1. Send Invoices
We can become so busy DOING business, that we don’t find the time to sit down and make out an invoice in order to get PAID for the business we did. I don’t need to tell you how important finding that time is.
We are in business to make money. Even if we have other reasons for what we do, we have to be able to pay for our expenses and “keep the lights on.” Set aside time weekly, or more often if you need, to make out your invoices and get them sent off.
2. Apply Customer Payments to Invoices
As money comes in, make sure you have a way to record it. If weeks go by before this happens, you might forget about it or forget who gave it to you. It could be as simple for you as writing the customer’s name in your check register next to the deposit. But also make sure you apply it to your invoice if you are using software. This way, you can check back later to see who has paid and who hasn’t.
If you don’t have this information up to date when a customer asks you, you might not have correct information to give them. Not having information, or worse, giving them the wrong information could make them lose confidence in you. You won’t want to learn that the hard way.
3. Record Bills Received
Keeping track of bills and when they need to be paid can be the most frustrating. It’s not necessarily what’s on your mind every day. But if you miss a payment, it could really cost you. Keep them in a visual place, if you can. Also, put them on your calendar for when they need to be paid by.
Having this activity on your weekly checklist will give you a backup to your other methods. Also, making sure you get the bills entered into your bookkeeping software will give you accurate information there, knowing what is due and what is paid.
4. Pay Due Bills
Preferably at the beginning of each week, it’s a good idea to see which bills are coming up. Take some time to scan the list and see what’s due. It won’t take long, and can save you from making a mistake from not paying an important item. Make sure and mark the bill paid on paper, in the computer, or both!
5. Organize Receipts & Other Documents
Do you struggle with paper piles? I do! Even though I consider myself an organized person, the piles can get out of hand fast. When it comes to important papers and receipts, I keep them in file bins. This way, they won’t get lost in the piles. Each bin is labeled, so the right things go to the right place.
Each week, make sure you go through the bins. Receipts should be recorded in your bookkeeping system. Other papers might just need to be filed. This will help you to stay organized and able to find things when you need them.
6. Categorize Transactions in Bookkeeping Software
This is an activity that a lot of business owners never get to. Then you get to the end of the year and have to try to recreate everything you did for 365 days. A much better plan is to keep up with it every week. If you are using the computer to record your bookkeeping, categorize, or label each transaction (money and money out).
7. Transfer Money to Tax Savings Account
If you are making quarterly estimated income tax payments, it helps you to have a savings account just for that purpose. Consider how much a week or a month you might need to save. Or maybe use a percentage of every item or service you sell.
Take a few minutes each week and transfer this amount to your savings so it will be there waiting for you at the end of the quarter. If you do this less often than a week, it’s a much larger payment and more painful to see removed from your checking account.