My Favorite Tools for Making Small Business Finance Fun!
If you haven’t been on the blog long, you MIGHT not be aware of my small business story. In a nutshell…I’ve had TWO successful small businesses and I’ve loved every single minute that I haven’t had to do math.
In college (after four years of failing math and graduating high school out the kindness of my math teacher’s heart), I was FINALLY diagnosed with the learning disability, Dyscalculia. It’s been a challenge…but that’s NOT what this post is about. My goal for THIS post is to simply say…no matter your reason…if you avoid finances like Pig Pen avoids showers, I get it.
I’m 34 years old now…and I’ve finally understood my place in the books. I need to have an idea of what’s going on in them…but ultimately, I need to have someone else DO them.
What’s better than financial commiseration? FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS!!
The month of April has been completely dedicated to tying up some loose financial ends for me…and I’m betting that more than a few of you out there have some of the same ends I do.
Problem #1: You know NOTHING about even the basics of small business finances.
This is OBVIOUSLY one of the biggest brick walls when it comes to getting your small business finances all spit-shined and purdy! Where do you even start? OBVIOUSLY every other small business knows what they are doing…so where do you go to learn what they’ve learned? What should you set aside for taxes? How should you organize your receipts? What is this “foreign financial speak” that everyone seems to already know but you?
I have a suggestion for you!! This IS an affiliate link…but let me tell you, even if you don’t want to give a girl a kick back, check out the course anyways!! (Take off the affiliate portion of the link in the URL if that makes you feel better!) Andi Smiles from The BFF Course recently launched her piece de resistance… The Badass Business Finance Course. And can I tell you, as one of her FIRST paying course students….I’m floored.
In the first module ALONE, you’ll get your files, receipts and lingo understood and organized. Her teaching style is straightforward, fun and VERY simple to understand. I really don’t know how to hit this home hard enough. If you are just jumping into the world of business finances, and want to get QUICKLY caught up to your fellow biz people (and be able to actually speak a similar language to your accountant…or learn WHAT an accountant is) this course is going to be the BEST purchase you’ll make all year.
Even better? After I purchased the course and devoured the first module, Andi and I decided to team up and offer a webinar! I walked you through creating your very first intro product and making your first poke of profit…and Andi showed you guys how to manage your first flood of finances from now to forever!
(The webinar is over! Want to catch the Replay? Join us in the community!!)
Problem #2: It’s hard to see the forest for the trees.
Look…I KNOW what it feels like to log into my bank account (even WITH money) and feel like Bambi looking down the barrel of a gun! The rows and rows of black, red, red, red and black…with INCREDIBLY vague descriptions do nothing to help me see my business’s bigger picture.
Entre…my brand new bank. Seed Bank is in Beta right now (I’m one of the lucky few who’s had the opportunity to begin testing the app and program!!) but I can tell you RIGHT now…it’s phenomenal. It has a beautiful (which is important) and simple interface that makes seeing what’s in your account easy, makes paying bills to your vendors easy, and makes transfers and collecting payments easy!
Seed Bank is PURELY a business bank account…and completely online. (I’ve been dealing with a completely online PERSONAL bank account for years now…and I haven’t missed the tellers in the least.)
I’ll keep you all updated on what I love and what I hate about these guys as my trial progresses…but for now, it’s lurve at first site. Sign up to request an invitation and find out more here!
Problem #3: You simply don’t want to think about it…
I LOVE the tools I’ve mentioned so far…but I’m STILL a fish out of water when it comes to finances. I’ve got strengths in other areas of business….so I want to waste as little of my time as possible (and screw up as little as possible) with the money parts! SO, I’ve hired a company called Bench.co . From the beginning, they’ve gone COMPLETELY out of their way to make sure I’m comfortable with their services.
What ARE their services? Bench is a bookkeeper for small businesses. In addition to being one the best-priced services I’ve seen for bookkeepers…they are INSANELY organized!! I booked a 30 minute (60 minute when I was done with all of my questions) phone introduction within 24 hours of signing up for 1 free month. They walked me through their process, had me upload REALLY easy to find documents, helped me sort through my personal accounts to find my business transactions….and within three days, I had my results and second call scheduled.
With very little additional information needed monthly, these guys sort through all of your accounts to organize and give you a VERY clear image of where your money is going…and where it’s coming FROM. (Also…it’s really cool to say “I’m not free then. I have a meeting scheduled with my financial team.”)
Click the link above to get your first month free…and when you decide to join, mention my name or business and we BOTH get a free month of service!! WOOP WOOP!!
Problem #4: Saving for that next big piece of equipment seems impossible when you have next to no money in your account.
We ALL need something new in business. ALWAYS. Whether is the next big piece of software, a new computer, a camera, a course…WHATEVER. Business is expensive!!
One of my favorite little tools for the last few years has been a company called Digit. This little ninja LITERALLY sneaks into your account and steals your money when you aren’t looking. (Don’t worry…he’ll give it back.) When you make a purchase with your debit card, Digit rounds up to the next dollar and puts that change in what’s called a “Rainy Day Fund”. I’ve gone MONTHS without checking my account, only to find $500!! IT’S LIKE FINDING OLD MONEY IN A MATTRESS!!
About five months ago, Digit launched a NEW feature called “Bills”. With “Bills’, you set the amount you need to save…and the date you need to save it by. Daily, Digit checks in with your account to see if it’s safe to withdraw a small bit from your account. (If funds are too low…it doesn’t withdraw!)
Every morning, you’ll receive a daily text from Digit letting you know what your bank account looks like (I’ve found it’s usually a day behind with this feature) and lets you request quick updates on your “bills” savings by typing in a quick emoticon. (UH…YEAH I want a unicorn to represent my future computer!!)
Digit has been a bestie of mine for the last two years and counting.
Problem #5: Spreadsheets do nothing to inspire you.
As I was growing up, a common theme in my house (God love my parents) was “Let’s create this amazing spreadsheet in Excel to see if Terra can finally grasp her spending habits!”
Yes…I can spell the word “boring”. E-X-C-E-L.
Finances, spreadsheets, graphs…they’ve always been drool worthy to me. And by drool-worthy I mean, head/desk pool of drool and snoring. I HATE THEM SOOOOOOO BAD!
A few months ago, I found a system that just….clicks. Controlboard is a website that connects to Stripe and Paypal (only….there ARE no other financial connections here) and gives you a BEAUTIFUL and 110% up to date visual of what your income is looking like.
There is nothing more inspiring in small business than opening up a spreadsheet of nothing but income. I know…I know…seeing the big picture is important. But if all you ever focus on is what’s going out….you’ll never be inspired to grow the number that really means the most!!
SO, if you use Stripe and Paypal for business, be sure to sign up for Controlboard and do a little playing around!! The basics of the account are free (which so far is all I’ve needed)…but you can upgrade at any time!
WHEW!!! If you guys knew me two years ago…you’d be SHOCKED that this post would appear on my blog! But with the advent of technology, support for my (and your) business and learning style, and the experience I’ve gained over the last 10 years of small business…this post has become something I’m actually INCREDIBLY passionate about!!
If you have any questions about the tools I’ve talked about, post them below!! I am actively using each and every one of them and would love to answer any questions you have honestly!!