This book will focus on the most critical financial aspects of running a small business. It will discuss the financial resources needed to start a business, including the budgeting process and how to compute the business’s cost of capital, and the legal vehicles one can use to finance and operate the business. It will then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of starting a business from scratch or buying a franchise. Finally, it will discuss how to decide what type of financial assistant to hire and how to optimize your business’s cash flows.
This book is ideal for college students and employees of others who are seeking to start their own businesses and need an easy-to-follow guide regarding the financial aspects of starting and operating the business. The reader will not need any prior information to understand the content. The book is based upon the advice the author has given numerous entrepreneurs in his career as an accountant and business advisor over the past 30 years. Because every situation is unique, this book is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or business advice; instead, the reader should use it as a way to start a conversation with a legal or financial advisor.
There is no doubt that the owner of a small business must possess many skills, including the ability to identify opportunities, determine how to best exploit the opportunities, establish a business plan, start a business, hire staff, and execute the plan. All of these aspects are important but none can be accomplished well without adequate financial controls.
Though business owners must possess many skills to be successful, one of the most critical is financial knowledge. This book describes the financial resources required to start one’s own business, including how to create a budget and how to determine your business’s weighted-average cost of capital. It then discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different business legal entities, such as operating a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation (both a C corporation and an S corporation), as well as the advantages and disadvantages of buying a franchise as opposed to opening a standalone establishment (i.e. buying an existing independent establishment or building one “from scratch”). It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different sources of financing for starting one’s own business including asking family and friends for loans, selling shares to others, using one’s own retirement plan or other savings, getting a bank loan or using credit cards, and using new social financing sites. It then addresses the most important financial operating issues of starting one’s own business including when to think about using an accountant versus a bookkeeper and cash flow strategies. Finally, it lists useful resources for those seeking to start their own businesses.