Costs To Start a Business

Are You Flying Executive Class in a Hand-Me-Down Suit?

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Prioritizing correctly when it comes to deciding how to spend company money can be an issue for the new boss of a company. Many have misconceptions about how best to use expense accounts and what being the boss really means when it comes to perks.

When you're your own boss you call the shots right?

Well, yes you do but it's surprising how many business owners get it wrong when it comes to prioritizing what shots to call. This is especially true with the question of unnecessary expenditure.

While image can be all important, it's not going to show your company in the best light if you get the balance wrong. Travelling executive class in a hand-me-down suit is an example of how to spend your company's money the wrong way. After all, your clients or important business colleagues don't see how you got there; they only see what you look like when you do. Dispense with executive plane tickets, travel economy at all times and invest what you save on a better suit - or something to that effect.

It's often tempting, especially if you are your own boss for the first time around, to afford yourself little perks here and there. It's your signature that can authorize company checks, after all. But this can often be to the detriment of your company and its image.

You might think that as boss you deserve to take lunch in a top restaurant, but if your staff members are underpaid or your advertising is scant it could be that you're spending too much on the things that don't matter.

Try to avoid affording yourself too much leeway in your expense account - the fancy car doesn't sell product or improve customer relations. And when the balance is wrong in that way, fledgling companies pretty soon find themselves struggling.

Learning to get your priorities right is vital if you are to survive in business. Unfortunately a great many newcomers to the world of being their own boss make the mistake of thinking the position gives them free reign to live like a king. Maybe the life of a boss looked like that from the outside when you were in employment. But the realities are often very different. Far from affording you those attractive perks being your own boss can often mean you work longer hours than ever before. Especially when your company is in its infancy. But you can avoid the pitfalls:

- Only use your expense account for the things that really matter. Don't take liberties with it any more than you would if you worked for an employer.

- Prioritize. What's more important. Good product or a new pair of designer shoes or membership at that swanky golf club.

- Keep personal expenses personal. Think of it this way, it might once have seemed like a win to pop the odd personal expense on your work account. But that was when you worked for someone else. If you do the same when you are the boss you are only defeating yourself and at the end of the day your books won't look good.

Being the owner of a good and well-run company should be your aim, not being a hotshot!

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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