Financials can feel over whelming but it doesn't have to feel this way. A couple of years ago even I felt very overwhelmed with what was going on financially. I am responsible for managing the funds, making income, the household, the business, and my children. I am unmarried, solo parenting and a solo business owner. Yes, it felt like a lot because I was trying to do it in my own strength. Even married couples and multiple business partners can't do it all in their own strength. After inviting Jesus into my business and personal life and let him get to the root of the issue.
Before, I felt like I was on a money roller coaster
You know that feeling that we all think is required in business ownership. After learning to seek God first I know that the slow times are the seasons that God gives to us for vacation or re-assessing current systems. I have enjoyed working 1/2 days without guilt. Normally business owners stress over money instead of relaxing, so we still work without God. The only thing that stops the money roller coaster is peace with God not more clients.
Distractions are often a word I hear many people laugh at and then sigh. We lose focus because the fog begins to set in obstructing our view. Many things continue to pop up that seem to be out of our control. Expenses out of the blue. More unexpected than expected.I wonder...are those things really out of our control? Are they really something that we are unable to change? Most distractions are within our control. The art of saying no is important to your time, stress levels, health, finances, and happiness. Often we believe doing more makes us successful.As I am growing in Christ I am learning that the best way to use my resources begins in Christ. In my morning time with Jesus, I am preparing for the day. The morning time is when I receive understanding and clarity. The understanding clears the morning fog. The fog is a feeling that something is looming but I am not sure how to tackle the problem. The fog also sets in as a feeling of running in circles or everything seems to go wrong at once. (Spiritual Warfare).This feeling can manifest as worry and anxiety. We tend to wait for the other shoe to drop so to speak. We are waiting because when we receive a blessing it seems something comes along to take it away or we trip ourselves up.
Financial Strategies and Multiple Streams of Income
When creating multiple streams of income, most people focus on revenue only. In other words, "How much can I earn?" And many of them miss the mark and create distractions and money drains instead.
Having multiple streams of income is important. Wisdom directs us to prepare for uncertainties of life or do not put all of our eggs in one basket (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 NIV).
Just as important, we need to know the cost of multiple streams of income (Luke 14:28-34 NIV). Creating multiple streams of income doesn't mean any stream of income will do.
What's better revenue or profit?
There is a difference between profit and revenue, although you can't have profit without revenue. Revenue is what we earn before costs, spending, taxes, saving, investments, retained earnings and other. Profit is what is left over after costs, spending, taxes, saving, investments, retained earnings and other.
Money leaks are habits, beliefs, and external influences that impact our money over-time. We slowly spend the money without realizing the harm we are doing to our budgets. Think of a bottle or jug of water that over a period of time you noticed a puddle of water around the jug. Money leaks are the same. Money leaks are unexpected and unplanned spending. Money leaks can be fixed by getting to the root of the budget sabotage.We hardly realize how the money adds up from a money leak. We often believe that these small habits will not harm our resources and plans. We often justify our spending with a common statement, "I deserve this."Once we become aware of this silent drain we become more empowered to fix the problem. Usually, we need to review our beliefs, habits, and time with God.
Do you value your time? Many business owners are afraid to charge for their services or have no idea what to charge in order to cover the full cost of business. Some feel that only greedy people charge. We expect to get paid when we work for someone else as an employee. But entrepreneurs think we are good people if we provide the services or products for free or at an extremely reduced price. The employer could not meet payroll if they did not put a value on their services and products and charge their customers.
The extra work involved in tracking and monitoring spending can seem overwhelming, but every time we miss an opportunity to ask additional questions or verify an expense, we run the risk of losing more money.
An example is a friend of mine who watches her Internet and cable bill with an eagle eye. She notices when the "Miscellaneous Fees" or the cable package fees suddenly increase, and she calls and asks questions. Later her bill is reduced because the expense was an error. But, if decided not to call this expense is billed each month.
We don't have to stress over expenses, be aware of what's driving your spending. My Mastering Your Money Plan course educates others on how to make your budget work for you. Budgets should not be restrictive but used as a tool to enlighten individuals on spending and saving.
Knowing our value brings the benefits of increased income. However, the thought of increased income often brings up anxiety for many. The increase is desired but handling taxes on that income can be somewhat disappointing. Most taxpayers believe they have to pay at least 50% income tax on business income. Therefore, one of three things may occur:
A portion of the income is unreported (cash sales)
Incomplete records to avoid documenting the income (no bookkeeping)
Services are given away instead of priced and billed. (the business owner may feel undeserving or fearful of taxes)
If you have ever said to yourself, "I don't need the extra money, I have enough because the taxes are just too stressful anyway." You have a money block due to fear of taxable income. Eventually, your income sources will cost more money in the end and you will end up with a money leak due to being disobedient with finances. Haggai 1:6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat but never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
Should Christian Business Owners Charge for Services?
In the past, I did not believe I should or could charge for my services. Today, I have learned that we are given special skills in order to help us earn a living. We are also giving natural abilities and spiritual giftings to help us serve in those skills. When we build a business plan and dedicate our services to the Lord we can build a God focus business. We build a God-focused business by the owner seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven. I realized when I ran my business based on the world's principles I struggled more in business. I was stressed more often and worried about money more often. I am not rich by any means today but my goal is like Soloman's and to build the Kingdom of Heaven first and to store up heavenly riches. Everything else will be added according to Gods will.
I believe that the statement "More money more problems" is true if that all you are chasing money. If your desire is that of God's he will order your steps to wisely create or increase profits. Proverbs 16:3 NIV, Proverbs 16:9
I have seen and felt the differences between the world's business practices and those God is directing me to as a Kingdom business owner. I have worked for many companies. Large, small medium companies and their practices are similar. Most companies follow the formula of other corporations instead of the leading of the Holy Spirit. Those companies attend many seminars that include a millionaires success formula. Their story is, "I went bankrupt but you can still be a millionaire". I have nothing against seminars nor do I have anything against millionaires who have gone bankrupt. Their journey is important to help others who have experienced the same situations (Luke 16:10 NIV). But there is an additional lesson in this story..how to help other future millionaires avoid the same mistakes.
Profit strategies, unlike the name, does not focus only on profit. Perhaps, you are thinking profit is not my focus or I am not worried if I earn money. However, if you are in business and plan to write off your expenses you should have a plan for profit. We can not write off expenses for a hobby.
Profit strategies are different methods used to help manage our expenses that increase the bottom line. My focus is to assist clients to be more efficient with spending. Most business owners are taught or desire to spend everything they have to avoid taxes. Although, I do not enjoy taxes this mindset leaves us very little for large purchases or reinvestment back into the business. We also miss out on paying consistent salaries or bonus payments or donations.
All expenses except salaries and bonus payments for non-corporations are tax deductible. Corporations can claim owners salary and bonus payments as payroll and as tax deductible expenses. The expenses reduce the taxable income.
Profit Strategies Monitor Income Producing Activities
Time is money and profit strategies help us to determine the strategies that will increase time and our income with the services and products that are the most beneficial to make.
During the recording of the bible, farming was the primary source of income (provision from God to live). Animals and livestock were very important during this time.
Today, we would replace the farming with the gifts or jobs we have received that help us to earn a living. Proverbs 27:23 - "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds." God is saying to monitor your means of earnings and money management.
We have to protect our time just as we protect our money. Time is money. If you think of a rate of pay as $45 per hour. If we know the minimum a month we need to pay owner salaries, payroll, or contractor pay, taxes, and operating expenses we have an idea of the minimum amount of hours we need to work. I do offer free services within controlled environments. Paid services are provided on different days in higher volume. Recently, I have chosen to downsize my tax business and will no longer accept new clients.
Profit Strategies Assist with Planning
Profit strategies gave me an overview of quality services that I can provide. I first compared how I felt during and after tax season. Emotional, spiritual, and physical exertion has to be taken into profit strategy. If I am ill I can't perform my job and money can not fix that issue. Next, I determine expenses compared to income. Is this service profitable if my health can endure? The answers are no. My health risk is not worth continuing to grow the tax division. Profit wise has been lost time and money. Therefore, it's time to discontinue the tax business as far as active tax preparation for new clients. Tax planning is the act of preparing people for taxes and I can offer those services without a loss.
Profit strategies show me how to focus on other services that build me up spiritually, emotionally and financially leaving me time to take care of the physical. The correlation of time, spiritual and financial have an effect on spiritual, emotional and physical care. Proverbs 27:24 "For riches are not forever nor does a crown endure to all generations."
Profit strategies simply leave us additional money to either grow or maintain our business, donate, or reach the salaries we need for owners pay, payroll, or contractors and more time. Profit strategies also allow for mental, spiritual, and physical health benefits as well.
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