Real Talk: Financial Tracking for Female Bosses

by Finance Tips

Let’s talk about something that’s probably not your favorite topic, but trust me, it’s a game-changer: financial tracking. I know, I know, you’d rather be creating amazing content, closing deals, or literally anything else. But stick with me here – this stuff is gold for your business (and your sanity).

Why Should You Care About This Boring Stuff?

Look, I get it. You’re crushing it in your business, making money moves, and feeling on top of the world. But here’s the thing: if you’re not tracking where that money’s going, you might as well be throwing some of it out the window. 😱 Here’s why this matters:

  • No more money surprises: Ever had that “oh crap” moment when you check your bank account? Yeah, tracking helps avoid those.
  • Make smarter moves: When you know your numbers, you can make boss decisions that actually make sense.
  • Sleep better at night: Seriously, knowing exactly where you stand financially? Total stress-reliever.
  • Grow that business: You can’t scale what you don’t understand. Tracking helps you see where you can level up.

The Three Things You Gotta Track

1. Where’s Your Money Coming From and Going?

This is basically just keeping tabs on your cash flow. It’s not sexy, but it’s essential. Here’s how I do it:

  • Use a tool like QuickBooks or FreshBooks. Trust me, it’s way easier than messy spreadsheets.
  • Make categories for everything. “Random stuff” is not a legit business expense category, FYI.
  • Set a “money date” with yourself every week. Glass of wine optional, but recommended.
  • Keep your business and personal money separate. Mixing them is a recipe for a hot mess.

2. Profit Margins: Because Revenue Isn’t Everything

Okay, real talk: making a ton of money doesn’t mean ANYTHING if you’re not keeping any of it. That’s where profit margins come in. Here’s the deal:

  • Figure out your profit margin: (What you made – What you spent) / What you made = Profit Margin
  • Know what’s normal for your industry. If you’re way below, something’s gotta change. See below for the common industry averages!
  • Don’t be afraid to charge more. Seriously. You’re worth it.
  • Look at where you can cut costs without sacrificing quality. Maybe you don’t need ALL the subscriptions?

Remember: A business that makes a lot but keeps a little is like having a designer wardrobe but an empty bank account. Looks good on Instagram, but not so great in real life.

3. Predicting the Future (AKA Cash Flow Forecasting)

Okay, we’re not talking about crystal balls here. This is about looking ahead and planning for your money moves. Here’s how:

  • Keep track of money in and out each month. Spreadsheets are fine, but there are tools that make this way easier.
  • Try to predict the next 6-12 months. Use what happened before and what you’ve got planned.
  • Spot the tight months before they happen. Nobody likes a surprise cash crunch.
  • Use tools that do the heavy lifting. Your accounting software probably has this feature.

Making This Work For You: The Real-World Guide

  • Pick your money buddy: Find accounting software you don’t hate using. It’s worth the investment.
  • Set it up right: Get those income and expense categories sorted. Future you will be so grateful.
  • Make it a habit: Block out time every week to check in on your finances. It gets easier, I promise.
  • Monthly check-ins are key: Look at those profit margins and cash flow forecasts. Knowledge is power, girl.
  • Use what you learn: See a pattern? Use that info to make smart choices about pricing, spending, and growing.

Remember, knowing your numbers isn’t just about managing money – it’s about building a business that lets you live the life you want. You’ve got this!

Q&A Time: The Stuff You Really Want to Know

Q: How often do I really need to look at this stuff?
A: Honestly? A quick check-in weekly, and a deeper dive monthly is a good start. It’s like checking your DMs – you don’t want to miss anything important.

Q: What’s a good profit margin? Be real with me.
A: Alright, let’s break this down by business type. Remember, these are general ranges – your mileage may vary!

  • Consulting: Girl, if you’re not hitting at least 20-30%, we need to talk. Many consultants aim for 40-60% or even higher. You’re selling your brainpower – that’s valuable stuff!
  • Online Coaches: Similar to consulting, you should be looking at 30-50%. If you’re creating scalable products like courses, you could see even higher margins.💰
  • Influencers: This one’s tricky because it varies so much. For sponsored content, you might see margins of 70-80% or even higher. For product collaborations, it could be more like 40-60%. Either way, make sure you’re not undervaluing your influence!
  • Dieticians: If you’re in private practice, aim for around 30-40%. If you’re creating meal plans or online programs, you could bump that up to 50-60%.
  • Graphic Designers: Freelancers should aim for at least 20-30%, but 40-50% is even better. If you’re creating digital products or templates, those margins could skyrocket to 70% or more.
  • Service-Based Providers: This is a broad category, but generally, you want to be hitting at least 20%. Lawyers and accountants might see 30-40%, while virtual assistants could be looking at 40-50% or more.
  • Jewelry Companies: This really depends on whether you’re handcrafting pieces or dropshipping. For handmade, you might be looking at 25-35%, while dropshipping could see margins of 40-50% or higher.

Remember, these are just guidelines. If you’re just starting out, you might be on the lower end, and that’s okay! The goal is to grow those margins over time.

Also, don’t forget – a higher profit margin isn’t always everything. Sometimes, a lower margin with higher volume can be a great strategy. It’s all about what works for YOUR business.

And hey, if you’re not hitting these numbers yet, don’t freak out! Use this as motivation to look at your pricing, your costs, and your overall strategy.

Q: I’m so not a numbers person. Am I doomed?
A: Girl, no! You don’t need to be a math whiz. Start small, use tools that make sense to you, and focus on the basics. You run a successful business – you’ve got the brains for this.

Q: How can I stop freaking out about cash flow?
A: First, breathe. Then, look at getting paid faster (hello, early payment discounts?), tighten up those invoicing habits, and maybe chat with your suppliers about better terms. Also, a line of credit can be a lifesaver for short-term crunches.

Q: Do I need to hire someone for this, or can I DIY?
A: You can totally start this yourself. As you grow, you might want to bring in help. But knowing this stuff yourself? That’s priceless. You’re the boss – you should know what’s up with your money.

Listen, I know this isn’t the most thrilling topic. But getting a handle on your finances? It’s like finally organizing that messy closet – it feels so good, and it makes everything else in your life (and business) run smoother. You’re already a boss at what you do. Now, let’s make sure your finances are just as impressive as you are. If you need help, please book a free discovery call to see how we can make your business as profitable as it can be! 💪💰

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Silvia Manent, Manent Capital

Silvia Manent, CFA, CFP®

Silvia is the Founder and Managing Partner of Manent Capital, a Boston-based wealth management firm that focuses on helping women understand their personal and business finances so that they can feel accomplished, confident and excited about investing in their future dream goals.

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