As small business owners, we’re used to wearing a lot of hats. Many of us do it all, from creating our handmade products to dealing with HR, marketing, packaging, and shipping them off to buyers. If there’s one area of the business that’s more challenging to do yourself than any other, it’s money management. And never is that more apparent than in the months between year-end and Tax Day.
With Tax Day drawing near, we wanted to know how some of our top online sellers manage their money. Here’s what they had to say.
1. If You Do It Yourself, Create a System – and Stick With It
“I do it all myself. I use a spreadsheet for expenses, sales revenue, taxes paid, etc., so it’s all together when I need it. I even collect receipts for all my expenses in envelopes. I tally all the expenses up every month and put the total into the spreadsheet. Then, at the end of the year, all my receipts and paperwork go into one big envelope and I staple a copy of the master spreadsheet on top.”
2. Keep It in the Family… If You Married a Mathematician
“My husband is a number’s whiz, so he and I go over my business finances together. It used to be just me and my phone calculator. That wasn’t ideal. Now my husband lays everything out for me in Excel so I can focus on the creative aspects of my business.”.
3. Start a Savings Account for Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments
“I just use a spreadsheet to manage my finances. It’s not terribly exciting. I have to pay estimated income taxes every quarter. So I set up a separate savings account that automatically withdraws money from my checking account every two weeks. At the end of the quarter, there’s enough in there to pay my taxes. It’s handy.”
4. Know Your Limitations and Hire If Necessary
“I run all of the finances for my business through an accountant. I know my strengths and my limitations. I am very good at making candles and soaps. I am not very good at finance. I’m happy to let my accountant do what he is good at.”
So, whether you outsource your finances to a professional accountant (or your husband) or do it all yourself, keep your eyes and ears open. There are plenty of options for us as business owners. We just have to know what we’re looking for!