The thing that gets ignored the most in small businesses is the finances.
You have so many other things to do in your business and you wear all the hats, that keeping up with your finances is nowhere near the top of your mind. As long as the money keeps coming in, does it really matter?!!
Plus the money stuff is something that just makes you feel “ugh, how can I avoid this for longer?”
It’s not your zone of genius, it’s not easy for you and it’s not something you really want to do.
So you avoid it.
All that really matters is that money is flowing into the bank account.
But even if money is flowing into the bank account, just checking to see if money is in the account before you pay a bill or make a purchase doesn’t suffice when you actually own a business.
What if creating a weekly financial workflow in your small business was just a natural part of your business?
What if you created a system that actually works for you and your business?
Then once you have this workflow, you put it on your calendar as an appointment with yourself. You can’t cancel or reschedule this appointment.
Let’s create a weekly financial workflow for your business now.
Step 1: Create a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for your business for accounting and bookkeeping.
The SOP will help you know all of the places that you need to check in with for your business accounting and bookkeeping.
With an SOP in place, you’ll always know what things need to be done in your business accounting and bookkeeping without questioning if you forgot something.
Plus you’ll have a way of sharing everything about your accounting and bookkeeping if you were to ever hire out the position to someone else.
This SOP includes everything from your workflow process, the accounting software you use and how you use it, how you handle business expenses, affiliate sales from affiliates, your monthly subscriptions, your payment processor, your revenue streams, how you handle tax time, your business budget, payment options from new clients, handling payments from existing clients and your courses and digital products, your banking information and any other workflows that help you make your finances flow with ease on a regular basis.
Step 2: Make sure all of your accounting and bookkeeping information and documentation is in the same place.
If you keep a folder in your inbox or your Google Drive or somewhere on your computer, always know where it is. And always put your documents in this folder.
If you keep a file on your desk of the paper that needs to be taken care of, keep only your financial documents in there. Store anything else that may end up in this box or folder somewhere else.
This step is super easy if you already have your SOP in place.
Step 3: Do the work.
Do your bookkeeping in your accounting software. Reconcile your bank account. Work on your profit plan and see how it aligns with your marketing plan.
Update your budget. Check on your financial situation.
Send invoices. Pay bills.
Set what else you can do to create this as an automated workflow as much as possible.
Of course, this is your finances, so there are going to be many areas where you are going to have to handle the business processes manually and automated won’t work at all.
Set a regular calendar date with yourself.
After you’ve got everything in place with this workflow, you just need to set a calendar date with yourself.
Actually put it in the calendar.
You can’t cancel or reschedule this appointment.
You can’t schedule something else during this time.
Since you have a workflow in place, this work should take less than 1 hour a week to do. And the most often you do it, the quicker you’ll get at this job too.
Why should you do this weekly?
You should do it weekly because it helps keep things fresh in your mind.
Do you know how often you forget what an expense is? Especially when it shows up on your bank statement as POS XXRUEI. Who knows what that actually is when it comes to doing the bookkeeping and sorting your transactions? There usually ends up being several transactions in a month with descriptions like this.
When you do this weekly, the purchases are more fresh in your mind and you’ll remember what that purchase was.
Plus like I said, the more often you do this weekly process, the quicker you’ll get. And after a month or two, this process will usually take you 15-30 minutes a week.
The money stuff is important
The money stuff is the most important part of your business. If you don’t keep up with it and keep it in order, your business will go broke and you won’t have a business anymore.
Stop ignoring the money stuff.
Just because it’s not your zone of genius, it gives you hives and stresses you out, that is no reason to ignore it.
Managing the money properly in your business is one of the most important things you can and should do. It will help you prevent your business from going broke and really just gives you the big picture of your business in a simple snapshot.
If you really can’t do it for yourself, then hire someone else to do it for you.
What do you include in your weekly workflow?
Small business owners who run a service based business can usually create a pretty simple workflow that they can complete in about 30 minutes a week.
1. Start by reconciling your bank account and sorting your transactions into the appropriate expense categories. This also helps you check in on whether any fraudulent activity or even employee embezzlement has been happening in your company.
2. Work on your profit plan and see how it aligns with your marketing plan and how it falls into your annual planning for your business.
3. Update your budget and compare it to your actual spending and revenue receipts. What does your business performance actually look like?
4. Check on the financial situation of the company and review your profit and loss statement and balance sheet and see the complete picture of your business financial situation.
5. Send invoices, pay bills, check on your accounts receivable and invoices that are due, and any other financial tasks that need to be handled in your business.
6. Meet with your team in your business to see whether they need support, tools or any other ways you can increase your income.
7. File any receipts that you have in your filing system.
What else to consider with your financial workflows in your business?
Create a weekly system, like Finance Fridays
This is like setting up your small business’s money date. Make it a non-negotiable date that you must stick to every week.
This is the best way to stay on top of your financials and have them in order.
Block off this time just for you, your money, and your business.
Are there exceptions? Sure. Maybe you are starting a new project or working on something else that is super important right now. But if it’s not an emergency, try not to postpone it or reschedule it for a different time. This is your time to work on your business finances and you should protect it.
Hiring team members to help you relieve your stress
If you have way too much on your plate as the business owner and handling all of your business finances properly hinders your business progress, consider hiring a bookkeeper, accountant and CFO to assist you in your business.
They are professionals in helping to manage the money and can take a lot of the stress away from you.
Schedule meetings with your financial advisor, accountant and bookkeeper for specific days
When you keep your conversations with similar professionals all scheduled around the same time, it helps you keep the conversations flowing because what you talk about with one, you may also need to talk about with another one.
Review your profit and loss statement in detail
This statement is provided after all of your accounts are reconciled and the bookkeeping is done. It tells you whether your business is healthy and has an income, when you need to watch where you are spending money more closely, whether you have other expenses that could possibly be hurting your income.
As a business owner, this is a key tool that you will need to use in your business on a regular basis.
Creating a weekly workflow
You can easily create a weekly workflow for your business finances.
The more you know your business money and have things in order, the better your business will do.
Build a strong relationship with your money and your money will show you that same relationship in return.
And the more you work on this workflow, the easier things will be and you’ll get much quicker at doing this weekly part of your business.
Over time, this process may evolve. It may get more involved, especially as your business grows and more money is flowing in and out of your business. But this is why it’s so important to set up your business now with a financial workflow that keeps everything running like a well-oiled machine.
Depending on how you see accounting processes, these tasks may seem simple or super complex. Another reason, why this workflow is super important to create.