Accounting is the language of business. —Warren Buffett
As a CEO, direct sales entrepreneur or network marketing solopreneur, it’s time to be a grownup about your money. After all, you are in business to earn a profit. This profit is what allows you to live the lifestyle you desire, give back to the community and ultimately fulfill your purpose on this earth.
Let’s check in on how confident you feel about mastering the finances of your direct sales or network marketing business.
- Do you have a system to track the cash flow in your business?
- Is your information organized for your tax preparer?
- Do you maximize your business deductions at tax time?
- Can you physically access the information you need to make decisions about your business?
- Do you love the idea of earning more money from your business?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, pause for a few moments to capture ideas for where you can improve your business finances. Should you implement a system? Do you need to stay on top of tracking information in your system? Need help understanding your business finances? Do you have the best tools for network marketers?
Don’t wait for the end of the year, or when tax deadlines are looming. Setup your system, maintain it at least monthly, and year-end will be a snap. Some of our favorite best practices and software for network marketers to master business finances include:
Bank Online and by Mobile Phone
As a solopreneur, online banking tools and your bank’s mobile apps become your new best friend. Use free tools available through your bank and credit card partners to stay on top of your transactions, balances, and schedule payments. Make sure you are using automatic or scheduled bill payments to avoid late fee and interest charges. Your goal is always to keep more of your hard-earned money.
Learn Basic Excel
Excel is the quickest and easiest way to get started tracking financial information about your business. If you do not have Excel, then Google Sheets will get the job done just fine (and it is free). Begin tracking your business expenses and your business revenue vs. expenses every month. We have created two templates to help you with expense and revenue tracking. You can download these templates for free at www.mybeehyve.com/downloads.
Save Your Receipts
Set up one central place for you to store all of your receipts related to your business. If you happen to be audited, the IRS requires receipts for every expense you have against your business.
Use a Mileage Tracking App
Since your business expenses represent tax deductions, you want to capture and document every single expense you can. MileIQ is one of my favorites for tracking business mileage. Signup for your MileIQ account at https://www.mileiq.com/invite/BOARP for twenty percent off if you upgrade to the paid version.
Consider Easy Accounting Systems for Non-Accountants
If you have inventory, need to invoice and collect payment from customers, process payroll, or simply want a “real” accounting system, QuickBooks online is the gold standard. Pricing ranges from five to fifty dollars per month, depending on the functionality you desire, with a free thirty-day trial. For a fifty percent discount to start, signup as a friend of myBeeHyve at http://www.referquickbooks.com/s/jennifer70.
If you like the features of QuickBooks online, but don’t like the price tag, check out Freshbooks or Xero.com. Feedback has been positive about these platforms as well, and the price point is usually lower than QuickBooks.
Quicken or the desktop version of QuickBooks is another option if you don’t need to account for inventory and collect payments.
Make Collections Easy
If you need to be able to accept credit card payments, checkout Square for a free card reader and setup. Square also now lets you track inventory quantities, so you may be able to meet two requirements in one easy-to-use tool. I just used Square at a holiday market event, and both my team and customers loved how easy it was to use. You will definitely sell more at a live event when you can swipe credit cards securely.
If you’d like more of our tips about mastering your business finances, check out our new book – Honey, You Got This! Technology Made Easy for Network Marketers, available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle editions.