A Minimalist Approach To Making And Managing Money In Your Business
One of my goals is to help business owners make and manage money in their business, their own way, all while designing sustainable and profitable businesses.
The key word here is sustainable. Our businesses should not negatively impact our lives, health, others or the environment.
I had been asking myself recently as holidays approached, ‘What is the bare minimum I need to do to keep up with making money, making confident financial decisions and managing all my financial tasks?’ And this is the framework I came up with and wanted to share today:
THE 3 ‘S’ FRAMEWORK
NUMBER 1: STRUCTURE
Structure in this case = Business Model. Our business model determines the what, where, why and how in our business. I know this may sound general, but it is actually very important to nail these aspects of business. What are we selling, where are we selling it, why do we sell it and how will we go about selling it.
I call the framework I work by a ‘Livelihood and Lifestyle’ Business Model. As business owners, we need to place our desired lifestyle at the forefront of decision making when planning the structure of your business. When we have this stealth-like focus on desired lifestyle, the components of our business can come together clearly.
When we don’t focus on our desired lifestyle we can end up in a ‘Biz-Life Crisis’. Where our business has taken over our lives!
Some questions we can ask ourselves include:
- How do I want to live… while I work?
- What do I expect from my business to live this way? Monetary and non-monetary?
- How can I have a good business and a good life?
- What are my non-negotiables? What can I live with and without?
We can then build up ideas around our income streams, distribution of goods and services, location of work and business support systems around these ideals.
When we don’t include these important aspects in our business or work, we might notice that our life or health will start to suffer. This is the beginning stage of a ‘Biz-Life Crisis’.
Some ideas to consider, have you set up a busiess that… or are you…
- an introvert who works in a crowded place?
- a ‘slower by nature’ person who is in a fast-paced environment? Or working in a low-profit margin, high-volume or high-pressured business?
- an extrovert working in a situation with no other human interaction?
- a nature lover working in front of a screen all day?
- a high-energy person who is working in a slow, detail-focussed, intricate job who’s frustrated at the kind of work they are doing?
You get the idea.
Do your personality, energy levels, temperament and lifestyle goals fit in this structure you’ve created as your business?
NUMBER 2: SYSTEMS
Minimalist or bare minimum systems are my favourite. Some call it lazy, others call it efficient. But I call them Easeful Money Practices. This is because, with systems come EASE.
A ritual of a Monthly Financial Review – for clarity in your financial position.
A gentle method to complete regular bookkeeping and compliance tasks, such as those required by the tax office.
Quarterly or Bi-annual check-ins – to balance the short-term actions with long-term planning.
And your regular invoicing and payments. How can you make receiving and paying money feel light? Do you complete it twice a month? What can you automate? Where do you feel resistance or heaviness in these processes?
NUMBER 3: STRATEGIES
Okay, so some business owners love the idea of setting up specific strategies, others are repelled by the idea. Financial strategies really are the pathways or route you choose to achieve your goals. It’s that simple.
Without them, we end up going round and round in circles, get distracted or aim for destinations we really didn’t want to head to in the first place.
With your business model as the solid foundation, and systems to create ease, your strategies are the way in which you are choosing to get from point A to point B.
Setting up strategies:
Where are you heading?
First you need to know where you’re heading. What’s the overall plan? Is it to earn ‘enough’, for your livelihood to provide for the life you wish? To have some cash left over to donate to your favourite charity? To grow a bigger impact? Or to run a small but profitable business and live out in nature? To retire your parents? The list goes on. Can you quantify how much this will cost?
Where is your business at now?
Once you know where you’d like to go, you need to know where you are now. Completing the Monthly Financial Review is an easy way to complete this yourself. Or you can seek out an accountant to help you. Work out exactly where you’re at now.
To close the gap
Strategies are your plan to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Do you need to increase your revenue? Reduce your work hours? Change the way you offer your products/services? Run a more lean business?
When it comes to strategies, check for any ‘quick wins’. Is there something that can be done, that won’t take much time or effort, but will make a positive impact? Can you cancel some recurring charges? Approach an existing client about servicing more of their needs over seeking a new client? Pay a VA to take some tasks off your hands and free up time to complete income-generating activities?
Then choose 1-3 strategies to focus on. These strategies become your action plan for the next 3 months.
The 3 ‘S’ framework is a minimalistic approach to running your business finances.
There may be one area you wish to first focus on, does your business model need tweaking? Or do you know where you’re heading but need to solidify the strategies to get there.
Take these ideas and see how your business finances can be improved or simplified using this framework.
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