Giovana Bier is the founder and owner of My Cats and Me, LLC – boutique bookkeeping services for creatives and entrepreneurs. While working on the background of very diverse industries – from wedding planning to environmental resources analysis – Giovana found herself in awe with the history all numbers tell. And she found herself amazed at how many business owners are afraid of asking finance questions. After working ah-so many years for big corporations, and suffering a big burn out from overwork; Giovana took some time to heal and define what success is to her. Spending time with her husband and cats, she started to understand her own balance, cycles, and success. Being a creative at heart, she could see how difficult it can be to understand and talk about money. From breaking taboos to overcoming fear itself, Giovana finds her strength in organizing all things finances and translating the results to her clients a gift that needs to be shared. Success is impacting as many entrepreneurs as she can along the way. Because wealth is not for the few, it is for all of us.
You started your own business, you’re excited, you’re afraid, you have a lot of feelings inside of you. To sort out how to start, what to do, and how to be a “good” business owner, we always outsource the knowledge to Google.
While I’m a “googler,” I often see one too many misconceptions about running your own business. Especially for small businesses. I’m here to help you identify those “myths” and replaced them with actual truth!
Oh well, you can have a product or service you find terrific – but if you do not show that to the people that will need it, no one will see. It’s important to before you start investing your resources into a product/service to see if it’s really needed. Start by doing market research – who is your audience, which “problems” can you solve, is there a gap between what it’s being offered and your product/service, what is your differential? Know your audience, and then build your offerings. And don’t forget – they need to see you and your product to be able to purchase it!
Sales numbers are not the most critical number in your business. I know this sounds crazy, but sales itself cannot show business profitability, nor a business “cash-health.” I like to think that focusing only on your sales number is the same as wearing a beautiful gown, but not having showered for days. Yikes! Instead of focusing solely on your sales, also look at the cost you incur on those sales, and what it is your profitability margin.” Margin” is a magical number. Another important aspect is how fast are your monies coming in and coming out – the cash-flows.
My friend, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and everyone in your industry by choosing to undercharge for your services or products. Instead of undercharging, do some research and charge what is fair for your experience. You have 10+ years of experience as a PR manager? Oh well, your business rates must reflect all that experience. By undercharging, you’re decreasing the value of the whole industry – crazy, right?
That can be the definition of success for some people, but not for all. Truth is said, we all need to make money to live our lives in the way we want. But the amount we make is not the same for everyone. Success can be measured in so many different ways, for some is the impact they have in a community, or being known among their peers, being able to give back, or freedom, or, yes, good ol’ money. Try not to get caught with what your peers think it’s success. Focus on your truth and carry on.
I see you there, you want to focus 100% on your craft, and you outsource your bookkeeping and accounting. I give everyone kudos for outsourcing what is not in your zone of genius. However, you do need to understand what your numbers mean. It’s so important, as a business owner, to know enough about all sides of your business, just enough to be dangerous. I don’t expect you to make variances analyzes or understand what the investments you can make on your business that will result in the best tax breaks for you are. But I do believe it’s essential for you to understand just enough to know your margin, have enough information to make educated decisions about your business.
In a nutshell, starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It’s even harder when you trust everything you read on google and, even more, start comparing your company to others. Knowing who you serve, which gap you’re bridging, your “why,” and the financial health of your business will be your differential.
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