By Jennifer Scott

As a business owner, you’ve got to be sure that you’re on top of your own finances. Even if you hire staff to handle them for you, you’re the person who makes the final decisions. It’s not too late to start the new year off right by using these 10 personal finance tips to get a handle your money.

1. Develop Good Financial Knowledge

You don’t need to know the ins and out of the financial system, but you should know the basics. There’s people out there who would happily mismanage your funds for you, so ensure that you always know what you’re walking into.

2. Avoid Credit Where Possible

Being a business owner, there will be times where you’ll have to buy some things on credit. Whenever possible though, try and avoid it. You can easily rack up difficulties this way, so be wary.

3. Create a Financial Calendar

As a business, there are always bills to pay and staff to give wages to. The best way to keep track of this is to create a financial calendar. Keep it up to date and you’ll always be able to pay bills on time.

4. Check Transactions

Each day, put aside a few minutes to check the transactions your company makes. This will ensure that you’re spending money where you need to be, as well as keep tabs on any unexplained spending so you can nip it in the bud, quickly.

5. Set Goals

Just like you set goals for your business success, set specific financial goals. This can be to earn a certain amount within a year, or to spend under a certain amount. Set a goal that will ensure your business’ success.

6. Learn to Negotiate

When working with other businesses, or hiring new staff, don’t be afraid to negotiate. The better you get at it, the more money you’ll save in the long run.

7. Keep Up to Date on Payments

This goes without saying, but you should always keep up to date on any payments you make. Failing to do so can create bigger issues down the line, and that means you’ll be paying out more money.

8. Invest For the Long Term

Even if you’re only able to invest a small amount of your money right now, make sure you do so. That small amount can really add up over time, and ensure your success as a business.

9. Create a Sensible Budget

If you don’t have one already, now’s the time to create a budget. This way, you’ll know where your money needs to go each month, and you won’t be spending beyond your means.

10. Make an Emergency Fund

Just like you would in your personal finances, it’s a good idea to create a business emergency fund. Machines break down and offices suffer leaks. With a fund, you can cover these issues without eating into your profits.

Follow these 10 tips this year and you’ll be ready for anything. Watch your business thrive under your new financial rules, and ensure that you’ll succeed this year.