Seven Tips For Getting And Keeping Your Financial House In Order

By: Darcy Juarez on: April 4th, 2013 7 Comments

It didn’t take her long to go out of business.

She was 22 years old and it was the first time she’d owned her own business.

Why was she forced to fold her business?

Not for the reason you might expect: lack of sales.

She went out of business because she was uneducated about keeping records for taxes, budgeting finances and keeping cash flow positive.

This story was told to me recently by a GKIC member who I’m proud to say is doing much better in business these days.

Depending upon your own personal experience, it may or may not come as a surprise to you that one of the top reasons small businesses fail is because of their lack of keeping their financial house in order.

Taking care of billing, tracking your expenses, taxes and other financial tasks can seem overwhelming and stressful for new business owners.

Even those who have been in business for themselves awhile can find managing their finances intimidating or perhaps not your favorite thing to do.

However getting and keeping your financial house in order makes things not only less stressful, but can help ensure you don’t overspend and that you have enough money for your savings, investments and retirement.

Here are seven tips for getting your financial house in order.

1)     Get some advice. If you’ve never been in business for yourself or if you struggle with managing your finances, get some advice. It’s an investment that could prove crucial to your survival and one of the smartest investments you can make. It may be as simple as meeting with an accountant to get advice or finding a seasoned, successful business owner who can give you advice on how to run a profitable business.

2)     Create a budget. When starting a business, your income may fluctuate. Therefore it is very important to have a budget both for your business expenses and your personal expenses. Use your lowest income or your average income, rather than your highest income, to base your budget on. In your business budget, you’ll want to include items such as tax payments, marketing, education, Internet service, your cell phone, and so on.

3)     Manage your expenses. While you want to avoid carrying debt, you may find it necessary to incur some debt, especially when getting started.

For example, you will need to invest in marketing materials to show the world you are open for business and looking for clients, customers or patients. Using swipe and deploy marketing systems proven to work will help you prevent costly mistakes and help you feel confident about getting a return on your investment. (A great place to start is to use the marketing systems found in Magnetic Marketing, our number one recommended resource by GKIC members.)

If you need to incur debt, don’t take on more debt than you think you can reasonably pay off. The key is to manage your debts by paying on time so that you avoid additional charges, using the lowest interest rate credit cards or loans possible, paying off debts as soon as possible and only incurring debts that are absolutely necessary.

4)     Use financial management tools. Keeping track of expenses, income, invoices and past due invoices, estimated taxes, etc. can feel daunting at times, especially if you’re a new business owner. However, not keeping track of these can cause your business to fail or even put you in hot water legally.

Fortunately, there are financial management tools you can use that will make this much easier and require a minimal amount of your time and effort. Most are inexpensive and some are even free. A few to check out are Zoho, Freshbooks, and Get Harvest. Each has varying features and track things like your time, invoices, and expenses. Some you can set up things such as automatic invoice reminders or scan receipts in your phone to create automatic expense reports.

5)     Put money aside every time you make a deposit. Dan Kennedy discusses setting a percentage of your income aside for both savings and charitable donations each time you get paid in his book, No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy.  There are multiple reasons for doing this. The obvious reasons are that you have money “for a rainy day” and you get into the habit of saving. But even more important are the psychological benefits you get from this habit. Read more about this and Dan Kennedy’s “90-Day Experiment” in chapter 14 of No B.S. Wealth Attraction For Entrepreneurs

6)     Track whether you are “on schedule.” Dan Kennedy suggests you track day by day whether or not you are on schedule to hit your income and wealth targets for the week, month, quarter and year. By assessing where you are frequently, you have an opportunity to correct when you fall behind. If you wait until July to see if you are on schedule to hit your financial goals, you may already be too late to correct your course to reach your financial goals.

7)     Plan for your retirement.  There is no retirement funded by someone else when you are a small business owner. That means you are entirely responsible for your retirement. On the flip side, setting up a retirement plan can also help you shelter your business profit. In the U.S. the two most common self-employment retirement plans are a Simplified Employee Pension plan (SEP) and Keogh plan.

In 2013, in either one, you can put in up to twenty-five percent of your net earnings or fifty-one thousand dollars (whichever is smaller) from your self-employment income. Like an IRA you can deduct this money off the top of your income, which gives you a big tax savings.

Compare that to an IRA with a cap of $5000 (or $6000 if you are 50 or older) and you can easily see the advantage of the SEP and Keogh plans.

Of course these are just a couple of options and I am not a financial advisor, so I’d advise you to

seek professional counsel to ensure you set up the best plan for you. The point is to set up a retirement plan and start saving immediately.

Integrating these tips will help you get your financial house in order making the financial end of your business more profitable and less stressful.


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Darcy Juarez has created marketing systems in the direct response and information marketing world that have gained national attention. As the Director of Marketing for GKIC , Darcy has taught thousands of business owners her step-by-step strategies for creating their own success and obtaining more time and more profits. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

7 Responses

  1. Being in the financial wellness industry, your advise is very good and to the point. The one issue I see you failed to mention is creating a business plan. Your financials will be there and the way the business money is spent, invested and saved should be part of the plan. I am a huge fan of getting a persons business plan together and make it so it is a functioning tool to manage the business. After all it’s the “blue print” of everything about the business.
    I would love to communicate further Darcy on Financial Wellness of businesses and how Financial Literacy is so important to the survival of small to midsize businesses.
    I can be reached through my email and by calling the number from my website.
    Is there a newsletter I can subscribe to? if so you have my information, please put me on it.
    Please list your social media profiles so I can follow you.

    To Your Success

    Jeffrey Wehner
    Results Driven Entrepreneur

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      A business plan is great and should be done. Just not at the expense of other important things. A great business plan without a great marketing plan, could prove fatal as well. Great point you bring up though! – D

      • Darcy: I am going to be in Chicago on the 19th thru the 22nd of April. Would it be possible to find a audience with you on Friday about 2:00pm in the afternoon. I will be staying at the Hyatt Regency in town. I want to present a program that I am involved with that could be valuable to you and your constituents.

        And you are so right, a marketing section in a business plan is crucial. No debate. When I consult new businesses this seems to be a major part of a plan and it takes imagination and working tool that can propel a business into the market place.
        As John well pointed out, Selling and identifying a target market is important.
        Please email on our meeting.

        Jeffrey Wehner

  2. John Groom says:

    Hi Darcy — have to disagree.
    For most kitchen table businesses, the number one reason for failure is lack of sales. Period. And because it is hard to market, hard to make sales calls, whether in person, on the telephone or even email, etc., (too) many people spend way too much attention on “thinking things through” – which includes all the things you talked about in your article. Why? Because as long as they are working on those things, nobody will say “NO!” to them and hang up the telephone. And THAT is what they are most afraid of. Why track expenses when you don’t have sales? Answer: so you don’t have to be out there trying to make sales — that’s way too scary.

    The order to do things is to have a product that is good enough, then sell it, then use the money from the sales (and more importantly the feedback from customers) to make the delightful customer experience. Haven’t even talked about accounting, and keeping receipts, etc. yet, have we? Right, because worrying about that should come later. Important only after making sales and money is coming in….

    Anyway, that’s the way it seems to work with the people I know….

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      I think we’re on the same page here. I didn’t say lack of financial planning was the number one reason, but that it was one of the top reasons. I will say also though that you can make a ton of sales, but revenue without profit is a big issue as well. Sales together with financial “know how” are a winning combo! Thanks for reading and good luck! – D

  3. Most business owners end up trying to do everything themselves is one reason business is so difficult. I agree if there is no money coming in the door from sales, there is nothing to account for. The financial end is not difficult if you make it a game and like with any game it is easier to play if you know some rules. Simple and easy is fun. It is best if one knows what receipts to keep and what to do with them. This is a subject that I love. I am a CPA specializing in taxes. I would enjoy working up a simple programs for our community. That is why I like this “what makes sense, easy” group. Thanks!

  4. Charles A Mbewe says:

    Your tips are a good guiide for one to succeed in business life. I have seen many small businesses which started off very well, but because there was no record keeping, they folded up within 6 months,yes within 6 months! That’s scaring considering the resources which went into start up. To underscore the importance of records, the cash in the cash box is not all profit, 90% of it is capital. So for one to dip her/his fingers and take out any amount of money for domestic use is none other than committing suicide.

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