Who Can Help With Money In Your Business?
Surrounding yourself with the right people is so important in business. Think of it like building your personal board of directors – you want a trusted circle of powerhouse people you can turn to when you’re out of your element.
If you’re confused about who can help with YOUR specific money problem, question, or worry, your brain probably has all of us “financial people” together in one mental file folder. That’s why I’m breaking down who can help with your money needs, what they focus on, and who you want on your side at every stage in your business.
Tasks: Keeps track of what’s happening with your money using accounting software (think QuickBooks, Freshbooks, or Xero). In 2023, a bookkeeper makes sure your sales and expenses are tracked in one place electronically so you can avoid the old “receipts in a shoebox” nightmare.
Who Needs This: Every business owner who doesn’t wake up in the morning jazzed about accounting. If looking at your numbers energizes you, keep doing it yourself (if you want). If you dread it, procrastinate it, or have nightmares about it, hire someone to help.
Hot Tip: Hiring a bookkeeper early sets you up for success. With the software programs that are available now, it’s a small and relatively painless investment that goes a long way to free up your brainpower so you can focus on what you do best.
Tasks: Prepares and files your tax returns. A tax preparer should also help you, as a self-employed person, plan and make estimated tax payments every quarter. They make sure you are following the rules when it comes to claiming income and expenses, and can point out areas where you are missing ways to save money on taxes.
Who Needs This: Every business owner who isn’t comfortable with the nuances of self-employment tax laws. So… most business owners.
Hot Tip: The best time to find a tax preparer is not between January 1 and April 15. Do the legwork to establish a relationship with a tax preparer between May and September and they will love you for making life in their “busy season” much easier.
Fractional Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Tasks: Helps you understand why you care about your numbers. A Fractional CFO will help you digest your data and point out the most important things to focus on. This means you can tune out the noise, plan your next move, and hit your money goals in your business.
Who Needs This: The business owner who feels like big things are about to happen. If your next step is more like a leap, it’s time to get strategic with your money.
Hot Tip: Don’t be intimidated by the name. A Fractional CFO is simply a master of financial strategy who divides up their time (that’s the “fractional” part) and helps a bunch of different businesses instead of working full-time at one. It means their knowledge and expertise is accessible to literally anyone.
Focus: Long-Term Vision
Tasks: Helps you build your business so it can thrive without you one day. A valuation advisor will help you recognize the parts of your business that are attractive, and therefore valuable, to an outsider. You will learn exactly what you need to do so you can get paid someday when you’re ready to sell.
Who Needs This: The business owner who doesn’t want to shut the doors on what they’ve worked hard to build.
Hot Tip: If you’ve never even considered that your business is something you could sell, I have a challenge for you: take a step back and think about all the products, systems, and contact lists you have created from day one. If someone else suddenly had them, would it boost their business? If the answer is yes, you have already laid the foundation for a valuable business!