The “B” Word Part II: Designing your roadmap to financial success
Have I convinced you yet that a financial roadmap isn’t as much of a pain in the neck as you thought? Almost? You’re at least convinced you need one and are determined to make one though, right?
Let me preface this tutorial by saying, if you hire a good bookkeeper, you can pretty much stop reading here. When you work with us, we do 98% of this for you (more on that in my next post). But if you’re determined to do this on your own, you can, and it still isn’t hard. Also note, that if you have a Quickbooks Online Plus membership you can create budgets for your business or for specific customers or aspects of your business following a very similar process as I’ve written here.
Step 1: Look at 1-3 years of financial records
If you’ve been keeping up on your bookkeeping and financials (and you have riighht??) it’s easy to pull financial statements from the previous 1-3 years. Lay these out in a nice excel sheet and look them over. Do you notice any trends? Are there months that make more money than other months? Are your expenses higher in some months than others?
Step 2: Think about the upcoming 12 months
Are you planning any big projects? Do you need to renovate or are you expanding your business? Are there any anomalies you can plan for now and what will they look like?
Step 3: Make a plan
Make an excel sheet using prior years’ numbers. Look at your future plans and write down your expected budget in each category for the next year. Don’t be hard on yourself or set unattainable goals, just look at prior year’s numbers and draw a realistic roadmap.
Unless you control your money, making more won’t help. You’ll just have bigger payments.
Step 4: Check in
Check in as you’re doing your books. At least once per month, take a glance at your roadmap and make sure you’re heading in the right direction. A little over budget in one area? Why is that? Is there an easy way to cut back? A map to financial success can point out things that might otherwise fall under the radar. It can help you catch minor mistakes and identify your strengths.
Next time in my 3 part series on the “B” word: How does a bookkeeper help you with your map to financial success?