Lucy Cornes’ 4 MUSTS for Financial Literacy (Founder of She Shopped and She Digital)
The tips you need to get on top of your business finances
At our Female Founder Festival in Adelaide Lucy got a standing ovation (pretty much) for her monologue on financial freedom. It was a rapid fire spray of knowledge that we all need! If you weren’t lucky enough to be in the room here is what she said distilled down into 4 easy points (plus checklist at the end). Let’s get into it:
(Also, please note this is not a comprehensive list for all your finance needs but just some awesome easy tips to get you started)
Before you start your business:
1. Know your cost of living or household cost
Knowledge of your finances is power – understand what your household earns each month and what it costs you to live. If you don’t have that knowledge you’re not empowered to start your business journey. So. First – write down everything it costs to run your household per month. We’re talking bills, mortgage, food, netflix subscriptions – yes everything! That is the magic number you need to know how much your business needs to earn you before you can leap into it full time. It’s your tipping point. (redo this every 6 months so you’re across it). If your cost of living exceeds 60% of your take home pay, you are likely to experience financial stress. This is an extremely important number to understand as it should influence much of your decision making.
Lucy recommended “The Barefoot Investor” as a great book to help with this process.
2. Know what you own and what you owe
This is known as your debt to equity ratio. You can calculate your equity by adding up the value of your assets (home, shares, rental properties, car, savings, etc) and subtracting everything you owe (mortgage, car loan, personal loan, credit card debt, etc). This is an important number to understand because if you lost your only income source, how would you meet your debt obligations (i.e. pay your credit card bill, mortgage or car payments)?
3. Know your superannuation
There’s a few action points for this one but don’t let that throw you off. Women are so disadvantaged in super/superannuation because we often take time off to do unpaid work. It’s SUPER important (haha):
You should know how much is in your super account. When those statements come in the mail don’t just recycle them. Read them. The ATO has a great comparison tool to help you to understand how your fund performed against others Australian Taxation Office Online Services (ato.gov.au)
Contribute to your super! As a business owner you must contribute to your own super. If you don’t it will come back to bite you in the ass.
Know the fees on your super! There are some dodgy ones out there that will charge you big fees. Consider being with an Industry Super.
- Consolidate your super! Don’t have an account for every job you’ve ever had. You want all that money in one place so you can be earning the most interest on it possible. This is pretty easy to do too – it will take you 5 minutes online.
4. Update your Legal Documents and Have enough Insurance
Create or update your will and other end-of-life documents. You probably need to name new people to key roles, including beneficiaries, executor, powers of attorney, designated healthcare decision-maker, and guardian of minor children if that applies.
Make sure they are protected if something happens to you. In your newly updated will you name a guardian for your kids – life insurance proceeds can make sure that guardian has the means to give your kids everything you would wish.
Don’t forget disability insurance. If your family depends on your paycheck, you need to protect that income
Now your business is making money:
Congratulations! Now your business is making money, you have to figure out what to do with it. Luckily Lucy has tips for this too (as well as some extra things to think about):
What to do with your profits: revenue generating assets
Uhh, what is a revenue generating asset (I hear you ask). Well, a revenue generating asset is something you buy that can produce a recurring profit over time. For example: rental properties, low cost index funds, stuff like that! If you need some inspiration to understand the power of compounding – take a look at this calculator Compound interest – Moneysmart.gov.au. The sooner you start investing, the sooner you will benefit and it’s never too late to start.
Lucy recommends the book “The Simple Path to Wealth” to help you reach financial freedom! And doesn’t that sound good.
*This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be specific advice on any particular matter. We strongly suggest that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information contained herein but should seek appropriate professional advice based upon their own personal circumstances. Although we consider the sources for this material reliable, no warranty is given and no liability is accepted for any statement or opinion or for any error or omission. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before investing in any products mentioned in this communication. This information is current as at the date of publish.
Do you have an exit strategy?
An exit strategy is the compass guiding entrepreneurs towards a well-planned departure from their business. It’s not just about quitting; it’s a visionary roadmap for every stage. Why is it crucial? Firstly, life is unpredictable – health, market shifts, or personal reasons can necessitate an exit. Secondly, an exit strategy ensures financial gains – whether selling, passing it on, or going public, it maximizes the return on investment. It aligns your long-term goals and business decisions. Also, it attracts investors, knowing you’re planning for growth. Bottom line: an exit strategy isn’t just a plan to leave; it’s a blueprint for sustainable success and security.
Insurance is the safety net that every business owner needs, especially in the event of personal illness. When you’re the captain of your ship, your absence due to sickness can bring operations to a halt. Health-related challenges can drain personal savings, affecting both business and livelihood. In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, insurance cushions the blow, ensuring your business sails smoothly even in rough waters of unexpected illness.
Now that was a lot! So here is a tick box checklist for you for all of Lucy’s Financial Freedom tips!
Here’s a helpful ‘To Do List’
Before you start your business:
- Know household costs: Write down monthly expenses – bills, mortgage, food, subscriptions. Calculate your business’s necessary income for a full-time leap. Review every 6 months.
- Consider reading “Barefoot Investor”
- Understand debt: List and track student loans, personal loans, mortgage payments
- Calculate equity: Determine home equity – home value minus owed amount
- Analyze your superannuation statements, aim for 8-14% growth
- Contribute to your superannuation (set up a direct debit)
- Check your superannuation fees, consider an Industry Super Fund
- Consolidate your superannuation accounts into one
Once your business makes money:
- Invest profits: Explore revenue-generating assets like rental properties and low-cost index funds
- Consider reading “Simple Path to Wealth”
- Plan an exit strategy: Develop a visionary exit plan for various stages, maximizing financial gains, aligning goals, and attracting investors
- Get insured: Safeguard your business with insurance, especially for unexpected personal illnesses. It’s the safety net ensuring smooth sailing amid rough waters
- Create a will: Don’t forget to have a will in place to secure your business’s future