By Krista Hynes, Financial Advisor
Understanding common money mistakes can help you not only make more educated financial decisions in business but also identify and overcome those mistakes in your personal life. Here are some common financial hurdles that women face.
Not separating business from personal
Set up a separate bank account, debit card, and credit card for your business. Discuss your situation with your financial advisor and banking representative to determine what type of account is right for your needs. The main thing is to keep them separate. Next, start with the 80/10/10 rule. Eighty percent of the revenue from the business goes into your household, 10 percent into a separate business account, and 10 percent into a tax account. Evaluate annually to increase the business increments. Start in increments of 10 percent, annually increasing business focus. With increasing profits, you can funnel more to your business and still enjoy a raise!
This is a major consideration in personal budgeting and we can fall pray to it in business as well. That ultra-comfy office chair, the sleek new desk that makes us feel more C-suite. We have to Marie Kondo this weakness before it becomes a success blocker. If it isn’t an item that propels your success forward, it could leave you more susceptible to economic hardship. Choose at-home yoga, a hot bubble bath, or a long walk. Sit and spend an hour venting with a pal. These will keep your cash flow and mental health in check as you build your empire.
A lot of business owners overspend and fail to track in this area. According to the BDC, a small business should only spend 2 to 5 percent annually on their marketing, so it’s crucial that efforts are tracked and allocated.
Remember to include travel and registration for conferences within this budget. This is a huge area of spending and does not always offer as much return on investment as others. Do your research and lay out your preferred choices that fit within the 2 to 5 percent budget as part of your business plan.
An article published in MarketWatch in 2018 states that 93 percent of women donate, as compared to 87 percent of men in the same economic bracket. Give back at a level that is NOT detrimental to your financial security. Target efforts that will help your brand and public relations: charity events, volunteering, and community sponsorships. Donate your time and network within the community, or offer up a freebie from your business to an auction or raffle. Always reserve monetary donations for registered charities that will issue a tax receipt, and try to couple these with marketing or client appreciation spends (Christmas, birthdays, etc.) when you would have a money outflow anyway.
Although woman have, on average, five times the emergency funds they need, it’s sitting in cash, with men being 35 percent more likely than women to invest a windfall (2018 Lexington Law Study). Without goals and returns behind that cash, how much is it helping future success? Many women feel an overwhelming sense of not wanting to do the wrong thing, while men would rather do the wrong thing than stand safely on the sidelines surrounded by piles of cash. Combat this fear through education and advice. Research advisors in your area and then interview a few of them. Select one that matches your mindset, understands your goals, and has a service model and fee structure that you understand and approve of.
You don’t need to be a financial expert to avoid these five financial pitfalls—taking charge and making informed decisions will put you in the driver’s seat and improve your business’s financial health.
By Krista Hynes