By: V. Lynn Hawkins, Business Coach, Consultant, Author, Speaker
As an entrepreneur, one of the first things I learned was the importance of having certain key people at the ready and more particularly, accessible to me on speed-dial. So, to start off the New Year, I’m going to deliver a series about these 5 people, along with valuable information about how having access to these people can empower you to have a huge success in your business and life. Having these 5 people and connecting with them regularly with diligence and discipline will become a testament to how well you treat yourself and your business.
Have you ever had a direct line to the important people in your life and knew that when you called, they answered or called you right back? In this series, you will get introduced to these key people who for me were the difference between me getting the answer(s) I needed so I could make a good and informed decision, and recovering from costly mistakes. When I felt like I had to shoot from the hip and rely on my own limited knowledge in certain areas, even with doing some degree of research and due diligence, there was a level of uncertainty that amounted to risk that I may not have had to take. Taking care of yourself and your business using this information means you will know when to reach out for help and who to reach out to, and make it as cost effectively as possible.
Through the information I’m sharing, you will know who these key people are and why you want to have them within a phone call’s reach. If you happen to think this is ‘no-brainer’ info, then I would say, ”are you doing it?” … and “If so, keep doing it and encourage others to do the same.”
Now here’s the first person you want to have on your speed-dial … It’s your bookkeeper, accountant or CPA. Whether you have one of these important people, or all 3, the person who knows about and helps you manage your money should definitely be on your speed-dial. Even if it’s just your business banker, when you need them, you want to reach them quickly and easily. In case you didn’t know, they want you to reach them quickly and easily too. You are a new business opportunity to them with every referral you send their way, and they want your referrals.
… and you have a tax preparer doing your taxes that you see annually at tax prep time, and that’s it. Well, I used to be that person too. I can tell you, life becomes much simpler and much more enjoyable when you manage your finances with the help of a bookkeeper and an accounting system. While I don’t recommend any one accounting system, I do recommend you have one. Also, make sure you download the weekly and monthly reports and review them, don’t just file them away.
Having a bookkeeper (or at least an accounting system that ties to your business bank account) helps you to stay accountable to doing your weekly and monthly accounting. Keeping your records in good shape is one of your main goals as the CEO (chief executive officer) of your company. You are also more likely to review the reports that will show you what you’ve spent against what you have budgeted. There is business banking software that can make this process easier if you do intend to do this yourself, but if you do have a bookkeeper or other financial professional, get the reports and review them. If you don’t understand them, get them to walk you through the information so you’ll know what you’re looking at and what it’s telling you. Oprah said something profound which resonated with me since the day I heard it. In short, “managing your money with the help of a professional is great, but don’t abdicate your authority, sign your own checks.” If you even dream of having a business earning enough revenue to be able to hire that help, always plan a system that requires you to sign your own checks, or approve them for signing by an automated system.
Even if your company has a CFO (chief financial officer) who manages all of the financial responsibilities of the company, as CEO, you should review monthly summary accounting reports. The following monthly reports represent the minimum reports for review, including: (1) the budget/actual report, (2) the bank statement reconciliation showing you your bank balance with what checks remain outstanding, (3) the profit and loss report, and (4) the accumulated budget/actual report which will show you each month’s income and expenses consecutively and an annual summary in one report. You can learn more about this by talking to your financial professional, or tuning into this series to see what other opportunities are waiting for you.
Now let’s talk about a very important point … the budget and actual reporting. Prior to the beginning of each year, you should create a budget for the upcoming year. This budget, much like your personal budget, should show the income (revenue) you expect to receive each month for the upcoming year. Use S.M.A.R.T. goals to determine realistic stretch revenue goals, and if this seems to be a huge task, get help by having your financial professional to review the numbers with you. Your budget will also show the expenses you expect to have from your rent, office supplies, insurance, salary, payroll, and other costs of operating your business. It will be your best projection of revenue and expenses for the year and will be your gauge towards creating greater profits in your business. You will know your breakeven numbers, your projected additional revenue, and what your profit is. As CEO, you are responsible for making profits in your business.
Note: Breakeven is the least amount of revenue you must generate per month to cover projected expenses. Income that is greater than breakeven is cash flow. Consider holding your excess cash (or a percentage of excess cash) in a savings account so you can use it for something specific when the opportunity presents itself, including disbursing it to yourself as owner.
Lastly, money is magnetizing and making money is more magnetizing. According to the author of Overcoming Underearning: Overcome Your Money Fears and Earn What You Deserve and Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life, Barbara Stanny says, “I firmly believe that, especially for women, financial success is a spiritual journey. Prosperity is our divine right and a divine duty. Each of us is here to do God’s work. Money is a vital tool for doing this work. You cannot possibly follow your God-given destiny, if you’re drowning in debt or struggling to make ends meet. This may shock some of you. But I believe money is God made visible. Having enough money allows you to live the life of your dreams and help others do the same.”
Knowing where your money (revenue) is coming from should be based on a strategy, a plan to generate revenue. Knowing how, when and why you are spending well-earned revenue, is also a part of that plan. Lastly, what you have earned and saved above what you need is the key to creating prosperity. Remember, creating the flow of money into your business is magnetizing and will provide opportunity for more money to flow into your business.
Continue with us in this series as we unveil the other 4 of the 5 people that you want to have on speed-dial and create more success, more prosperity in your business and life.
V. Lynn Hawkins “The Money Girl”, is a trainer, business coach, consultant, funding expert, and co-author of the book, Woman Entrepreneur Extraordinaire. She is a speaker and entrepreneur, President/CEO of Skyhawk Enterprises Business Coaching and Consulting. Her mission is to help business owners start and strategize to build their business, complete their mission, make an impact in their communities and the world, while growing their income. Lynn trains entrepreneurs to write their business plan, and on the how-to’s behind getting business funding; from conventional to crowd, and grant funding. She has over two decades of business management, organizational development, team building, and coaching to get planned results. Lynn has hosted teleseminars, conducted workshops and trainings, and has been a featured speaker/presenter on topics including; prosperity empowerment, business planning and development, funding and grants for the for-profit business. Lynn has shared the speaker stages with some amazing presenters, and has hosted multiple business networking groups. She is co-founder of the Entrepreneurial Mastery Retreat, leading the way for mastery in business through a retreat style business development and training conference.