How you do anything, is how you do everything

By author and finance entrepreneur Lisa Newton

LoLisa Newton cropped picts of people out there will set their goal to “start a business this year” which is very noble. But sadly, many businesses don’t last. They close their doors within the first five years. It’s rough out there! One problem is that we spend years in school learning how to get a job and how to work for others – but very little time is spent on how to run a business.

In personally working closely with hundreds of business owners over the past decade, helping and assisting them with their accounts, one thing I noticed, was that how they managed their personal finances (well or badly) was exactly the same way in which they managed their business finances (well or badly).

There is a saying for this phenomena. ‘How you do anything, is how you do everything’, therefore, my warning to you, is that if you are serious about starting a business… and you are not a good money manager of your own personal finances… then you need to address this BEFORE starting up.

I’ve seen people use their business account for their personal bills and get everything mixed up. It’s imperative that you keep your personal spending in your personal account, and just withdraw a lumpsum (not willy nilly, but at a set time each month), and then you learn to budget your person income and expenses, just as you learn to budget the businesses income and expenses.

I’ve met clients who seemed to have very little personal control over themselves. I’d encourage them to ‘save’ a bit every month in anticipation for their VAT bill, and on the sly, they’d be ‘dipping in’ to the business savings account, and then when the VAT bill arrived, they’d cry because they had spent all the money!!! Yet it would be a similar pattern that they’d be repeating in their personal life!!

You need to have control over yourself and not get too excited when you see a few pounds in the business account. Remember that money needs to be set aside for VAT and to pay other taxes, plus just to have a surplus for an emergency. Likewise, in your own personal life, you should always have a few pounds saved up for an emergency. It’s exactly the same principle.

Here are a few steps to help you manage:

  1. Decide how much you need to live on personally and set a personal survival budget e.g. £1000 per month.
  2. Take a lumpsum every two weeks e.g. £500 on the 1st and £500 on the 15th of the month. Put this on a standing order from your business account to your personal account.
  3. Use your personal account for your personal life e.g. food shopping, paying your rent etc.
  4. Use your business account purely for business.
  5. Set a budget for your business account and monitor the cashflow.

To download a free money template and financial planner visit:



Lisa Newton is the author of the personal finance book Make The Most of Your Money. How to Budget, Save And Manage Your Finances.

More about the author can be found at:  Email  Twitter: FaceBook:

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