For service-dedicated entrepreneurs looking to make a bigger difference in the world, our goal is to make managing your business money easier, faster, and more fun.
Most entrepreneurs start a business because they have a big dream for making a positive difference in the world. But it takes a lot more than a big dream to succeed in the world of business. Among many things, it takes courage, persistence, resilience, agility, and financial savvy. You were probably born with some degree of the first four traits. However, no one was born with financial savvy. Of course, some of us are better with numbers and financial concepts than others. Our experience indicates that few entrepreneurs are in that group. Fortunately, the basics can be learned and applied by anyone willing to make the effort.
However, this subject matter is poorly taught. A great many books, articles, and online resources promise to teach you about business money management. Google the term “business money management” and 401,000,000 hits will come up. Can there possibly be a need for another website dedicated to the topic?
We believe the answer is yes. You don’t have to look very far to realize that the vast majority of these resources are incomplete, confusing, and frankly inaccurate. In our experience, we’ve noticed that most people who are expert in business finance are not effective teachers of these matters.
When one of us (George) was struggling to start his plastic surgery private practice, he quickly realized that he didn’t know how to deal with his practice’s finances. Despite his best efforts, he never found a single practical resource to help him understand business finance. The fact that there are many confusing financial terms that mean the same thing didn’t help his learning curve. He limped along with various accountants and bookkeepers, never feeling confident that he was in control of his cash flow and overall business finances. In fact, the extreme frustration George felt ultimately led him to retire from plastic surgery and led him to serving other entrepreneurs as a coach and guide.
The other one of us( Dan) never experienced such financial worries and struggles. With more than 33 years of experience with multi-million dollar companies, involvement in mergers and acquisitions and exit valuations, as well as tax preparation, Dan has seen the entire spectrum from healthy, highly profitable businesses to those on the brink of bankruptcy.
We have worked together for the past decade on various projects, including developing a supply chain financial health monitoring program for a Fortune 500 aerospace manufacturing company. Even in that environment, we found that rather large independently owned businesses lacked the financial knowledge to avoid foreseeable problems and maximize profitability and value. This lack of knowledge and expertise created problems with the suppliers’ larger customers. In fact, that is why the aerospace firm brought us in — to create a tool that alerted them in advance when a supplier was headed for financial trouble.
For quite some time we discussed ways to take the financial tools and strategies used by the big companies and adapt them for use by privately held businesses. As we talked more about the financial challenges faced by today’s entrepreneur and the dearth of helpful tools and resources, we felt moved to work to make a difference. This feeling was much like the movement that led us to our own businesses many years ago. Just as we suggest to our clients, we undertook some market research. Your feedback from webinars, interviews, and response to emailings encouraged us to proceed. Some of you even contacted us directly to candidly share your pain and problems and urge us to undertake this project.
You convinced us. More than that, you continue to help us by reviewing our proposed ideas and giving us candid comments and suggestions. This website and blog are just one part of our response. Much more is to come. Together we will continue to develop Smart Business Money Habits and support you in adopting these habits with useful tools that help you make and keep more money from your business or profession. Ultimately, by making more and keeping more, you’ll be better able to make more of the positive difference you really want to make through your business.
Here is What We Believe and What You Can Count On From Us:
- All entrepreneurs should have access to a sound business financial education.
- Your opportunities to build a successful, profitable, and valuable business should not be jeopardized by a lack of effective money management guidelines and tools.
- We will do our best to furnish you with jargon-free information and programs that are quick and easy to implement and use.
- We will not tell you only half the story. We will be as open and transparent as possible.
- We will be responsive to your needs and concerns.
- We will empower you to take control on your business financial affairs. You can take that to the bank!
Who’s Behind Smart Business Money Habits?
George C. Huang, M.D.
I dedicated my entire early adult life to becoming the best plastic surgeon I could be (4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 5 years of general surgery training, capped by 2 years of plastic surgery training). Starting out in private practice at the age of 32, I struggled mightily with the business side of medicine: financial management, hiring, insurance paperwork, marketing. It was all a bitter pill for me to swallow.
After all those years of highly specialized training and delayed gratification, I was mortified to discover that I was financially illiterate. I knew nothing practical about managing money. Predictably, I quickly got into trouble.
Disillusioned with the political and business sides of the medical field, I retired as a board-certified plastic surgeon at the age of 40. Overcoming my financial and other business-related difficulties ultimately inspired me to become the business guide and mentor I wished I’d had when I needed a helping hand. Unwittingly, I became somewhat of a folk legend in some circles after I created an annualized six-figure revenue stream in 73 days, which I’ve consistently sustained since 2005.
Since that initial success, I’ve had the privilege of helping service-oriented, mindful entrepreneurs from around the world to rapidly accelerate their reach and revenue. One of my clients has bested my revenue acceleration record (six-figure annualized stream in 70 days), and others have come close (99 to 180 days).
Throughout the years since my rocky start as a plastic surgeon, I’ve studied the principles of good money management and learned how to better apply those principles to my business and personal finances. It’s a mystery to me why these principles and best practices are rarely taught; and even when they are taught, the teaching materials are in techno-jargon and unintelligible language.
Because of my brushes with financial doom as a plastic surgeon and entrepreneur, I’ve been on a personal crusade to share what I’ve learned with fellow entrepreneurs.
Helping to develop the Smart Business Money Habits resources and tools are one of the ways for me to do just that. It is my highest hope that what Dan and I share here will enrich your journey as an entrepreneur, helping you to focus on doing what you do best and on doing so profitably.
In 1983 I made a decision to leave the comfort and security of the corporate environment and head out on my own. In my corporate life I helped businesses make financial decisions involving millions of dollars. Although my work was financially rewarding, I felt a strong need to be in business for myself and work with other independent business owners.
When I started my consulting business, I wanted to help clients realize and reach their goals and dreams. The nature of my client work involved understanding my client’s current situation and how to improve it. Financial management builds on the past, of course, but its real value comes from dealing with the future — from developing and implementing a plan, from understanding what went right as well as wrong, and from making needed adjustments and then repeating the cycle.
I quickly realized that typical business owners, whether the business is large or small, have little understanding of accounting and finance. They were good, usually very good, at providing their product or service, but eventually that was not enough. They had to manage the money side of their business and did not know how. This lack of knowledge became crucial since it centered on increasing and managing their cash flow.
Commercially available business bookkeeping and accounting software is universally oriented toward the accountant, the person who understands double entry accounting and finance. It’s not that the software is deficient in performance. Much of it is very good. The problem is that it is not easy for non-financial entrepreneurs to use. Entrepreneurs need the information in order to manage their business, but they cannot afford the time, money, and frustration involved in learning how to be an accountant and use accounting software. In addition, projecting, managing, and improving cash flow is difficult with conventional accounting software.
It’s not necessary to be an accountant to understand and incorporate best principles and practices in the financial management of your business. Here again, the problem is that the literature and tools available don’t communicate this information in an understandable way for the non-financial entrepreneur.
Through my consulting business, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many wonderful entrepreneurs. I’ve seen first-hand the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures that are part of entrepreneurial life. I’ve also seen the incredible amount of energy spent trying to understand the financial workings of a business. I began to realize that I am one of the lucky ones who has a mind that understands numbers incorporated with the will to be an entrepreneur. I came to understand that I want to be a part of the solution for entrepreneurs. I hope you will journey with us and find cash flow ideas and suggestions that enable you to do and be your best.