Whether you are planning to or you have already launched your own small business, there is one metric that you’ll need to keep an eye on from day one – your finances. Cash flow is king for early-stage start-ups, giving entrepreneurs the confidence and assurance to buy more stock, expand premises and even employ new staff. None of which would be possible without an accurate handle on your business’ books.
Within this article, we’ll give you a leg up and point you in the direction of some handy tools and strategies to speed up your accounting and administrative tasks, giving you more time to focus on doing what you do best – running your start-up business.
Invoicing software can automate your accountancy
As an early-stage business, it’s vital that you get paid for any work that you do. Distributing invoices and communicating terms of payment with your clients is vital to the sustainability of your business. Startup invoicing software is a great investment, giving you a top-down view of your cash flow. Platforms like Xero not only provide an immediate overview of your finances via an online dashboard, they also help you to create branded invoice templates and set automated invoice reminders for late-paying customers. Xero’s online invoicing platform also makes it possible to accept payments quicker via card, PayPal, Stripe or directly from the invoice page.
Track your expenses as you go
Monitoring profits and income is part and parcel of running a successful start-up business, but offsetting expenses against your income is just as important. Spending beyond your means is a one-way ticket to bankruptcy. Expense tracking software can make it easy to monitor your business spending. Some applications now make it possible for entrepreneurs to take photos of their business receipts and scan them directly onto their invoicing system, reducing the need for paperwork. These intelligent platforms make filing tax returns an absolute doddle, if you choose to prepare and file them yourself, of course.
Get workplace insurance to help you focus without distractions
As an early-stage entrepreneur, you’ll understandably want to keep your overheads to an absolute premium. Unfortunately, most start-up businesses need to factor insurance into that premium. As a start-up business, you’ll potentially be working as a one-man band, providing professional services for homes and businesses alike. Contractors liability insurance acts as an important safety blanket for you and your clients. It demonstrates that you care about the work that you do, but gives clients peace of mind that your work is covered in the unlikely event problems occur – saving you time and money in the long run.
Prepare a payroll solution before you employ part-time or full-time staff
Payroll services are a hidden cost that most entrepreneurs won’t have factored into their initial equations, but it is an essential investment, particularly if you plan to take on workers part-time or full-time. Payroll packages will range from basic services to advanced tasks. Some will charge you per employee, but most services will include tax forms for W-2 staff and 1099 contractors as part of your subscription fee.
Running your own business is one of life’s most exciting challenges. Nevertheless, that fun can soon be tempered by running into money troubles. By preparing your small business finances using the tools and approaches discussed you’ll give your start-up the best chance of a bright future.