Updated: February 2, 2017
Being an entrepreneur comes with many challenges. Besides making money, you also have to manage it. That can cause headache, especially as you want to focus on your business idea, instead of handling all the nitty gritty work.
Nevertheless, that’s part of being an entrepreneur. Unless you generate enough cash-flow to employ someone to take that burden off your shoulders, you better get used to being your own corporate banker.
However, there are tools available to support you on this journey. A contributed article below will now provide you with an overview of the three most important finance tools that will make your life easier.
1. An Accounting Software
Accounting software can help to keep track of your finances in a more efficient way; don’t waste your time with the numbers, focus on your core business.
Whether you are a freelancer or a small business owner, accounting software can help you to keep track of your business records.
However, an overwhelming number of startups still rely on old-school accounting methods. 42 percent of startups make use of spreadsheets to manage their finances, 22 percent use pen and paper, finds a survey conducted by Intuit.
While that might be sufficient if your business is very small and you’re only working with a handful of clients, it won’t work anymore once you actually start growing. You want to focus on your business, right?
So you should keep the accounting part as easy as possible. Don’t waste your time, professional accounting software is the way to go.
Basically, you can decide between two options: Traditional on premise software that you buy and install on your computer and cloud-based accounting software, which you can access online in return for a monthly fee.
The advantage of cloud-based technology is that your software will update automatically, you don’t have to buy a new product all couple of years.
These modern accounting suites include e-invoicing, automated track-keeping tools and much more. Some products are available for free, but the paid versions are vastly superior.
2. Prepaid Cards
Prepaid cards are a good way to control budgets; some cards offer great deals that come with additional perks.
Another great tool that every entrepreneur should have is a prepaid card. That’s especially useful if you have employees and want to control their spending.
Let’s say you hired a business developer or a sales assistant. Obviously, that person needs a budget. You can just upload the prepaid card with a pre-defined amount. This way, you can make sure that he won’t spend more than he should.
Some prepaid cards come with additional perks. Take a look at the BitGold card. Essentially, it combines the advantages of savings in gold with the convenience of a globally accepted payment card.
If you want such a card, you will have to open a BitGold account which means you can buy physical gold online. You can use this gold to fund your prepaid card and make everyday purchases. That comes with a variety of advantages.
First, you are not subject to unstable currencies anymore, as your savings are invested in gold. Second, while most other prepaid cards don’t offer any interest payments, you may benefit from the gold price development. Obviously, that comes with risk, but over the past decade, gold has been a relatively attractive investment.
3. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage tools enable you to store and access data from everywhere, whenever needed.
Imagine you are in a meeting and your client wants to see a data sheet. Or you want to present a graph from an older presentation. If you have stored all your data on external hard-drives, that won’t work out well for you.
As a business owner, you are consistently on the go and need the flexibility to access your files from everywhere, quickly and without complications. That’s where cloud storage tools come into play.
Meanwhile, there are quite a lot of these tools available: DropBox (the most popular), Google Drive, or One Drive enable you to store data in the cloud. You can easily access it from everywhere, whenever you need it.
Furthermore, these tools are useful when you want to send large files that you cannot send via email. At one point you may want to send a month’s worth data to your accountant. You don’t want to do that via email, do you?
These three tools can be of great help to successful entrepreneurs. It’s of course up to you how you organize your business, but hey, we are living in the 21st century, why not using the technologies we have.
This article is written by Arthur Max, an internet entrepreneur based in the US.