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Know Your Numbers!

October 17, 2016

By Uchechi Ezurike-Bosse, Business & Lifestyle Strategist and TV Host

Most people that know me well know that I love looking at numbers. I love creating budgets and expense tracking sheets to manage both my personal and business expenses. I love to look at how my business makes money and look at different opportunities to bring in additional sources of revenues into my business. However, I find most business owners do not do this.

How does your business make money? Yes, you may have a product or service that you sell, but there are so many different areas to consider in terms of how you make money. Who are your strongest consumers, and which outlets do you make the most money in? How profitable is your business? You’ve got to understand the financial health of your business.

It’s unfortunate, but finances tend to be where most small business owners tend to fall short. Entrepreneurs are highly creative, and there’s so much we have on the go, and sometimes the numbers part is what we tend to look at last. However, I’m a firm believer that you really need to look at your numbers and understand your numbers on a consistent basis. Understanding your finances allows you to make the right business decisions, know how healthy your business is, and will help you build a business with longevity.

Take time to sit down and add all the numbers. Do not be afraid of the numbers. When you’re afraid of the number, and ignore them, that’s when you get yourself into trouble. Set an annual (yearly) target and break it down into monthly and weekly targets. Depending on how big your business is, you may want to start with monthly, but I really love breaking it down into weekly.

When you do your budget, don’t forget to take account your own basic needs. Some business owners tend to budget solely on their business expenses. That’s great if you have a full-time job and you’re bridging your business. However, if you want your business to sustain you and you want to run it full-time, you really need to take your personal expenses into account.

You also need to also understand your break-even point. Your break-even point is the point where revenue actually starts to cover your expenses. The more money you make on top of that will go into your profitability.

Start tracking the return on all those activities you’re doing. So, if it’s Facebook marketing, your email newsletter– how are those converting? You need to know how much money you’re getting in return for all the money you’re spending to bring in sales.

Taxes are another great thing to consider. A lot of small business owners miss this completely, and I’ve been guilty of this too in the past. What tends to happen is we forget to set money aside for taxes. But once you do your taxes, especially when you start making more profit, you’ll have to pay taxes, and depending on how much profit you made, you may get a big tax bill. If you have not been setting any money aside for it, it will leave you scrambling to get money to pay for the taxes. Furthermore, it will cause you so much stress and energy. It will also take the focus from running your business to worrying about finances. Always set some money aside, especially if you’re making profit to pay for your taxes, and enlist the help of a qualified professional.

I like to say, ‘your numbers tells you a story’. That story will show you how healthy your business is and areas you need to improve to make it more successful.

This blog post was writte by Uchechi Ezurike-Bosse, originally published for her website. Uchechi is a Business & Lifestyle Strategist and TV Host. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter