Written by: Marlene Piche, SVP and Head of Branch Banking, Union Savings Bank
Maintaining a proper work-life balance as an entrepreneur is tough because it’s yet another job in itself to juggle. After all, your business is your life’s work. It means everything to you, and all you want is for it to succeed. But it’s important to remember you are the heart of your business. For your business to succeed, you need to succeed, and the first step in ensuring a healthy work-life balance is to manage your personal and small business finances separately. These 5 Do’s and Don’ts are important tips for small business owners who want to manage their personal and business finances in a positive way.
1. DO separate your finances to better manage your money.
This is a big one. An often overlooked part of money management is for owners to separate their personal finances from their business finances. Your business checking account and savings account need to be completely separated from your personal accounts.
When you open a business checking account, the bank keeps a record of every transaction and will alert you of unusual transactions on your account. This saves you a tremendous amount of time and stress.
Having separate accounts also makes tax season much easier. Even if you have an accountant who takes care of your taxes, having separate accounts with separate records will save them time, which saves you money.
In addition to separating your accounts, you should also open a line of credit for your business, establish trades lines and apply for and use a business credit card, which can help you stay organized and earn rewards. It’s important to build your business’s credit for future growth and investments. This credit needs to be separate from your personal credit.
It’s also important to remember to pay yourself a salary to help you finance personal purchases down the road.
2. DON’T try to manage your business’s finances all by yourself.
Taking advantage of the benefits your local bank offers is another great way to develop a healthy work-life balance. One of the greatest benefits of using your local bank is the opportunity to work with a local business banker, who not only has the financial expertise to help you keep your business running at peak performance, but also has the local expertise to advise you based on the climate and needs of your community. Together, you can create a financial plan for your business that covers everything from helping you manage your business’s cash flow to securing your business’s future by helping you make smart investments. By setting and sticking to this plan, you can ease a lot of financial stress and worry.
As a small business owner, you’re on the go a lot, and you don’t always have time to go to the bank. Luckily, there are many ways you can take advantage of mobile banking. If you have a business banking account with Union Savings Bank, you can manage your account on the USB Business Mobile App from practically anywhere. It’s all in the palm of your hand. One less thing to do. One less thing to worry about.
3. DON’T try to handle things that are outside of your expertise.
You are an expert in your business – it’s what you do best. This does not mean you have to be an expert in every aspect of managing your business, so don’t try to be. Look to partners to allow you to focus on doing what you do best. Let them handle the rest.
For example, if you spend too much time trying to hire the best new talent, consider investing in a recruiter. If you spend hours and hours every month pouring over payroll, consider a payroll vendor. If you stay up at night worrying about your business’s finances, consult your local bank.
Your business needs you operating at your best, but it’s difficult to be your best when you’re trying to juggle too many things at once. It’s time-consuming, draining and unsustainable. While looking for experts outside your company is often one of the toughest tips for small business owners to follow, it’s one that can protect both your work-life balance and your bottom line.
4. DO make sure you are prioritizing and delegating tasks.
Blocking off time in your calendar for yourself is critical to your own well-being and the success of your business, and prioritizing and delegating tasks can help you stick to your schedule. Take a look at your task list and determine which tasks need your immediate attention, which tasks need your attention but can wait and which tasks can be handled by someone else.
One of the hardest parts about owning a business can be letting go of a little bit of control. You hired your employees for a reason. Let them do their jobs. At the end of the day, their jobs boil down to one priority: helping you run your business. You can’t do that if you’re stuck behind a computer sorting out vendor payments all day or dropping everything to handle every small thing that comes up throughout the day.
5. DO take preventative measures to protect your business against fraud.
Cyber security is at the top of everyone’s minds right now. While you need to be aware of your business’s security and be prepared in the event of a breach, you should not be staying up at night worrying about it. Most business banking accounts offer positive pay, a service that helps protect against fraudulent checks. You should also check out our three-part series, Protect Your Small Business from a Security Breach, covering policies and procedures, training employees and everyday protection to help you prevent an attack on your business.
You are the heart and soul of your business. To keep things running properly, you need to be able to balance your work life with your personal life, and the same goes for your finances. If you’re ready to start working toward that balance, set up an appointment with your business banking team.
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