Count the costs and make your costs count. The business of being a successful business owner is a balancing and juggling act on so many levels. One of the most important costs to count is what it will be in actual dollars, euros, lire, pesos, etc… to get started initially, then to run, and lastly maintain your new venture.
We all have a budget that we follow, or try to, weekly and monthly. Depending on our personalities it could be extremely detailed, or your budget could be a rough outline of bills and when they are due in the abstract. If you are going to be successful, the foundational budget you start with will set you on that road. Conversely, not paying attention and being honest with yourself will set you up on the highway to financial hell.
Seperating your personal budget from your business budget is a must. Do not play this part loosely. Since owning your own business makes the costs associated with that business tax deductible your record keeping is vital. Trust the voice of countless Entrepreneurs before you when they say that it is so much easier to have good records as you go along, as opposed to locating them at the eleventh hour before your tax time appointment next year. Of course, you may think you are the exception to this rule. We will leave that up to you to learn the hard way.
Scanning your receipts into a computer file is also advantageous as it helps paperwork not accumulate unnecessarily and makes those receipts much easier to locate. Digging through small pieces of paper in a large box is just not a fun way to spend an afternoon. Storage space can potentially get to be an issue as well. Keeping records digitally saves tons of space. Maybe space is not an issue for you right away but, not in the too far distant future, space will become a premium – it is the nature of the beast. Think to yourself whether you would like room to store receipts, or for inventory that you can sell and get a return on? I think we all know which option is more attractive.
The easiest way to maintain these records digitally is by getting a program that you are comfortable using and logging your income and costs in faithfully. There is a decision to be made on whether you use something like a “Quickbooks” program to digitally set up your budget for upcoming weeks and months, or a paper Budget Notebook. Regardless of which option you choose – stick with it for the year. Switching in mid-stream is not only time consuming to reconcile the two, but it leaves openings for inaccuracies as well. Any time information is transferred in any form – except cut and paste on your laptop, the margin for error is increased. That is a statistical fact. With all of the other irons you have in the fire starting up your business – the less opportunities for bookkeeping errors, the better.
The importance of understanding exactly what your initial investment and costs are going to be cannot be downplayed – These initial costs include (but, are not limited to) the cost of: membership, chosen start up kit (if applicable), individual products you will need to familiarize yourself with to be able to speak authoritatively on them, fees imposed monthly by your Company – i.e. Company sponsored website monitoring, Back Office reporting costs, auto shipments you are required to purchase, etc… In addition, reflect on – What you will need to purchase upfront, and going forward monthly for office supplies? For startup and monthly phone, internet, and fax processing costs? Think about the following – Are you required to travel? Then, make sure to log in your upcoming costs for travel, fuel, lodging and meals. All of the aforementioned costs are likely tax deductions for you which is yet another reason why it is so important to keep accurate and detailed records.
All of your start up costs are now identified, noted, and you are getting a real grip on what your monthly running costs will be. Now it is time to talk about marketing materials and inventory. How much should you have to start and on hand at any given time?
In the beginning, it is easy to go a bit crazy with stocking up on products, business cards, post card, mailers, etc… After all, you have a “discount”, right? Maybe not so much if you do not have a way to turn around and profit off of your purchses immediately. Of course, if Parties or Events are required for your Company you will want to have enough of the items that you are representing to be able to introduce them to Prospects and Guests. Typically, people love touching, handling, smelling and trying out products before they purchase. A good rule of thumb is to attend a few Events/Parties held by your upline, observe their inventory, and see how they present things. Also, inquire of them what they suggest you have available to represent the best overview of your Company and Opportunity for your Guests. Ask them the questions, then listen and apply what they tell you. Remember your success is their success – they won’t steer you wrong.
As you go along your personal path as a business owner, undoubtably your processes will be refined until you are operating as a well oiled machine. Success will be the sum of these parts; individual style that makes you unique, your honed presentation skills, and the strong processes for recording and managing costs that you have put into practice from the beginning.
*Seperate Personal and Business Costs
*Make a Decision Whether to Keep Digital or Written Records
~Stick with One Type Per Fiscal Year
*Ask Upline Re:
~How Much Inventory To Keep On Hand
~What Inventory To Present At Events
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Until Next Time,