Flashback to 2013. I was graduating law school and becoming a government lawyer and I didn’t yet have a blog. I thought I’d be working for someone else, getting a pay cheque every two weeks and that would be that. Flash forward to today. I run my own law practice and this fashion/lifestyle blog. I couldn’t have fathomed 5 years ago that I would be running not only one but two of my own businesses. Becoming an entrepreneur is one of my biggest life moments.
I’d never taken a business class before and knew nothing about how to manage my finances as a self-employed woman. Over the past five years, I’ve learned so much about financial planning as I run my own business(es).
Today, in partnership with Sun Life Financial, I want to share 4 financial lessons I’ve learned from running my own business, and get real about what every entrepreneur should know about running their own business.
Lesson 1: Establish a Support System
When you’re starting your own business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing everything yourself. You likely don’t have employees, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need and deserve help. Figure out who you can go to for advice and establish a network of people who understand what you’re trying to achieve and support your dreams. Two important team members to consider are an advisor and a tax professional. Both can save you time and money and give you the tools you need to make smart borrowing and investing decisions. What I love about Sun Life Financial advisors is that they can also put you in touch with other entrepreneurs who have gone through – and conquered – similar challenges.
Lesson 2: Don’t Neglect Your Personal Finances
When you’re starting a business, there’s so much to consider that your personal finances often go by the wayside. It’s important that you maintain a plan for your personal finances. Keep track of what you are spending every month, have a budget, and think about how to reduce your personal expenses while your business gets off the ground.
Lesson 3: Educate Yourself on Small Business Benefits & Taxes
As an entrepreneur, your business comes with a number of unique financial benefits. There can be tax write-offs and other grants that may help you. Spend some time learning about these are in your area. Sun Life has benefits and savings plans specifically for small businesses that may be of interest to you!
Lesson 4: Focus on Your Future
As much as I’m preaching a focus on your current financial situation, I’ve also learned that you can’t ignore the future either. You want to be thinking about retirement. Sun Life has great articles on their website that discuss issues such as retirement planning when you don’t have a pension.
More tips on managing your career
For more great tips and helpful articles about managing your career, succeeding as an entrepreneur and saving for retirement with or without a company pension, check out Sun Life’s website. You’ll also find interactive tools and calculators – I found these really useful for understanding what and how much insurance I need to protect my business. And if you’re looking to add an advisor to your team, you can enter your postal code to find ones in your local area. I really like how they have bios so you can get a good sense of whether they’ll be the right match for you before you set up an appointment.
To all my fellow female entrepreneurs: keep up the hard work and enjoy the process! 🙂