26: Emergency Funds And Being Prepared For Emergencies In Your Small Business Whether You Are Stari


26: Emergency Funds And Being Prepared For Emergencies In Your Small Business Whether You Are Staring A Business, Self-Employed, A Solopreneur, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner, Virtual Online Bookkeeper, Virtual Assistant Or VA


We’ve all heard how important it is to have an emergency fund for our personal finances. There may be a time when your car needs repairs, or you lose your job, or maybe you have an unexpected expense pop up. When you have an emergency fund set up, you are able to dip into it when you have these emergencies in your personal life, but what about in your business? Is it necessary for your business to have an emergency fund? If you do need an emergency fund in your business, how much money do you need to set aside and where should these funds be saved? These are all legitimate questions and today on the Mastering Your Small Business Finances podcast, I am going to dive into some of the best practices for emergency funds in a small business. It doesn’t matter if you are using QuickBooks, Xero or a manual bookkeeping system for your small business. If you already had an emergency fund set up and funded, but unfortunately this last year left you with close to an empty fund, I am going to talk about ways you can start replenishing that emergency fund again. It doesn’t matter if you are just thinking about starting a new business, or are already a solopreneur, entrepreneur, small business owner, virtual online bookkeeper, or virtual assistant, making sure you have the necessary emergency funds set aside could be what saves you from closing your business if you find yourself running into some difficult times. Listen in as we talk about what an emergency fund should look like for your small business and how it could bring you peace of mind when done correctly…


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Show Notes:


We’ve all heard how important it is to have an emergency fund for our personal finances. There may be a time when your car needs repairs, or you lose your job, or maybe you have an unexpected expense pop up. When you have an emergency fund set up, you are able to dip into it when you have these emergencies in your personal life, but what about in your business? Is it necessary for your business to have an emergency fund? If you do need an emergency fund in your business, how much money do you need to set aside and where should these funds be saved? These are all legitimate questions and today I am going to dive into some of the best practices for emergency funds in a small business. If you already had an emergency fund set up and funded, but unfortunately this last year left you with close to an empty fund, I am going to talk about ways you can start replenishing that emergency fund again. It doesn’t matter if you are just thinking about starting a new business, or are already a solopreneur, entrepreneur, small business owner, virtual online bookkeeper, or virtual assistant, making sure you have the necessary emergency funds set aside could be what saves you from closing your business if you find yourself running into some difficult times. Listen in as we talk about what an emergency fund should look like for your small business and how it could bring you peace of mind when done correctly…


Welcome Back…Since this is the last week of April’s financial literacy month, I thought we would talk today about emergency funds. Emergency funds are always recommended in your personal finances. I am sure you’ve heard people say you need to save money for a rainy day or put some money away in case of an emergency. When you put money aside in your personal finances, this is called an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey recommends you start with an emergency fund of at least $1000 and then grow your emergency fund according to your expenses from there. This is all good advice, but how often do you hear people telling you about the need to have an emergency fund for your business? Do you have an emergency fund for your business? Maybe you had an emergency fund, but you found a need to use those funds over the last year and now it is depleted. Regardless of where you are sitting in your small business, now is a great time to take a look at how your business is doing and get started on a plan to ensure your emergency fund is able to help keep your business afloat if you run into a dire situation.


First, let’s start with what an emergency fund is for a small business. Similar to an emergency fund for your personal finances, your small business emergency fund is for unexpected expenses, a dip in revenues or even a new opportunity that may come up. Having an emergency fund could be what keeps your business running, or to continue to operate during a time when you are unable to generate revenues in your business. This fund could save you from closing your business, taking on additional debt, and will create peace of mind knowing you have options during an emergency for your business without the need to dip into your personal funds.


There is a good chance your business emergency fund will start with a zero balance, but it is important to find a way to begin funding it as soon as possible. One way to start funding your emergency fund would be to set up a savings account or money market account. Whichever account you choose, you’ll want to make sure this account is able to generate interest, even if it is a low interest rate. You want to be sure your emergency fund is liquid, which means you are able to take these funds out whenever you need them. If your funds are tied up and you are unable to take them out when needed, they won’t be able to help you in an emergency. Once you have this account set up, it is time to set a goal on how much and how often you will put money into this account. There are a few potential ways for you to do this, and I would recommend doing whichever works best for your business. You might want to take a certain percentage of your revenues each week and put that amount in your emergency fund. You could set up an automatic transfer of a certain dollar amount to transfer from your operating account into your emergency fund account each week or once a month. I recommend having the automatic transfer set up. I know how busy small business owners are, and any time you can automate a transaction it saves you time, not to mention you also make sure it actually gets done. Remember, these amounts don’t need to be huge dollar amounts. Every dollar will add up over time, and you need to make sure you have enough money to cover all your regular expenses.


Speaking about expenses, when you are serious about getting your emergency fund set up and funded, you may want to take a look at all the expenses you have in your business. Make sure each expense is a valid expense and is something that the business actually needs. You may find some expenses that you have in your business are more like a “want” verses a “need”. This could be a great time for you to try to cut some expenses so that you can grow your emergency fund balance without feeling it too much in your operating account.


Another way to help give that emergency fund a boost would be to increase the amount of money you are putting in your emergency fund whenever you find your business is doing better than anticipated. It’s easy to take these additional revenues and spend them, but this would be a perfect time to stash away some extra cash. This could be especially helpful for times in your business when your revenues are a little lower, or your business has a slower month. The perfect example of why you would “save for a rainy day”.


Now that you know a few ways to get your emergency fund set up and growing, you might be asking yourself just how much money you need in this fund. Well, that is going to depend on your unique business. If you have a service-based business which doesn’t have too many overhead expenses, your emergency fund will be much different than a business with a lot of overhead expenses and high payroll costs. Take a look at your average monthly expenses and make sure you have at least 3 to 6 months of expenses covered in your emergency fund, but don’t let this number throw you off and stop you in your tracks. I understand that when you calculate this number it may seem like you’ll never be able to save this amount of money in your emergency fund. Start by saving one month of expenses for your first goal. Once you’ve reached this goal, continue saving until you’ve reached 2 months of expenses and so on. If you are able to save even more than 3 to 6 months of expenses, it would give you even more peace of mind. Just imagine how good it would feel to have 12 months of expenses saved in your emergency fund. This is not impossible; you just need to make it a priority.


So, what should be considered an emergency and when should you be using these funds? Every business will have different thresholds for when to use their emergency funds, but it is best to set some guidelines ahead of time for you to follow for your emergency fund when you set it up. Make sure that you are only using your emergency funds for true emergencies. Some possibilities you may consider when using your funds include slow periods in your business, illness of key employees, natural disasters, social unrest, pandemics or even a potential business opportunity. When setting up your guidelines, be sure to follow them so that you don’t find yourself using these funds for normal operating expenses and then find yourself short on cash when a true emergency comes along.


Having an emergency fund for your small business will create peace of mind and could ultimately save your business if an emergency does actually come up. Being consistent in saving or replenishing your emergency fund needs to be a high priority and can be easy to follow through even with the smallest amounts of money.


I want to remind you that this is the last week you can take advantage of the $10.00 coupon code April2021 when purchasing one of my Youth Financial Journeys. These journeys inspire kids & teens with age-appropriate adventures in earning, saving, spending and sharing money while developing a strong financial foundation, and they start at just $39.00 for a 12-month program. I designed these programs to help kids & teens from ages 5 – 18 learn about financial literacy and life skills which leads them to understanding their own finances as they reach their young adult lives. I take the hassle out of trying to gather all the necessary information needed to teach your children financial literacy on your own. They make a great gift and are perfect for a summer project. You can go to www.FinancialAdventure.com/Join to purchase the appropriate Youth Financial Journey for your child. I’ll also post a link where you are listening to this podcast so that you can take advantage of the Financial Literacy month special.

And, you know I’m going to ask…what’s at least one thing you will take away from this episode that will help your business succeed and grow your bottom line? If you need some accountability, join our PRIVATE Facebook community and post your action item, we’d love to support you.

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