By Joseph Brady

Owners of small businesses know how important staying on top of their financial situations is. While your direct competition may not involve medium- or large-scale businesses, you still sell the same products and offer the same services as they do. As a result, you need to make sure that your financials are in order so that these larger companies don’t overtake yours.

1. Create a Solid Budget

A small business owner without a budget is dangerous. When you don’t have a clear and focused plan for your finances, you may engage in unbridled spending. The opposite effect is possible, too. You may think that you have less money than you do in reality. As a result, you’re being too frugal and not making necessary purchases that could help the business to thrive and to bring in more profits.

2. Keep Records

Not only do you need to establish a budget in order to keep your business afloat, but you also need to have records of all your expenses and your profits. Doing so helps you to keep organized. Also, at some point, you may recognize that you do not have as much money as you thought that you would. By maintaining records, you can look back to them in order to figure out where the problem came from.

3. Consult with Financial Experts

Whether you’re having trouble putting together a budget or you simply want some tips that are personalized to your unique business, sitting down with an accountant or a financial adviser is a smart idea. While you want to become an expert in analyzing your own business plan and finances, sometimes an outside perspective is just what you need to see the situation for what is really is. These experts can provide you with insight that you never would have thought of in the past.

4. Develop an Accounting Team

Even as a small business, it is important to have a team of professionals who are specifically concerned with the finances of your business. By doing so, you have experts who are constantly working to make sure that your business is in good financial shape. While giving up some of the power, especially where money is concerned, can seem frightening, keep in mind that allocating responsibilities is part of being a good business owner.

5. Don’t Hire When Unnecessary

You may feel as though hiring more employees is the best way to help your business to grow and to generate a higher level of profits. Keep in mind, however, the more people who are on your team, the more people you have to pay. While you certainly don’t want to exploit workers and create a negative and hostile working environment, you may currently be missing out some of your employees’ talents. Don’t be afraid to give them a little bit more responsibility and to allow them to tackle new projects.

6. Enroll in Online Banking

When you don’t have immediate access to your funds, figuring out exactly how much money your business currently has can seem difficult if not impossible. Sign your business up for an online banking account. You may harbor trepidation about giving the details to anyone else, and that is okay, at least for the time-being. However, in the event that you need immediate access to your account figures, you do have access to them.

7. Separate Your Personal Finances

Mixing up your business and personal finances is a recipe for problems. As the owner of a small business, you may feel that your company is a major part of your personal life. However, you don’t want to compromise one for the other. If you think you’ll feel tempted to do so, consider maintaining bank accounts at two separate banks. One will be for your personal affairs, and the other will be for your business.

8. Put Advertising Money Where It’s Needed

Just because you fondly remember days when you were young and the circular would arrive at your house with bright and colorful ads does not mean this marketing strategy is the way of the present. While some forms of traditional advertising are still useful, especially in certain businesses, you need to expand out into the world of the internet. Using websites and social media tools to speak to the members of your target audience is so important, especially if that is how the majority of your potential and current customers find out information about products and services.

9. Make Smart Investments

Don’t just spend money on random things that you think might have a slight chance of improving your business. Instead, choose investments that have a good chance of seriously helping your company out and taking you to the next level in the professional world. Speak with your financial adviser about investments that might make the most sense for you.

10. Know When It’s Time to Stop

The hope is that your business is going to be prolific for many years to come, but the road could end at some point. Knowing when it is time to stop and to follow other pursuits is smart because it can keep you from ending up in the hole in terms of money. Don’t be quick to close up shop, but also know when the moment has arrived.

As the owner of a small business, you need to make sure you are doing what is right for your company in terms of finances. These tips can help you to accomplish that goal and to stay on track with your expenses.