Are you prioritising your business over your personal wellbeing?

Operating your own business can be tremendously hard work, and the dream of running a successful enterprise while maintaining a positive work/life balance can seem unattainable.  Suncorp’s SME vs Me report1 revealed some concerning statistics for small business owners, including that one in three SMEs use personal finances to manage cash flow.

Suncorp CEO for Customer Platforms, Gary Dransfield, said that the “blurring of the lines” between personal and business finances is resulting in two thirds of business owners experiencing personal challenges, including fatigue, financial stress, loss of motivation, or relationship strain because of work-related matters.

One in four sole traders and new business owners (i.e. those in operation less than 3 years) haven’t been paid by their business in past 12 months, and only 20% of business owners make personal superannuation contributions.

Mr Dransfield stated that “these insights reinforce the need for small businesses to make time to prioritise their wellbeing and life outside their businesses.  Time is so valuable to small business owners, yet it’s the one thing they rarely have enough of.  There are many solutions available – digital software programs, business dashboards, business advisers, accountants – which can remove operational complexities and alleviate some time pressures”.

As these findings highlight, it’s important for business owners to take steps to manage their work/life balance.  Here are some ideas to help you take control of your business:

Move to the cloud

Consider transitioning to a cloud accounting platform.  Cloud accounting software, such as MYOB, QuickBooks and Xero have integration and data feed functionality, which can help business owners manage their finances faster and get live, up-to-date financial information about their business, anywhere, at any time.  Most software has built-in invoicing functionality which can also speed up the billing process to help with cashflow.

Read more about the benefits of cloud-based financial management systems in our blog, Fly high with cloud accounting.

Conduct regular financial reviews

Vigilance is the key to effective business financial management.  Regular, monthly reviews of your balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow reports will give you valuable insights into your business performance and growth potential.  This information is crucial for you to:

  • Project future revenue and cash flow;
  • Plan for major expenses and business growth; and
  • Identify and mitigate associated risks.

Conducting regular reviews of the financial position of your business will allow you to identify trends and irregularities, and make adjustments to ensure your business is performing in line with expectations.

Hire a professional to manage business finances

Sometimes, the old adage “you have to spend money to make money” is true.  While it may seem expensive to hire an experienced bookkeeper or accountant, their knowledge and expertise could result in considerable long-term benefits for your business. 

Good financial management is a skill, and poorly maintained financial records can end up costing more money in the long run.  Inaccurate or incomplete documentation may lead to the imposition of penalties and fines or even an Australian Taxation Office audit.  A technical financial expert can optimise the efficiency and accuracy of your financial management, granting you peace of mind and added time to focus on your personal wellbeing and business growth.

We can help

Running a business takes significant time and energy, but by implementing a few key strategies, you can make sure you’re in control of your business and finances.  If you’d like to discuss how we can help you develop a plan for a sustainable work/life balance, contact our team on 07 3217 2477. 

1. Business owners choose “SME” over “Me”