Maximizing Every Dollar: Strategic Finance for New Ventures

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by Celia Cooksey

In today’s fast-paced world, managing personal finances effectively is crucial for achieving financial security and prosperity, and that management is even more critical for entrepreneurs.

Women entrepreneurs are crushing it across a spectrum of industries because, in part, they are making informed financial decisions. Funding a new business venture can seem daunting, but it is an achievable goal.

Start with researching your options, and don’t be afraid to think nontraditionally. Are there state or federal tax credits for your project? If so, what stipulations must be met to take advantage of them?

Does your local city or county offer mentorship or accelerator programs that could help get you started? Thanks to Shark Tank, plenty of cities have added an element of competition to them.

Even if grant-writing isn’t your forte, grants may be available for your project, so reach out to others in the industry, read trade publications, and talk to local funding organizations – they may not have a grant that fits you, but they may know of another funder who does.

If you are working with partner businesses or organizations, establish what thresholds they must meet and by when. Identify the key milestones on your timeline to success, and realize that you will probably make some mistakes…. So, be prepared to learn from them.

Create a detailed budget that outlines your income, expenses, and savings goals. While it may seem like simple advice, tracking your spending helps identify areas where you can cut costs for yourself and your business.

The best way to secure funding for a small business is to diversify your approach. Begin by crafting a compelling business plan that outlines your vision, market analysis, and financial projections. Explore traditional avenues such as bank loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and angel investors. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can also be viable options, especially for product-based startups. Networking with industry peers, attending pitch events, and seeking mentorship can connect you with potential investors. Finally, consider personal savings or family contributions as they demonstrate your commitment. Ultimately, a combination of strategies tailored to your business’s unique needs often yields the best results.

To maximize your savings in anticipation of starting a business, there are myriad online resources, many tailored to suit anyone’s learning style. The website Your Rich BFF, founded by Vivian Tu, has blossomed into an amazing community of over 6 million besties across the world and counting, all of whom share bite-sized lessons on financial literacy and lifestyle.

Critically, don’t overlook the importance of tax planning. If this is not your area of expertise, hire a tax professional early on so you have someone to help you navigate complex tax codes, ensure you’re not overpaying, and plan for your taxes in advance.

Your financial situation and goals can change over time. Periodically review your budget, investments, and financial goals, and stay flexible as a business. Adjust your strategies as needed to ensure they align with your current circumstances and aspirations. Staying proactive in managing your finances prevents missed opportunities.

Just remember, never leave money on the table. By implementing strategic thinking, you can maximize your wealth and ensure that you’re not missing out on valuable opportunities. Take control of your finances today, and watch your financial well-being and business grow for a more secure and prosperous future.

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