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Small business owners are the backbone of any thriving economy. They provide goods and services that are designed to make the lives of consumers more manageable and more comfortable. Becoming your own boss is an exciting challenge and a chance to help the market grow, but it’s not without its challenges.

Financially managing a business can be difficult, especially if this is your first business. There are many factors to consider depending on your industry. If you’re looking to become a successful locally-owned business, there are important things to consider to ensure you’re able to successfully build and sustain your business.

As a business owner, it’s important to make intelligent financial decisions every step of the way. These are our five pieces of advice to consider.

1. Pay Yourself First

When you’re running a business, it can be easy to put all of your money into the daily operations. That being said, it’s essential not to overlook your role in the company and commit to paying yourself. You are a key to the business, and you need to pay yourself just as you would pay your staff. We know how tempting it can be to put everything into the business to help it grow, but paying yourself first is just as crucial.

2. Don’t Be Scared of Loans

Loans can feel wary to many small business owners, but when executed correctly, they can be assets. Starting a business often means a lack of immediate funds, and when it comes to paying suppliers, you can’t afford to miss payments. It may be worth it to see if payday loans make sense and find a convenient short-term solution to your cash flow shortage.

3. Plan for Retirement

One of the challenging aspects of owning a business is the fact that you don’t have a company pension to rely on. That’s why it’s essential to set up funds for yourself that are specifically for retirement. It’s just as important as putting money into the business itself. While you may love what you do, you likely won’t want to continue working into your retirement years because you financially cannot afford to retire. Consider diversifying your funds into various investments, bonds, and stocks to maximize your earning potential.

4. Separate Bank Accounts

Keeping your business and personal accounts separate will help ensure that you won’t dip into the other account when you’re running low. Separating these accounts is a simple and helpful way to mentally differentiate your spending and help streamline both budgets — especially when it comes time to file your taxes.

5. Never Neglect Your Books

We know how busy it can become to manage a business, and it can feel challenging to constantly keep up with your books but managing your money cannot be overlooked. Regularly checking your books allows you to identify any spending discrepancies and make necessary changes to keep yourself on track. These tools will allow you to continue to grow your business without the feat of debt or bankruptcy. It’s up to you to hold yourself accountable so you can succeed as a business owner.