Grow Wealth Biblically

grow-wealth-biblicallyHow to grow wealth biblically from Proverbs

I get asked if God wants us to grow our money.  My answer is always “yes.” If God placed you in a business, He has done so with a purpose.  Your purpose is to help others and add value to the world.

The caveat is that God wants us to grow in a way that we are able to handle the money that He gives us.  In other words, we must grow in our knowledge of money in order to make our money grow and be able to properly manage it.

You have probably heard of the stories about people who win the lottery or get big sums of money only to lose it all and be right back to square one?  Many have none of that money left and are actually in a worse place after having lots of money. Most of them return to where they were financially within a year or two.

In high school, I had a teacher who I found out had won the lottery a few years earlier.  You would think he would quit and live off the money, but he did not manage it right.  Sure, he drove a Jaguar, but he was forced to work each and every day of his life just to maintain a basic standard of living.  He even started a side business to try to gain money again.  Last time I checked, he was still a teacher.

(Note: Teaching is an honorable profession.  Personally, I think good teachers should be paid more.  This teacher did not teach because he loved students.  He taught because he had to after losing his fast gained wealth.)

Here’s our proverb for today:

Proverbs 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

We talked yesterday about how we lose our money, it dwindles away especially quick if it is earned dishonestly.  We are always having to watch our backs and cover our trails when we act deceptively.  However, that is not what God wants for us.

As believers, God wants us to be blessed.  Blessing does not just mean money.  It means family, friends, community and an ever growing relationship with Him.  We get involved in church and we give as needed.  Living a life of blessing is about being able to help when we want and letting God get all the glory.

Proverbs 28:8 Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor  amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

God does not want us to give all of our money away.  He wants us to be kind to the poor and not take advantage, but our money is meant to do good. We are meant to care for our family.  As business owners, we are meant to pay fair (above average) wages.  We are meant to care for our community and get involved.

Proverbs 13:11 talks about gathering money little by little.  We will never get wealthy by how much money we spend.  We won’t get wealthy by gambling, begging or stealing.  We get wealthy by how much money we earn, keep and use properly.

Wealth is an ever growing balance of earning diligently, spending wisely, and giving cheerfully.

Look at your budget.  Break down how much you spend on entertainment (movies, cable, etc.), going out to eat versus eating at home, giving to church, saving, etc.  Where does your checkbook say your priorities are?

Let me just say, if you spend more money on entertaining than you do for God, something is not working in your budget. Checkbooks are the truest test of where you place your priorities. Doing a quick evaluation of your budget will show where your priorities lie.

If you want to be wealthy learn to manage money.  Increase your financial education and learn to use money properly.  Grow it little by little by adding value to the world. Then, when you begin earning, learn to give and help others.  This helps us keep money in perspective and think more eternally about our wealth.

 

Wealth is a balance of earning diligently, spending wisely, and giving cheerfully. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

lose-wealth-biblicallyHow to lose your wealth biblically from Proverbs

We are often afraid of losing our money.  We are afraid of taking risks and sometimes that keeps us from making good decisions.

It’s all about perspective.  If we know God is in charge of things, why don’t we listen to Him when it comes to our money?

Let’s look at the biblical way you can lose your money.

Proverbs 28:8 Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor  amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

There is nothing wrong with earning an interest from our money, the issue is taking advantage of the poor.  God cares for His people and He will help those who are helping His people.  He wants us to earn money in a way that helps others.  If we are charging crazy interest rates, then we are taking advantage.

Imagine if there was a credit card company or a bank that was run on Christian values?  They would charge a fair interest and it would be spread among other Christians leaders who are able and willing to take a little bit of mitigated risk to help other Christians with their financing.

Here are a couple of other Proverbs that warn us about how we can lose our money:

Proverbs 1:19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;    it takes away the life of those who get it.

Proverbs 11:18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,  but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

Proverbs 21:6 A fortune made by a lying tongue   is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare

The quickest way to lose your money is to live outside of biblical integrity.  When we step outside of God’s will for our lives, we step into a world that is looking to devour us.  God wants us to live above reproach.

We must not be lie, cheat or swindle.  We must not steal, kill or destroy for money.  We must live our life and run our business on our values.  We must do the right thing no matter how much it hurts.

In the long run, living by our values will always bring us closer to God and His blessings.  If you want to grow your money, do it the honest, hard-working, smart way.  Follow God and His principles and He will never lead you astray.

The quickest way to lose your money is to live outside of biblical integrity. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

building-wealth-biblicallyBuilding Wealth Biblically from Proverbs

Proverbs has a lot to say about life and often it talks about money. Do you ever wish you could grow money the way the Bible says?

Let’s look at a common proverb from the Bible about making money.

Proverbs 10:4-5 Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Let’s start simply.  If you are lazy, you will not be able to grow wealth.  There are no get rich quick schemes that last.  Our integrity and values always catch up to us.

Diligent” is a great word to use in this passage.  In the original language it means: “to cut, sharpen or decide.” Wealth does not just happen.  It takes a determined decision.  You must cut off those things that are holding you back and strive for the things that brings God’s blessings.

Proverbs 10:22 The blessings of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.

God does not want us to toil painfully.  We should not be afraid of hard work, but we must work with our minds as much as our bodies.  It takes intelligent planning.  We must ‘gather crops’ when it is time.  We must know our seasons.  We must work in the knowledge that we have and the experience that we gain.

It all comes down to trusting God with our decisions and always moving forward as God gives us more wisdom. Always work with integrity and diligence.  Plan out how you will grow.  And remember, growing wealth is as simple as adding value to the world and getting paid for the value you add.

Growing wealth means adding value to the world and getting paid for the value you add. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

free accounting software for Christian entrepreneurs

Christian business owners have to account for their money and be good stewards of their resources.  Today I want to introduce you to a free accounting software.

Waveapps allows business owners to set up basic accounting including invoices, and it integrates with your checking account.

 

What is WaveApps

Waveapps is a free online basic accounting software.  Their webpage says, “Free and easy accounting, invoicing and more.”  It is really easy to use and it is not as complicated as most accounting software, but it has some really powerful features.

For instance, it integrates with your bank account, so every purchase through your business checking account goes automatically into your Waveapps.  It also allows you to create invoices, send them, and customers can even pay the invoice online (if you select that option).  Plus, they will automatically process the payment and it will land in your bank account.  How’s that for easy?

I may sound like I am trying to sell Waveapps, but in reality I searched for a long time to find an accounting system that was easy to use.  The fact that it is free, makes Waveapps an even better deal for Christian business owners.

 

How to use WaveApps

This is a tool that without knowing your specific business, I can’t tell you how to set up accounting for your business.  I can show you how easy it is to get started.  I will lay out the basics, but keep in mind when you sign up they have a helpful step-by-step process for setting up your account.

Start by signing up for a new account at waveapps.com.  Click on the button that says ‘Let’s get started.”  You can even sign in with your gmail or yahoo email accounts to make it more convenient.  (You only have to remember one password!)

 

free accounting software

 

Step 2 is setting up your invoices and reports.  Don’t let that scare you.  It is just putting in your business name, business type and currency preference.

free accounting software

 

Step 3 is putting in your address so that it shows up on all your invoices.  Simple, right?

free accounting software for Christian entrepreneurs

 

On the next screen, select ‘organizing your finances’ or ‘create an invoice.’  I suggest ‘organizing your finances’ first.  It will prompt you to enter your bank information so that integration can begin right from the start.

free accounting software for Christian entrepreneurs

 

The rest of the setup is specific to your business, but it is not hard.  I suggest clicking on the ‘Accounting’ tab.  It will show you all the categories that the system set up for you based on your type of business.  You can rename those to fit the needs of your business.  You can even add lines to keep track of as much or little as you have a need for.

If you click on ‘Need Help’ there is a section called WaveUniversity.  They will give you step-by-step training of your entire accounting software.  It’s really easy to follow and it’s free!  You can see in the graphic below some of the easy to use functions.

(Note: Payroll is a paid feature, but it is very affordable comparably.)

free accounting software for Christian entrepreneurs

 

Conclusion

Christian business owners must be good stewards of the resources God gave them.  Having a way to keep track of your finances is the first step in accounting for what God provides.  No matter how little or how much you make, separating your business finances from your personal account is important because it allows you to get a good picture for how your business is doing.

Accounting is not a scary part of business: it’s just numbers.  You are simply showing where your money comes into your business and goes out of your business. It is just a little more than a check register because you can now track where your expenses are going and what, or who, is bringing in the most money.

Once you have a way to track your money, you can make better business decisions based on facts.  Numbers are facts and they can help you be a great steward of all that God gives you.

 

Accounting is being a good steward to the resources you have. #Christianbusiness #accounting #waveapps Click To Tweet
tracking business metrics

As Christian business owners, we must have key metrics or performance indicators that we are tracking.  If you don’t keep track of your numbers, how will you know if your business is growing and what you can do to take it to the next level?

There are literally thousands of indicators you can track in your business.  Depending on the type of business and your goals, two businesses in the same industry could be tracking totally different numbers.

Here are the broad strokes of some of the most basic metrics and give you a sample of what you may want to track in each area.

 

Financial Metrics

Financial metrics cover where money is flowing, moving and staying.  We already talked about profitability numbers and balance sheets which is a snapshot of your business at a point in time, but there are many things that can be tracked financially.

When you track financials, you should have a strong accounting program that will give you the reports you want.  You can track expenses, salaries, investment income, etc.  Focus on the key metrics that bring growth to your business and line up with your goals.  Those usually fall into sales and marketing.

 

Sales Metrics

Sales metrics track what is ‘going out the door.”  They track whether you are actually selling your product or service.

When you track sales, you may choose to track many different things.  You may track inventory or customer acquisition.  You may want to track how certain sales people are performing so you set goals and track how their performance is moving forward.  You can even track how long customers are staying with your business and define how you can keep them as a customer longer.

 

Marketing Metrics

Marketing metrics track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.  They track how much you spend compared to how many customers respond.  You must understand the return on investment before deciding to buy a coupon in the local sales magazine.

When you track marketing, you should have a way to keep up with different campaigns that you create.  If you are online, you can set up simple tracking codes on each page or use Google Analytics.  If you are offline, you may put codes on coupons, use different numbers for different ads, or you may just have your secretary keep track of where people come from when they call by intelligently asking customer.

 

Conclusion

“What gets tracked gets done.”  It is an old saying that rings true today.  If you want your business to grow, you must track what is growing your business.  Decide what areas you need to focus on and set up simple tracking.  It can be as simple as a spread sheet or just a paper with columns drawn on it.

Tracking takes time and effort to get set up, but it soon becomes a habit and will run on autopilot.  They will help you set goals and understand when you reach those goals in your business.

Tracking is how we identify and amplify growth in our business. Click To Tweet
balance sheet

 

Christian business owners need to increase their financial IQ if they want to keep on top of their business.  It is not hard, so let’s break down the simple balance sheet.

 

What is a balance sheet?

A balance sheet is a snapshot of the business at any specific point in time.  It shows where the business is financially.  You can think of it like your check book register.  You can see how much money came in, how much money is going out and how much money you have left over.

 

Assets

The top part of a balance sheet is known as assets.  These are all the things you own, cash on hand and anything of value to the company.  Where the check book register looks at the cash, a balance sheet looks at everything you own.  Computers, company car, office equipment, inventory, etc. are all listed at their current value.

 

Liabilities

Liabilities are everything you owe.  It could be credit card balances, payments owed to suppliers, loans, etc.  Anything that they company owes money on is in this column no matter how large or small.  This column just gives us a view of outstanding debts.

 

Equity (Owner’s Equity)

The last line is the important line.  It shows how much money is left over after bills are paid.  You can think of it as the bottom line on your check register, but it is much more than that.  It shows the absolute value of your company.  Once all the assets are added up, minus all the liabilities, the equity is how much your company is worth at that moment.

 

Putting these numbers together

Keep in mind that your numbers must balance, hence the name ‘balance sheet.’  If you take money out to pay a credit card, that money must move from your cash (assets) to pay down your credit card (liabilities).  You can quickly see how money flows from assets to liabilities.

Your goal as a Christian business owner is to gain more assets and decrease liabilities.  If you want your business to grow, you must be putting more in the assets column than you are in the liabilities column.

There will be times where you need to buy some equipment or inventory for a large order and the liabilities may increase temporarily, but overall you want to focus on building assets for your business so that your business can weather the ups and downs of any business cycle.

 

Conclusion

I want to keep this page simple and I hope this summary helps you understand the balance sheet in your business.  Most every accounting software will allow you to create a balance sheet report.  You can ask your accountant how to access that report or you can create it yourself.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer, look for some videos on Youtube.

The key is to know how your business is doing so that you can track your progress.  The balance sheet is the simplest way to track whether your business is growing or shrinking.  You want to check this number on a monthly basis, at least, and see if there are any trends.  Is equity increasing or decreasing?

A balance sheet is the simplest way to track the growth of your business. Click To Tweet
understanding profitability

This is Christian business owners simple guide to understanding profitability.  As a Christian business owner, you want to go into business knowing when you will make money.

Let me warn you, there are a few maths included in this article, but I won’t bog you down with formulas.  As a Christian business owner, you must understand the basic figures in your business before understanding how to better run your business and bring it to profitability.

For this article, we are going to stick to three basic numbers and cover them as succinctly as possible.  This is not a lesson in math, but a lesson on understanding business numbers.  No matter what kind of business you are in, if you understand the numbers, you understand your business.

 

Break-Even Point

Many business owners have heard of the break-even point.  It is the point where you sell one more item and you have paid off the cost of starting your business.  Basically, you add up the cost of developing your product or service, add in any costs for employees, sales, customers, etc. Then, you figure up how many of your product or service you need to sale in order to make that money back.

For some companies, this number keeps moving.  Each month, you have new bills, new inventory, new marketing, so it seems that the number keeps moving away from you.  It is frustrating and many business owners find themselves in a loop of never getting a check the first few years of their business.  Don’t do that!

Pick a specific number and stick to it.  Set goals and keep your costs down.  There is no need to buy a huge building at the start.  Start small and stick to your guns.  Once you have reached profitability, then, you can scale larger and grow according to your new profitable status.

 

Customer Acquisition Cost

Customers are the life blood of your business.  These are the people you are trying to help.  The way you serve them makes your business grow.  The key number here is how much money does it take to get one new customer?

When you run ads, buy business cards, attend network meetings, etc. you are putting in time and money towards getting customers.  Once you understand how much it takes to get a new customer, you can use that money to offset the cost of doing business.  You identify what is working and scale up your efforts to get more customers and better profitability follows.

Knowing your customer acquisition cost helps you manage the price of your products as well as identify a good return on your marketing dollars.  Do your best to identify the perfect customer and then find out where they hang out.  That is where you want to put your time and money.

 

Cost of Goods/Production

Every business owner knows these numbers.  These are the numbers that go into creating your product or service.  I want you to keep in mind that time is a number that needs to be included for you as a business owner.  I have seen too many business owners not account for their time and their numbers look good on paper, but the business owner was living in his car!  Don’t do that!

I know business takes sacrifice sometimes, but setting proper goals and sticking to a plan can help you keep your life in check while you grow your business. Sure, you may have to stay at your job a little while longer while you build your business, but that is OK, it is all in God’s timing!

Understand your numbers and do a little research.  You want to lower your costs without lowering the quality of what you are offering.  Sometimes you can make an exclusive deal with a distributor, you can order slightly larger quantities, or you can creatively use what you have.  Identify these numbers and stay on top of them if you want to keep profitability up.

 

Conclusion

Christian business owners need to be profitable if they are going to succeed in business.  If we are not succeeding in business, we can’t help people.  Our goal should be to shoot for profitability by knowing our numbers.  You should know all the numbers in your business as you are starting out and keep an eye on them.

You probably have seen a balance sheet and income statement.  Take time to understand those reports.  If you don’t have them, you can look at your bank account and put them in categories like employee, customer acquisition, cost of goods, overhead, etc.  Just make sure you have the numbers you need to understand for your business presented in a way that makes sense to you.

If these numbers are new to you, get some education.  You can attend college courses, buy a book, or read some good articles online.  Until you understand your numbers, you won’t be able to keep your business moving towards success.

Follow the numbers in your business and you will follow profitability. Click To Tweet