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11 Simple Tips for Figuring Out Your Finances

Julie Morse
June 22, 2017

Financial literacy will protect your bottom line.

For new entrepreneurs starting small caregiving companies, getting the finances straight can be a challenge.

Caregiving comes naturally, and you’re an expert at the core of your business. But, if you can’t figure out your finances, then building a sustainable business will forever be an uphill battle.

Here’s what financial experts recommend in order to ensure secure financial structure and stability for your business.   

  1. Take a Class
    There are a variety of educational opportunities out there that can help you hone and develop financial literacy skills. From certificate programs at community colleges to MOOC classes, there are many accessible and affordable ways to learn the basics of setting up shop.
     
  2. Do a Market Analysis
    What is the current state of the caregiving industry in your area? What are the customer groups? What are their characteristics? Answering these questions will help you define your price range and marketing tactics.
     
  3. Consult Your Local Resources
    Stephen Rischall, a chartered retirement planning counselor and co-founder of 1080 Financial Group, recommends turning to your business organizations and local economic advisement center when starting your business. “Most cities have centers run by volunteer business veterans who donate their time to helping budding entrepreneurs get off the ground,” Rischall says. “Otherwise, reach out to other local, small business owners. Nine out of ten times, if you’re starting a local business, you’re going to run into someone who’s also started a company and would love to help out.”
     
  4. Find a Mentor
    No man is an island, and entrepreneurs aren’t either. As a care professional starting your own business, look to those with experience in the field to find a mentor. Connecting with a veteran small business owner will give you someone who can show you the ropes and let you learn from their mistakes.
     
  5. Seek Legal Advice
    Navigating the laws and jurisdictions around various types of businesses can be a daunting task. But you don’t have to go it alone. Consider seeking legal advice from a small business attorney, who can sit down and translate the legalese. “Once you establish yourself with an attorney you are comfortable with, you can then connect with them whenever you have questions that you feel warrants their expertise,” says Nancy D. Butler, CFP, CDFA, CLTC.
     
  6. Utilize National Resources
    The National Alliance for Caregiving features an array of resources for both caregiving agencies and individual caregivers. They also provide educational videos on a variety of administrational issues and throw a yearly conference that is open to the general public.
     
  7. Choose Your Business Structure
    Before setting up a financial plan for your business, you need to settle on a business structure. The U.S. Small Business Administration can help you decide if your company is a cooperative, partnership, corporation, or a limited liability company (LLC).
     
  8. Establish a Target Number
    Without a goal, it will be difficult to know what you’re working toward. As a business owner, you must understand target numbers for clients, billable hours, contracts and services, according to Lori Atwood, a registered financial consultant (RFC). “All business owners need to know their monthly unit for all lines of revenue in order to break even,” says Atwood.
     
  9. Consider Funding Options
    If you’re just starting out and are low on cash, look into loan and grant options. If you’re a startup, there are many venture capital resources that can help get your business off and running if loans and grants aren’t an option.
     
  10. Hire a Certified Financial Planner
    Partnering with financial planner may lighten your wallet temporarily, but in the long run will save you hours of stress, time, and money, considering the professional guidance they provide.
     
  11. Strategize Your Staff
    Maintaining a stable number of employees is the only predictor of your finances, and the only way to stay within the law. Atwood stresses, “You need to sit down in front of your spreadsheet and put down the exact number of caregivers you have or need to have on staff, and stay within those parameters.” 
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