The Worst Sport In The World
I like sports. I played soccer and ran track in high school. I watch football, basketball, and baseball. And although my beloved Eagles are not playing in the Super Bowl, I will be watching. There is one sport, however, that I hate. It’s the absolute worst sport in the world, at least for a Business Babe.
That sport is catch-up. No one wants to play catch-up. It requires an extraordinary amount of energy, time, and money. Once you finally do play hard enough to win and get back to par, it rarely feels like a win. Playing catch-up when it comes to your personal or business finances or life is a very stressful situation to be in and often one of our own doing. We choose to play by taking our eyes off the ball.
So let’s make a promise to ourselves, Babes. We will not put ourself in a position to have to play catch-up. If we are in that place right now, we will not put ourselves back in a place to play catch-up again. Pinky-swear? Ok. Good.
Back to finances. If you watched BB, Marquita Eshun’s Small Business Accounting 101 a couple of months ago, you know that there are a ton of things you should know about small business accounting. What I found to be most important is what I consider practicing good accounting hygiene:
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR INCOME AND EXPENSES WEEKLY OR BI-WEEKLY.
Yes. It could all be that simple. Keep track of income and expenses when they come in or on a very routine basis, you will get in the habit of staying on top of your business finances.
Keeping your head in your books will allow you to be able to do the following.
SEE DANGER AHEAD
DEVELOP BETTER STRATEGIC GOALS
If you are frequently looking into your business’s financials you will be able to see trouble before it hits you. You can see that cash flow is low, or that you are not hitting target goals. If you know you are running low on cash before you do, you will be better able to adjust. Trends are important. You will start to notice trends including when routine or annual expenses become due, which products or services sell better and when, or when you should run certain campaigns. You can use that information to make stronger strategic goals for your business.
I personally enter information on a weekly basis. I look at my goals DAILY. I track my performance weekly. I use Quickbooks and I reconcile my books on a monthly basis. Quickbooks provides automatically updated financial reports such as Profit and Loss Statements, Cash Flow Statements, and more.
As we enter the second month of the first Quarter of 2016, it’s important that you continue to stay on top of your goals. Continue to practice good financial hygiene. It doesn’t take a CPA to do it, but if you need one, I have one I can recommend. We have too far to go to give up any field by playing catch-up in 2016.