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Grow Slow: Final Notes on Small Business Growth & Investing Profits

by Grace Bonney

This post is sponsored by Intuit Quickbooks. All words, opinions and images are our own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors, like Quickbooks, that help us bring you free, original content every weekday.

This is our final post on some practical (and not too overwhelming!) tips to get your small business in the best shape possible for future growth and, more importantly, help you build better habits around the daily financial health of your business. In Post 1 and Post 2, we talked about the importance of developing habits that help desensitize you to the stress, fear, pain, etc. that can come with regular financial check-ins using tools like Quickbooks. Reviewing reports on a regular basis in your accounting software and taking advantage of that knowledge when it comes time to make decisions along the way can really make a difference in your business’s sustainability.

We also talked about the importance of “slow growth.”

We’ve all heard the phrase “Slow and steady wins the race.” This is so true when it comes to businesses — especially small businesses or self-employed people. Long-term success is the result of perseverance and slow growth. You need time to achieve profitability and that can only come over time and mastery of basic financial analysis. A lot of times growth to a small business owner can mean more sales than expected and, therefore, more money coming in. If you’ve committed yourself to checking in with your books each week, you’ll know that that type of growth doesn’t always equal profitability.

Let’s say you’re actually making a small profit. What can you do with it? You can pay yourself a bit more or put the profits into your personal bank account. You can take that money and invest it back into the company when the time is right. In that case, you’d put the cash into a business savings account, create a record for that account in Quickbooks or another platform and use it as a cash reserve in case of emergencies/unexpected costs or use it to help fund new products or services you’d like to add in the future. The key here is positioning your business for enduring success and sustainability.

Whether your profit or savings is $10 or $200, unless you’re super-disciplined, human nature can get the best of you and help you rationalize spending you didn’t plan for. You might fall into the trap of thinking if there’s extra money lying around, there is extra money to spend or at least a little room to justify expenses that you worked hard to get under control.

To help curb those impulses, make a “Future File” and fill it with notes and ideas on creative projects and products that you’d love to execute at some point in the future. Go so far as to put price tags on things. It doesn’t matter if the estimates are on the mark or not. Just the act of combining those creative ideas with expense notes will keep your future thinking connecting the two principles. When you jump into Quickbooks or your ledger, each report or list will take on a whole new meaning because you can now see that the money you saved by canceling that subscription could actually fund an idea in your “Future File.”

Slow and steady growth isn’t an easy path. But with a commitment to building some good habits and a passion for your creative business, it’s doable. Surround yourself with positive people and a good support system to help keep you motivated and to remind you to keep your eyes on the prize. Manage your business smartly and efficiently, take full advantage of tools like Quickbooks and online classes and always look for ways to maximize your cash flow. Remember, it becomes easier every day!

This post is sponsored by Intuit Quickbooks. All words, opinions and images are our own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors, like Quickbooks, that help us bring you free, original content every weekday.

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