This content was created by Girlboss in partnership with Xero.
It seems like everyone has a business these days. Whether it’s reselling vintage clothes on Depop from your bedroom or helping companies zhush up their websites, there is no denying that the entrepreneurial revolution is here. In 2021 alone, nearly 5.4 million applications were filed to form new businesses—the biggest year since 2005.
If you’re thinking about starting a business of your own (or already have one), there are four basic questions you should ask yourself on the reg: What do we owe? How much is in the bank account? Are we making a profit? What do people owe us?
We get it—that’s a lot to think about. So, we asked two experts—Rashida Gayle, the Atlanta-based founder and CEO of Twenty Six Entertainment, who turned a downsize in the middle of the pandemic into an opportunity to launch her new company, and our very own CEO and entrepreneur Lulu Liang—for their best advice for achieving and maintaining a healthy, holistic business (just in time for National Small Business Week).
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
“Many entrepreneurs who are self-funded and have a small team can get caught up in the whirlwind of running a business and can forget about positioning themselves for growth and scale,” says Gayle. “As a business owner, knowing your strengths and weaknesses are key so you can position yourself around the right people to help you strategize, grow and fuel further business success.” For Gayle, that means delegating tasks like accounting, legal and social media to people who are experts in each of those fields. You can’t do it all, and that’s ok!
Don’t Forget About Bookkeeping
Take this as your sign to ditch the spreadsheets and the shoebox full of receipts that date back to 2012. It’s only adding to the stress. “Switch to cloud accounting software as soon as possible,” advises Liang. “And pay for a good bookkeeper. A good bookkeeper will save you so much headache and money down the road. It’s worthwhile ROI. Don’t cheapen out on it.” With Xero Accounting Software, you’ll get access to bank feeds, invoicing, bill payments, bank reconciliations and so much more. “Having your books set up properly pays so many dividends especially down the road as you scale,” adds Liang.
Xero also has a tool that can help you find an accountant or bookkeeper who’s a great fit for your business—try it out here!
Operations Are Essential
At Girlboss, our operations associate Keira Crook keeps the ship running smoothly (and makes sure we all get paid on time). “Accuracy and attention to detail is super important [for that role],” says Liang. “Management is using KPIs and financials to make all important decisions, so accuracy is critical. Compliance is also key, especially as you get bigger so you don’t get an unexpected business expense down the road.” If you’re still scaling and don’t have the budget to hire in-house, talk to an advisor. You’ll want to check in with them regularly (at least quarterly but monthly is ideal) to discuss your business’ finances and determine areas of growth.
Perform Monthly Financial Reviews
Speaking of which… You and your business’ expenses should be BFFs (read: you should know every little thing about her). At the end of each month, take a look at all of the expenses and bills (yes, even the impromptu Starbucks run for the team) to double check payment is done quickly, chase down any late payers on invoices and review payroll to ensure staff records are up to date. All of this is made easy with software like Xero, where every transaction can be automated. Xero even generates accounting reports that give you insight into our business. Win-win!
Xero’s accounting software offers tools and resources to help make business finances a breeze. Try Xero FREE for 30 days.
Disclaimer: Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.