The Key to Reducing Money Stress in Your Business

As a business owner, you are responsible for the finances of your business. That responsibility can come with a lot of stress. However, with proper management, the financial side of a business can become a seamless system that sustains you and your passion. The key here? Get organized.

What does getting organized look like when it comes to your business finances? It looks like solid record-keeping and the ability to look back at financial data easily. It looks like a good awareness of the money coming in and out of your business. It looks like knowing you have enough to pay yourself, pay your taxes, and run your business.

All of this can be done without the chaos, by implementing a few changes to how you do your business finances. What you need will vary depending on the type of business you run and its current financial conditions. Today, I’d like to share a couple tips on getting your business finances organized that seem to come up most often in my work with clients.

Create a Supportive Money System

Last year, I wrote a full series devoted to money-mapping, a practice you can use to visualize the flow of money in your business. Creating a money system, and a visual way to understand it, can help you recognize where the income you receive through your business is needed most, and how your personal and business finances integrate. By creating a money system that tracks every dollar (including cash) of income that you receive, you set yourself up for success. A good money system gives you an idea of the profitability of your business, so that you’re not guessing at how much you’re really making.

My work around money mapping integrates the Profit First system’s allocations idea, to help business owners set aside money for various uses in their business. These include the important things, like paying your operating expenses, getting paid, paying taxes, and saving a portion of that money in a profit account. You can read the series on money mapping here: Part I, Part II, Part III, and a follow-up article on keeping your money systems simple.

Get Prepped for Taxes

One of the big themes in my guide to getting prepped for tax time is just simply keeping your documents organized in one place. Keeping all your paper documents in one physical spot, and saving all your digital documents to a designated folder, can save you from a lot of digging and stress when March rolls around. Creating a simple organizational system for tracking these things is a great preparation step for tax season, and a definite stress-reducer.

Show Up

They say that 90% of success is showing up, and this rings true when it comes to keeping your business organized and stress-free. If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you’ll know I’m a proponent of having weekly “money time,” which is for you to review your financial situation and do any financial admin work that needs to get done. This time is extremely important for financial self care. Perhaps even more important than what you do during this time, is simply scheduling it in and doing it. When you make a regular habit of revisiting your finances, you will naturally start to shape them to be more organized.

Use Helpful Tools

These days, we are lucky to have many tools available that can help us stay organized in our businesses. Here are a couple that I frequently help clients integrate into their finances:

  • MoneyGrit is a great tool for either personal or business use.
  • Mint has fewer features, but can be really helpful for solopreneurs with few transactions, or personal use.
  • Quickbooks is a classic and excellent for business use.
  • YNAB is a tool I personally have less experience with, but a few other coaches I know use it often and recommend it.

I am planning on doing a more in-depth post on money tracking softwares, and the why and how to use them for business and personal finances later this month. Stay tuned for that!

I hope these tips on organization encourage you to decrease the financial stress in your business. A lot of this work can be accelerated when done with an accountability partner. I’m currently offering a 4 Week Refresh package through the end of January for people who’d like to work with an expert to gain control of their business finances. This package of four private sessions is designed to help you review 2020 and create a clear roadmap to your financial goals in 2021. We’ll also construct a money map personalized to your business, so you can effortlessly visualize your money system. If you’re interested in this package, you can learn more and sign up for a free consultation here.

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Angela

Image by  Arnel Hasanovic

A Simple Strategy for Financial Self Care

Humans are creatures of habit. It’s well-known that one of the best ways to incorporate something into your life is to make a habit out of it. So, if you want to engage in some financial TLC for your business or personal finances, make a habit out of it! Last week, we talked about why your finances are the key to self care in your life. This week, let’s talk about how you can bring that financial self care into the center of your life.

It’s Routine

We often hear about how important it is to develop an exercise routine or a bedtime or morning routine. But what about a financial self care routine? Adding in some financial self care every week is key to remembering to revisit your numbers and your spending plan.

In my e-Book 9 Secrets to Financial Self Care, I recommend setting up a weekly period of time for yourself. Ideally, this is a short amount of time so that it doesn’t feel like “too much” and become difficult to continue. I typically recommend starting out by dedicating thirty minutes to an hour every week for financial self care. This time can be used for things like checking in with your spending, setting or checking in on a financial goal for the month, learning about finances, or doing any finance-related admin work.

Make it Fun

I recommend making this time as pleasant for yourself as possible. I love the ideas Bari Tessler presents in the Art of Money Y about making your regular money check-in more pleasant. Dealing with money can bring up a lot off difficult feelings that get in the way of doing this regular check-in. To counter this, doing our best to make this time fun and rewarding is very important.

Try an environmental upgrade, like playing some nice music or lighting a scented candle. You can also try temptation-bundling, which involves doing a pleasurable activity during or directly after doing an activity you need to do (like your weekly financial self care sesh!).

Lastly, try ending the session on a high-note. Stopping for the week while you’re feeling good and enjoying yourself makes it much easier to feel interested in repeating the habit next week.

If you’d like some more ideas about how to make your financial self care habit stick, check out this playlist full of tips on YouTube by MuchelleB.

Buddy Up

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a big proponent of having a money buddy, or better yet, a money team! Having trusted people in your life that you can talk to about money is a huge asset to your own financial self care. Another way to enhance your financial self care routine could be inviting a money buddy to do it along with you. Do you have a friend who’s also a small business owner? Try having a numbers study sesh together! Team up once a month to check in with your numbers and talk about financial goals. You can also try setting up a regular time to check in with your partner about money. Working with another person can make this time fun and sociable.

9 Secrets to Financial Self Care Book Cover

If you enjoyed these ideas about incorporating financial self care into your life, I encourage you to check out my free e-Book, 9 Secrets to Financial Self Care. You can download it for free at this link.

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Angela

Photo by Suryaansh Maithani

Integrate Your Creativity and Business Sense

Integrate Your Creative and Business Sides: At Peace With Money

I enjoy busting the myth that artists can’t be business people, and vice versa! I truly don’t think the two ways of being are mutually exclusive. However, I do agree that integrating the two takes some effort. That’s why, in this month of habits, I want to talk about how we can establish habits that address both our business and creative needs.

The most important thing solopreneurs can do to serve their business on a financial level is to look at your numbers once a week. Using these numbers to assess business success, needs, and changes to be made is just good business practice. This should be a regular habit, but it doesn’t need to be devoid of creative energy.

Instead of separating your business-owner side from your creative side, let the two aspects inform each other.  Think of ways to engage your creative side while looking at numbers. Try putting on music, or get the wiggles out beforehand by dancing. If you’re a visual person, record or track your finances using a bullet journal full of doodles, color-coding, and stickers.  Create a fun visual chart to map your progress that you can color in as you save, pay off debt, or work towards a business goal. 

Looking at your numbers regularly doesn’t have to be bland or austere. It’s your business, you decide how you do things! Keep your creative and business sides equally engaged. I believe that’s key to the life of a creative solopreneur. I hope this gives you a little inspiration to start a weekly numbers habit, and infuse your business finances with creative spark! If you need some guidance around this or are interested in chatting with me, look at my Services page and book a call!

Angela

The Creative Exchange