As a business consultant, I speak with many freelancers who are ready to start taking their business finances seriously. Many of them ask me about accountants, business accounts, and networking.
As a business owner, you need to have a financial team in place. Many times, the only way to improve business finances is to gain clarity on where you are. While a part of that is your own work, you can’t do everything yourself. As such, it’s better to rely on your team so they can balance out your weaknesses with their strengths.
First and foremost, if you want to improve your business finances you probably need to get an accountant. By this I don’t mean someone you only speak with every tax season, I mean someone you speak with on at least a monthly basis.
The reason business owners will want an accountant they speak with regularly is so they have some accountability. It also forces you to look at the numbers each month so you gain some clarity.
Additionally, accountants help you with year-round tax planning. As business owners, taxes aren’t just every April 15th. Tax planning is a year-round conversation which includes estimated taxes and good timing for investments.
In addition to having an accountant, you’ll want to consider having an attorney. This isn’t required for everything, but it does come in handy with things like copyrights, trademarks, and contracts.
At the very least, have some sort of access to legitimate legal advice so you know what moves you should be making next.
Once you’ve gained some clout in your industry, you may start getting approached for spokesperson work. Granted, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but for those of you where this does apply, get yourself an agent.
An agent will negotiate on your behalf and likely get you more money than you can get for yourself. Additionally, they know what to look for in contracts.
One of the things I keep hearing with my private coaching clients is how they don’t have a support system in place. More specifically, they don’t have a peer group that encourages them.
When you want to improve business finances, that often includes earning more money. In order to earn more money, you need to surround yourself with two kinds of people.
The first group is individuals who encourage you in earning more money. This group may be on your same level in terms of experience and stage in business.
The second group is people who are ahead of you. These people can guide and teach you through the next stages of your business. As P. Diddy says, if you want to earn more money start hanging out with people who are making it.
Once you start making money and have decent cash flow, consider working with a financial planner for your personal finances. After all, the reason you run a business is so you can afford your lifestyle. You also need to take things like retirement into account.
The ability to improve business finances often times comes down to who you surround yourself with. By surrounding yourself with financial professionals, advocates and support systems.