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Running your own business means keeping a close eye on all parts of it month to month. Record keeping, balancing accounts, and taking inventory should all be done monthly. Keeping an up to date record of all business transactions will make your business run smoothly throughout the year.

As your business grows and changes, your systems may need to grow and change right along with it. What works for you when you’re a one woman shop might not be as effective when you’ve got three employees. Doing a review and asking yourself business questions month to month is a fantastic habit to get into.

Here are three business questions primer to jumpstart your monthly check in.

Are My Payment Systems Working?

Are you using the right payment platforms and operating on the right payment schedule? Some people collect upfront fees before beginning work with a client. Some people bill as the work gets done. Each month you should check in with your payment system and see if it is working for you.

If you’re missing payments, having a hard time balancing the books, or simply aren’t making enough money then something’s got to change. Payments are what make the whole business run, so this is a top system to review regularly.

Am I Meeting My Workload?

Do you find yourself struggling to meet your workload each month? If you’re getting bogged down between the actual work and the work of running a business (think: accounting, updating systems, pitching clients, social media), you may need help. This can be a great thing: maybe it’s time to hire an employee!

If you find that your workload is comfortable and all the backend business is getting done, you may have found your sweet spot. Try and maintain this for a few months and then re-asses again. Maybe it’s time to push your growth.

Is My Company Growing In The Direction I Want?

The thing about starting a business is that everyone wants a piece in some way. People will ask to syndicate your content, have you speak on panels, or want to pick your brain over coffee. Even if you think your business is just small fries, other people will want to get in on it.

When you’re constantly receiving asks you can easily move away from your original plan. With so many opportunities in front of you and a business to grow, you don’t want to say ‘non’ to things, even if they weren’t what you original saw for yourself.

Each month review what you did in terms of growth and ask yourself if that aligns with your personal goals for the business. You are the commander of the ship, and it’s important that you are hitting milestones you want to hit. This is your business, not someone else’s.

I can’t stress enough how important a monthly check in is for your business. Staying on top of things month to month will not only make the nitty-gritty of business, like your taxes, much easier to deal with. It will help with business development and growth.

If these business questions make you want to hide under your covers, pair the check in with something fun. Go to your favorite coffee shop, or treat yourself to a glass of wine while you run the numbers.

 

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Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel, and she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

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