Very often, full-time blogging is something that creeps up on you. You start a blog as a kind of diary, a way of documenting your special interest or growing family, sharing info about products you love or tips for getting over life’s hurdles.
Before you know it, blogging has become a business. It’s making you some money, you have a readership and/or a subscriber base, and suddenly it’s no longer just your private corner of the Internet. You need to get organised, and very often that starts with the finances.
Open a Business Bank Account
It may have been okay in the early days to pay blogging expenses out of your personal finances. After all, it was a personal venture. Once your blog becomes a business, however, it deserves (and needs) its own bank account. Opening a business bank account has a few advantages:
* Your bookkeeping will be easier when all transactions relate to the blog and you don’t have to sift out the grocery shopping.
* Bookkeepers or accountants can get straight on with business so their hourly bills will be smaller. Also, do you really want a bookkeeper to have access to your personal bank account?
* Your tax return will be simpler to compile.
Most banks give a year or more free business banking when you open an account. Many offer business advice too, and may assign an adviser to you. You won’t need a business plan or any proof of income unless you want to borrow money.
Taking Care of Receipts
Your receipts and invoices are the foundation of your business records, providing proof of your spending and purchases. Happily, you don’t need to keep reams of paper receipts in file boxes anymore, as HMRC will accept digital copies. With so much business being done online, and many companies issuing only electronic invoices or receipts anyway, this makes keeping them in order much easier.
Scan or photograph the paper receipts you do still get, then save the digital file. Just remember to name the files in a way you won’t forget, and make regular backups of your stored records.
Bookkeeping Systems Made Easy
If bookkeeping sounds scary, just remember that all you’re basically doing is keeping a dated record of what you’re buying and what you’re selling. Obviously it gets a little more complicated because you have to factor in taxes and insurances, and take into account what tax allowances you can claim. It’s also more complicated if you also have regular employment (with PAYE) as well as income from blogging.
Hiring a bookkeeper for a couple of hours each week can take the burden off your shoulders if you struggle to find time to update your records. They can also show you how to run a simple system so you’re not wasting time including entries you don’t need, such as VAT when you’re not registered and don’t really need to get involved with it.
If you want to have a go at doing your own accounts, try an online accounting package. Most are subscription based, but you can usually get a free trial to see how you like it. They have many advantages, including syncing with your bank account to automatically pick up your transactions. All you need to do then is go into your account and provide the transaction details.
Whether you set out run a blog as a business or it just ended up that way, getting your finances sorted with an accounting system that’s simple and easy to understand is one of the first things you should do. It frees your mind of worry, letting you focus on new ideas or creative ways of attracting new readers.
*This is a sponsored post*