Bobbi Carpino // Women’s Enterprise Centre
When I first made the bold move to start a business, I put a lot into it. I spend countless hours developing my products and services, branding, marketing and getting the word out to my customers.
“I did it,” I thought. “I’ve created a business and people like what I have to offer!”
But wait… now I have invoices, expenses, I’m charging taxes— that shoebox is filling up with receipts, I have bills to pay.
The financial side of my business began to feel overwhelming. And, it turns out, I’m not the only business owner to feel this way. As a Mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence at Women’s Enterprise Centre, I talk to many women who are either bored by the financial side of their business, overwhelmed, intimidated, or scared to think what might be lurking in their statements.
Yet, whether we’re managing our business finances on our own, or hiring a bookkeeper or accountant to do it for us, it’s incredibly important that we understand what is happening with our business finances at all times.
Don’t know where to start? Here are three areas you can look at:
1. Your cash flow
This is the money going in and out of your business. Managing this is one of the first steps towards getting your business finances in order. If you plan on applying for a loan or government support, you’ll need to have cash flow projections. You don’t want to put this off, then deal with it once you have a cash shortage. You can use this simple cash flow template to get started.
2. Your financial statements
Once you have your cash flow statement organized, you can start thinking about the other financial statements: your balance sheet and income statement. Your balance sheet gives you a snapshot in time of what the company owns, owes and what is left for the owner. Your income statement is like a report card, showing how well the company performed over a given period of time. They are a wealth of information! This downloadable Financial Understanding workbook can walk you through it.
3. Your key ratios
Now you know where your cash is, and you can see where you’re at financially. Let’s have some fun with the numbers! Doing a few simple calculations can tell you things like how much profit you’re making, and if you’re making the most of your assets. This handy guide from BDC explains how to calculate these ratios—the answers can be eye-opening and can help you make informed decisions.
At Women’s Enterprise Centre, we’re offering a series of free webinars this fall to address each of these areas. The Financial Fitness webinar series includes 3 lunchtime sessions, starting September 23, and the series is open to anyone. Learn more or register free at wec.ca/FinancialFitness
Fortunately, in Prince George, we have access to many organizations that can help us understand our finances, like Community Futures of Fraser Fort George, Small Business BC and Futurpreneur.
I’m happy to connect you with the right resources to boost your financial knowledge. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trust me, it’s worth it. Since sorting out my own shoebox, I’ve become better at making decisions for my business, making long-term plans and overall feeling more confident as a business owner!
About the author: Bobbi is the owner of Salmon Valley Campground and a Mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence for Women’s Enterprise Centre. Bobbi started her first business in 2008 after leaving her career as a Probation Officer. She started out as a mentee with the Women’s Enterprise Centre shortly after starting her business. She is now paying it forward, mentoring female entrepreneurs throughout Northern BC. Through her business experience, mentorship and coaching, Bobbi has learned a lot about growing a business that is not only profitable, but also is authentic and balanced for the life she wants for herself and her family. Bobbi is passionate about supporting women create a business of their dreams.