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Shantel Susan-Haines

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Money Management – the Key to Your Creative Entrepreneurialism – Part 3

This article (part 3 of 3) was contributed by Shantel Susan-Haines, the founder of Shantel's Money Guidance. 

Continuing on from Part 2 . . .

Becoming Comfortable with Your Tax Authority

You may/may not know the tax authority (often referred to as CRA, IRS, etc.) may request to audit you at any time.

The need to communicate and deal with your tax authority is a situation that all entrepreneurs (even creative ones like you) will encounter, even as just part of your regular activities in your business.   However, it is important not to underestimate them to make your dealings with them as comfortable and easy as possible. 

Become aware of practical steps that will help you to take decisive action, to place your business in a better and prepared position in order to properly deal with your tax authority.  Always remember the key here is not to give them a reason to contact or audit you.

In general, two points to keep in mind about your tax filings are:

  1. Keeping a good, quality set of books and records that you can rely on to backup and show the business transactions that you have been engaged in is crucial. Don’t underestimate the importance of being able to provide proof and legitimacy for what you are declaring in your tax filings. 
  2. Remember that you are ultimately responsible for what occurs in your business and your personal matters. While you may be able to defer some blame in your mind to outside influences (such as accountants, tax advisors, bookkeepers, other employees), always be aware that you are deemed to know what goes on in your business and are responsible for the consequences when it comes to dealing with your tax authority.

 Honoring Your Priceless Time & Creativity

 Time is an elusive resource. Most of the time we don’t feel there is enough of it. In reality though, there are always 24 hours in a day and everyone has the same amount . . . but is time working against your creativity?

Liberate your creative time through consideration about what only artistic-creative people like you know - that you are so different from all other entrepreneurs.  The demands on you both as an entrepreneur AND artist can make things so much more challenging with reference to your time.  Your creative flow must have time to expose and release itself together with your need to feel as though you are using your time to its fullest.  If you explore your time and its relation to your creativity you will help to avoid shortchanging yourself on this inspirationally important and irreplaceable resource. 

Always think of your time as being divided between your ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES – what you must do & OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES – what you like to do.  Keep in mind that time is often wasted in the “Optional Activities” . . . but it should contribute/nourish:  your heart, soul, mind, body, spirit and your CREATIVE-ARTISTIC SENSES. 

To stay true to your entrepreneurial purpose as a creative-artistic entrepreneur, your mindset is so important to keeping your focus about how you think about your business money. It starts with your inner thinking.

Remember to always work towards having your best business money good in mind and in place.  To achieve that, you need a continuing plan . . . so you are moving it forward into your reality.

Only you can take yourself out of where you have been and position yourself where you wish to be. Keep the momentum flowing and stay true to your business, your creativity and your purpose as a creative-artistic entrepreneur.

Would you be interested in learning more?

CLICK HERE to become part of our Free (for this select audience) Creative Entrepreneurs Business Money Enlightenment – Getting Started program

Shantel Susan-Haines, Founder

Shantel’s Money Guidance

 

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Money Management – the Key to Your Creative Entrepreneurialism – Part 2

This article (part 2 of 3) was contributed by Shantel Susan-Haines, the founder of Shantel's Money Guidance. 

Continuing on from Part 1 . . .

Creating Your Flexible Business Money Plan

A simple, flexible plan for your creative business money will always help you to monitor what you plan vs. what actually occurs with your business money inflows and outflows.

What is a Flexible Business Money Plan?

Flexible business money plans are often used for companies that tend to have swings in their sales and hence cost of sales from period-to-period.  As an artistic-creative company, you will notice wide variations, especially on the revenue side.  Therefore, planning the cost of sales and the revenues the business expects to generate, along with the expenses the business will require is designed to be a bit more flexible than the standard “budget.”   You will feel in control of your creative business money when you have this money plan in place. 

Clarifying Your Average Monthly Money Outflows

Another part of using your income statement to its best effect is to know how to look at your creative money outflows and to monitor its flow out of your business.  This is so important to your making some of the best determinations that you can about HOW you spend your money and turn it around to further develop your artistic work. 

Don't let this become a problem for you - learn how to continue to financially support your creative expressions, through knowing how to monitor the money that flows out of your business every month and help yourself to make optimal pricing decisions.

This can also be helpful if you wish to project money outflows for a specific project using this same technique.

Achieving Harmony with Your Cash Flows

Managing cash, better known as cash flow management, is a challenge for many entrepreneurs.

If you can’t have the amount of ready cash available to pay your current expenses – you will go out-of-business and sadly, many businesses have.

There is much talk about this topic and while it is important, it doesn't need to be overdone.  The "why" and "how" of managing/handling your cash flow really only involves a few simple actions that should be taken on a consistent basis to be their most effective and a few good practices and habits can make all the difference to your business.

Some of the common oversights about cash flow include: 

1.        If you have lots of sales – the cash will follow.

2.       Suppliers will wait to be paid when I have the cash.

3.        All clients pay on time and in full.

4.       Billing clients can happen when I have a chance.

5.       There is no need to negotiate payment terms with clients and vendors.

The above demonstrates some of the wrong assumptions that business owners often make when it comes to dealing with cash flow.  However there are practices to make your cash flow easier to manage to relieve these burdens.

Next Time Part 3 . . .

Shantel Susan-Haines, Founder

Shantel’s Money Guidance

CLICK HERE to become part of our Free (for this select audience) Creative Entrepreneurs Business Money Enlightenment – Getting Started program

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Money Management – the Key to Your Creative Entrepreneurialism – Part 1

This article was contributed by Shantel Susan-Haines, the founder of Shantel's Money Guidance. 

As a Creative-Artistic Entrepreneur, you have likely heard that you should know your key business numbers and have business money systems in place.

Like many, are you a little bewildered as to what you need to know & do?

Knowing only the essentials, the "must-knows" about managing/handling the money and finances in your business AND being comfortable to do so are important to the survivorship of your creative-artistic enterprise.

Bring about your new connection with your business money through linking to your inner confidence and discover ways to arouse this.  You can’t have a new beginning if you remain with your prior ways of thinking about your business money.  It all starts with deeply finding your inner confidence and then securing it as a place of retreat when your confidence wavers. 

Here are some key areas that you should consider in order to work into your creative business money best:

Arranging Your Bookkeeping in Order and in Place

To start, know that bookkeeping is NOT the monster it is made out to be . . . it is there to serve you and your business as an artistic-creative entrepreneur.

Good business money handling and management starts with having a bookkeeping process in place.  This often eludes many entrepreneurs as it seems so complicated, but it doesn't have to be. 

Whether you plan to perform your own business bookkeeping or engage someone else - you need to ensure that it actually happens!

Consider that 3 of the best reasons to have a good, quality bookkeeping system in place will:

1.        enable all of your business transactions to be recorded

2.       it will empower you, the business owner with the ability to understand your business financials, and

3.        it will allow you to properly file your taxes

Becoming enlightened about what you need from one of the more puzzling and time consuming aspects of your business money.  Finally, making a decision about your bookkeeping really comes down to:  hiring bookkeeping help or performing it yourself. 

While it is acceptable to decide to perform your own bookkeeping, but even if you hire a bookkeeper for that work to be performed, you should look to a professional accountant particularly for year-end, tax filing and more specific queries that you may have.

There are significant cost savings in employing an accountant and taking their professional advice. As a business owner with little or no real business experience, it takes a professional with the training and experience that will translate into helping you make better, more informed decisions. The cost is well worth it.

Understanding Your Income Statement & Profitability Points

You may or may not know it but your business income statement is by far your most important connection to better understanding your business money.

What is the Income Statement?

The Income Statement or Profit/Loss Statement provides fundamental financial information for you, the creative business owner. It shows you the revenue, cost of sales, gross profit (loss), expenses and net income (loss) for your business for a specific period.

It allows for financial performance comparisons to be made between different time frames.

The income statement shows if the business is profitable and if expenses are under control. It also shows if revenues are increasing at a rate that can sustain the cost of sales and expenses the business is incurring.

Also, you should know your Profitability Points.  Consider that you may already know when you are making money with selling your artistic-creative products/services (items & talents), but do you know the exact numbers?  If not, you need to be confident and aware of these essential numbers in order for you to be operating your business at its optimum.

If you work with your important Profitability Points, it becomes part of your savvy as a truly creative entrepreneur!

Next Time Part 2 . . .

Shantel Susan-Haines, Founder

Shantel’s Money Guidance

CLICK HERE to become part of our Free (for this select audience) Creative Entrepreneurs Business Money Enlightenment – Getting Started program

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