Some small business owners already know a lot about money.
They have MBAs, work experience in the private sector, and a lot of knowledge about everything that has to do with running a small business's finances.
This article, on the other hand, is mostly for business owners who have little to no experience in how to manage small business finance.
These are the people who had a passion or a big idea and decided to start a business, but who now want to know how to manage small business finances well (or at all).
If you don't know where to start when it comes to managing your business's finances, this guide will help.
A girl in jacket counting money with paper and pen in the table
Many new small business owners pay for business costs with their own credit cards and put money from their business into their own checking accounts.
At first, that might seem like a good idea, but it can cause a lot of trouble.
Open a business bank account to avoid problems.
You can usually find one that gives you free checks, has no monthly fees, and lets you make as many transactions as you want.
A man writing in a notebook and a laptop, wallet, money, and coins in front of him
As part of a complete financial plan, budgeting, accounting, forecasting, tax planning, and managing risks are all important parts of managing the finances of your business.
Don't wait to look at accounting reports and financial statements to learn more about how your business is doing.
Keeping up with your accounting and bookkeeping will help you set the right financial goals, like investing more money in your business (for expansion, staff, or new inventory) or saving for retirement.
Getting ready early is also the best way to avoid stress during tax season.
A girl holding a pencil while using the calculator and a notebook beside it
Cash flow is the money that comes into and goes out of your business during a certain time period.
Money is always coming in and going out of your business.
It comes into the business as "income" from customers and clients who buy your goods and services.
It leaves the business as "expenses," like rent, wages, monthly loan payments, payments to suppliers, etc.
Cash flow is usually tracked over a set period of time, like a month, quarter, or year.
As the owner of a small business, you might pay yourself last or not at all in order to save money and put more money back into the business.
But paying yourself right away, even if it's just a few hundred dollars a month, has benefits you can't pass up.
For one thing, it helps you pay your own bills and save money.
If the business doesn't work out, that's very important.
How you pay yourself depends on how your business is set up, so talk to your accountant or do some research about taking a salary vs. a draw.
See and understand what it gives you.
Plan your inventory and set prices by making decisions.
Find out if it has enough cash flow to keep running and make decisions about buying assets.
Give banks and investors the financial reports they need to lend money or invest in the business.
A business that does well isn't just one that makes more sales.
Have a plan, keep an eye on your finances, understand the relationship between price, volume, and costs, manage your cash flow and growth, borrow money wisely, and think about how you will leave your business.
The easiest way to fund your business is with money you already have.
You can use your savings, get a home-equity line of credit, or sell or borrow against a personal asset, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate.
You can put money into your business as equity or lend it money.
These are some easy ways to manage small business finances and to make sure everything works well.
Remember that you already have a lot to do as a small business owner.
If you can't get the money you need right away or if it takes a long time to get approval, you might miss out on growth opportunities.