This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Intuit QuickBooks and #WeAllGrow Latina Network.
Whenever I’m speaking at an event, I often times tell the audience how I spent half my career avoiding the numbers in my business. As a creative, I always assumed they would be difficult.
I also had internal dialogues about how paying attention to business financials somehow made me a sellout. It’s no wonder, then, that I was a broke blogger who didn’t have a profitable business.
By the time I quit my job to focus on my blog and business full-time, I knew I could no longer pretend like the numbers didn’t matter. This was now paying my bills and it was up to me to get over my fear and start paying attention.
With time, I learned that business financials don’t have to be all that difficult if you have the right tools and resources. I’ve been using Intuit QuickBooks in my business for years and The QuickBooks Resource Center helped me gain the education I needed to really understand the numbers in my business.
One of the main things I’ve learned is there are certain financial staples I need to keep an eye on in my business to maintain a profitable business.
In order to get paid and have a profitable business, you need to stay on top of your invoicing. You might think this is common sense, but I often times speak to business owners who have no idea what’s going on with invoices and who owes them money.
Unpaid invoices can have major negative impacts on your business. You can’t pay your employees (or, in my case, contractors) and you can’t pay your bills. If your business has product inventory then you can’t stock up. Essentially, your business can come to a screeching halt because you don’t have the cash to keep it running.
I know because this used to be me before I switched over to QuickBooks a few years ago. Here are some things you can do to improve your invoicing.
- Use the free invoicing template found in the QuickBooks Resource Center. Once you have a template all you have to do is plug in the numbers and send.
- Make sure your contracts clearly state payment terms and read up on best contract practices.
- Create a follow-up system when clients are late in paying you. This ensures you actually get your money.
You may also want to consider moving away from manually sending invoices and switch over to an online system with QuickBooks Online.
Positive Cash Flow
The other financial staple you need to keep an eye on in order to have a profitable business is cash flow.
Cash flow refers to how much cash your business is receiving versus how much is going out. A positive cash flow refers to businesses that have money left over after paying their expenses. If your expenses are higher than your revenue, then that’s called a negative cash flow and it can be a key indicator that something is wrong.
Here are some of the ways you can ensure you have a positive cash flow from month to month.
- Track it. What gets measured gets improved. The QuickBooks Resource Center has a free template you can use to track your cash flow.
- Learn about the best strategies you can implement to increase cash flow in your business.
- Learn about the different ways you can get clients to pay you faster. For example, I’ve begun requesting upfront payments and deposits for writing projects. With coaching clients, I use automatic billing.
While cash flow issues are one of the main reasons why businesses close their doors, the good news is it is within your control.
Since we’re in the middle of tax season, you may have noticed that we’ve been covering taxes extensively on the blog the last few weeks.
The last thing you want in your business is to get hit with a surprise tax bill. You also don’t want to be in a position where you’re scrambling to find the money to make your quarterly tax payment.
Believe me, I’ve been in the latter position and it’s awful. That’s why tax planning is so important when you run a business. Having an accountant on retainer has definitely helped me with this. So has the self-employment tax calculator in the QuickBooks Resource Center. The calculator has helped me figure out how much I need to save each month so that I’m able to pay the self-employment tax with no issue.
In order to run a profitable business, you need to pay attention to the numbers. Fortunately, there are great tools like Intuit QuickBooks that can help you do this with ease.
The accounting in my business has improved drastically since I switched over a few years ago, and the ability to automatically send invoices and do auto billing helps me get paid faster.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.