you will need funds to fulfil them.
Solution: Put yourself on your business payroll. You can choose to pay yourself bi-monthly or monthly, whichever works better for your business. This can be adjusted based on the business income.
Some business owners do not have control over their spending and want almost everything they see. Sometimes you just need to sit back and evaluate the importance of the item and if it will add value to you and your business. You need to be able to distinguish your needs from your desires. If you listen to a lot of successful entrepreneurs today, they all say you should spend less than you earn. That is your key to financial success.
Solution: To curb your spending, give yourself a certain period to think that purchase through before making a decision. Chances are that you will realize you never really needed that item.
Not delegating tasks
Every entrepreneur should know how to delegate. When a problem or task arises, you spend both time and money on it and the more you spend on one, the less you spend on the other.Consider this scenario: You spend a day doing a task that costs N5,000 when you could have just hired someone to do it and spend time on other tasks more specific to your expertise and worth much more.
Solution: Consider the time versus the money that will be spent on a task. Will it be better to pay someone to do it or do it yourself? You can hire someone to work on tasks you are not skilled enough to handle so you can spend time on other important tasks.
Forming good habits are how successful entrepreneurs achieve their goals and manage to run their businesses effectively. Avoid and break off these habits to become better with your business finances.
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