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Facing your numbers can be scary…but clarity changes everything.

You know it’s bad, so you just don’t look. I do it with emails. I assume the response to my proposal is a no, so I avoid opening the email so I don’t have to face it. Sometimes it will even sit for a full day or more before I bring myself to open it. When I finally do, it is rarely, if ever, as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the time it isn’t even bad at all. I created that anxiety and I sat in that fear for days. At times as a business owner, I have felt the same way about my bank account balance. I know I won’t like what I see (or I think I won’t), so I just don’t look. You know that feeling?

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For many of us, that nauseating anxiety is a familiar companion to our personal finances. For those of us who own a business? The feeling is multiplied by a factor of 1000 -- not only are your own normal expenses {housing, utilities, transportation, food, debt repayment, daycare, healthcare, etc.} dependent on that money, so are the expenses related to running your business. Supplies and inventory, rent and utilities, insurance, maybe even payroll for other employees -- you are personally responsible for the financial health of your business…and your own. Daunting? Yes, but with the right tools, you can remove the emotion and handle your finances like a boss.

Percentages estimated from the 2017 survey linked below.

Percentages estimated from the 2017 survey linked below.

According to a 2017 survey, 30% of small business owners in the US pay themselves zero salary, 60% pay themselves less than minimum wage. Even while the owner works for free, about 50% of small businesses still can’t survive -- 82% citing cash flow issues as the cause. You may feel like there’s no hope for you with those statistics, but there are ways of managing your finances so you -- and your business -- can thrive even through the rainiest of days, and we’re here to show you the way.

Unless you run a bookkeeping business, it’s likely that the math and money part of running your business is just a necessity and not your passion. Maybe you outsource your bookkeeping because you feel out of your depth and don’t have the time to figure it out, but still don’t know what to do with the reports your bookkeeper sends you. Every time you google a term you don’t know, you find a dozen more. Ultimately, you just don’t know what you don’t know, and facing your own ignorance is petrifying… but what if you did have a thorough understanding of your own numbers, and harnessed that knowledge to come up with strategies to pay yourself, your bills, and make a profit? 

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Our first course at the Local Maker Business Academy, Master Your Numbers, is designed to help you quickly grasp those terms your bookkeeper throws at you, become your own CFO, and put you in control of your finances. The course centers around key metrics -- revenue, operating expenses, sales targets -- and will walk you through not just what they mean, but how to calculate each number. Once you understand what factors impact your cash flow, you can begin to address them and start making an actual profit. The most valuable tool you’ll get from this course is a simple yet powerful Management Dashboard. This is a living worksheet which will tie together all your metrics and allow you to gauge the health of your business at a glance, giving you historical and projected data in one place. You will continue to use this Dashboard long after you complete the course, which sets you up for long term success.

We implement these lessons and tools, here at Local Maker and in our sister business Noted Candles, on a daily basis, so we know first-hand how important it is to understand and manage your metrics, and how impactful savvy financial planning can be for a small business like yours -- and ours.

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Master Your Numbers has three main objectives: by the end of the course, you will 1. Understand the meaning and source of your financial metrics; 2. Understand what your numbers mean for your business and its immediate future; and 3. Start creating the habit to track and adjust your budget so you’ll have cash to pay yourself, cover your bills, and have enough profit for a rainy day fund. The $150 you invest on this knowledge will pay out dividends for as long as you retain and practice the lessons.

Imagine the next time you need to log into your bank account. You’ll have the confidence to look that balance in the face, knowing every penny is being properly allocated and invested in your own growth. Imagine that instead of feeling anxious, surprised, or stressed, you feel pleased, because you know where your money is and how it’s being used.

Enroll in Master Your Numbers for that peace of mind. It’s normal to be scared of what you don’t know, or what you don’t understand, but we’re here to clarify and simplify. After all, shouldn’t you be the master of your money?

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