Sorry, I’m on a Budget

As we start to approach the New Year, I thought we might consider using budgets. Most business owners hear the word budget and immediately think it’s too much work! Well QuickBooks makes the work extremely easy with their great budget feature.

Per Wikipedia, “A budget is a quantitative expression of a plan for a defined period of time. It may include planned sales volumes and revenues, resource quantities, costs and expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows. It expresses strategic plans of business units, organizations, activities or events in measurable terms.”

A budget is a plan for the year. I think by creating a budget business owners are forced to really examine where their money is going, and try to create a way to increase their profit. They can use the prior year’s numbers as a guide, then increase/decrease the numbers for the following year.

To find budgets in QuickBooks go to your toolbar, choose Company, select Planning & Budgeting, then Set up Budgets. You can choose to create a budget from the Profit & Loss accounts and/or the Balance sheet accounts. Just follow the prompts in QuickBooks to get the process started.

By setting up a budget in QuickBooks, you are able to process reports that show how close you are to your budget. This is a great tool and can help keep business owners on track with their spending. If business owners are taking a close look at where the money is going, then they can see where they might be able to save some money and become more profitable.



Make Time by Empowering Your Team

About two months ago in the article, Easing the Inbox, I included a very powerful word. Delegation. In strategizing on how to gain control of your email, Michael Hyatt’s process of ‘do, delegate or defer’ was mentioned as one way to keep items moving on through your inbox. While I hope you have gained some traction in the past few months, I would bet you still are unsure of the delegation piece of that formula.

Do you know how to delegate?

Delegation is a powerful tool when done correctly

Delegating is hard. It takes upfront investment of time and resources, trust in someone else and, what often proves to be the most difficult part, it takes the willingness to give up some control. That is extremely tough for us perfectionists (others call us control freaks).

Many people try to delegate but they don’t do it well. Forbes says: only about one manager in ten really knows how to empower others.


It can be hard to know how to empower others when we fear we are giving away our control and power in doing so. But really strengthening those around us makes a strong team and allows better performance from everyone.

Knowing what you are best at is a great place to start, or rather, not start. Don’t doom your delegation and empowerment of others to fail but handing off the key components of your business that require your insight, expertise and finesse. Instead, look for the items that are routine and teachable. Those items only require your insight the first few times. After that the predictability allows someone else to apply what you have taught them to complete the task. They have expanded their skillset and you have eliminated something from your task list.

Don’t give away the parts of your task list that you genuinely enjoy. That is part of what keeps you passionate about your business. If you love greeting the customer who enters your shop, don’t assign this to someone else while you are stuck in the back office entering inventory. This doesn’t, however, open the door to automatically shrug off everything you dislike. Whenever possible identify what causes your aversion to a particular task and see if it could be that there is someone else better suited for it. Perhaps the task creates stress for you because you are not naturally inclined to that role or you lack the skills or tools to do it well. Then find the skilled person who is well equipped to take it on.

Just using those first two options, 1. Finding what is routine and teachable and 2. Identifying what you are not naturally inclined to or particularly skilled at, will make delegating much easier and more rewarding.









The City Wire: Get Unstuck

David Potts has more small business owners looking ahead and evaluating the future of their business. In his article ‘Get Unstuck‘, published this week in The City Wire, David helps small business owners identify possible causes of stagnation.

The problem for many was that they successfully executed their plan and found they reached capacity, their capacity in terms of time and energy. Having reached their capacity, they have been stuck in the same place for years, and the thrill is gone.

Read David’s article at The City Wire.