• Money and finance

Managing numbers well can become second nature

Futurpreneur | February 21, 2012

Heather Hinam founded Second Nature Adventures in Discovery in 2011 as a way to share her knowledge and passion for the environment with others. Based in Riverton, Manitoba, Second Nature provides nature tours, workshops and materials to help people connect with the Manitoba wilderness. Good financial planning and a willingness to learn have helped her build a strong business. Here are Heather’s tips on how to manage the numbers within your business:

  • Plan ahead to save time and money down the road – Taking a moment early in the year to sort out your budget and list all of your expected expenses will help you create a road map for your financial success and prevent any surprises along the way.
  • Stick with it – Budgets only work if you follow them. It’s easy to be tempted by the newest software or gadget, but before you shell out money you hadn’t planned on, ask yourself if it is really necessary for your business. Overspending will only give you headaches later.
  • Cash is king – Especially if you work on contract, the timing at which you send out the invoice may not be the same as when you receive the payment. Taking time to project your cash flow from month to month, both in terms of revenue and expenses (this is where a good budget comes in), will save you from any unexpected shortfalls.
  • Keep a ‘rainy day’ fund – No matter how good your budget is, something inevitably comes up that is beyond your control. You can still plan for the unexpected by including a contingency buffer in your budget every year.
  • Avoid ‘shoebox accounting’ – Detailed and up-to-date bookkeeping will help you keep track of your budget, project your cash flow and let you see where your money is going every month. It will also make you your accountant’s favourite client. Good accounting software doesn’t have to set you back a bundle either. Wave Accounting (www.waveaccounting.com) is a free online accounting program that is simple to use and compatible with Canadian taxes. They’ve just recently added a payroll function that will increase its versatility.
  • Stay Organized – Even with detailed and accurate books, you still need to keep the records of your expenditures and revenue. Reduce your accountant’s workload, and ultimately your bill, by filing your receipts in categories that match those you are using in your bookkeeping.

Click here to find out more about Heather Hinam and Second Nature Adventures in Discovery.