Being an entrepreneur and running your business can be immensely rewarding in more ways than one. Several factors can motivate people to run their own business, including controlling operations, choosing who to work with, and following a passion. Millions of new companies are founded every year because of these factors. It is not just about impressive products and services that determine a company’s success. If a corporation’s finances are a mess, its customer satisfaction won’t make much difference.
Take time to brush up on these five essential skills that all entrepreneurs should have under their belts.
5 Financial skills for entrepreneurs
Without the proper maintenance and record-keeping of financial statements, there is no way to analyze them. That’s where bookkeeping comes in. Bookkeeping is the process of regularly recording your company’s financial transactions into relevant accounts. Although it may seem tedious, this process is essential for the smooth operation of your business. Proper maintenance of records and files can provide you with a bigger picture in predicting how your company will gain profit or suffer loss. Additionally, information gathered for bookkeeping is crucial during tax audits and compliance assessments.
Those who hold an accounting master’s degree can do exceptionally well in maintaining all relevant financial records. Such programs provide individuals with the skills required for bookkeeping and other essential operations. By learning such skills, you can identify any high-growth opportunities that may arise for your business and help you grow further.
To ensure your business’s overall success and security, the first and foremost skill you must acquire is budgeting. Although it has multiple definitions, a budget is simply a tool that tracks when and how you earn or spend money. It gives you a better picture of whether your business is generating enough revenue to meet its expenses. Both the incoming and outgoing finances constantly fluctuate, and therefore budgeting must be an ongoing process.
Budgeting can help you in several ways, such as:
- Develop short- and long-term goals to grow business
- Trim unnecessary costs and avoid overspending
- Keeps track of financial health
- Attracts investors
- Make decisions regarding any facet of the business
3. Understanding Financial Statements
As a business owner, you more than likely want to stay up-to-date about your company’s operations. The best way to remain regularly informed about its financial health is to read and understand your business’s financial statements. However, a plethora of financial metrics and terms might overwhelm you, making it difficult to understand the relevant information the statements provide.
- Balance Sheet
A balance sheet describes a company’s assets, liabilities, and equities at a given point in time. Along with providing information on what a business owes and owns, it also provides the amount invested by shareholders. Therefore, a balance sheet can help you forecast and calculate financial ratios for your company.
- Income Statement
Looking at the income statement, you can receive valuable insights into whether your business runs its operations well and efficiently. Sometimes referred to as the profit and loss statement, the income statement mainly focuses on a business’s revenues and expenses of a particular period. Operating and non-operating proceeds and costs of primary and secondary activities are all included in the net income.
- Cash flow Statement
A cash flow statement summarizes all the cash and equivalents entering and leaving a business. It shows the exact amount of inflows and outflows over a period of time. An income statement tells you the business’s profitability, but the cash flow helps to know the company’s liquidity.
While a receipt provides evidence of payment made by the customer, an invoice is a request for compensation after a customer has already received services. Businesses that offer invoices make it easier for their clients to pay. However, late payments and delayed invoices can significantly impact any business. Often companies have to make further payments to vendors and outsourcing firms and must therefore receive the money on time. By planning a solid invoicing strategy, you can ensure no delays in costs so that operations can continue running smoothly.
Invoicing can also provide various other benefits to your business like:
- Maintains records
Invoices help business owners keep legal records of every sale they ever make. These records make it possible to look for when something was sold, who bought it, and how much it was worth.
- Payment tracking
The seller and the buyer can track how much money a buyer owes and its due date.
- Legal protection
Since invoices are legal proof of agreements between buyers and sellers, they protect business owners from fraudulent lawsuits.
- Easy tax filing
- Business analytics
By analyzing invoices, you can gauge which products sell the most and identify trends in customers’ buying patterns to develop effective marketing strategies.
5. Build Business Credit
As your business grows, you’ll need more investments and finances to meet more significant expenses. For this, you’ll need strong business credit.
Much like personal credit shows banks how reliable you are with finances, business credit shows lenders, supplies, and vendors how financially secure or risky your business is. In simple terms, it’s a measure of your company’s ability to pay its debts. Strategies like being smart with your debt, separating personal and business finances, and regularly monitoring your credit score can help you build strong business credit.
Building good business credit can help your company in the following ways:
- Obtain business financing quickly and easily
- Provides better credit and repayment agreements with suppliers
- Protects personal credit
You can easily make a successful entrepreneurial career with the proper knowledge, skills, and experience. Whether you already have a running business or plan to start one, these financial skills are essential for successful business owners. To develop these skills and gain the confidence you