Are you Killing Your Small Local Business By Keeping Your Own Books?

by Joanne Steele on July 15, 2011

growing your small business financesWould throwing yourself down a well be better for your business than being in charge of your own company finances??

That’s the point made in this short video by rural economic development expert Ernesto Sirolli about HIS involvement in his company’s finances .

Okay, the video is really about following your small business passion while paying attention to everything else. Watch it. It’s really inspiring. So…

Why talk about small local business finances now??

I received a great comment on RTMG’s Facebook page last week that deserves a whole post about finances.

In her comment, Katheryn Floyd Haigler introduced us to a great locally owned restaurant, Chances R,  in York, Nebraska. Her final statement was, “Local stores find their niche and they can compete as long as they keep their finances in line.”

She’s right.

The Three pillars of small local business success are, Your Passion, Marketing and Finances.

It’s easy to follow your passion, that’s why you’re in business. And it’s fairly easy to do some marketing. Everyone knows that marketing is essential and it’s even kind of fun.

But who likes to tackle finances!?!

In workshops and trainings I’ve done in the past, I have teamed up with a real small local business finances wizard, Susan Riley Brown. She shows small business owners how managing their company’s finances informs their marketing and supports their passion.

People expect to be bored by Susan’s portion of the workshop, and instead, by the end are motivated and enthused about what they learn. Why?

Because they discover that finances are not all about Quickbooks, taxes and paying bills.  It’s about how and why you spend your money. And you can only know that if you have a handle on what you’re making and where that money is going right now.

Quickbooks is a means to an end. It gives you the information you need to continue to follow your passion.

I used one of her exercises in my e-book that some of you are familiar with, Take Control of Your Internet Marketing.

With a few simple calculations using what you already know about your company’s finances, you can generate a ball park figure for just how many customers you need in order to be successful. Download the book (it’s free) and give it a try.

It’s fun isn’t it, and exciting to get some useful information that starts with a little understanding of your company finances.

Now, if you’re one of the many small local business people who are still doing shoebox accounting, get in touch with your local Small Business Development Center, or local small business economic development association and learn how to get your books straightened out.

Or like Dr. Sirolli, hire a bookkeeper.

You will be amazed at all the things you can learn about creating effective marketing and about increasing sales, when you know more about your current company finances.

Here’s another past post that might help:

Time Management Tip for Small Business Owners: Learn to Delegate

Photo on Flickr by Alan Cleaver

1 Jacinta July 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

It can be hard to balance the time sometimes but well worth it. I use Outright for bookkeeping and Freshbooks for invoicing.

2 Joanne Steele July 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

Thanks Jacinta for the suggestion. Freshbooks looks interesting.

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