What keeps you awake at night? We know we only just met, but let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. If you’re like 56% of Americans, then money issues probably keep you tossing and turning in your bed. No surprise there. Money is the second most prevalent cause of stress for Americans, and for millennials and Gen Z, it’s the most common source of stress.
If money is stressful for the average employee, imagine how much worse it is for entrepreneurs. Most employees can grind out the 9 to 5 and just worry about their own money-related problems—the same isn’t true for small business owners. If you’re a business owner, this stress is compounded. Not only do you need to worry about your personal credit card debt, but you need to keep tabs on your business finances, too. To top it all off, if you have employees, they’re dependence on you and the business likely adds another layer of stress.
To own, operate, and grow a successful small business, you need to be at the top of your game. And there’s no way you’re going to be ready to bring your A-game on half a night’s sleep. So, what’s the solution? You get your business’s finances in order so you don’t worry about money after your head hits the pillow. You’d be right if you were thinking, “easier said than done.” It’s not easy, but by following a few best practices, you can put your financial woes to bed and finally enjoy a good night’s rest.
Take Control Of Your Debt
Debt isn’t a bad thing—far from it. It’s a strategic financing tool that you can (and should) leverage to grow your business. But debt can become a problem when it spirals out of your control. It’s like having a credit card. No, it’s not bad to swipe your credit card here and there to purchase what you need—but it is bad when you swipe, swipe, swipe yourself into a mountain of debt.
People don’t get stressed about owing money. They get stressed by owing more than they can afford. Stay on top of your financial reports and cash flow forecasting so you can anticipate your income and expenses. By taking a proactive approach to your finances, you can ensure you’re always spending less than you make.
If you need capital for a project or expense but can’t project how you’re going to pay it off, take a step back and rethink the problem and solution. Perhaps you don’t need to add a second location yet—maybe you can renovate your existing space. Or maybe you don’t need to hire a whole new team in marketing—perhaps an additional hire or two will suffice.
Save for a Rainy Day Fund
If your business is barely scraping by from month-to-month, of course you’re going to struggle to sleep at night. The slightest issue or unexpected mishap could send your business over the edge. By building a financial cushion, you’ll give yourself some much-needed breathing room.
Like any sports game, if you’re only ahead by 1 or 2 points, you’re going to be continually worrying about the opposing team catching you. Pull forward a bit more and give yourself space for error, space for risk, or space for a sorely-needed vacation.
It doesn’t have to be a lot, but start putting away a portion of your cash each month into a rainy day fund. An adequate financial cushion will give you peace of mind to sleep through the night.
Automate Trivial Tasks
We have Roombas to keep our floors clean, thermostats to regulate the temperature, coffee makers to brew on schedule, traffic lights to change on cue—all to make our lives simple, easy, and efficient. Why not do the same thing for your business?
With automation, you can turn your mind off and let tech take care of trivial tasks for you. Using Sunrise, you can create personalized invoices that send to your customers on a recurring schedule. You can also link your bank accounts and credit cards to track and organize your business expenses automatically.
No more having a calendar full of tasks to deal with the minutiae of running your business. No more late-night reminders beeping on your phone to remind you to remind your customers to pay their bills on time.
Create a Business Game Plan
You’re always going to be stressed if you just wake up and wing it day after day. With a business plan, you’ll know where you’re headed and how to get there. Sure, you’ll hit some unexpected bumps along the road, but your business plan will provide a map for how you’ll deal with these roadblocks.
Your business game plan should include goals, budgets, cash flow forecasts, growth strategies, and cash requirements. Creating a business plan not only helps you get your finances in order now, but it ensures your finances stay in order. For help with building your game plan, take a look at Lendio’s Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Business Plan.
Go and Get Some Rest, Entrepreneur
Stress is a normal part of life and a natural byproduct of owning a small business. But when that stress starts impacting your health and sleep, then it becomes a problem. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can take action now to remove financial stress (likely the most significant stressor in your life) from your list of worries.
With your finances in order, you can finally kick back, relax, and enjoy a well-deserved good night’s rest. Go get some sleep, entrepreneur.