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Monday, January 20, 2014

Is Your Business Fit?

     This month is all about the plan. Fitness plan, Daniel Plan, insanity plan. Plan, Plan, Plan. Well even the best plan will fail if it is not put into action. So while thinking about my marketing segment today I couldn’t get this morning’s class at church out of my head. It was the last of a series on being financially fit. If there is a crisis in the health fitness arena there is without a doubt a crisis in the financial fitness arena. Why not the big sexy plans for that? Where are all the infomercials and books and financial boot camps? Maybe because the advertisers don’t want people to understand their financial ills, that would mean after all they would have to stop buying all their crap. So tonight I want to share some financial fitness tips courtesy of Grace Church.
Many of us think of a financial plan only for our personal finances but I want to encourage you to set up a fitness plan for your business. If you think about it we are merely vessels of money. The only difference is the amount we carry. In through earning, out through spending. In and out all day long. And as we all know, at the end of the day, we can’t take it with us. In the meantime, we should learn to make sure money blesses us instead of stressing us. There are really just a few principles to follow.
     We arrive at financial peace by living within our means; debt makes slaves of the borrowers.  This is especially true in business. Granted sometimes we need loans, to get a business started. But this debt needs to be managed properly and should never grow beyond our means of paying it back in a timely fashion. Escalating debt is trouble.
     The 10-10-80 Principle is a strategy many have used as a guide to great financial health.  Traced back to the 1700’s John Wesley founder of the Methodist denomination used this methodology in work and life.
Give 10% . I know what you’re thinking, I can hardly get by using 100% and I get that, I really do. Giving get’s so much more in return than money could even purchase. You get joy and fulfillment and more blessings when you are a cheerful giver. Even when times are tough I encourage you to give. I’m telling you you’ve got to have faith, I don’t know how it works, I just know it does.

Save 10%  You must have an emergency fund, in life and in business. 3-6 months working capital in case of an emergency. Have appropriate insurance in case of a crisis.  I’m getting ready to take a few weeks off for a  medical crisis. Fortunately I have an emergency fund and short term disability insurance. My world won’t collapse due to poor planning. Avoid risky investments and diversify or don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Seek council of other financial savvy friends or professionals. I have a client whose husband does financial planning. We barter for services so we can both go to pros.

    Last but not least live conservatively on the rest of the 80%. So many of us have lost that simple common sense approach. I just saw a study that stated that over 70% of Americans could not come up with $2,000 in 30 days if they needed to. It went on to say that 25% of Americans that make between $100,000 and $150,000 couldn’t come up with it either. How sad is this? I spoke of this last week, to constantly be checking your expenses so you can lower them and have some wiggle room. If you are living all the way up to your means, you are one crisis away from a financial nightmare. So with all the New Year planning, make sure to include a plan for financial fitness because that’s smart business and smart business is smart marketing. 

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