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How Startups Can Avoid Financial Pitfalls

How Startups Can Avoid Financial Pitfalls

Starting a business is both exciting and stressful at the same time. The joy of following your passions and being in charge of your own endeavor is great, but you also have to worry about finances and the longevity of your business.

No one wants to lose money — especially not those invested in a startup. In order to avoid potential financial loss and improve your finances, there are a few precautions you can take to protect your business and your future. Let’s take a look at a few tips to help startups bring about financial success.

Inventory

There are a lot of things to keep track of when you’re a small business owner, and money is just one of them. As the owner of a startup, you also have to manage employees, supplies, schedules, and inventory. Yes — keeping track of what you have and where it goes is extremely important in having healthy startup finances.

Taking a careful inventory of your product doesn’t have to be a painstaking or grueling process. The best way to track inventory is to create a streamlined system that works for you and the size of your small business.

Perhaps you only need a thorough Excel spreadsheet, or maybe you need a warehouse system to meet your needs. If you know your inventory inside and out, your finance department will know how much money is in inventory, sales will know what they have available to sell, marketing will know what there’s an excess of and when to run promotions, and distribution will know what to order and when.

It’s easy to see how inventory affects every aspect of your business. Taking care of your inventory is one surefire way to avoid financial pitfalls and have a successful startup business.

Tracking Data

You can’t have a successful business if you don’t know who your business is serving. Collecting, tracking, and analyzing data is a key to success, especially for a startup trying to find its place in the world. Data and analytics impact every industry from retail to manufacturing. The power of predictive analytics can help grow the revenue of your business and help you make sound decisions based on facts for years to come.

Luckily, improving technology makes it easier than ever to make your data work for you. By tracking the data associated with the audiences you’re targeting and your marketing goals, you can make business decisions based on that data and gain unique insight into how your startup is doing.

Find Balance

Managing finances in a healthy and productive way requires balance. It’s essential to find balance between saving money and investing in the future of your business. Tip the scale too far in either direction and it could be detrimental to the future of your startup.

Be sure to have a solid budget for your business so you know how much you can realistically expect to put into growth, versus savings. It can be easy to get carried away with excitement and expectations when starting a new business, so having solid financial ground to land on is necessary for longevity.

While financial pitfalls are common for startups, they are not fated. All you need to find your way through the difficulties of startup phase is education and resources, a plan, and solid systems. Preferably you’ll have all this in place before opening up shop.

Minding your inventory, collecting, tracking, and analyzing data, and finding balance are all elements of success that new businesses should prioritize. New businesses will also want to ensure that their systems and plans grow with them. Just because a plan works for you in the first year of business doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to find success five years down the road. By following these financial tips, your startup will be on its way to success.


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by Devin Morrissey // Devin has been a dishwasher, a business owner, and everything in between. He writes from his garage, occasionally rising to experiment on his friends' cars or do jumping jacks for no reason.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.