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Finance Tips for Small Business Owners – feat. Diana Williams

Owning your own business has some serious perks: you get to set your hours, be your own boss, and pursue your passion. However, not enough people talk about the financial aspects that go into being an entrepreneur. In today’s episode, Diana Williams is serving amazing financial tips that I think all small business owners need to know!

The Branded by Bernel Podcast is brought to you by Bernel Westbrook, lead designer and founder of Branded by Bernel, a design studio dedicated to building strong brands and Showit websites for creative entrepreneurs.

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Business owners should be thinking ahead for tax time

A ton of small business owners put off thinking about taxes until January (I’m guilty of this!). Working with a financial consultant like Diane can help you put systems in place throughout the year to make tax time easier.

Diane recommends evaluating your business at the end of each quarter. Did you hit your goals? Are you on track to hit your goals for the rest of the year? How do you need to adjust your goals for the rest of the year?

“Let’s be proactive, not reactive, and showing up in January is a little reactive.” -Diane Williams

You don’t need to feel shame about your financial situation

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your business finances, especially if you don’t have financial systems in place. A consultant like Diana can ease your overwhelm and anxiety about your financial situation. For example, she helped me secure PPP loans during COVID even though I let my LLC expire.

If you feel lost or like your situation is too messy, a consultant can create a plan for you to get back on track. It’s better to be transparent and proactive about your situation instead of falling farther behind.

“Let’s just have a conversation about it, and talk through what needs to happen so that you will see it’s not as bad as you feel. When you’re in a state of overwhelm and chaos, it’s like the world is ending tomorrow, and I promise y’all it’s not.” -Diana Williams

It’s okay to ask for help with your business finances

Small business owners wear a lot of hats. When you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to do everything yourself because you feel like it’ll save you money. However, the time and mental energy put into doing something you aren’t skilled at take away from the time you could be spending doing what you’re passionate and amazing at, which will ultimately grow your business.

You don’t have to deal with your business finances on your own, and the beautiful thing is that there are so many resources that can help you. 

Accountants vs CFOs

When you’ve been in business for a few years and you’re earning a six-figure income, you can look into working with a CFO. If you aren’t in the financial world, you may not know the difference between an accountant and a CFO, so I asked Diana to break it down.

Accountants serve as your rearview mirror to account for what happens in your business. They look at the money that came in and the money that went out, and they categorize your expenses to keep accurate financial records.

CFOs cover the future outlook of your business and strategize your finances to help you hit your goals. They also pay attention to how your business performs seasonally and can guide you on when you launch major projects and your marketing plan.

Do you need a tax attorney or bookkeeper?

If you want to register an LLC, you will need to work with either an accountant and an attorney or a tax attorney. When you work with a tax attorney, they can help you with the entire process. If you work with an attorney and an accountant separately, they will have different expertise and may advise you differently from their standpoints.

Another position to be aware of is a bookkeeper. TikTok finance videos shout about how you must have a bookkeeper for your business, so it’s important to know what they do. Bookkeepers are similar to accountants in that they track your expenses, but they don’t have the same educational background as an accountant. When you work with an accounting firm to manage your business finances, they will usually have a bookkeeper on staff that also works for you.

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