I attended a business financials course today that was targeted at small business. The reason? I felt I really didn't have a good idea of how to manage my business finances, because while writing is my passion, it's also a business.
I do already manage my expenses in some accounting software (though I suspect there are better pieces of software out there) and this year I had a go at doing a budget, but really I had little idea of what I was doing. The course taught me I'd actually done a few things right!
Firstly the budget I'd done this year is known as a cash flow forecast and I should actually add an actuals column to it so I can see what I forecast/budgeted for against what I actually spent. I also learnt about profit and loss statements and they'll become a part of my monthly schedule. I think my accounting software might be able to spit out this report for me without extra work on my behalf (bonus!)
The hardest thing about managing my finances on a regular basis is, my publisher only pays me twice a year. That's an awful long time between cash input. But now I'm heading down the indie published road, this is going to be much easier. As much as I enjoyed having the support of Momentum, it's going to be challenging and interesting to be able to manage my business more like a normal business with regular revenue and costs.
This is really only one step in treating my writing as a business. I've mentioned before that I do a business plan every year and as a trained records administrator, my records are immaculate. I think I overdosed on marketing training last year and I'm putting it to good use now. There are some writers who just want to write, and don't want to know about the business side, but I have to admit, I find it fascinating learning new things, even things that people think are typically dry subjects like accounting.
I'll probably write the occasional post this year, updating you with all the steps of my indie publishing journey, including lessons I've learnt, but if you want to know about anything in particular, leave a question in the comments.