Well…there’s now only two pay days left before Christmas!
If you’re thinking “so what? I’m self-employed; I thought Claire wrote blogs for business owners” – stick with me here.
Because if you’ve read any of my blogs or posts before, you’ll know that I’m a massive advocate for paying yourself a regular income each month.
In business, it’s easy to see that your turnover goes up and down. You make more sales one month than the next – especially if your business includes online launches every couple of months or each quarter. And so lots of people think “well, I can’t earn the same amount of money each month, because the income in my business doesn’t look the same each month”.
And this is where we need to make a critical distinction – because you and your business are separate.
Whether you’re a limited company, a sole trader or a partnership, you need to regard your money as separate from the money of your business.
While it’s completely fair to say that the income within your business goes up and down from month to month and week to week – maybe some weeks you make sales and some weeks you don’t, and that variation can be quite extreme – there’s NO reason why you as an individual need to get paid a different amount.
So how can this be done? How do you pay yourself a regular monthly income from your business, when your sales vary so much?
Creating a regular income from your business is the heart of my Rock Solid™ framework, which is the method I work through with all my 1:1 clients.
Whether we do a VIP Day when a client joins Magnetic Wealth™ or work together inside one of my other programmes, it’s essential to get solid financial foundations in place. And a regular personal income each month is a cornerstone to making sure that everything else flows smoothly.
Many online coaches will tell you that to create a regular income for yourself, you need to set up a membership or group programme with monthly payment plans. But what if you don’t want to? What if (like me), that model just doesn’t float your boat?
And even if it does, I’ve got a much more straightforward answer than that!
The answer is to set up a standing order, from your business account to your personal account, to automatically pay yourself the same amount of money each month. It really is as simple as that.
Pick a pay day on whichever date works for you (in my business, we run payroll on the 28th and all my staff and I get paid our regular monthly salary on this day each month).
Then have a look at your business account and see what is reasonable for you to pay yourself.
How DO you decide how much to pay yourself each month?
There’s two ways of doing it really.
The first way is just to pick a number that feels right, which might be around the amount of money you’re drawing at the moment.
The second way is to look at how much you need to pull out of your business, based on your bills and living costs at home, at set up your payment at that level.
The key thing here is that it’s way better to pay yourself £3,000 consistently each month, than it is to pull it out in dribs and drabs – £1800 today because you have stuff going out of your account; £200 to do your food shop on Friday; another £400 a few days later and then pulling out a chunk of cash the following week, when you decide you want to book a holiday or a long weekend somewhere nice.
It’s just not a great way to manage your money, especially if you want a sense of peace and calm and abundance, because you’re lurching from one bill or crisis to the next and always feeling like there’s never enough.
The reality is that managing your cash flow is one of the biggest headaches that business owners tell me about (look out for another blog to help with that soon!).
So set up a monthly amount that works for you and then review it every 3-6 months, to see what’s happening. You might decide to increase the amount you’re paying yourself; you might decide to leave it as it is. And it really can be as simple as that.
If you want to work out what might be sustainable for your business, there are lots of ways to do it. You can look through last year’s profit and loss; you can look at what comes in and out of your business on a monthly basis; or you can implement a system like Profit First.
I use a simplified version of Profit First with my clients, which means that each month when their money comes in from their sales, they transfer it out into different accounts (aka money pots). Some money goes away for tax; some for operating expenses; and some goes into their director’s pay pot, to make sure that they get paid every month, whether they are launching or not.
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t use all the money in your director’s pay pot every month. If you pay yourself about two thirds of what comes in, it means you always then have a surplus in that account – so that if you’re in between launches, or a client is late paying their invoice, or if you take a couple of weeks holiday, you have the cash there to still pay yourself your regular monthly amount.
Going back to that earlier example, if you want to take £3,000 a month out of your business, you’d look to put £4,500 a month into your directors pay pot. So that within just a couple of months, you’ve then got enough surplus to pay yourself your regular £3k, even if your sales go down that month. If your business is very seasonal or you have big quarterly launches, you can put more into your director’s pay pot during those bigger cashflow months, so you can consistently pay yourself during the leaner months.
Why do I say regular income is SO important?
Honestly, it’s to do with paying your bills, the cost of living and that feeling of security…being in control and knowing you’re ok! Because when you’re preoccupied with or worrying about money, it drains your energy, impacts your business and pretty much affects every area of your life, in big and small ways.
We all know things have gone up in price – bills and food and fuel, even a gin and tonic in your local bar – the cost of living is going up.
But for most of us, our outgoings are going to be in the same ballpark from month to month. You pay the same amount of money for food this month, roughly, as you did last month; the same with your direct debits; your travel costs and so on.
By getting REALLY clear about what you spend each month, you can then see exactly how much surplus is left over from the money you take out of your business, so you can intentionally put this money to good use (rather than getting to the end of the month and feeling like you don’t know where it’s all gone!).
As prices increase over time, you might find that this surplus is getting smaller and being squeezed, and that it’s time to give yourself a pay rise in your business and take out a bit more money.
And if there is no surplus – well, at least you know. You know your numbers and you can get to work on actively, purposefully creating it!
This is the cornerstone of all the work that I do with all my clients. We always start with a budget planner because if you don’t know how much is coming in and going out, how can you make a choice as to what to do with the surplus? Where to invest it, to build your wealth? Or even know if you have a surplus at all?
How do you make sure that you’re putting money away to have a decent holiday each year? Or to save up for that thing that you really (really) want?
If you don’t know that you’ve got money spare – or what to do with it, to really start growing your wealth – the Rock Solid™ method is something that you can either do 1:1 with me or as a supported self-study option, if you’re the type of person that likes to do things on your own, at your own pace!
The great thing about Rock Solid™ is that the content is all online, in easy bite-sized chunks to work through whenever you want. Which means that week between Christmas and New Year when there’s not a lot else going on, or when you’ve got random free time, you can log in, do a little bit to get your money stuff sorted and move on.
Over the course of 6 weeks, we cover 4 x key modules (the ‘ROCK’ in Rock Solid™):
R = Regular Income
Everything we’ve talked about today…because having the same amount of money coming in each month will revolutionise how you feel about spending, saving and using your money at home!
O = Organising Your Bank Accounts
We’ll look at a simplified version of Profit First for your business, focusing on the bits you really need to know (with none of the overwhelm or confusion, or the stuff that isn’t relevant to country you live in). And we look at organising your personal bank accounts at home, so you’ve always got money for the things that are most important to you!
C = Comfort Blanket
Because creating your financial comfort blanket is absolutely critical, when it comes to feeling good about your money. Emergency savings; writing your Will; life or critical illness insurance – whatever it is for you. Basically all the grown-up things we know we need to get sorted out but keep putting off!
K = Knowing Your Focus, Vision + Plan
And then the exciting bit…knowing your focus, having a vision and creating a plan. It’s a brilliant chance to get creative with a Pritt Stick or online vision board, to clarify that picture of the thing you really want, then create a plan and make it happen!
The last two weeks then give you time for implementation and support, to actually get things done. All the way through you’ll get access to me in a private Facebook group so you can get questions answered, share your success stories and have other people champion you on, as you take control of moving your money on to the next level.
So if you prefer to just study at home, that’s great. Just click here to see all the details and get started with ROCK Solid™ now!
Or if you love the idea of ROCK Solid™ – but know that you need someone to hold your hand along the way, to personally guide you and keep you accountable to take action – just click here to message me about how we can work together 1:1.
I’ve got just a couple of spots left before Christmas (and then we’re booking into 2023) and I’d love to chat to you about how we can take things forward.
Here’s to getting your regular income all set up and sorted out and properly taking control of all your money stuff…
So you KNOW the cash is always there when you need it and you KNOW all the hard work is your business is actually building your wealth, once and for all!
Until next time,