Good financial order spells success for news entrepreneurs

By Suzanne McBride

No matter your size or business model, you need to get your financial house in order if you want to grow – or just continue operating, says Emily Lowery of Magic City Post.

It’s critical that you have updated financials – income and cash flow statements, a balance sheet and equity information – if you’re going to ask someone to invest in your business, Lowery said during the first of two “Business Basics” sessions held Sept. 14 at Block by Block.

Don’t go it alone. Contact the business department of your local college or university to find motivated MBA students who can help you create and maintain your financials, Lowery advises.

Lowery suggested news entrepreneurs taking several other steps, including:

1) working closely and regularly with someone who help help you strategize and manager your business. This should be someone you trust – and would enjoy having a beer with – and someone who will hold you accountable. If you’ve lost money for three months running, he/she will be the one to ask you what you’re going to do about it in the fourth month (like making 200 sales calls). This person forces you to stay on track financially.

2) having non-complete and non-disclosure policies and signed agreements in place for your personnel, especially key employees and contractors that if they left, their absence would hurt your business. Also consider buying key personnel insurance.

3) creating a business plan. You should have one, but it’s the financials that are most important – and what potential investors will want to see, even more than a business plan.

4) getting a copy of The Wall Street Journal’s Complete Small Business Guide

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