December 22, 2014

Crack It Open And See What’s Inside

Business is full of exchanges.  At the local coffee shop, I watched an older gentleman give a little boy and a little girl a dollar coin each. His big sister knew what it was immediately. But the three year old boy, we’ll call him Charlie, turned to his mother and said, “What’s inside?”

treasure chest gold

Charlie was trying to twist that coin and open it up.  His mother quickly said, “No, no, no. It’s not candy. It’s money.”

What’s Inside Your Money? 

You can’t crack your cash open the way you do an egg, but you can twist and turn it into something else. In fact, your money’s power is based on how you use it. It can turn into a team that gets “it,” because you spent time and money on training and the kind of management that builds connection. Your money can turn into more clients, because you spent it on smart marketing and an attentive sales team. Or your money can turn into what it always turns into, because you refuse to test and try something different.

When it comes to marketing, management and tracking your money, it’s not about being different for the sake of being different. It’s about switching things up until you find something that works. It’s about constant evaluation and updates so that you and your team are as effective as possible. Because effective change is about improvement, not busy work.

Let’s Say You’re Evaluating Your Bookkeeping System

You’re not trying to be a software groupie. You’re trying to be more effective. And since change takes effort, you need a good reason to take that leap. If you’re:

  1. doing your bookkeeping by hand,
  2. typing in the same information more than once or
  3. using a software package that crashes more than it works.

Then it’s time to update how you track your money. You can save time and money in the long run, by updating your systems in the short run.

It may be time to move away from that Excel Spreadsheet to a user friendly accounting software. You could trade that over-stuffed receipt box for a smart phone app that let’s you scan and record your spending on the go. With a little updating those end of week reports can become a breeze instead of pain.

When evaluating the need for change inside your business, keep Charlie’s question in mind, “What’s inside?” Then twist that money open and turn it into something that makes a massive or ongoing difference in your business.  Don’t keep throwing it into a broken and frustrating system.

A Few Bookkeeping Tools to Consider

You need an accounting software like Quickbooks (Online, for PC or for MAC) or MYOB (Mind Your Own Business), so that you can:

  1. track your income and expenses in one place,
  2. avoid keying in the same info more than once and
  3. have quick access to how your company really looks on any given day.

The more you know the better you can plan. Besides, chaos doesn’t look good or feel successful when it comes to your money.

It’s a mobile world now and when on the go, the last thing you want to do is fill out a mileage sheet or organize receipts. A smartphone app like Shoeboxed or Expensify can make it much easier to track your expenses. You can take a picture of the receipt, describe the purpose, sync it online and now you have a digital form instead of a fading sheet of paper that may be blank by the time you get back to it.


Money Photo via Shutterstock

4 Comments ▼

Jamillah Warner


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

4 Reactions

  1. “In fact, your money’s power is based on how you use it.” What a great line.

    It reminds me of the difference between having money and having wealth.

  2. Quick books just to keep all the clients straight and their accounts easily manageable. Highly recommend. If you are looking at personal finance as well, there is Mint.com to track your own spending and evaluate where losses occur. Fast food, restaurants, hobbies etc.

  3. Jamillah: You have written this post in a beautiful way! Great storytelling! :)

  4. I agree that QuickBooks is a great tool for managing your business, especially with regard to A/P, A/R and Payroll, but I find that the software falls short when it comes to Cash Flow Projection. I think that a key component of a financial approach that actually works for any small business is a cash flow projection that is based on accurate financial records and informed by the current business environment. Access to complete information about cash inflows and outflows in an at-a-glance format makes life a lot easier for business owners who want to make informed decisions about their business. I offer step-by-step instructions for creating a 12-month Cash Flow Projection, along with a free Excel template, on my blog: http://smartbusinesscashflow.com.

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