Design Biz Start-Up Tips #3: Managing Money

Henry Sherman

In the early days of running my business, I could tell you off the top of my head how many trade and retail sales I had on the go, how much money I owed etc. etc. and because I knew all this, I was a bit casual about keeping proper records.  Then at some point during the year I would get in a temp book keeper to sort it all out & there would be an unholy (and expensive) mess.

It’s easy to avoid a nervous breakdown if you are organised from day 1, but you have to be disciplined.

1.  Use proper software from the start, but don’t overspend.  Sign up for Sage One Accounts online, and every single time you spend money or take in money, put it into Sage and then print & file the relevant piece of paper.  THAT VERY DAY.  Don’t say you’ll catch up later, because you won’t.  I learned this the hard way (and in business, “the hard way” means “the expensive way”).

2. Find a good book keeper from the very beginning, even if he or she just looks over what you have done yourself once a month.  This will save you a LOT of time and heartache when the time comes around to submit your year end accounts.

3. Read Business Accounting for Dummies and/or Bookkeeping for Dummies.  There is basic terminology and information in there that is going to become relevant to your life really soon, even if you plan to outsource all your book keeping and accounts.

4. YOU ARE NEVER, EVER TOO SMALL TO KEEP PROPER ACCOUNTS.