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Lucy Cornes’ 4 MUSTS for Financial Literacy (Founder of She Shopped and She Digital)

The Tips You Need To Get On Top Of Your Business Finances

At our Accelerator for Enterprising Women’s Female Founder Festival in Adelaide, She Digital Advertising’s creative director Lucy Cornes shared a pool of knowledge that attendees lapped up. Here, we’ve distilled it down into four easy points, plus a checklist at the end, for those who weren’t lucky enough to see her live.

(Please note this is not a comprehensive list for all your finance needs, but they are some easy tips to get you started.)

Before You Start Your Business:

1. Know your cost of living or household cost

Knowledge of your finances is power – understand what your household earns each month and what it costs you to live. If you don’t have that knowledge, you’re not empowered to start your business journey. First – write down everything it costs to run your household per month. That’s everything from bills, mortgage, food, school fees and Netflix subscriptions down to your weekly pilates session. That is the magic number you need to know how much your business needs to earn you before you can leap into it full time. It’s your tipping point. You can redo this every six months so you’re across how this magic number is moving. If your cost of living exceeds 60% of your take home pay, you are likely to experience financial stress. This is an extremely important number to understand as it should influence much of your decision making. Cornes recommended “The Barefoot Investor” as a great book to help with this process.

2. Know what you own and what you owe

This is known as your debt to equity ratio. You can calculate your equity by adding up the value of your assets (home, shares, rental properties, car, savings, etc) and subtracting everything you owe (mortgage, car loan, personal loan, credit card debt, etc). This is an important number to understand because if you lost your only income source, how would you meet your debt obligations (i.e. pay your credit card bill, mortgage or car payments)?

3. Know your superannuation

There’s a few action points for this one but don’t let that throw you off. Women are so disadvantaged in super/superannuation because we often take time off to do unpaid work.

You should know how much is in your super account. When those statements come in the mail, don’t just recycle them. Read them. The ATO has a great comparison tool to help you to understand how your fund performed against others Australian Taxation Office Online Services (ato.gov.au).

Contribute to your super. As a business owner you must contribute to your own super. If you don’t, it will come back to bite you later.

Know the fees on your super. There are some dodgy ones out there that will charge you big fees. Consider being with an Industry Super.

Consolidate your super. Don’t have an account for every job you’ve ever had. You want all that money in one place so you can be earning the most interest on it possible. This is pretty easy to do too – it will take you 5 minutes online.

4. Update your Legal Documents and Have Enough Insurance

Create or update your will and other end-of-life documents. You probably need to name new people to key roles, including beneficiaries, executor, powers of attorney, designated healthcare decision-maker, and guardian of minor children if that applies.

Make sure they are protected if something happens to you. In your newly updated will you name a guardian for your kids. Life insurance proceeds can make sure that their guardian has the means to give your kids everything you would wish.

Don’t forget disability insurance. If your family depends on your paycheck, you need to protect that income.

Now Your Business Is Making Money:

Congratulations! Now your business is making money, you have to figure out what to do with it. Luckily Cornes has tips for this too (as well as some extra things to think about):

What to do with your profits: Revenue generating assets

A revenue generating asset is something you buy that can produce a recurring profit over time. This includes rental properties and low cost index funds. If you need some inspiration to understand the power of compounding, take a look at this compound interest calculator at Moneysmart.gov.au. The sooner you start investing, the sooner you will benefit and it’s never too late to start.

Cornes recommends the book “The Simple Path to Wealth” to help you reach financial freedom! And doesn’t that sound good.

*This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be specific advice on any particular matter. We strongly suggest that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information contained herein but should seek appropriate professional advice based upon their own personal circumstances. Although we consider the sources for this material reliable, no warranty is given and no liability is accepted for any statement or opinion or for any error or omission. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before investing in any products mentioned in this communication. This information is current as at the date of publish.

Do you have an exit strategy?

An exit strategy is the compass guiding entrepreneurs towards a well-planned departure from their business. It’s not just about quitting; it’s a visionary roadmap for every stage. Why is it crucial? Firstly, life is unpredictable – health, market shifts, or personal reasons can necessitate an exit. Secondly, an exit strategy ensures financial gains – whether selling, passing it on, or going public, it maximizes the return on investment. It aligns your long-term goals and business decisions. Also, it attracts investors, knowing you’re planning for growth. Bottom line: an exit strategy isn’t just a plan to leave; it’s a blueprint for sustainable success and security.

Get insured

Insurance is the safety net that every business owner needs, especially in the event of personal illness. When you’re the captain of your ship, your absence due to sickness can bring operations to a halt. Health-related challenges can drain personal savings, affecting both business and livelihood. In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, insurance cushions the blow, ensuring your business sails smoothly even in rough waters of unexpected illness.

Now that was a lot! So here is a tick box checklist for you for all of Cornes’s Financial Freedom tips!

Here’s a helpful ‘To Do List’

Before you start your business:

Once your business makes money:

A woman with shoulder-length brown hair stands indoors against a white wall, exuding confidence and creativity in her black turtleneck, gray high-waisted pants, and hoop earrings. One arm is folded across her torso while the other touches her neck—an aspiring entrepreneur ready to explore business ideas for women.

Some more tips:

Some more enterprising journeys: