It’s that time of year, rounding out the fall season and sliding into the last few months of the year. With the daily unexpected events, now is as good a time as any to take stock in what you and your business have…at this very moment.
It is known that most Americans leave several days of vacation on the table each year, but what about the business owners? We rarely break away from our beloved business for evenings and weekends, let alone a few days or a week away. Pride and passion drive our vision, mission and ideally a strong bottom line.
Here are few reasons why you should give yourself permission to vacation:
If you have a very small company with only a couple checking or credit card accounts (designated solely for your business) and don’t want to pay for QuickBooks, how can you keep track of your financial records?
You can use an excel spreadsheet to record your sales and expenses.
Set up a Business Checking Account
You have a wonderful idea for a new business. You have tested your idea and it is going to work. You have even roughed out a budget and the idea is financially viable.
New business owners forget one crucial step – setting up a checking account for their business. Even if you do not yet have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) you can set up a separate account under your Social Security number.
This separation of personal and business is as important as the division of church and state! Some of our well established companies still comingle some personal expenses in their business checking account. Don’t do it. Stop paying your accountant and/or bookkeeper to untangle the transactions. Start clean with two separate accounts and you will save yourself time and money – that’s a promise.
So you started a business and you have hired a couple people, rented space, and are working on marketing it. Congratulations! You put your heart and soul and countless hours into the making of your dream. Of course you trust yourself, but can you trust those around you? Many start-up companies don’t even think about safeguarding their business until it is too late.
Areas to Safeguard
1. Your Physical Space
Do you have a cleaning crew? Does your landlord have a key to your office? Anyone having access to your office can browse unlocked files, unsecured computers, desks, etc. Keep your valuable information safe and project that security to your employees as well.
There will likely be a time when you are dealing with clients that may be negatively affecting your business.
These are some of the red flags you should notice:
Client doesn't Pay on Time:
Anything over 90 days is a big red flag. Slow payment reduces your profit margin. This client may not be as profitable as you think. The more time it takes to pay you, the more likely your client will forget the great work you did for him or her. Your client is paying at least a few of their bills. Make sure you are one of them.