Financial Issues Not Minor to Minority Business Owners

by Michael Brito

When a Minority Business Enterprise/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MBE/DBE) launches into a new year it needs to operate as if all things are possible! However, the only way to look at all possibilities is with a realistic approach. Businesses must ask questions that require honest answers, answers that may carry with them hard, eye-opening realizations. In terms of finances, how did we exit the previous year? Did we meet our goals? What do we need to do to make the horizon brighter in the coming year?

If you’re managing your businesses books alone, have them reviewed –now. If your financial future is less encouraging than last year, sit down with a small business financial consultant and be willing to take any recommendations under advisement. Remember that you’re not expected to be the expert in all areas of your business, especially regarding its finances.

A wise man always knows when to seek financial advice and it should be before you need to wave the white flag. If you’re in need of financial assistance as a MBE/DBE, there’s good news…there are more opportunities to obtain financial assistance in Rhode Island than some may think. Let’s look into all possibilities when seeking one-on-one mentoring, or any form of supportive services that are now offered either by governmental, quasi-government, or private companies and agencies. Finances don’t have to be an area of dread when viewing your business forecast!

Going forward let’s look into lowering our fixed operating costs by trimming things like bonuses, traveling and fuel costs, advertising that produces low ROI’s, needless gift giving, unproductive time usage, and single tasking employees! There are many ways to get more out of your staff, your time and yourself than you may realize! Think of ways to tighten scheduling, lower your insurance risk (thereby lowering your premiums), double or triple task employees, and how to get more out of your vehicle fleet. Many “mom and pop” enterprises very often see themselves as too small to matter but even the sole proprietor should know that when you run your small business as if it where a mega-corporation, success is much more possible!

Establish a strict budget and stay on course! Heed all spending caps that you set or have your accountant become a little more involved. Don’t run personal expenses through your business –ever! Always pay yourself first and live within your means. If you want to use any service or product your business offers then pay for it, you’ll only be cheating yourself in the long run if you don’t!

I will always remember my Dad paying at the cash register of his own store before leaving with anything, I thought it was odd as a child however, I completely get it as an adult business owner. You see financial issues don’t have to be “no man’s land” so stop thinking that you don’t posses the education, knowledge or background to understand the numbers; just focus, ask for help, put your business on a fiscal diet, and you’ll be prepared for any economic situation!

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