Do you dread organising your finances? Don’t put it off. Here’s how to make light work of a vital business task.
Many business owners procrastinate over financial admin. We get it – it can be daunting. But a few simple steps can free up stress and save you a lot of time. Ready to stop leaving it to the last minute?
Why do we put off financial admin?
If you’ve been in business more than a year, you already know that doing your finances is never as bad as it seems. But for some reason, many of us still put it off. And the longer you put it off, the longer it takes.
Doing your finances is so much easier when you keep on top of it.
It’s worth working out why you procrastinate over monthly financial admin, expenses, or your tax return.
- Do you lack confidence or doubt your skills?
- Do you need to outsource to a book keeper or accountant?
- Are your systems outdated (or non-existent)?
- Would it help to automate and systemise financial admin?
The risks and pitfalls of neglecting business finances
Nobody likes having financial admin hanging over their heads. But the risk goes deeper than stress and worry. You might actually be losing income due to your disorganisation (or lack of boundaries around late payments).
There are numerous benefits to streamlining and systemising your financial admin. You’ll free up time, have an accurate picture of your profit and loss, and set aside enough money to pay your tax bill.
Ultimately, it’s all part of running a properly professional business. If you’re struggling to control your financial admin, check out our 9 simple steps.
9 ways to master your financial admin
1. Encourage payment up front
Always get payment up front for sessions, classes, and events. This means collecting payment in advance of the session, and ideally never on the day.
2. Sell packages, not PAYG
Pay As You Go might work for some business models, but if you can shift to bundles and packages you will save time, energy, and stress. Check out how to create PAYG packages with your Striive account here. If you think memberships could be a good fit for your business then check out our blog Using A Membership To Create Reliable Hassle Free Income.
3. Keep payment records up-to-date
Doing your finances is so much easier when you keep on top of it. This means keeping timely records of income, payments, expenses, and annual insurances. You can track all of the aforementioned with Striive, find out how here.
4. Automate as much as possible
There are so many banking apps and accountancy platforms, there’s really no excuse for a clunky system. Make sure your own payment system reconciles automatically, too.
5. Give clients the ability to pay immediately
Set up a way for clients to pay the moment they book (or buy, if you sell merch). This streamlines the process and removes any possible friction in the purchasing decision.
6. Don’t do favours
You don’t work for free…right? You’re a professional, so charge like one. That means no favours, no mates’ rates, no “pay me back when you can” situations. We realise there's an argument for giving out freebies to get the ball rolling and pick up clients, but you must set clear boundaries from the out. Take a deeper dive into giving out freebies in our blog Should Fitness Professionals Offer Free Sessions To Friends And Family?.
7. Include payment Ts & Cs in your service agreement
Avoid confusion or confrontation by including payment terms and conditions in your service agreement, and make sure clients read and agree to them.
8. Consider changing banks
If you’re still with the bank you signed up to in Fresher’s Week, it might be time for a rethink. Look for a modern bank with an app, that integrates with your payment system and accounting software. And do get separate business and personal accounts.
9. Avoid end-of-year tax return woes
Nobody likes doing their tax return. But it’s 10 times worse if you leave it til the last minute. Set aside an hour every week to keep up to date with financial admin, and have regular catch ups with your accountant if you use one. It will make the annual paperwork much easier.
Striive has some powerful tools that make financial tracking a breeze. Check out the list below.