Getting the finances straight is always a crucial topic for business owners, but 2020 has given us a number of different challenges due to the pandemic and it has changed our daily lives.
The short version is that business owners found themselves having to cut costs, generally being more careful and economic whenever possible. And while that might seem obvious, it’s easier said than done when so many plans and investments had to be delayed or completely taken off the table for the year.
Working mostly from home has decreased costs in some areas, but at the same time, sales volume decreased and made it hard to plan any major investments with so much uncertainty in the air.
But a crisis is a crisis – anyone who’s ever owned a business for more than three months knows the hustle never ends. We should focus on what we can do instead of things we can’t change, so let’s dive into a few tips for small business owners in 2020!
Be careful with credit cards
Credit cards may seem like a free way out of a tricky situation, but while they can be useful sometimes, they are most definitely not the solution. Credit card bills can easily snowball out of a control and anyone who’s ever owned a credit card will tell you so.
But obviously, they can be used to great effect. The only trick is that your finances must always be on point and you must look ahead whenever you decide to use credit, as your next few months could be made way harder after an unexpected hefty credit bill – and if you can’t pay it, bank fees will make it even more expensive later.
Go paper free
Nowadays there’s almost no reason to have a ton of papers making a mess in your workspace. Most bills can be paid online and there are even reliable tools for scanning, sending and even signing documents with the advent of cloud storage.
And even better, you don’t have to spend any extra money to go paper free. Office suites like Google Docs and Sheets are totally free and allow for easy cloud saving of all your documents. Combine that with smartphone apps to scan documents with your camera and you’ll never need papers again.
Have an emergency fund
It’s not exactly easy to invest on an emergency fund when all the money we make goes to paying bills straight away, but it’s important to consider it nonetheless – both for you and for your business. An emergency fund is an amount that corresponds to about three months of all your costs, so that in the event you can’t make enough during a crisis, you can still keep your business running for a few more months in order to recover.
Bank and credit card apps always have ways to automate payments. You can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by scheduling at least the simpler ones so that you never have to go through every single bill. It’s much easier, faster, and gives you peace of mind knowing these are taken care of.
Hire an accounting professional
Small business owners are often using many hats and if there’s one you should consider giving to someone else, it’s the financial part. As it turns out, dealing with finances can be a massive headache and a huge time sink – which for a contractor, is a big ask.
You would have much more productive days if you could leave this time sink to a professional, because not only will they get it done much faster and effectively, you will have way more time in your day to focus on other parts of your business.
Use free tools
There are tons of awesome paid apps out there with a wide variety of resources that could help your business, ranging from finances, productivity, management, team communication, etc. When you see all these apps can do for you, you might be tempted to purchase or subscribe to them.
And in a lot of cases it can be worth the investment, but there are equally tons of FREE awesome apps you can use for the same effect. Especially now that most apps have turned to the subscription model, you can avoid having yet another recurring cost to your monthly bills.
If you don’t know where to start, here are 10 Apps That Will Help Your Contractor Business – most of these are free!
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