Starting a small business can be fun and fulfilling, but it’s also very challenging, especially when you’re starting on a budget. Fortunately, managing your money can be a little less stressful with the help of a few handy tools known as financial statements. Your puzzled silence is music to my ears. Let me explain what exactly a financial statement is. Financial statements basically give you a summary of your entire business. It covers how well your business is performing, where you stand financially, and how much money you’re making over a given period. You’re probably starting to feel more optimistic, but you need specifics on how these financial statements will help you run your business. Fear not, future entrepreneur, because we will be going over nine different financial statements that target a specific area of your small business to help you manage your money and keep your business on track. Bear with me; it will all be worth in the end, when you’re starting your small business in a big way.
Personal Financial Statement Templates
1. Balance Sheet Templates
This is the report that shows the financial position of your business in a certain point in time. It is divided into three sections: Assets (anything that benefits you), Liabilities (anything that is holding you back), and Equity (your company’s shares and the value of those shares), keeping everything well organized. The items presented in each category are listed in their order of liquidity (how quickly they can be turned into cash) so that the most “liquid” assets are listed first. This will help you determine how you can make money in the fastest way possible and when on a budget, liquid assets are a godsend. This report is a key component and will be used more often than any other Financial statement. Treat it like a reference of sorts as you go through the rest of your statements. Let’s move on to the next one. I know, I know, it’s very exciting.
2. Income Statement Templates
This one may sound familiar; it sounds familiar to me anyway. This report tells the company’s financial performance for the entire reporting period (typically a time frame between a month and a year). It starts off by showing you the sales you’ve made, then subtracts any expenses you may have incurred and it all comes out as your net profit (the amount of money you make and keep after expenses and taxes) or loss (how much money you lost after the reporting period). If the financial statements are being issued by a publicly-held company (a company whose ownership is dispersed among the public in the form of shares of a stock), some earnings per share figure (A company’s profit divided by its number of common outstanding shares) may also be listed on your income statement. Despite the versatility of the balance sheet, the income statement is the most important financial statement, since it lays out your performance. There’s only seven more to go, hang in there.
3. Cash Flow Financial Statement Templates
The cash flow Financial statement tells you about all the money coming in and all of the money going out during your company’s reporting period. The items on this report are divvied out into three categories: operating activities (the company’s core business activities, including manufacturing, distributing, marketing, and selling a product or service), investing activities (acquisition (purchase) of long-term investments, equipment used in the business, a building used in the business, etc.), and financing activities (a category in a company’s cash flow statement that accounts for external activities that allow a firm to raise capital, repay investors, add or change loans, or issue more stock). While it is useful, this report can be very hard to put together, so it is often only issued to outside parties (the term “third-party” may sound more familiar to you). Let’s keep chugging along. You can’t find the fun stuff without digging through the boring stuff.
4. Business Startup Costs Templates
Believe it or not, you develop expenses before you even open your business. The expenses are called business startup costs and they are often overlooked when planning a business, which can be very dangerous, so pay attention and don’t forget this important information. Let’s start with your startup expenses, which is all the things you will be spending money on within the first month. There’s insurance, legal work, logo design, advertising, starting a website, and things like that. Then there’s your startup assets, which are anything you must start out with. That includes money, inventory, any machinery, you get the gist. Finally, there is the ever-important startup financing. Capital investments and loans make up this portion, but only the investments and loans obtained before you begin your plan. Any money you get afterward should go into your cash flow statement, which will adjust your balance sheet. Now you’re starting to sweat, right? Yes, even taking that first step requires a lot of effort and stress, but you can’t grow anything without seed.
5. Business Budget Statement Templates
Any budget is simply a plan that outlines an organization’s financial and operational goals, but you may already know that if you are on one yourself. With that said, a business budget is basically a financial plan for your business, which helps it to manage resources, check its performance, and come up with a plan. Budgeting is a regular necessary task, usually done every quarter (every three months) or every year and the previous budget is reviewed, and projections are made for the next three to five quarters or years. Planning this budget involves listing the fixed and variable (adjustable) costs of your business monthly, then determining where to spend money and where to decrease spending to keep everything stable. Pay close attention to your budget and stay within its parameters. It’s important to know where your money is and where it’s being spent.
6. Break-even Analysis Financial Statement Templates
Break-even Analysis is based on putting production costs into two groups: those that are variable (costs that change when the production output changes) and those that are fixed (costs not directly related to the volume of production). The total costs are compared with your sales revenue (income from sales of goods and services, minus the cost associated with things like returned or undeliverables merchandise) to determine the level of sales volume, sales value or production at which the business makes neither a profit nor a loss, hence the term “break-even”. There is also a break-even chart, which is a graph that shows the amount of money your making and the expenses you’re incurring on two separate lines. The point where both lines intersect is where both values are the same, making it the break-even point. That’s some useful stuff, right? Let’s keep going.
7. Depreciation Schedule Financial Statement Templates
There are a lot of things that improve with time. Maybe your business will be one of those things, but not everything can be like cheese and wine, so if something isn’t improving with time, it’s losing value with time. We call this depreciation and it’s important to keep up with. A depreciation schedule is a table that shows how much value an asset loses throughout its lifespan. This depreciation expense is calculated and used to write-off (a cancellation from an account of a bad debt or worthless asset) the cost of purchasing high-value assets later. A company will typically want to write-off the asset as quickly as possible to increase profitability (the degree in which a business makes money). Because of this, and a few other things, the government has put some regulations on these depreciation methods, so don’t go getting any ideas. Moving on.
8. Petty Cash Log Templates
What comes to mind when you hear the word petty? You might think of synonyms like insignificant or lesser, but what cash in a business would be petty? Isn’t all money important? Of course, all money is important, but it’s not the level importance of this cash that makes it petty. Petty cash is any physical money used to make small payments and a petty cash log is used to track all that physical money. What do I mean by physical money? I mean bills, the green stuff, dead presidents that fit in your wallet. It’s whatever you can scrounge up to take care of lesser bills and such. Petty cash is often used for meeting refreshments, reimbursing an employee for office supplies she purchased, or other miscellaneous expenses that require payments in cash or coin. The log can be taped to an envelope or stored in your money box so that whenever you add or remove cash, u can record it. It’s nifty, eh? I think so.
9. Profit and Loss Statement Templates
Here’s the thing, a profit and loss Financial statement is basically identical to an income statement, in fact, the terms are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. With that said, even though you may think little of me, I’m going to paste what I typed in the other paragraph and edit it to fit this one. This report tells the company’s financial performance for the entire reporting period (typically a time frame between a month and a year). It starts off by showing you the sales you’ve made, then subtracts any expenses you may have incurred and it all comes out as your net profit (the amount of money you make and keep after expenses and taxes) or loss (how much money you lost after the reporting period). If the financial statements are being issued by a publicly-held company (a company whose ownership is dispersed among the public in the form of shares of a stock), some earnings per share figure (A company’s profit divided by its number of common outstanding shares) may also be listed on your profit and loss statement. Despite the versatility of the balance sheet, the profit and loss statement are the most important financial statement, since it lays out your performance.
There you have it, nine (eight *cough* *cough*) financial statements that will make big improvements to your small business. I hope that this article helps to alleviate some of the stress of running a business. Of Course, there will plenty of trials and tribulations throughout your journey as an entrepreneur, but being here, you must be well accustomed to trials and tribulations by now, so I know you can power through this like you’ve done before.
On your way to the top, the climb will get steeper and steeper, and you may come across an avalanche or two, but the summit is in sight. While you’re climbing that corporate mountain don’t forget to stop and take in the world around you and look back from time to time so that you don’t forget where you came from. Yes, I am ranting to reach my minimum word goal and I apologize.
Since I’m still here, I’ll give some extra information on business related matters. First, know that nothing happens until a sale is made. You can have a life changing product, but if it never hits the shelves, it won’t benefit you or anyone else, so make it matter of necessity that you talk up your product. Make it desirable. Cut a few corners and leave a few pieces of information out if you must, though not many people support dishonest business practices.
Secondly, you’ve heard of that phrase “the customer is always right.” haven’t you? It’s not a joke or an over dramatization. Take it for face value because at the end of the day, the state of your business depends on whether your customers were satisfied, so talk to them, be polite, offer assistance where needed, and get to know them and what they like in a business. It can only make you a better entrepreneur, am I right? I think that will do. I wish you the best of luck on your financial endeavors.