MONEY MISTAKES TO AVOID

Spending just because you can. There are probably at least a dozen small expenses your new loan funds could help cover. You have a plan for the bulk of that money, and you may think spending $50 here or $100 there won’t throw off your financial strategy too much. However, those little costs add up, and before you know it, you could find yourself back in the position of being short on cash.

“Create good operational controls and checks and balances for cash monitoring and authority for release of funds,” Finkelstein said. “It is tempting, with an influx of cash, to add fixed costs, but many times this is not optimal.”

King agreed, and noted that any plans to spend the money should be run by someone else first, like your accountant or financial manager.

“It’s so easy to use [your loan] on things that aren’t going to move the needle,” King told Business News Daily. “Only spend when you need it … as slowly as possible, validating [the expense] along the way. A lot of times, projects and needs change.”

Not paying attention to your finances. Sheinbaum said that the biggest money-management mistake he’s seen small businesses make is simply failing to keep an eye on their spending and income.

“It’s somewhat understandable,” he said. “Most entrepreneurs go into business because they have a passion for their product or service, not because they want to spend all day looking at a spreadsheet or an accounting system dashboard. But unless you pay attention to the money, you won’t be able to get your product or service out in front of the public.”

Business owners should have a designated day each week, month or quarter to check their invoices and review cash-flow projections against actual business volume, Sheinbaum said.

Hiding from your debt. If you’re struggling to make payments, don’t force the lender to send a collections agent after you. King advised being honest and up front about your situation. There may be something your lender can do about it.

“Go to the bank or lender and let them know what’s going on, and then ask for help,” King said. “Often, they have flexibility. They may be able to restructure or refinance [your loan]. They don’t want bad debt — they just want to get paid.”

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