28 episodes

Dealing with the money side of running a business is hard. In fact, it sucks. Every week, Andi Smiles, small business financial consultant and recovering financial hot mess, answers real questions from real business owners about their money. If your business finances have you scratching your head and saying WTF, this podcast is for you.

Ask Andi: Biz Finance Advice for Solopreneurs Andi Smiles

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0, 17 Ratings

Dealing with the money side of running a business is hard. In fact, it sucks. Every week, Andi Smiles, small business financial consultant and recovering financial hot mess, answers real questions from real business owners about their money. If your business finances have you scratching your head and saying WTF, this podcast is for you.

    What Are the Top Five Things Business Owners Should Be Tracking and Understand Completely?

    What Are the Top Five Things Business Owners Should Be Tracking and Understand Completely?

    As you’ve probably guessed, business owners should be tracking their finances- but what does that really mean?! One of the most asked questions I get is what business owners should be tracking and what to do with the information you’re tracking. 
    We track for two reasons: taxes and information. Tracking for taxes is the technical side of things and the part of tracking that helps you stay legally compliant with the IRS. 
    Tracking for information is the analysis side of things. It’s how you integrate the information you track into your decision making. Your business has its own language, which is money. By understanding your numbers, you’ll be able to ask your business questions and have it respond back to you.
    Are you ready to learn your business’ money language? 
    What we’re talking about
    Tracking Your Income Tracking Your Expenses Tracking your Net Income (aka Profit) The Role Your Taxes Play In Your Business Cash Flow - Tracking It & Understanding It Tracking Your Income
    You need to track your income in your business for tax purposes. You’ll report your gross income on your taxes. Gross income is all the business revenue you earn before you account for expenses and costs. 
    But, you can take this tracking one step further by breaking it down into specific categories. This is where the language of your business comes into play. 
    If you have multiple income streams, you should distinguish between them to see where you are earning the most and the least money. This will allow you to see how you make your money, and understand why you have revenue changes in your business. 
    It’s helpful to think of your revenue streams as people or personalities. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as individual needs. Through tracking, you can understand the qualities of each income stream and predict what will make them “happy” and “sad.”
    This allows you to see where there is potential for growth and when a service or product might not be the best fit for your business model. 
    Tracking Your Expenses
    Like income, you track your business expenses for tax purposes and the IRS does require some level of breakdown to various tax deduction categories. 
    But, you can take your tracking one step further by also creating expense categories that answer key questions you have about your business. When deciding what expense categories to track, work backwards from the challenges you’re facing in your business. Then, identify what information you need to address these challenges. That’s what you’ll track. 
    It’s also helpful to understand how much you spend on essential expenses every month. In other words, what’s the bare minimum cost to run your business? Knowing this will help you set financial goals and know what income numbers you need to hit every month. 
    Tracking your Net Income (aka Profit)
    Next, you’ll want to track how much money your business is making, also known as profit or net income. Your gross income minus your cost of goods sold and expenses is your net income.   
    If it’s positive, then you’ve made more than you’ve spent and you have profit. If it’s negative, then you’ve spent more than you’re making. Understanding your profit will help you gauge if you’re moving towards a sustainable business model. 
    You will need to ask yourself if the profit you;re making is enough and what you’re going to do with your profit. Will you pay yourself? Can you pay yourself? Are you saving for taxes? Can you pay off your debts? Will you use the profit for future investments or an emergency fund? You will have a unique vision of what you will do with your profit.
    The Role Your Taxes Play In Your Business
    Taxes can have a significant impact on the health of your business if you aren’t saving for them. You need to track how much you should be savi

    • 30 min
    What's the number one..?

    What's the number one..?

    Today we are mixing things up a bit and not focusing on one topic, but the questions of what’s the number 1….I get a lot of questions that usually start with “what’s the number 1…?” because people want a straight answer on what my favorite thing is or my biggest piece of advice. Today I am sharing those questions and sharing the most common number one type of questions I receive. We’re still tackling topics such as accounting platforms, managing your finances when you start your business, and much more. 
    Get ready for this rapid fire episode that is filled with questions and answers!
    What we’re talking about 
    Starting Your Business Structuring Your Finances First Step In Business Finance What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business Categorizing Transactions Best Bookkeeping Tool For An Online Business Best Money Earning Hack Starting Your Business
    The first question I get asked most often is “What’s the first thing I need to start with in my business?”. I’ve said this time and again and will continue to say that separating your personal and business finances is the first thing you should do in your business. 
    Structuring Your Finances
    Going hand in hand with what to do with your finances when starting your business is how to structure your finances. What’s the best way to structure your finances to keep them easy and clear? Just as separating your personal and business finances is what you should do in the beginning, this is also the way you should structure your business finances going forward.  Just that one tiny action will have such a tremendous effect on your financial organization. 
    First Step In Business Finance
    What one action should I make a habit to get my business finances in order? If you want to get your business finances in order, then I suggest you do your bookkeeping on an ongoing regular basis. Once a week is ideal. This habit is one you’ll carry with you throughout your business journey and it will ensure organization and stress relief. 
    What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business
    So often I get asked what is the one thing I wish I knew about finances when I first started my business. The truth is that I wish I had simply paid attention to my finances and dealt with them. I avoided dealing with them and it caused me stress. By paying attention to your finances and dealing with and engaging with them, you’ll avoid stress that you otherwise would have if you pretend they didn’t exist. 
    Categorizing Transactions
    I talk a lot about ensuring you properly categorize your income and expenses and because of that, I often get this next question. What is your biggest challenge with categorizing transactions correctly? The answer is simply knowing what “correctly” meant. 
    Best Bookkeeping Tool For An Online Business
    What’s the best bookkeeping tool for an online business? This is by far the #1 question I get! My advice is to find the right tool for yourself. Selecting a digital bookkeeping program or software is the best way to go about managing your business income and expenses because it automates so much and there’s a low risk of human error. Quickbooks online is the best that currently exists.
    Best Money Earning Hack
    I am all about finances and money, therefore it’s not uncommon for me to be asked what my best money hack is to making more money. The business model strategy I believe in and practice is to diversify your income streams. Diversifying cushions you from unpredictable things happening. Diversification is about who you work with and not just about solely having different products and services you sell. Things you should look at are the types of customers you serve, the price points you serve customers at,  your various offerings, and sales channels. Diversification is having enough roots in enough places. It’s ensuring that if some

    • 15 min
    How To Raise Your Prices Without Losing Clients

    How To Raise Your Prices Without Losing Clients

    As an entrepreneur, one of the trickiest aspects of business can be raising your rates, even if it’s very well deserved. Today we are not only talking about why raising your rates is acceptable, but how to do it with confidence, and without losing clients!
    What we’re talking about
    Business Is Booming It’s All In Your Approach Keeping Your Existing Clients Through A Price Increase Business Is Booming!
    So, you’ve been consistently working for your same rate, but your schedule is completely full. What do you do? Good news! It’s time to raise your rates! There are many reasons it may be the right time for you to increase your prices including increased demand, more experience, and an expanded service list, just to name a few. But, how do you increase with confidence?! We have all the answers in our episode today, including some freebies you can use to increase your rates with confidence.
    It’s All In Your Approach
    When thinking about boosting your rates, the most important parts are your approach and planning it out. If either of those aren’t paid close attention to, it could be a rocky road (and not the kind we like to dip our spoons into!). You want to be sure the communication of your increase is received, acknowledged, and kept in the same manner as you normally communicate with your clients. A little nervous? Don’t be! We’ve got you covered.
    Keeping Your Existing Clients Through A Price Increase
    One of the most nerve wracking parts of increasing your prices is wondering how your clients will respond. After all, it’s your clients that have gotten you to this point, right? Show them your appreciation, but be confident. If done with tact, sensitivity, and appreciation, you can pull this off like the pro you are! I’ll read you my price increase letter so you can see what’s worked for me, and put it to use in your own business.
    LINKS MENTIONED
    12 Essential Things To Do Before Raising Your Service Rate (and FREE rate increase checklist)
    https://andismiles.com/2016/10/10/essential-things-to-do-before-raising-service-rate/
    How Raising My Rates Brought Me Closer to My Clients (and FREE rate increase template letter)
    https://andismiles.com/2016/06/06/raising-rates-brought-closer-clients/
    Should You Charge Hourly or By the Project (and FREE perfect pricing spreadsheet)
    https://andismiles.com/2018/08/27/should-you-charge-hourly-or-by-the-package/
    Price Your Products and Services for Profit Workshop
    https://andismiles.com/money-masterclasses/
    How to Set Your Prices So You Aren’t Broke (and FREE perfect pricing spreadsheet)
    https://andismiles.com/2017/12/04/how-to-set-your-prices/

    • 21 min
    How do I save more in my business and when should I invest?

    How do I save more in my business and when should I invest?

    Many would like to start saving more money in their business, but are unsure of where to begin. Today we are talking about knowing when is the best time to start saving, a couple super easy ways to get started, and how to ramp up the momentum without feeling a huge pinch in your operating budget.
    Are you ready to see the balance in your business savings grow rapidly?
    What we’re talking about
    Getting Started Saving Without Feeling the Pinch How Do I Know What to Invest In? Sticking With It Getting Started Saving Without Feeling the Pinch
    “How do I get started saving, save more, or invest in my business?” is a perfect way to sum up the thoughts of a lot of business owners when it comes to saving for and investing in their businesses. But, what if there were a couple tools to make it almost a “set it and forget it” task? We know that saving in your business isn’t always an option, but if you’re able, it can feel like a huge weight off your shoulders. We’re going to drop some serious golden nuggets for you to use!
    How Do I Know What To Invest In?
    When it comes to investing in your business, it’s important to align your dollars with the values of your business. Not sure exactly what those are? We have a set of questions for you to consider when selecting products, services, and contractors to invest in so you can be sure you’re making choices that mirror your values. Now, more than ever, we are voting with our dollars in many different aspects.
    Sticking With It
    Saving for your business is a noble goal, but one that may feel like an insurmountable feat for a business owner, especially in these uncertain economic times. If you’re emotionally tuned in and tied to the why of the reason you’re saving, you’re more likely to pursue the task, and follow through with it. Allowing you to watch your savings balance grow, without reservations.
    Are you ready to see your savings balance go up without feeling the pinch?  
    LINKS MENTIONED
    Digit Savings App
    Qapital Savings App
    How To Do A Spending Audit For Your Business
    How To Find Money Values For Your Business
    How Do I Know If I Should Invest In My Business Podcast (Episode 11)
    Dubsado App
    Reimagining Small Business Town Hall with Rachel Rodgers

    • 27 min
    How do I turn my side hustle into a full time business?

    How do I turn my side hustle into a full time business?

    Business strategy is one of my favorite topics to consult and coach on, so today’s question of “How do I turn my side hustle into a full-time business?” is one that excites me. My bookkeeping business started as a side job. A side job in addition to 3 other jobs, but it started to take on a life of its own bringing in more clients and more money, until I was finally able to quit one of the three jobs, then another and finally going full-time working for myself. It seemed accidental at the time, but it wasn’t accidental at all. It simply started by accident. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on what I did not do well and what I think I did ok on when I turned my side hustle into a business, along with what I’d do differently. We all have our own journey, but there are definitely steps we can all take that will lead creating full-time businesses for ourselves. 
    Any business is possible. I believe that and so should you.
    What we’re talking about
    The Importance of Forecasting For Your Business Growth Build Within Your Capacity - Grow At Your Own Pace Understand Your Tipping Point - Know When To Quit Plan Ahead & Be Intentional  The Importance Of Forecasting For Your Business Growth
    The first step you should take to turn your side hustle into a full-time business is forecasting. Figure out what you need to do to take your side hustle full-time. I offer forecasting sessions and time and time again, clients come very nervous to this appointment thinking their business model isn’t right and won’t work. The reality is that has never been the case. I believe any business is possible, but you have to take the time to think about the numbers.
    Take time to think about what the numbers would need to look like in the future, not about where they are now. Consider how many clients you would need, how many products you would have to have and what your revenue streams would be. Work towards diversifying your income streams and don’t think about right now. This is about forecasting the future. 
    Build Within Your Capacity - Grow At Your Own Pace
    Once you have forecasted your business and understand those metrics, you need to build within your capacity and towards something. When I started my side hustle, I had 3 other jobs and could not build capacity. If you don’t build capacity, then you’ll end up working 80 hours a week. 
    A great way to grow and build capacity is to implement passive income streams. My business was very service based, therefore a lot of my time was taken up. I wish I would have created more passive income streams which would have been investing in my future. Think about what kind of assets you can create now and leverage later in your business, such as digital products, online courses, templates, and spreadsheets. In the long run, these streams will help you earn what you need faster. If I had known this, I would have prioritized passive revenue streams early on rather than building out a service based model. 
    A change I would have made when I started my side hustle was to have built an audience for myself. It took me 7 years to get on social media and build a blog or have a website. I should have made myself more visible and built my email list and social media, but at the time I thought of this as extra money and not something that would turn into a full-time business. 
    Understand Your Tipping Point - Know When To Quit
    Understanding your tipping point is the point at which you will need to quit your regular job(s) because you are at capacity with your time. There will be an awkward overlap time where you can’t do everything you need to grow your side hustle and keep up with your regular job, but this is the point in time where you need to make a change. This change could be reducing your hours at your regular job or maybe quitting your full-time job and getting a part-time job to mak

    • 21 min
    How do you overcome procrastination with your business finances?

    How do you overcome procrastination with your business finances?

    SHOW NOTES
     
    Today we’re tackling something that we all struggle with, procrastination. Sometimes we’re off to the races knocking things off of our list and other times it’s a certain topic or task that we put off  again and again. We will discuss some ways to kill the procrastination bug, as well as how to make a list of tasks that need to be done on a regular basis so you’re not always racing to catch up.
    Learn about how to find and put together a financial task list to help keep your business finances in order!
    What we’re talking about
    Why We Procrastinate  Ways We Can Break the Procrastination Habit How to Make a Personalized Financial Task List Why We Procrastinate 
    We hate to do things we feel are hard, we aren’t good at, or we don’t like, so we procrastinate on them. What comes to mind when you think about doing the financials for your business? Does it bring a sense of dread or panic? Is it because you’d rather be elbow deep in the “fun” part of your business? Are you bewildered by the different requirements for your business? Or is it another reason altogether? 
    Ways We Can Break the Procrastination Habit
    Once we can pinpoint your “why,” we can push through to break that nasty habit! We have a host of ideas to help address many of the reasons people delay, delay, delay when it comes to their business finances. We’ll break it down into easy steps to get you on the right track.
    How to Make a Personalized Financial Task List
    What if someone were to hand you a complete list of financial tasks so you’d never be running in circles at the end of the month, or come tax time? We have a couple ways for you to get your hands on just that. Never worry you’re missing things to keep your business finances on track again!
    LINKS MENTIONED
    Bookkeeping Checklists
    How to Stop Procrastinating on Your Finances
    How to Deal With Money Overwhelm in Your Biz
    How to Stay on Top of the Little Things in Your Finances
    How to Find Your Money Step One

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

_andria_ ,

biz finance empowerment!

Thanks Andi, for putting out a great resource in such a digestible format. I also appreciate that she shares her personal experiences. Andi has consulted me on getting set up in Quickbooks and is a wealth of knowledge. Highly recommended if you've ever found biz finance intimidating and want to feel more empowered about it!

1234512334453 ,

The Best All Around For Small Biz Finance

I definitely love everything you have to offer. Your podcast is super helpful especially if I dont have time to read your blog posts, I can listen while I work. You offer us amazing free resources and you are the reason I ultimately ended up going with QuickBooks online after trying so many different methods. I’m also a hot financial mess so your blog and podcast has definitely been helping me on my way to get organized. I can’t wait to take your course soon! Everyone needs to listen to Andi’s show and subscribe to her newsletter if you are a small business owner of any kind.

nickierae_ ,

Andi has a straightforward approach and I love it!

I’ve been subscribed to Andi’s newsletters for awhile, so I started listening as soon as I knew about the podcast. She gives you actionable tips that you can work on ASAP and doesn’t over complicate it. She also has a great website and some amazing resources available. I look forward to what she has to say next!

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