In this week’s Wash Wisdom, discover seven money management tips, four people to help you start a business and 10 practices to use when running a business.

7 vital money management tips for new businesses

In the article, “7 Crucial Money Tips to Failure-Proof Your New Business,” featured on Fox News’ website, contributor Iman Jalali discusses ways to keep your finances in check in order to balance focusing on money management and your business itself. Here are the seven tips Jalali provides:

  • Keep books and keep them clean. Make sure to hire a bookkeeper and an accountant and record every transaction exactly so that you can easily find it when needed.
  • Keep track of accounts payable and receivable. Even though you may be taking in a steady stream of business, you may not be getting paid. Stay on top of accounts receivable so that, when it comes time to pay off your own credits, you have the money to do so.
  • Assign prices based on COGS and profit margins. Don’t randomly assign prices based on what competitors do, Jalali says. Make sure to know your COGS (“costs of goods sold”) for every product (this includes labor, cost of purchase, material, etc.) and keep them as low as possible to widen your profit margin. Make sure your margins allow you to both remain competitive and financially afloat.
  • Keep finding new customers. Don’t rely on the same, repeat customers — they won’t always be there, or they may change their buying habits down the line. Know where your revenue comes from and constantly look for new business.
  • Pay only what you must in taxes. Make sure your accountant knows as much about your business as possible so that he or she can help you can take full advantage of legal IRS programs. Make as many claims as you can to keep what you’re entitled to.
  • Be frugal in all other expenses as well. Don’t buy the flashiest or most expensive products, such as desks or coffee makers, if a serviceable and cheaper one will do. According to Jalali, you shouldn’t worry about impressing employees or satisfying high-quality tastes at the expense of your cash flow.
  • Manage your time wisely. You can’t just be busy — you have to be productively busy. Pay attention to time management on your team as well. Don’t just watch for idlers; watch for those in danger of burning out from work-overload as well.

Read the full article here.

4 people who will help you start a successful business

Lightpost, a new, free business guide from the USA Today Network, published an article on USA Today’s website entitled, “The types of people you need to start a successful business,” where it discusses four people aspiring entrepreneurs need. The four people Lightpost suggests having are:

  • A mentor. A mentor is someone who has the experience you aspire to gain and can advise you on the paths to take, all with little to no personal gain for themselves. He or she should also be someone who you respect and trust. If you have someone in mind, contact them, explain your idea and find out if they’re interested in being involved.
  • A champion. A champion is like a mentor, but with connections. A champion is willing to take a risk by vouching for you and helping you get connected with clients and other businesses.
  • A confidante. A confidante should be a loved one — spouse, friend, relative, etc. He or she will provide emotional support through the grueling processes of starting up a business. Be completely honest with your confidante, but also make sure to express your gratitude and make him or her feel valued for taking on this extra burden.
  • A sounding board. Just as companies test products before launching them, so too do they test business decisions. Find people who care about your success and who are willing to work with you to achieve it. Contact them when you need feedback on anything from marketing techniques and money management to product testing.

Find the full article here.

10 practices to use when running a business

On the website, Small Business Trends, contributor Annie Pilon writes in the article “10 Overlooked Elements of Running a Small Business” about the aspects of running a business that owners often gloss over. These 10 aspects, according to Pilon, are:

  • Spend enough time on marketing. How much time you need for keeping up with social media, creating sharing content and networking at industry trade shows differs for every business, but be sure to determine how much time is too little.
  • Know the difference between user and customer experience. While user experience focuses on the product, customer experience focuses on the company. Knowing this difference can be critical to your business.
  • Get feedback. Having an idea is great, but your business won’t succeed if you don’t understand what customers like, dislike, want and don’t want.
  • Use LinkedIn for marketing. Many people and companies often use LinkedIn just to stay in contact with business connections. However, there are ways to use the platform for marketing, so investigate your options.
  • Define your social media persona. Don’t just start randomly posting to social media. To truly optimize social media’s impact, you need to create a persona and keep it consistent.
  • Find the audience for your online content. Knowing your audience and who to target is always essential. Keep your audience in mind when creating online marketing material and pitching it.
  • Tell your story. Use technology to tell your story to online customers and potential buyers.
  • Get more people to click on your emails. Don’t just aim for gaining more and more subscribers. Ensure that as many subscribers as possible are clicking on your content. If not, you need to improve it.
  • Build trust with customers. One of the best ways to make a business stand out is simply to develop a relationship of trust with your customers. They’ll spread the word.
  • Utilize SEO for local customers. SEO isn’t just for online businesses — it can be crucial for brick-and-mortar businesses as well and help you attract your local customers.

For more information, read the full article here.