This post is written by guest blogger Ramona Jackson.
This is our time. It doesn't always feel like it in the media and sometimes even in our day to day lives. But the numbers don't lie. Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country. And not just in number, but also in revenue. We are doing what we do best; tackling the issues of our time head on by taking up the mantle of cooperative economics and black capitalism. And we're not just doing it in strictly creative pursuits. Construction. Technology. You name it, we're in it. It's exciting, and scary and magical all at the same time.
And If I'm completely honest, it's overwhelming. We hear the statistics about the life span of the average business. We're not only working to change our present but the future of our children and their children. And we feel the pressure of it all everyday. But one thing is certain, two things are sure, we have what it takes to put systems in place to make the budget and finance piece a little easier.
So here are 4 basic budget and finance tips that will save your life and help your business stand the test of time: C.R.E.A.M Cash rules. But it doesn't have to be YOUR cash. Capital is the root and backbone of capitalism. It takes it to make it. And as much as we use it as an excuse to keep us from starting entrepreneurial pursuits, the rest of the world just doesn't see it that way. There is nothing wrong with investing in your own ideas, but why not also exhaust the resources out there to have someone else invest in you. Grants. Angel Investors. Venture Capitalists. Crowdfunding. Gone are the days when all you had was the bank. But the price of entry is still the same. Have a rock solid business plan (SCORE can help here) and a pitch (start hanging around business incubators and coworking spaces like General Assembly) and put yourself out there. And with capital will come opportunities to really refine your model for growth. Stir-fry I'm a cook. So this isn't a parfait. It's a key lime honey marscapone mousse with mint, mango, raspberries and granola. A lot goes into a masterpiece just lot a lot goes into your products and services. Overhead costs will ruin your profit/margins if you're not careful. This include some of those intangibles like your time, that we often chalk up to the game. Absolutely not. Sit down and really understand your cash flow statement (another SCORE resource opportunity). What is it really costing you to do what you do? This is key for the next point. 3 Stacks There's a "rumor" going around that small businesses, especially black owned small businesses, do not appropriately price their wares. Either it's way too low (don't let your fam haggle you into this) and the business stays in the red because of overhead. Or it's way too high because the owner is overestimating, overcompensating and trying to get over instead of appropriately scaling their business. Getting paid your worth isn't just a cute saying. It's a business principle. And don't be afraid to raise your prices, with the help of sound data. Hence why my Amazon Prime is now $120 when it's been $99 for as long as I can remember. They saw their value and adjusted accordingly. And so should you. Two Phones
Last one. But in hindsight it should really be the first and the last. I know in the beginning it's really easy to co-mingle your business and personal finances. It's your money you're investing. It's your money you're making. So why not? Because no one is going to give you capital without an EIN, business account and proper accounting forecasts and tools. Because it's almost impossible to accurately understand your overhead if your personal grocery and gas line items are mixed in with business lunches and travel to said lunches. And most importantly you don't want to toe the legal/tax line because we get enough scrutiny as it is. This is a business. You are a business woman. Govern yourself accordingly and so will others.
And that's that. 4 tips budget and finance tips for the savvy black woman entrepreneur to start or grow her business. Sky is the limit.
Ramona Jackson is passionate about helping people build generational wealth, grow their small businesses and find their tribe. When she isn't doing that, you can find her snapping pictures for the 'gram.