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About the Author
Jacquette M. Timmons focuses on the human side of money. She works as a financial behaviorist and is committed to getting you to see that you don't manage money - you manage your choices around money. In addition to being an author ("Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Your Money and Your Mate”) and frequent blogger, Jacquette is also the creator of The Comfort Circle™ - a dinner series, where she hosts discussions about money, business and life over food and wine - and “In the Zone: How to Price Your Genius” - a one-day retreat for entrepreneurs and small business owners who find pricing hard and want a better way...along with better results. She is also the host of her recently launched podcast, "More Than Money." When she's not providing behavioral-based financial coaching, she's traveling the country for speaking engagements on behalf of Fortune 100, AM Law 200 companies, and nationally known non-profits to talk about the intersection of emotions and money. Her work has been featured on SiriusXM, "Good Morning America," Oprah.com, CNN, HLN, FOX, Black Enterprise, NPR, Reuters.com, Wall Street Journal and Family Circle. Jacquette holds an MBA in finance from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business and an undergrad in marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology. A combination she credits, in part, for being able to blend her analytical mind and creative spirit in service to helping her clients shift how they look at money; how they perceive its role in their life; and how they determine which choices are the best ones to make in support of their goals -- and life. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and can be seen running in Prospect Park most days of the week.

This Is the Financial Mistake That Does a Disservice to Your Business and You

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If you’re a small business owner, your personal finances and your business finances are intricately linked – even if you have separate accounts. And if you’re like a lot of the clients I see in my coaching practice, the relationship between the two could use improvement.

 

In the early days of starting a business, many business owners end up using their personal finances to get things up and running. They dig into their savings. They use the income from their full-time job to start their business as a side hustle. Or they rely on a partner at home to cover the overhead while they get things going.

 

There’s nothing wrong with any of those scenarios. But while that mindset of sacrificing personal financial dreams to make your business work helped you get your business off the ground, it’s not serving you in later years.

 

As your business evolves, it’s time to turn the tables so it is helping you grow rather than the other way around.

 

I learned this the hard way.

 

At the end of one particularly successful year, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. My business was profitable, and it was cash flow positive more months of the year than not – but I couldn’t understand why I personally felt broke.

 

After some soul searching, it finally hit me. My business might’ve been doing all right, but it was at the expense of not paying myself regularly, and not replenishing the savings I’d used to get the business started in the first place.

 

As soon as I realized that, I noticed the same pattern in the lives of the entrepreneurs I was coaching. They had built their businesses without their own personal financial well-being as part of the equation!

 

If this is resonating with you, I have three suggestions.

 

  1. Pay yourself

 

One of my coaching clients is the CEO of a company that brings in about US$2 million in revenue every year. She pays her employees very well, but her own salary as the CEO isn’t nearly up to industry standards.

 

Are you doing the same? You may be taking great care of your employees, but if you aren’t taking care of your best employee, the one whose job it is to grow your business and the one who is assuming all the risk – you – then you’re doing your business a disservice.

 

Yes, you may get joy out of running your company. But think of it this way: if you were working for someone else, would you accept the salary you pay yourself?

 

If the answer is no, then your business isn’t healthy! It needs to be able to run while also supporting its most valuable employee.

 

  1. Review your pricing

 

Pricing is one of the best tools you have at your disposal to keep or get your business finances back on the right track.

 

One client came to me with a negative net worth, and when we dug deeper, we realized that her pricing structure was actually having a negative financial impact on her business. We went to work aligning her business model, sales pipeline, customer engagement, and pricing strategy. Two years later her personal net worth is in the low six figures.

 

This problem is more common than you would expect, because pricing is a reflection of four key relationships: your relationship with money, with yourself, with your business, and with the people you want to serve.

 

When you examine your mindset around each of those relationships, you may start to uncover why you have resistance to setting prices (or raising them), so that your business is designed to support your personal financial goals and dreams too. And not just itself.

 

When you start setting pricing with the mindset of being intentional about building a healthy business – rather than letting unconsciously held beliefs set your pricing for you – your business will be successful. And so will you.

 

  1. Change your decision-making framework

 

In my opinion, every business decision is a financial decision, and each decision has an impact on your personal goals and dreams. Since that’s the case, you need to make sure you integrate your personal financial goals with every decision you make, whether it’s about product, services, business goals, business strategy, or something else.

 

Do that by using a decision-making framework. I use one called FOGS, which stands for Finance, Operations, Goals, and Strategy. It quickly lets you evaluate a business decision against the things that are most important to you.

 

Ask yourself:

 

  • Finance: What impact will it have on my business and personal finances?
  • Operations: How will it impact my operations?
  • Goals: Will it help me meet my business and personal goals?
  • Strategy: Does it support my overall strategy?

 

Going through that quick checklist will help you make decisions that grow your business and support your personal financial goals.

 

Your business should be working for you

 

Sometimes it can feel like our society idolizes business owners who give their businesses everything – every minute, every thought, and every cent. But I would argue that if your business is only still afloat because you’re giving it your all, including your future, it’s not healthy. It needs to be able to stand on its own by giving you a financial return on your investment.

 

I’d love to see more business owners embrace the notion that there is a connection between business finances and personal finances! And to understand that the best sign of a healthy business is when it helps you meet personal financial goals, too.

 

That’s when you know you’ve built a business for long-term growth and sustainability.