The success of any business is based on selling a product or service for a profit. However, simply knowing how to make a profit is not enough to make a venture successful. To grow sales and make a profit, more robust financial knowledge is necessary. Having accountancy knowledge is crucial in the early days of a business when you are trying to establish a framework but it’s equally as important when the time comes to expand your operation.
In the early days of establishing your brand, the major focus will be on attracting and retaining customers and clients. If you don’t have many employees, you may be doing the bulk of the work, especially if you work in a knowledge or skills-based industry. In addition to delivering your product or service, if you don’t have an accountant, you’ll also need to manage the finances and balance the books. Some new business owners may also need to take into consideration their student loan repayments. While taking out student loans are important to borrow for a better future, you’ll need to have a clear strategy in place to repay what you owe. Having an understanding of the type of loan you have, the interest charged on your loans and your repayment terms will help you to determine how best to deal with the repayments.
If you’re financially literate, you’re more likely to have more control. Understanding how a balance sheet works and the importance of profit and loss statements will enable you to have a clear view of how your business is performing and will also inform decisions that will your bottom line more prosperous in the future. Keeping abreast of the customers who owe you money for long periods of time will help to keep the cash flowing more smoothly, ensuring that you can pay your bills on time. Even if you engage the services of an accountant or bookkeeper to take care of your finances, if you understand the accounting requirements, you’ll be in a better position to respond to any challenges that may come your way.
Once you are established, in order to expand, you’ll need to scale up. And this is where financial literacy will give you the tools you need to take responsibility for your finances. To enable maximum growth, you need to be able to borrow money and you need to understand how lending works.
You may need access to funds from an outside source such as a bank, private equity firm or an investor. Having the ability to access loans or lines of credit is a key factor when it comes to expanding. When the time comes to access funding, being able to demonstrate that you have a degree of financial knowledge will be invaluable when talking to potential backers. You should at least have knowledge and understanding of the fundamental financial tools used in your operation and be able to address any concerns that a potential lender may have regarding collateral, sales projections and your credit rating.