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3 Things Entrepreneurs Should Do in Q4

Entrepreneurship is a tricky game.

Not only do entrepreneurs live and breathe the vision of their respective ventures in real-time, but they also monitor cash flow, plan for taxes, and forecast profitability for the next year. If they don’t do those things, they won’t be around for very long.

Entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats.

So, in order to help you get your hat rack in order, here are three things you really should be doing in Q4 if you’re an entrepreneur:

  1. Analyze your cash flow as you enter the final quarter of 2017: Like it or not, collections seem slow for most businesses around the holidays. And if we gauge the start of holidays by when your favorite store begins stocking holiday decorations, they’ve already started! People prioritize how they spend their cash and sometimes businesses aren’t even in the top 10 around Christmas. So, consequently, that budget you set up in January won’t hold up to reality in November and December. Make sure you’re looking at REALITY and not FICTION when it comes to your cash flow.
  1. Begin thinking about taxes, specifically how to limit them: We plan for taxes all year with our clients. Most of our clients are self-employed or S-Corporations, so taxes ultimately affect the owner. Estimated taxes are paid based on real-time results, not solely on “what-ifs.” We can avoid surprises that way, and clients LOVE avoiding tax surprises. So, what can you do?
  • Once you analyze your cash flow, you should be able to begin estimating your 2017 tax position. And guess what? You’ve got nearly 7 months before your individual returns are due! Why not get an idea NOW of what you may owe, and avoid surprises early next year?
  • For those looking to fund pension plans, or health savings accounts, or 529s for a child’s college expenses, wouldn’t it be valuable to know how much of an impact those moves will make on your 2017 taxes? Of course, it would! And now that you know how much cash you’ll have, you can decide how much to contribute to those accounts. See how this works?
  1. Start putting some thoughts about 2018 into a spreadsheet: Entrepreneurs always have ideas and plans for the future. It’s in our blood. So, I like to seize the opportunity while everyone is in “planning” mode to look at next year. What do you expect to happen next year? Are you looking to make a new hire? If so, let’s start building cash flow projections for next year. We begin with your expenses and how much profit you want to make, then see what revenue it takes to get there. Now, you have a financial roadmap for 2018. We update the roadmap as often as we need to, monthly with some, quarterly with others, and watch the changes in the topography. This is valuable information, entrepreneurs!

If you’re a client of ours, we’re already working through some of these steps. If you’re not a client, we’d love to speak with you and walk you through our process of working with start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Let us know if you’re interested in learning even more about your business, and how it can benefit you, your family, your customers, your vendors, and your community! We’d love to see you.

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