Recently I was asked to respond to a Bank of America Small Business Community Article regarding Women Business Owners and Their Best Financial Advice. I thought it would be great to provide you all with my answers in this post.
Q1. What is one BUSINESS financial management tip you would give to other women business owners?
If you are a startup be certain you project the revenues you will need to create an income as well as cover all current and projected expenses to run and grow your business. A thorough Business plan is critical for this since it will provide a summary of your projected revenues, expenses, past credit history, resources allocation and other financial details. If you are past startup then be sure this part of the Business plan is updated regularly as new offerings, services, expenses etc. will occur and will require adjustment of sales to meet those needs. Don’t be afraid to do some DIY with website, marketing materials etc. in the beginning but then ensure you invest into the business (upgraded website, better marketing materials) when securing larger contracts or books of business, this will help the initial phases of the company get off the grown debt free (depending on the business of course). In addition pay as you go with expenses to ensure low or limited debt is on the business whenever possible.
Q2. What is one PERSONAL financial management tip you would give other women business owners?
Keep your personal finances in order and be sure to invest time and resources in maintaining your personal credit score which is critical in obtaining financing. Don’t be afraid to use Balance Transfer options (also available through BOA) to pay down debt and decrease interest payments but do the math to be sure it’s going to benefit you financially by paying less over time. Whether a loan from someone you know or a loan from a bank, be sure to have a complete Business Plan and Portfolio, the portfolio can include Awards, Bio, Speaking Engagement Collateral, Educational Certificates, Corporate Articles Written etc. Having information to present such as the business history, current book of business, future services, products and sales projections will also be good to have on hand to present a cohesive vision to any prospective lender. Again, it is critical to ensure your personal finances are in order and you maintain a high credit score. I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and his Money strategies so b sure to check him out.