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17 tips to manage your small business finances

Want to get finances under control in your small business?


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Knowing the state of your financial affairs back to front is one of the best ways to make sure the cash keeps flowing. Staying on top of your finances means you can avoid unforeseen business debt and have enough money to invest in and grow your business.

Stay on top of the day-to-day money management

  1. Properly manage your accounting. You can hire a good bookkeeper or purchase DIY accounting software. It is crucial that you keep accurate track of your income and costs.
  2. Review your costs. Keep track of all of your small business expenses. These can add up quickly, but reviewing them allows you to fine-tune where your money goes.
  3. Make financial projections. Having clear financial projections is important. Your main business plan will help you to anticipate and address possible future obstacles.
  4. Don’t get slack on invoicing.
      • Send out invoices as soon as possible after providing goods or services.
      • Set payment terms of seven days to make sure that payments are not forgotten or lost in the process.
      • Always follow up on sent invoices. You can make this easy by creating set templates for email or SMS follow-ups.
      • Reference invoice numbers and cross-reference these with payments.

Need a cash advance on outstanding invoices? See what options are available

Need a business loan? Compare these top lenders

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
First Down Funding business loans
$5,000 – $300,000
Fee Based
At least 1 year in business, an annual revenue of $100,000+, and a minimum credit score of 400
Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
OnDeck small business loans
$5,000 – $250,000
As low as 9.99%
600+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
Rapid Finance small business loans
$5,000 – $1,000,000
Fee based
Steady flow of credit card sales, bad credit OK
Fundbox business loans
$1,000 – $100,000
You must have an established business.
Get flat rate, short-term financing based on the financial health of your business, not your credit score.
Kickpay e-commerce business loans
$20,000 – $1,000,000
Not applicable
At least $250,000 in the past 12 months of revenue, e-commerce business, use a 3rd party fulfillment center for storing and shipping inventory, at least one US location.
Get a loan for your e-commerce business based on your sales history.
Fundera business loans
$2,500 – $5,000,000
7% to 30%
$300,000+ of annual revenue, 680+ personal credit score, in business for 3+ years
Get connected with short-term funding, SBA loans, lines of credit and more.
LendingClub business loans
$5,000 – $500,000
12.15% to 29.97%
12+ months in business, $50,000+ in annual sales, no bankruptcies or tax liens, at least 20% ownership of the business, fair personal credit score or better
With loan terms that vary from 12 to 60 months, enjoy fixed monthly payments and no prepayment penalties through this award-winning lender.
Monevo business loans
$500 – $100,000
3.99% to 35.99%
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Use this connection service to get paired with a loan you can use for business.

Compare up to 4 providers

Separate business, pleasure and private accounts

    1. Keep a separate business bank account. Mixing business money with your personal finances is a recipe for unexplained losses and tax-headaches. Keeping your business’s money separate will make gauging profitability easier and help you to keep proper track of your expenses.
    2. Keep track of personal loans to your business. Keep accurate records of what you loan to your business. When your business starts making money, you can easily pay back the director’s loan first before paying tax on the remaining profit.
    3. Use a business credit card. You’ll want a business credit card for making your business-related expenses. This helps keep your personal purchases wholly separate from business purchases. Plus, some business cards may offer rewards for business-related spending.
  1. Make sure to pay yourself first. This doesn’t mean sucking up all the profit the moment you make it; start with 10% of the earnings. This is a good way to set aside money consistently and to test the profitability of your business. It also provides a safety net for unexpected expenses.
  2. Remain frugal. Even though you pay yourself, don’t get sucked up in the benefits of business ownership even if you can afford it. Set your salary as low as possible and offer government-mandated benefits only. What you save now will give you more flexibility in future lean months.
  3. Keep travel costs minimal. Most hotel and travel costs should be spent on a place to simply lay your head at night and a way to get from meeting to meeting. Don’t overspend on luxurious travel and accommodation. This sets a bad precedent for employees and can be an unnecessarily large cost with little return. Plan your business trips as if you were paying for them yourself.

man using a calculator near a laptop

Take care of the bigger business issues

  1. Don’t let legal fees get out of hand. A reasonable amount to pay per hour for legal services is $450. How can you manage this cost?
      • Make your expectations clear to your lawyer when procuring their services.
      • Choose the billing option that is the most cost-effective for your business, for example, hourly or per project.
      • Ask whether it is possible to defer payment until the project is funded.
  1. For the more simple necessities, consider DIY legal documents. There are various services available online.
  2. Take care when expanding. Make sure expansion is done steadily and wisely. Pushing large amounts of money into expansions that are too quick and too drastic can be disastrous.
  3. Take control of your own marketing and public relations. Follow a PR and marketing strategy to make sure efforts are intentional and focused.
  4. Consider renting instead of buying. Leasing equipment instead of buying helps you avoid maintenance costs and can also prevent you from overpaying on equipment only needed for a specific period of time. You could also consider renting your office space, as it makes relocation and expansion easier.
  5. Don’t wait too long before seeking a loan. An easy mistake to make is waiting until your business is in financial trouble before applying for loans or other credit. This is exactly when you will be least likely to receive financing. Consider applying for a business loan when your financials are still in a good state. This way the loan can be used for expansion or as an emergency line of credit instead of rescue.
  6. Make sure you have enough capital. Small businesses tend not to have enough capital to get themselves through the startup phase. To prevent this, have three months’ living expenses saved plus the amount you are expecting to need for the first three months’ business expenses. Plan as if you expect to receive no business revenue.
  7. Don’t spend prematurely. Don’t go big on business cards, sign writing, marketing materials, cars or inventory before any actual revenue comes in. This can create a cash flow blockage.

Look into business debt relief to stay afloat

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23 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MarichuOctober 7, 2019

    How do I manage my small business canteen and store? I want tips.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoOctober 8, 2019Staff

      Hi Marichu,

      Thanks for getting in touch! It’s helpful to know that our page shows how to manage small business finances in general however we don’t have a specific page showing tips on how to manage a small canteen and store. It would be a good idea to search the web for businesses that have succeeded in the same industry to help you get started on your chosen business venture.

      Hope this clarifies and best of luck on your business.


  2. Default Gravatar
    SycoJuly 21, 2019

    This is a token of appreciation.
    Thanks for the wonderful and insightful articel.
    Thank you .

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuelJuly 21, 2019Staff

      Hi Syco,

      Thank you for your feedback. Have a wonderful day!


  3. Default Gravatar
    NicksonMay 14, 2019

    Wow! I love everything about this. I have a small business and this information has taught me how to manage my business so well. Thanks very much!

  4. Default Gravatar
    yeetFebruary 11, 2019

    How could I run a small business and grow it into a large chain?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesFebruary 12, 2019Staff

      Hi Yeet,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Yes, this is a possibility, Most if not all of the big chains in the US started as a small business. You may want to check the history of these chains to know how they built their empire. Hope this helps!


  5. Default Gravatar
    DenisNovember 12, 2018

    I would like to know the meaning of DIY accounting according to your 1st tip to manage small business, please. Thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseNovember 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Denis,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      Basically, as a small business owner, you have two choices when it comes to managing your business finances: hire an accountant to do the bookkeeping for you or do it yourself (DIY) by purchasing an accounting software program that you can use for recording and reporting business transactions.

      With accounting software, accounting tasks are automated and human errors are also reduced, making it a great tool for any type of business. There’s a lot of accounting software solutions available for purchase online. You just have to evaluate which one best suits your needs.

      I hope this helps.


  6. Default Gravatar
    DenisNovember 12, 2018

    i would to start up a multiple business in hospitaly industry, please help how can i penetrate the market with financial management. thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoNovember 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Denis,

      Thanks for your inquiry and for visiting our page. Our page gives out tips on how to manage a small business financially, however, we don’t have any information on market penetration in the hospitality industry. It would be best to seek advice from a business advisor for this. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.


  7. Default Gravatar
    CharlesOctober 8, 2018

    I want to set up a business please how do I come up with the business plan

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesOctober 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Charles,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      You may want to do a feasibility test first prior to creating a plan for your business. A feasibility study is an analysis used in measuring the ability and likelihood to complete a project successfully including all relevant factors. It must account for factors that affect it such as economic, technological, legal and scheduling factors. Project managers use feasibility studies to determine potential positive and negative outcomes of a project before investing a considerable amount of time and money into it. Hope this helps!


  8. Default Gravatar
    IdreesOctober 7, 2018

    I am interested in setting up a business and require advice on how to develop a good and profitable business plan.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 7, 2018Staff

      Hi Idrees,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      There are just a lot of things you need to consider when you set up a business. A few pointers would include determining if there’s a market for your products or services, how much money you need to start your business and do you have enough money to sustain it until you get a meaningful income, the location of your business, the legal requirements and implications of setting up a business, and others.

      It would be a good idea to do your own research. If possible, consult with an expert in your field or observe how other businesses accomplish their goals. By doing so, you should be able to improve the profitability of your business.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  9. Default Gravatar
    ScottSeptember 27, 2018

    I have been doing business for almost 4 years now, i dont even know if i am making profit or lost. this may sound strenge to you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesSeptember 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Scott,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      You may check our 1st tip which may help you in accounting for your profit vs loss ratio.

      1. Properly manage your accounting. You can hire a good bookkeeper or purchase DIY accounting software. It is crucial that you keep accurate track of your income and costs.

      A book keeper or at least a good journal of the daily income and expenses would help you a long way. Hope this helps you.


  10. Default Gravatar
    TomSeptember 25, 2018

    I’m having trouble balancing rent money, profit and up keep, please help.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoSeptember 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your inquiry and for visiting our page.

      I understand that it’s hard to manage expenses especially if there’s more expenses than money coming in. Keep yourself in check by minimizing expenses and just spend on things you need. Stick with a budget and make sure you keep some for savings as well.

      The information above is a complete guide on how you can manage your finances wisely.

      Hope this helps. Feel free to message us should you have further questions.

      Best regards,


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