The rise of a financial and political operations consultant : Daryl LaFountain? There often comes a time when companies need to raise some form of capital, and it will probably happen sooner than you think — especially if you’re focused on growth. While you’re likely to bring someone on board to help with this process, there are things you can do now to prepare. Setting up your financial infrastructure, as discussed earlier, is a great start. But it would also be a good idea to: Familiarize yourself with the various sources of capital. When the time comes, you will need to make decisions about the type of capital that’s right for you, but the options can be dizzying. Will you be looking for a simple debt arrangement? A strategic partner? A hands-off investor? And what would you be willing to give up in return? Exploring your options ahead of time can help you get comfortable with the lingo and trade-offs so the choices won’t be so overwhelming. Formalize your business and marketing plans. Any reputable lender or investor will expect to see your plans for running and monetizing your business. If none of your plans are in writing, or if they only exist on the back of cocktail napkins, consider drafting something more formal well before you start down the capital-raising path.
Daryl LaFountain‘s advices on improving your business financial situation: As a business owner, managing and organizing finances can be a great challenge. With all the things that need to be done, including your business’ day-to-day operations, it may be easier for you to slip into bad financial habits that can harm your company one day. For instance, when you have disorganized financials, your entire organization may be unable to create financial stability. So, if you want your business to thrive and become financially successful, below are five tips to help you organize your finances.
It’s important to understand how income taxes work even before you get your first paycheck. When a company offers you a starting salary, you need to know how to calculate whether that salary will give you enough money after taxes to meet your financial obligations and, you hope, your goals. Fortunately, there are plenty of online calculators that have taken the dirty work out of determining your own payroll taxes, such as PaycheckCity.com.3 These calculators will show you your gross pay, how much goes to taxes, and how much you’ll be left with, which is also known as “net” or “take-home” pay. An annual salary of $35,000 in New York City, for example, would leave you with around $27,490 after federal taxes without exemptions for the 2020-2021 filing season—about $2,291 a month.4 Then you need to consider state and (for New York City) city taxes in addition. By the same token, if you’re considering leaving one job for another in search of a salary increase, you’ll need to understand how your marginal tax rate will affect your raise. A salary increase from $35,000 a year to $41,000 a year, for instance, won’t give you an extra $6,000 per year ($500 per month)—it will only give you an extra $4,227 (around $352 per month).4 The amount will vary depending on your state of residence and its potential tax bite, so take that into consideration if you’re considering a move. Finally, take the time to learn to do your own taxes. Unless you have a complicated financial situation, it’s not that hard to do, and you won’t have the expense of paying a tax professional for the work. Tax software makes the job much easier than it was when your parents were starting out and ensures you can file online.
Having financial goals is the foundation for your financial success. After all, you have to know what you want to accomplish in order to actually accomplish it. However, when it comes to setting goals, you want to make sure your goals are well defined and prioritized accordingly. It’s great to have big, lofty goals! But be sure to break them down into smaller chunks. That way, you’re not overwhelmed trying to accomplish them and you can easily measure your progress. It’s also really important that one of your goals includes a plan to deal with emergencies. You want to make sure you are prepared to weather a storm. Otherwise, you’ll just end up in debt again.
About Daryl La Fountain: Daryl is an energetic professional CFO with a background in politics. Daryl has done fundraising, been a candidate, and worked in politically appointed positions in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Daryl has worked for Democratic candidates and nominees in 18 additional states. Reach out to Daryl about his CFO work if you: Need help in your nonprofit Finance department. Have a need for an Interim role. Would like some offsite audit preparation work.