Financial planning for liberal professionals is a fundamental practice that every entrepreneur must assume, mainly to anticipate the barriers and opportunities that always appear on the way, whatever the field of activity.
This year, 2019, is a good time to address this issue, as the number of formal micro-entrepreneurs in the country, in the first quarter, surpassed the 8 million mark — at the same time that 13 million people were registered in a situation of unemployment by the IBGE.
So, take this opportunity now and go ahead and read this post to get great value ideas for your business to be even more productive. Check out!
1. Avoid mixing personal and business finances
The more these two areas are separated in the lives of liberal professionals, the less complicated financial management will be. In practice, separating personal and business finance means more peace of mind and speed in making important decisions, greater ease in acquiring private credit, good impression with suppliers and potential investors , among many other advantages.
For example, amounts received from customers as payment must be recorded by the entrepreneur among the revenues for that month, deposited in the bank account of the legal entity and managed separately from domestic finances. The same occurs with payments, which must also be made with company resources, as a priority.
2. Keep an eye on cash flow
Virtually everything you do in your own business comes from your budget. Therefore, keeping an eye on cash flow is a behavior that must be present in your daily life.
Are there payments or receipts scheduled for today? Is the bank balance forecast sufficient to cover current and future short-term postings? Will it be necessary to take out credit for working capital this month?
Anyway, even acting as a self-employed professional, frequent monitoring of cash flow is necessary, because it brings to light the real situation of the finances of the enterprise and provides a vision that helps to reduce the risks of you entering into hasty or unnecessary debt.
3. Have retirement in mind now
At what age do you intend to significantly reduce the pace of work: at 55, 60, 65? Also, have you thought about how much you want to earn up front?
Entrepreneurs need to worry about retirement as soon as possible and make investments in this area — for example, in private pension plans or other fixed-income funds .
Changes in the national social security system make the concern with retirement even more urgent for liberal professionals.
It is estimated that those who wish to retire within the next 25 years should invest something around 17% of their income. Therefore, if the investment for retirement is made in a fund with an average return of around 0.7% per month, in approximate values it will be necessary to invest monthly:
- R$ 160 to receive a minimum wage (today R$ 998.00);
- R$ 255 for 1 and a half minimum wage;
- R$ 510 for 3 minimum wages;
- R$ 850 for 5 minimum wages;
- R$ 1,700 for 10 minimum wages;
- R$ 3,400 for 20 minimum wages.
Anyone can carry out simulations of this type directly on the Central Bank’s calculator and have immediate access to an estimate of investments of this type.
4. Never stop capturing customers
In the end, they are the ones who “pay the bills” and, therefore, cannot be left in the background. To prosper as a self-employed professional, never stop prospecting, especially on the internet, because depending on the strategy used, the chances of success are much greater in the online environment, and it is possible to attract new customers all the time, day and night.
Therefore, monthly set aside a percentage of your billing to invest in online and offline marketing actions. So, try to have business cards, a website and be present on social media.
If you can go further in this area, also invest money in online sponsored advertisements. They reach their specific target audience and their performance can be easily measured.
5. Be sure to take a vacation
Being a dedicated and driven entrepreneur does not mean being a workaholic all the time. Vacations are more than necessary.
Staying for many years without taking longer periods of rest demonstrates that the entrepreneur is being unable to organize himself financially, to the point of not being able to spend even a week outside the operation, in order to relax and have fun with his spouse, with his family or with friends.
6. Price correctly every time
Practicing values that are extremely different from those practiced in the market is an inadequate way of pricing services and products.
Charging very high prices for some services, for example, does not always give the impression that the workforce is highly qualified, except when you have heavy cases in your luggage. Likewise, charging much lower than competitors charge gives the impression of inexperience or that the business is doing poorly financially.
The ideal is to be moderate and know how to honestly communicate the real advantages that the amount invested by customers in your company will provide them in return in the form of a benefit.
7. Be a strong ally of technology
Financial management applications are as important as corporate software. One of the differences between them is that the applications are more practical, as they can be accessed via cell phones. Software, in general, has its best features present only on the computer, although some also offer a mobile interface.
Software and applications are really important in managing the finances of a liberal professional, as they summarize complex information, allow data processing and faster analysis.
Thus, the ideal is to reconcile the two technological resources, for example: applications to deal with the domestic economy, and online software to take care of the financial and accounting areas of the company.
Electronic spreadsheets are also important for financial control, but security risks (such as lack of history of changes, need for backup, slow processing of large files, etc.) make them an accessory tool, not a main one.