Financial Bare Bones Basics for Your Business

animated person with money flying all around with the caption 'Money just sorts itself out right'?


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This is a NO MATH guide for small business owners, solopreneurs, or entrepreneurs, on how to best deal with revenue and other financial issues. This is the easy way to know the numbers in your business and understand what you’re doing that’s profitable or not profitable.

00:00 Introduction

00:30 “Entrepreneurial Mindset People”

01:25 What you’re more like

02:15 The first, biggest, most important things you outsource

02:47 Why you need a bookkeeper and accountant

04:30 What good accountants will do

05:18 Ask your bookkeeper to explain anything that looks confusing or out of place

05:38 When to tell your bookkeeper/accountant about changes

06:25 The kinds of things that change all the time

07:44 Cashflow basics

08:58 Your personal net worth (and Financial Planners)

10:55 Summary


The transcript is below if you would prefer to read this yourself instead of watching the video!


Hi and welcome back or welcome to Sidekick COO. I’m Sandra B, your Sidekick COO and today we are going to be talking a little bit about Financial Bare Bones Basics for Your Business.

So, as a small business owner, what should you be focusing on financially speaking? Obviously, as a small business owner, solopreneur, freelancer, or whatever you want to call yourself, you need to know your numbers in your business. You need to understand what you’re doing that is profitable and what you’re doing that is not profitable and, you need to understand how those things fit into your business. 

A lot of the time when small business owners first get started, specifically when they’re not like “Entrepreneurial Mindset People”… we all call ourselves “Entrepreneurs” but I really feel like there are people who are entrepreneurs who go out and create a business that’s meant to be sold or to have investors brought in, or to be expanded, or to made into a franchise or whatnot. So those people, when they first get started, they tend to have a big business plan. 

  • They know their competition
  • They know who their customers are
  • They have done a ton of research
  • They know all their numbers
  • They know their break-even point before they even start
  • They really do dot their “I’s” and cross their “T’s”

To me, those people are ‘the entrepreneurs’. They are the people who, before they get started, already know their end game. If that is you, then this is probably not gonna be a video for you. But if you are like most of the business owners that I know and most of the business owners that I work with (and probably 90% of the business owners out there) you probably started your business because you wanted some freedom. 

  • You didn’t want to work for somebody else.
  • You had a skill or a talent that you really wanted to monetize. You wanted to just work for yourself and you probably didn’t have an endgame in mind. You just wanted to make enough money to live on and eventually make enough money to do all the things that you wanted to do. If that is you, then this is probably gonna be a video that you need to hear. 

Those business owners, those small business owners, those solopreneurs, those are the ones that when I speak to them, it’s really quite often that I find a lot of the times, especially for the first year or two, 

  • they’re doing all their own bookkeeping 
  • they’re doing all their own taxes
  • they may or may not be incorporated
  • they’re trying to do it all themselves 

However, when it comes to your finances in your business, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend that one of the first things you outsource is your bookkeeping and one of the first people you engage with is an accountant. You really need to have a good accountant and bookkeeper. 

Those can be the same person or they can be two different people. Shop around and find the ones that are best for you. You really need to have those people in your back pocket. The reason you need to have them in your back pocket is because as you grow as a business owner, there are things that you need to do. A lot of people they incorporate right away. And depending on where you are, this may or may not be a good idea. 

Where I am, is not always a good idea to incorporate right away. You often want to wait until you meet a certain revenue threshold or profit threshold before you incorporate and there’s a lot of reasons for that. 

I don’t know those reasons, so I’m not going to tell you those reasons.

But a good accountant will! A good accountant will help you understand when the right time is to incorporate for you and your business. What are the things you have to do for your business once you are incorporated? What are the things you have to do for your business before you’re incorporated?

A good accountant and a good bookkeeper are going to help you save money because they are going to help you legally find the best way of dealing with your revenue that is going to be the most beneficial tax-wise. Legally. 

I’m going to say there are some accountants and bookkeepers out there that will do things a little shady. So just be careful. Make sure you’re finding somebody who has a really good reputation. Really look into them, and make sure that they don’t have any issues before you engage them. You really want somebody who knows what they’re doing, who is going to help you navigate the crazy world of finance and make sure that you are not overpaying your taxes, but you’re also not getting yourself in trouble by doing anything shady. 

A good accountant is going to help you with your tax planning. They’re going to help you understand what money you should be putting aside in order to save for taxes, which is something that a lot of business owners don’t do when they first start out. They kind of just take all the money for themselves and forget that there is a tax bill to pay at the end of the year.

They’re going to, like I said, help you understand when you should incorporate and they’re also gonna go through your numbers with you. So if you have a really good bookkeeper, they’re going to do your books at least quarterly (if not monthly) and they will probably send you your profit and loss statement. They might also send you your balance sheet. They don’t often go over it with you unless you ask, but your accountant will go over all of those financial statements with you at least yearly when you do your corporate tax return or personal tax return, whichever one you’re doing. 

I do highly recommend asking your bookkeeper to explain any numbers that seem out of whack. Just having them kind of go over what your financial statements mean and how they differ from last month or last year at the same time, just so that you have an idea of how you’re doing on an ongoing basis. Make sure that you tell your bookkeeper and especially your accountant, anytime there are any major changes in your business. 

For instance, if you put out a course. Maybe you put out a course and it takes off and you end up increasing your revenue by a hundred thousand dollars. You have a hundred-thousand-dollar launch that you didn’t have last year. Now that you have that, it’s going to drastically affect things for your end-of-year tax planning. So, definitely let your account know as soon as you know that there is a change in your business. Even if you’re not sure that there’s going to be a change, it’s always good to give them a heads up about something that you’re doing so that you can understand in advance what you need to be double-checking. 

Especially right now! There are so many changes happening in regard to tax collections. So collecting sales tax in different locations, 5-10 years ago, for a lot of the digital stuff there were many things that you didn’t get charged tax on because it wasn’t part of the tax regulations or whatever. But now, things are changing. Governments are realizing that there is a lot of digital commerce happening that they are missing out on. So a lot of things like your software and stuff that before you probably didn’t pay tax on, you’re gonna start seeing that you’re paying tax on certain ones. 

That’s all changing so you really wanna make sure that you have those conversations with your bookkeeper and or your accountant to make sure that you’re collecting tax or you’re making sure that taxes are included in the purchase and that you understand that that’s gonna be completely taken off of your revenue. Know what your liabilities are and make sure that everything is happening in accordance with rules and regulations that you might not be aware of. 

In addition to having your accountant and your bookkeeper and having them explain your reports to you and having them send you your reports. The other thing you want to know about is on a regular basis is your cash flow. You really wanna keep that in mind. 

Again, if you are a serial entrepreneur or you are building something huge, you have investors, and things like that, this is probably not gonna be for you. Cash flow is important, but a lot of businesses run cash flow negative for a long time. But if this business is meant to replace your personal income and you can’t afford to take a loss, if you can’t afford to float your business for a while, then you really need to understand what your cash flow is. 

You need to understand what’s coming in on a regular basis and what’s going out on a regular basis. What that net result is so that you can see where you are spending more than you’re bringing in and where the opposite is true.

I personally do my cash flow planning a year out, which is probably overkill, but I look at my cash flow on a weekly basis and I can kind of predict based on what I’m doing, I can see where I might need to shore up my revenue. I can see that pretty far in advance which is always super useful. So looking at your cash flow, if you’re not sure where to start, ask your accountant or your bookkeeper, they should be able to help you out. 

The other thing you should be looking at as a small business owner is your own personal net worth. You are in business to make money. That’s just the truth of it!

Sure, you might wanna make a difference, you might wanna make an impact, and you might wanna leave a legacy, but in the end, you need to make money. When you are doing all of your financial planning, when you’re doing all of your cash flow monitoring and all of that stuff, you also need to be looking at what your net worth is personally because as you grow profit in your business, you also wanna be growing that net worth on your personal side. 

What you’re going to want to do is engage the services of a financial planner. Financial planners, a lot of the time, they’re not going to charge you any type of retainer or anything like that. A lot of the time they don’t even charge to meet with you. Basically, if they do sell you any investment products or anything like that, that’s how a lot of them get paid. 

There may be some, depending on what you need them to do, that may charge you for meetings and work and things like that, but a lot of them do consultations for free and then also will sell you investments and things like that.

Most of them, it’s not like they’re pushy, they’re not, they’re not trying to push you into anything. They are just there to advise you as to your own finances and depending on where you are, there are services out there that are like a hundred percent free that you can go and do financial planning, a hundred percent free all the time. It’s a public service, so you can look for those. They’re not everywhere, but you can definitely look for them. 

But yeah! Definitely get a financial planner in your corner so that as things change in your business, they might change in your life personally and you know what you’re supposed to be doing with that money, where to invest it, how to get it working for you, and making sure that you are increasing your personal net worth.

So that’s it. Those are the only things I wanted to cover today, but if you take ANYTHING from this video, please take that you do need to know your numbers. You do need to be looking at those numbers. Don’t just look at your top-line revenue. That is not a great indicator of how your business is doing. That’s just a great indicator of how much money you manage to bring in, but it’s not an indicator of how profitable you are. 

  • You need to be looking at your profit
  • You need to be looking at your cash flow
  • and you need to be looking at your personal net worth. 

If this video resonated with you at all, please do not forget to like and subscribe. 

A lot of people aren’t actually subscribed yet and people who think they are subscribed actually aren’t. So if you are not sure, hit that subscribe button! All right?

Also, pass this along to anybody you think needs to hear it. If you were thinking, “Ooh, I know somebody who doesn’t have an accountant right now and they really should” send them this video. I would really appreciate it. 

Don’t forget, together we thrive!

Have a great one.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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