When it comes to business cash flow and managing business finances, there are a number of factors that will influence the direction you take and the approaches you implement. While everything from the outcomes you want to achieve to the industry your business is in will affect business finance, an often overlooked factor that can have a significant impact on the finance and cash flow of a small business is how you manage your personal finances.
The way in which you manage your money on a personal level, whether in how you utilise your savings, whether or not you create, manage and stick to a budget, and how you limit spending in various categories are just some of the factors that will provide an indication of how you approach money, and this approach can ultimately impact your business.
With this being said, here are the ways in which personal finance habits can impact your business.
The Importance of Financial Education in Shaping Money Habits
The first aspect of your approach to finance that will have an impact on personal and business finances is in your financial education. For many, this is the factor that will directly impact how you use your money on a personal basis, which ultimately impacts business decisions and expenses.
In obtaining a finance focused education, modern learning opportunities provide flexibility and practicality, depending on your final goal. While a finance degree might be a great option for some school leavers, business owners can get a significant financial education from online providers such as Upskilled, through more casual reading, and even by surrounding themselves with successful, like minded individuals.
Financial education will often have a significant correlation with the amount of savings an individual has, whether or not they have diversified their income streams, and how they are utilising their money more generally.
Understanding How to Create, Manage, and Adhere to a Budget
Moving on from financial education, another related factor of your personal financial habits that will have an impact on your business finances is in understanding the process of budgeting.
Budgeting is a crucial part of financial planning that is often misunderstood or overlooked – while many individuals often implement some basic form of budgeting, this comes with a failure to consider all aspects of spending, as well as a failure to stick to a spending plan.
Effective budgeting will require a thorough planning process, that considers all areas of spending, and then outlines realistic spending plans across these categories. Completing this process on a monthly and quarterly basis is a great way to reach clear, specific goals, and will ensure that you always know where your money is going.
Implementing budgeting approaches in your personal life is crucial in developing healthy financial habits that you can bring with you into the business world.
Determining Needs and Wants
Another way in which your personal finance habits can impact your business finances is regarding your definition of needs and wants. Understanding how to differentiate between these two types of costs is necessary when it comes to avoiding unnecessary business expenses.
While business owners are often tempted to make business purchases that are over the top, whether this is in design elements or unnecessary operational tools, good financial management often means forgoing these costs in favour of less expensive options.
As a result, it is important to review any purchasing decisions in a proactive manner – consider the objective they are working towards, the long term benefits they provide, and whether or not they are necessary to overall business operations and success.
Keeping Personal and Business Problems Separate
A link between business and personal finances that is often overlooked entirely is in the emotional and mental impact that poor personal financial management can have, which in turn can cause business finances to suffer.
When issues regarding personal finances come into play, this can impact everything from your lifestyle to your mental state whilst at work. If you are failing to take care of these things due to poor personal financial management, work performance and decision making will be severely impacted – and, this includes how you manage your business’s finances.
Ultimately, these are just a few of the ways in which your personal money habits can impact your business expenses and overall financial management. When you consider these aforementioned links in addition to the more direct ones (such as how your credit score and personal debt can impact everything from supply chain to your ability to get a business loan), it is clear that managing your finances on a personal level is a main factor in responsibly approaching financial business decisions. This is true whether it is achieved through financial education, more thorough budgeting, or a higher level of discipline in general.