5 Ways to Reduce Personal Spending for Small Business Owners

This guest post on small business spending is provided by our partner Wave Accounting.

Some small business owners find themselves developing a dangerous habit – using the proceeds from their business to cover ballooning debt generated by their personal expenses. Even if your small business is financially healthy, it can easily suffer if your personal spending is out of control. This situation gets even worse when you’re not tracking personal and business spending separately. Here are five ways small business owners can reduce personal spending:

Understand how you spend

The first step to harnessing your personal spending is to understand how, where, when and why you spend. Before you develop any sort of budget template, characterize your spending behaviour as it is now. Consider connecting an expense tracking software such as Wave Accounting to your bank account and credit card and accurately tracking every transaction for a month. Do this without judgment – the point of this exercise is to create solid data that you can use to identify personal spending triggers and find the black holes in your budget.

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Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting Solutions

Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting Solutions

Thanks to Jurassic Park, the Velociraptor has earned the reputation of being the stealthiest and smartest killer to grace the cretaceous period. With similar speed and agility, Wave Accounting slipped into the accounting systems jungle in 2010 and has been busy devouring the competition since. So, without further delay, here is the third installment of our accounting solutions series.

Before we scare anyone, rest assured that Wave only shows its claws when it comes to the competition (Velociraptors actually had feathers – please see below). For it’s countless users, Wave is a free, one-stop shop accounting solution that has quickly become one of the fastest growing accounting systems in the world.

Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting SolutionsSimilar to the pack hunter mentality of Velociraptors, Wave Accounting has gathered a horde of affiliates and partners to help it overwhelm the competition. These partnerships allow Wave to provide its product completely free of charge through offering partner promotions for its users inside the app. Unless you’re a Wave competitor, this strategy is a win/win!

Being the nimble up and coming accounting solution, here is what you can expect from Wave:

Wave Accounting Strengths:

  • Completely free, always
  • Built for small business owners to be very user-friendly (Smart Interface)
  • Minimizes manual entry
  • Integrations with your bank/credit cards for automatic expense tracking (with de-duplication features to keep transactions from being logged twice)

Wave Accounting Weaknesses:

  • No Payroll in the U.S. until late 2012 (Only available in Canada currently)
  • Unobtrusive advertisements, but ads nonetheless
  • Some users have issues with foreign bank integrations and bank feeds

Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting SolutionsIn fairness, we learned during our research that the Velociraptor was actually about three feet tall and covered in feathers (okay, it’s not as ferocious as the Spielberg version). That said, this dinosaur was one of the deadliest and shrewdest prehistoric animals. We warn you not to overlook Wave just because it looks like a little guy in the accounting world. Doing so could land you in a dangerous position.

Wave Accounting is probably best for business owners who are:

  • Small businesses and microbusinesses
  • Mompreneurs and WAHMs
  • Photographers, freelancers, independent entrepreneurs
  • Individuals

If you’re ready to take a bite out of the effort you put into accounting for your small business, try Wave Accounting. It’s always free, so imagine a permanent free trial. Then you can tell your clients you’ve got a Velociraptor on your side!

Is Wave your preferred accounting solution? If so, tell us what you think!

Organizing the World: The Faces of Shoeboxed IX

With Shoeboxed there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after scanning millions of receipts and business cards since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

With that in mind, Shoeboxed is both pleased and honored to launch a series that spotlights our wonderful users, their success stories and countless ways satisfied Shoeboxed customers worldwide are utilizing our service to stay organized.

Going Green with Electric Vehicles, Going Paperless with Shoeboxed: Perkuna Engineering

“I signed up for Shoeboxed and immediately dealt with all of my receipts in record time, and they were instantly entered into Wave. Beautiful!”

-Kody Baker

Shoeboxed User Kody Baker, PerkunaIntroducing: Kody Baker

Profession: Co-Founder and General Manager of Perkuna Engineering

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.perkuna.com

Twitter: @Perkuna

LinkedIn: Perkuna Engineering

Shoeboxed: Thanks for chatting with us, Kody, and welcome! Tell us a little bit about how you got started with Perkuna.

Kody Baker: I personally have always dreamt of eventually starting and running an engineering business. I often had brainstorming sessions with friends and colleagues about new venture ideas, but the idea always seemed to be something for the medium- to long-term future. The recent opportunity with Perkuna was one that we did not want to pass up on. We have a core team who are brilliant, dedicated and work well with each-other, as well as initial clients and products.

SBX: It’s awesome that you were able to realize your dream! So what does Perkuna specialize in?

Shoeboxed Small Business Perkuna Engineering

KB: Perkuna Engineering is a newly formed spin-off of a company that was focused ondeveloping and building electric vehicles based on the Ford Escape platform. That company has shifted focus from electric vehicle development to software development, so the engineering department was given a great opportunity to take the hardware business and run with it on their own.

Our team has developed an extensive skillset for the electrical and mechanical development of a variety of electric vehicles, from airport baggage handlers and belt loaders, to full highway speed SUVs with integrated ability to invert power back to a power grid. Going forward, Perkuna will expand its electric powertrain offerings to include EV design and consulting services, field support services, and prototype development and testing services for existing and new markets. It is our collective desire to grow the EV industry in whatever way we can.

SBX: We certainly share an interest in innovating and building new technology! Being a business owner can be such a rewarding experience. What is your favorite part of owning and operating a small business?

KB: The team dynamic has shifted in an interesting way. We are no longer structured as an engineer-> manager->CEO chain of command. As all of the engineers are also co-founders, we are all of a sudden an extremely flat organization. By being accountable to our shareholders, we are accountable to ourselves alone. This has had a fantastic impact in terms of buy-in on business decisions, and everyone is always looking for new opportunities and ideas. It’s also great to have a small, dynamic team that allows us to make quick decisions that suit ourselves, rather than suggesting something up the chain of command.

SBX: We’re a relatively small team too, but we still find that staying organized can be a challenge. How does Perkuna get (and stay) organized?

KB: Shoeboxed has helped us keep track of our start-up costs by integrating with Wave Accounting and having several easy ways to get your receipt information entered systematically. The upfront cost of “free” has been extremely beneficial as we start as well!

SBX: We’d love to hear a bit more about that. Can you tell us a little bit about how you use Shoeboxed with Wave Accounting? What’s the biggest benefit for your business of this integration?

KB: We chose Wave Accounting as our accounting platform of choice because we do not have a dedicated accountant and it seemed like an easy way to track invoicing and expense tracking for a non-accountant. The fact that it was also free and integrated well with our Google Apps setup was also extremely beneficial. I learned about Shoeboxed from a tweet from Wave Accounting and was immediately interested as our receipts were piling up on my desk and we did not yet have a system to track and deal with them. The idea of manually entering these into Excel and then later repeating the entries into Wave seemed tedious and a waste of time. I signed up for Shoeboxed and immediately dealt with all of my receipts in record time, and they were instantly entered into Wave. Beautiful!

SBX: Our goal is to make staying organized as easy as possible, so that’s great to hear! Do you have any tips for other small business owners trying to get organized?

KB:  Tip 1: Google Apps are an excellent starting point for a new business. It’s an amazing starting platform and has a huge selection of free and paid services that plug in easily for all your users.

Tip 2: My recommended initial apps that you should add to your Google Apps because they’re free and functional:

  1. Wave Accounting (for invoicing, keeping track of bank balances, expenses, and payroll)
  2. Shoeboxed (for expense reporting and record keeping)
  3. Crisply (for time tracking)
  4. Comindwork (for project tracking and planning)
  5. Asana (for sales pipeline tracking and group task management)

Tip 3: Spend the saved money on beer for Foosball Friday! As a new small business, everyone in the company will be required to make some sacrifices to make the company grow. Once in a while it’s important to keep things fun!

SBX: Great tips, Kody! Thanks so much for sharing your story and advice, we really appreciate it!

Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Emily at emily@team.shoeboxed.com for more information.

Until then, stay tuned… and stay organized!