How Do You NOT Fail Your Startup?
Entrepreneurs Need to be Financially Aware
Smart entrepreneurs ignore numbers and other business data at their peril. While accounting and forecasting might not be every business owner’s greatest strength, your success relies on understanding and applying the information you glean from your financial accounts. The flow of cash in and out of your business is the fuel that keeps its pistons firing. And while you can hire someone to manage those numbers for you, learning to wield those figures proactively is the only way to make them work for you in accomplishing your financial goals.
Entrepreneurs are Life-Long Learners
Successful entrepreneurs embrace learning. Not only does running a prosperous business often require that you absorb and apply new knowledge and experiences on-the-go, it also means carving out time to further your skill set. There is no set job description for the average business owner. So remaining flexible and agile enough to take on whatever comes your way in the course of growing your company is vital. Although hectic and irregular schedules make it challenging for entrepreneurs to enhance their own education, making the effort to do just that can expand your thinking, your network, and your employee relations – and will ultimately benefit your business.
Give a fish vs. how to fish
Entrepreneurs didn't go into business with a major in accounting. Nor should they. And there aren't enough college credit hours instructing the entrepreneur how to walk this road. In fact, there needs to be more "doing" and less formal "learning". This is not a path that can be taught in a classroom.
So how does an entrepreneur foster this financial awareness when this isn't a hot topic?
Admittedly, the accounting world has dropped the ball on their partnership with entrepreneurs. Tax code has become so complex, and quite frankly lucrative enough, that more and more often I see the gap widening between accounting firms producing tax returns and accounting firms establishing the relationship with the entrepreneur to be connected on a regular basis. In fact, the former generally doesn't acknowledge this trend and the latter is becoming harder to find.
So how does an entrepreneur learn the financial game?
Have you heard the phrase "a squeaky wheel gets greased"?
Ask questions. Over and over and over. Interview accountants. Ask them how they provide guidance for their entrepreneurs and startups. Find one that jives with you.
Remember...the tax accountant does not have to be your financial accounting partner, and most likely will not be because both roles take time with the entrepreneur. And that's okay. Build your team with your people.
Give yourself the opportunity to find your solid business advising team. They're out there...