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A Financial Wellness Checklist for Small Business Owners

It’s a tall task to keep your small business running like a well-oiled machine. Smaller companies with thin resources can’t just spend their way out of every problem that arises throughout the year. And treading water simply isn’t an option – the phrase “if you’re not growing, you’re dying” rings painfully true.

The problem is, with so much to do, the broader financial vision often gets lost in the day-to-day fray, and one day you might wake up to find that things are past the point of no return.

That’s why every small business should put together a financial wellness checklist that they can insert into their monthly or quarterly to-dos. A checklist will serve as a regular reminder that you need to see the forest through the trees and keep you on the right track to not just survive, but grow year after year.

Here are a four things to regularly check so your company remains in tip-top financial shape:

1. Expenditures: You should be keeping track of your small business’ expenditures as they occur. It’s far too easy to lose track of expenses when you’re not vigilant – and even easier to let things slide when you’ve already let one or two items get by you. If nothing else, set yourself a monthly reminder to go over the previous month’s expenses and make sure everything is properly reported and entered into your system. This isn’t just good for financial health – it can help you avoid a visit from the IRS.

2. Fraud: Has your small business had a fraud risk assessment? If not, we highly recommend that you have an expert look at your potential vulnerabilities. However, even once someone evaluates with your internal policies, you still need to stay vigilant. Every month, look into things like payroll records, petty cash and invoices to make sure things are above-board.

3. Budget: Before the start of the new year, most companies put together a projected budget based on projections. But for small businesses, things can change quickly – some needs might escalate, or you might find that certain costs could be cut significantly without affecting the company’s momentum. Review your budget several times throughout the year – not just to make sure you’re on track, but also to see if the big picture has changed.

4. Data and Information: You know what it’s like to have a computer program crash and lose all the progress on a report or spreadsheet, right? Now, imagine the worst happens – malware locks up your computer for good, or a fire breaks out and physically damages your systems. In a heartbeat, all your essential financial information could be lost – which is why you should be backing up your data in some way, whether it’s physical or cloud-based storage. Consider setting a monthly, weekly or even daily backup regimen to ensure your data is protected.

The experts at McManamon & Co. offer small business consulting services for everything from acquiring financing to figuring out the most efficient way of operating. If you want to ensure your small business never misses a step, call us at 440.892.8900, or get in touch with us online.


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