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10 Financial Resources for New Small Business Owners

10 Financial Resources for New Small Business Owners

You’ve taken the leap toward turning your passion into a business—now comes the hard part: managing and growing it. For many people, the most challenging part of managing a new small business is finances: What should I track? What do I need to worry about for taxes? How do I pay employees?

Luckily, we live in the 21st century, where all you have to do is get online to find a slew of financial resources that will guide you. As a small business owner, however, you don’t have time to sift through the Google results, so I did it for you. Here are ten that will be especially helpful in your first year, as you learn the basics and lay your groundwork.

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Access Financing Tool

If you’re still looking for funding, use this tool from Business USA. After answering a few short questions, including what kind of financial help you need and what kind of business you’re starting or running, you’re presented with a variety of government loans and grants you can apply for.

Introduction to Financing

This 30-minute course is provided by the U.S. Small Business Association and is free to anyone who’s interested in taking it. During the course, you’ll learn the basics of accounting, including what money flows are, how to keep an accurate ledger, and much more. If you’re totally new to accounting, don’t miss this.

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Tax and Expense Organizers

The easiest way to start learning what you do and don’t need to track is to get pre-made financial organizers created by financial professionals. The experts at Curtin CPA have created a variety of templates for you to print, including expense worksheets, expense organizers, tax-exempt organization forms and more. Find what you need, print, and start learning.

Savings Plans for Small Businesses

This is another 30-minute course from the U.S. SBA, and is also free. During the course of this training, you’ll get an overview of savings plans and strategies, including long-term savings plans, tax breaks, retirement planning and more. This is another informative course that’s a no-brainer for any new small business owner.

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IRS Virtual Workshop

This “virtual workshop” is all about small business taxes. Within the workshop you’ll find nine different lessons, starting with “what you need to know about federal taxes” and ending with “hiring people who live in the U.S. but aren’t U.S. citizens.” This resource comes straight from the source, making it one of the most valuable financial resources on this list.

Myth Busters—Minimum Wage Edition

This video put together by the National Federation of Independent Business, breaks down details surrounding minimum wage. As they say in the description: “Misinformation swarms around minimum wage. See what common notions are actually works of fiction.”

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SME Toolkit Financial Forms

This is a long list of forms you’ll want to bookmark for later. Here you’ll find everything from cash flow analysis worksheets to employee timesheets and budget planners. All are free and downloadable.

How to Prepare a Balance Sheet

This resource provides you with the initial equations you need to create an accurate balance sheet in addition to details for determining what your assets and liabilities are. You’ll also find formatting suggestions for the final spreadsheet that you create.

Small Business Calculators

Head over to Sure Payroll’s financial resources section and you’ll find a variety of calculators that you can use to determine payroll costs. Choose from a number of specific calculators, including those for payroll deductions, payroll taxes, marginal tax rate and earned income credit.

Top Tax Deductions

Don’t miss an opportunity to deduct come tax time. This list of potential deduction opportunities, put together by Forbes, is a great place to start when determining how you can save when tax season comes around.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

The Bottom Line

Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

Reference

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