Aug 22, 2018

8 Things Your Small Business Isn’t Doing to Optimize its Finances

When you first start a business, it’s all you can do to bring in enough revenue to cover your expenses. But as your business grows, it’s essential that you take measures to not only make money but also make the most of your money. It’s all too easy to overlook these smart financial strategies, but doing so might be the reason you’re working harder, not smarter.

  1. If You Must Use a Credit Card, Do So Wisely

Ideally, you will have enough cash on hand to pay for business expenses, but many businesses do use credit cards to help with cash flow. The key is choosing the right card.

If you can find a card that you qualify for that has 0% APR for a period, you won’t pay interest on expenses you charge. If you’re looking to spend a lot on, say, new office furniture in the near future, this could help you pay less in the long run.

Also look for cards that have rewards programs so that the charges you rack up help you accumulate hotel or flight rewards.

  1. Get an Investment Account without Penalties

If you take funds from your 401k or IRA to help with business expenses, you’ll pay taxes or early withdrawal penalties. However, a Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS) is a smart choice because it allows you to use retirement account funds for business expenses without paying taxes or penalties.

ROBS accounts are for entrepreneurs who need $50,000 or more from their retirement accounts to invest in their businesses.

  1. Have a Separate Business Banking Account

Though you may have kept your business and personal transactions in the same bank account when you first started your business, it’s time to have a dedicated business checking (and savings) account to keep things separate.

This makes it easier to track business expenses using accounting software, and it’s easier for your accountant to file your business taxes if you have a separate account.

  1. Streamline Your Invoicing Process

Are you always waiting for clients to pay you, struggling to pay your own expenses while you wait? Having an established payment policy can ensure that all clients pay you in a timely manner.

You might institute a late fee for payments later than 30 days. Or you could incentivize clients to pay early by offering a discount for paying within 5 days. Clearly state your payment policy on each invoice, and give clients at least a month’s notice before you implement the policy.

  1. Maximize Tax Deductions

Did you know that paying for your or your employees’ health insurance premium can be a tax deduction? So can contributing to their HSA plan. Even if you’re the only employee in your company, be smart about paying for things you need from your business account so that you can reduce your taxable income.

  1. Consider a Line of Credit or Loan

What could you do with your business if you had an influx of cash? Many entrepreneurs mistakenly think that when they’re short on cash is the best time to take out a loan or line of credit, but in fact, when you’re flush is the best time. When you’re doing well, you’re a more appealing investment for lenders because they see from your financials that you will be able to pay back the loan.

So rather than taking out a loan when you’re strapped, do it when you’re ready to grow the business. You can use the funds to hire new staff, expand office space, or invest in new technology.

  1. Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

If you regularly buy supplies or materials from vendors, have you considered asking for a discount? Suppliers want your business, so they may be willing to work with you to offer a lower rate for items you buy regularly, especially if you buy them in bulk.

Don’t be shy about shopping around and comparing prices. While you may want to support Bob down the street, you may find a much better price on Amazon or another national ecommerce site. And who knows? Bob may even match the price you found online to keep your business.

  1. Hire an Accountant

Most small business owners are frugal by nature, and so they struggle to manage their finances and taxes on their own. But just think what you could do with the extra time you’ve been spending on these tasks! Working with an accountant ensures that you’re categorizing your expenses correctly and getting the maximum return on your taxes.

None of these tips are complicated or expensive to execute, and they can end up making your business more money.

It takes a little cash to change the world.

So what are you waiting for?

About the author

Evan Tarver, Fit Small Business
Evan Tarver, Fit Small Business

Evan Tarver is a small business and investments writer for Fit Small Business, fiction author, and screenwriter with experience in finance and technology. When he isn’t busy scheming his next business idea, you’ll find Evan holed up in a coffee shop working on the next great American fiction story.

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