Do Your Personal and Business Finances Mix?

by Galia Gichon on May 3, 2017

Many of you reading this newsletter are Entrepreneurs, Freelancers or Business Owners.  I’m giving a seminar “Develop a Winning Pitch Deck” on June 15th in NYC.  Even if you aren’t ready to raise money, it’s a great opportunity to articulate the key concepts of your startup in just one day.

When I first started working with clients years ago, many of them entrepreneurs and business owners, they usually had one checking account and all their personal and professional money matters were in one account.  Immediately, I advised them to get separate checking account and cards.  I advised to setup a legal business structure, even if only DBA (by the way- big fan of legalzoom.com).  Fast forward to present.  I still present my personal finance seminars and work with clients on an individual basis but as many of you know, I have been working with Entrepreneurs and Startups through It Will Bloom and Angel investing.  Recently I gave a seminar on “Finances for Freelancers” and compared profit and loss statements for personal and professional purposes.  They were more alike than you would think!  It is a great way to think about your business and not forget your personal finances at the same time. To see an image of how your personal finances and professional finances match up, check out image below.

CASH IN  

  • Personal Finances. Be clear about the income you are earning, pre and post tax, where it’s coming from and forecasting for the future.  I’m always surprised how many freelancers don’t have a handle on their income!  Own it! You’ve worked hard to earn that money.
  • Business Finances.  What is the revenue source? Are there multi-channels? Is it service or product based? What assumptions have you made for forecasting revenue – specifically for your profit and loss statements?

EXPENSES

  • Personal Finances. Do you know exactly your fixed expenses? Even though you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, this number doesn’t change!  It’s especially important to have a handle on your monthly and annual fixed expenses.  Then when you are analyzing your variable expenses, you can create a plan around it.
  • Business Finances.  If it is a product based business, get a strong handle on your COGS (cost of goods sold) and focus on getting that number as low as possible – especially if you want to scale and accelerate growth. You should separate your COGS out from your general expenses.  Understanding your general expenses and where you can continuously cut back.

PROFIT/MARGIN

  • Personal Finances.  Knowing your gross profit tells you how much you can spend for variable expenses and how much you can save.
  • Business Finances.  This is a very important number to know as a percentage – especially for investors and if you are raising money.  This tells you how profitable you are before you start spending money for general expenses.

SAVINGS/NET INCOME

  • Personal Finances. This is the end result.  Living within your income and still able to save.  The savings can then be split up among rainy day, retirement and vacation!
  • Business Finances.  This number tells you how profitable (or not) you are.  Also the end result.  It can also determine when you will breakeven from a cashflow perspective.

If you want to do more on your business or startup, please check out It Will Bloom. If your personal finances needs a checkup – please send us an email and we’ll give you an independent tune up!

Don’t forget to check out “Develop a Winning Pitch Deck” You can’t afford to wait….

Can’t make the live seminars? Check out recorded seminar “PERSONAL FINANCE FOR ARTISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS” by Creative Live. https://www.creativelive.com/courses/personal-finance-artists-freelancers-galia-gichon

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Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

by Galia Gichon on November 29, 2016

It’s been a busy – yet wonderful fall! The last few months I’ve been intensively involved with UberPitch, for Women-led tech companies partnered with Refinery CT, Uber, Kauffman Foundation and even NPR. I spoke at TechWeek in Kansas City and also started my 10th (!) year teaching Personal Finance at Barnard College.  I’m also super excited to present a seminar “Finance and Marketing Fundamentals for Startups and Entrepreneurs” with It Will Bloom – a new company I’ve co-founded. If you are a startup or entrepreneur, please reach out for more info!

Did the title grab you? I’ve worked with so many entrepreneurs and start ups the last few years – easily hundreds.  Since I started my own business over 15 years ago, I’ve also learned first hand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and be in charge of my own revenue (and expenses!).  I started to write this newsletter at the TechWeek Conference – besides being one of the few women among thousands of attendees (slightly disheartening), I quickly jotted down notes about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.  Since most of you know me, you won’t be surprised to know it’s about the numbers.  It is more than that, of course, but read on….

1- Personal Numbers

Even though you are putting blood sweat and tears into your startup, don’t want to forget about your personal finances.  If you are in control of your personal finances, you won’t worry as much and can really focus on your startup.  If you are stressed about your personal finances, you might make poor money decisions about your startup that will hurt you in the long run.  The easiest way to do this on a monthly basis is answer these 4 questions every month with a dollar amount:

  * OWE- how much debt do you owe total?

  * OWN – what is the total dollar amount of your investments, savings and any other assets?

  * SPEND – what is the total monthly and annual amount you spend? Include everything in one number

  * EARN – what have you earned year to date and last year?

2- Projected Numbers

Even if your startup isn’t planning on raising money, you should know first hand your profit and loss numbers for next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and 5 years.  These will be projected numbers that will rely on many assumptions but it is incredibly important and essential to the success of your business to create this right away.  You can evaluate your margins, what expenses you should take on, what areas of your business are potentially more profitable, what revenue channels you should explore and learn more about the size of your market. If you need help creating these numbers, we can help!

3- More Confidence

See – I told you it wasn’t just about the numbers.  What I’ve seen first hand, is that entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners that take charge of their personal finances have more success in their businesses.

4- Marketing Plan Numbers

My star co-Founder at It Will Bloom is a marketing expert and keeps reminding me how important it is to add numbers to your marketing plan. This will help you figure out what to charge, what expenses you have to reduce/manage, what market you should go after, where you fit in regarding your competition and even – is your company viable financially?  Let me know if you want to discuss this further!

Don’t forget to check out Finance and Marketing Fundamentals for Startups and Entrepreneurs”  You can’t afford to wait….

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Time to Talk About Money

August 30, 2016

I haven’t posted an article in a long time but I’ve been busy.  I’ve been giving Personal Finance seminars and workshops (Barnard College, Athena Center for Leadership, Lark Theatre, Playwrights of NY) and have been working with female founded start ups.  After so many of you asked about my next article, I decided it was time […]

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Personal Finance for Freelancers and Artists

May 18, 2015

Personal Finance for Artists & Freelancers. 3 Day Video Course
Produced by Creative Live, Written and Taught by GALIA GICHON
Surviving and thriving as a freelancer or working artist requires strong financial management skills, but getting there can seem stressful and overwhelming. Join financial expert and MBA holder Galia Gichon for a course you can’t miss!  It’s […]

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Lessons From Young Women and Money Conference

February 11, 2014

In December, I was thrilled to speak at the YWCA Berkley  “Young Women and Money” conference in Oakland, CA. This was the same trip when I filmed my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers.” 
Valerie Coleman Morris  was the other keynote speaker. Many of our talking points were similar which affirms the importance of our […]

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Financial Literacy Expert for College Students

February 11, 2014

Even though today’s post is around college students, I found the message loud and clear for all my clients.  In fact, the message is: You are where you are today and then move forward.  If you need a push, you can still check out my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers”.  I keep […]

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This Is What an Angel Looks Like

February 5, 2014

As many of you know, I took the Pipeline Fellowship Angel Investing bootcamp a few years ago.  Since then I have continued to be an angel investor, primarily through Topstone Angels.  I was recently interviewed for a series by Pipeline called “This is What An Angel Looks Like”.  It’s a fun interview that lists some […]

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Face Your Finances

January 28, 2014

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan”
Eleanor Roosevelt
 
 
Why Face Your Finances?
When I was writing the curriculum for my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers”, I wanted to start with helping the participants think differently about their money.  I realized that you, and the seminar attendees, will never move […]

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