Our success as a small business is inextricably tied to our interest in finance and bookkeeping. When we first started Bedrooms, Designed, we knew that one business aspect was more important than the rest: balancing the books. You might say, well, I’m good at doing my own taxes. Why should I have anything to worry about?
In theory, this shouldn’t be a source of stress. The two of us worked at a bank before launching our business—we know how to do taxes, and we know how to do other people’s taxes. However, doing your business taxes, personal taxes, and payroll taxes on a biweekly or monthly basis is, well… it’s pretty tough. Add that to the baseline stress of managing your business—assuming you get over the hump of starting your own design business—and you have a tricky situation on your hands.
For most every small business owner, we have one piece of advice: DON’T do your own taxes. Running a small business is a lot of work, especially when you begin to hire additional workers. Between figuring out your own salary, their paychecks, and when you should be paying quarterly and annually, you’ll run into the same problem that kicked you into starting the business itself—a lack of balance.
Sarah and I invested in wage reporting software early on, and we haven’t looked back. Now that we have around a dozen designers and individuals working for us, our software can function as a wage withholding tool; calculating and printing paychecks would normally be a full-time job, but it’s as easy as imputing data when you find the right software. Bedrooms, Designed would not be the thriving business it is today without smart accounting and software choices. Take it from two former bankers: it’s worth the investment.