We’re back talking about money again and this time it’s finance tips for wedding planners. We’ve had two posts recently about pricing, Justifying Your Prices as a Wedding Planner and Setting Your Prices as a Wedding Planner.
Now it’s time to talk about finances.
Regardless of how you fell in love with the wedding industry at the heart of why any of us works is to earn money.
Earning money as the owner of your own business is very different from being an employee.
When you work for someone else there’s usually someone employed to look after the finances. Often there’s a whole department. But when you’re self employed you need to be on top of your finances.
You should have a full understanding of what’s going on with the money coming in and going out of your business.
One of the principles of business is to start out as you mean to finish.
Make sure the strategies, policies and procedures you put in place at the start are as strong as they would be for a more established business. That way your systems grow as you grow.
You don’t want to be completely changing your structure and systems every time you reach a new milestone.
The most important financial tip for anyone in business is to adopt routines and procedures that help you have a very clear understanding of your finances; what comes in and what goes out.
If you can’t do this for yourself ask for help. Get an Accountant.
In fact, I recommend visiting an Accountant early on in the planning stages of your business and re-visiting them at least yearly for a ‘check-up’. Just as you’d service your car once a year you need to service your business too.
Even though I moan about doing this I still do it every single year. It keeps me on the straight and narrow and forces me to analyse what’s working and what’s not.
You’ll probably do the actual book-keeping yourself, but having that expert advice may be the difference between a successful business and one that shuts its doors in less than 2 years.
Many a business goes under, not because the product or service they offer is not marketable, but because the business and its finances are not managed well.
I once heard Oprah say that she still signs her own cheques.
Ok, I find it hard to believe that Oprah still sits at her desk and signs cheques for everything. But let’s look beyond the statement and think about what she’s saying.
I think maybe what she meant is she hasn’t handed over the control of her finances to others.
She might employ people to assist her with the management of them but she knows what’s coming in and going out. And ultimately she makes all of the decisions regarding her money.
So my number one tip for keeping your business financial is to track your cash.
If you don’t know what you spend your money on keep a diary for a month and write every item of expenditure down.
This is a great one for both your personal and business life…but I suggest keeping them separate.
Spending money on your business can be as tempting as buying yourself a new pair of shoes. That new bookcase for the office or ‘must have‘ notebook can seem like a great idea and you can always write it off..it’s a business expense right?
Well yes, but you must be able to afford the purchase or expense in the first place.
Don’t fall into the trap of spending money on your business because you can claim things as a tax deduction. You can absolutely do this, but at the end of the day you’ll spend more on these items than you get back. And if your business can’t afford them you’ll soon be out of business.
A book I’ve read and loved is Manage Money Like a Boss by Christine Luken. It’s a financial guide for creative enterpreneurs which leaves out the jargon and tells it like it is.