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My background in finance

In high school and college I tended to have a relatively easy time memorizing and applying mathematical concepts to solve abstract problems. I excelled in classes like Calculus 1, 2, 3, and Engineering Physics with Calculus. (If hearing the titles of these classes gives your heart palpitations or ulcer reactions, then this article is for you!) When I started working with small businesses in 2007 as a Personal Banker for a national top 5 bank, I began to think about businesses through the lens of a Banker. Bankers usually help business owners make decisions with the looming thought of a loan approval and finance worthiness. These aren’t bad traits. Make no mistake that I learned a tremendous amount about small business finance during my 5 years in the banking industry. The problem is:

1) Bankers typically give out free advice (which I’m not a fan of)

2) Bankers who work for 1, 2, or even 3 banks, have a very limited understanding of what other banks’ tolerance for risk is, which can impact the advice they give

3) Bankers very rarely have ever owned a small business which means they don’t usually understand the risks that business owners take.

Since leaving the banking world, I have consulted with dozens of small and medium business owners. Over time, I developed a unique skill set of helping business owners with the necessary evil of managing their finances and guiding them to generate a consistent and positive cash flow.

Most business owners don’t like managing their own finances

Through hundreds of conversations with business owners, I have found that they tend to not like getting wrapped up in financial details like bookkeeping, taxes, and cash flow. Sure, every business owner understands its importance, but I have yet to meet one (unless they are a CPA) who started their business with the burning desire of being bogged down weekly or daily with the monotony of managing their books. I’ve heard and seen horror stories of the countless hours and resources that business owners spend on their finances; choosing which software is best, performing manual tasks that can be easily delegated or automated, or staring at various spreadsheets trying to rationalize the time spent in the business. All of these tend to generate an animosity toward the entire topic of finance. If mishandled, financial problems manifest themselves in frustrations with cash flow issues. There’s just never enough cash!

Why I love helping business owners with finances

I have a deeply rooted desire to help business owners create a money making machine that works even when they aren’t there. What do I mean? True businesses should generate positive cash flow without you being there and you can’t measure this if you don’t have a handle on your finances. Monthly budget reviews, financial reports, and cash flow forecasting needs to be generated and analyzed to build a money making machine. But, notice I didn’t say you have to be the one to do it! I love helping business owners with their finances so they can focus on their high income producing activities and have a better work / life balance.

If you feel like you have to work in your business (which includes: working remotely on your laptop, being available by cell phone, or physically being at the office for hundreds of hours a week) to make it work, I don’t think you have a true money making machine. Maybe the thought of being away from your business and it still working is a dream. I’m here to tell you that not only is it possible for you, it’s closer than you think.

Here’s the first step to delegate your finances

Creating a money making machine is my goal for the business owners I work with and this happens by beginning with the end in mind. Business owners need to consider which functions within their business they love, HIPA, and stick to those. It’s okay to delegate the rest!

Consider how much time you spend working in your business. I’ve often heard it’s a never ending job. There are always more things to do and never enough time to do them all. Does this sound like something you’ve ever said or thought? Now think about all the time you spend that you aren’t generating income? This is why the first step to delegate your finances is determining if you’re ready to grow your business. Only you can answer this question and we’re ready to help!

© Individual Advantages, LLC. 2015
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Mary Smith

Mary has been with IA Business Advisors for 6 years. She graduated with a bachelor's in English literature with a minor in psychology, and is currently working towards her master's in organizational leadership. She enjoys writing and produces blogs for IA and several of IA's clients. Her favorite aspect of writing is the research.

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