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Do You Know If Your Business Is Making Money!?

Tips For Small Businesses Today

Last year at this time the majority of our clients here at the Iowa Western Small Business Development Center and Entrepreneurial Center were small business startups.  Today, more and more established   businesses are coming to us for our free resources to help them with bookkeeping, marketing, research, basic questions and more.  In the next few days/weeks I will focus on some tips and observations that I have picked up in the last very busy months.    In the mean time call or visit us and the Iowa Small Business Development Centers to learn more about what we can offer your small business or startup. 

Tip #1: Understand Your Businesses Financial Bottom Line:  How much money did you make this month, week, or day?  Knowing how much money you made or didn’t make for the year after April 15th could be way too late! How much did you spend? How much do you owe?  Who owes you? Is your inventory accounted for?   This sounds elementary and simple enough, but it is alarming how many business clients I have that believe bookkeeping is gathering receipts for a year and handing it off to their accountants at the end of the year.  Book Keeping is not getting ready for taxes.  It is knowing at any given time that you have enough money to pay the bills and that the income you are generating is more than the costs of inventory and operations. 

If you are not using a bookkeeping software product on the COMPUTER (paper ledgers are harder to keep track of then learning how to work a computer) please start.  There are many products available including QuickBooks, Peachtree, and Microsoft Accounting Professional.  There are also several FREE open source and trial options available including QuickBooks Simple Start (Free Trial) and Adminsoftware (free open source bookkeeping software).  When choosing software, make sure that you choose something specifically for businesses.  Home /personal financial software will not be sufficient.

Start today and don’t look back, at least for now.  It is too daunting of a task to go back in time and try recapture what has happened 2 years ago or even 3 months.  Start at the first of the month and just go forward.   

If you need help The Iowa Western Community College Entrepreneurial Center and Small Business Development Center offers FREE one-on-one help on getting your company set up on QuickBooks or any other bookkeeping software.  Iowa Western is also offering a 4 day “Intro to QuickBooks” class starting on  October 13, 2009.  Visit the E-Center Calendar for details.

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