finance

Ask a side hustle: I need finance. Now what?

Commonwealth bank
Thanks to our brand partner, Commonwealth bank

After years of searching, I still couldn’t find the perfect ‘mum bag’ that ticked all the boxes.      

I needed a functional bag (and wanted it to be beautiful), and I just couldn't find it. I’ve always wanted to run my own business, so this is the gap in which I started my side hustle.   

After a bit of research and a big, nerve-wracking leap of faith, I started The Friday People from my kitchen table in Sydney. The juggle ahead of me was just beginning, as the business was born while I held down a corporate job and juggled managing family life as a mum of 2. 

Two years into running The Friday People, it’s been the wildest ride. I’ve learnt so many new skills, met a whole new group of inspiring women in business and I’m proud to role model to my kids that starting a successful business from scratch is absolutely possible. 

My business is now growing rapidly in a way I wouldn’t have believed possible sitting at my kitchen bench two years ago. 

I've navigated plenty of challenges. And if I had my time again, there are a few things I would do differently, including getting my business finances and accounting sorted from the outset.  

It might sound obvious to some, but there is so much more to starting and running a small business than finding a good idea, developing the product and then marketing it to anyone that will listen. 

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When you run a side hustle, time is in short supply.

There is a natural tendency to focus on the things you enjoy or are good at (in my case, marketing). But ultimately for a business to be successful, you need to turn a profit and be across all aspects of your biz. 

That includes your business finances. You need to face the tasks you may not love in order to maximise your businesses potential to succeed.

For someone who switched courses in my first year of university to avoid Accounting 101, getting my finances in order was a task I procrastinated on for too long. I’ve now learnt first-hand that opening a business bank account from the beginning is key. 

It saves significant time and hassle, and helps with strategic and financial decision-making as you grow. You don’t need to figure it all out on your own though. CommBank can provide the support you're needing in this area, and empower you with the expertise they’ve developed having worked with thousands of other small businesses like mine.

On the CommBank train for my business! Image: Supplied.

I needed a good push to get my business banking and finances in order, and hope others can avoid the same pitfalls I experienced.

In that case, here's 3 key reasons why setting up a business account rather than a personal account for your business can help now and in future.

1. Save yourself time with clean accounting

Separating finances into personal and business accounts makes it MUCH easier to get a clear snapshot of your finances. As your business grows and you may work with a bookkeeper or accountant, it becomes necessary to separate your finances. So do yourself a favour and set it up right early on. 

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2. Save yourself money by maximising your tax deductions

If you are early into your business journey and falling under the tax threshold, it may feel like a long way off before you need to consider tax. When you get to that bittersweet milestone of becoming a tax paying business, you will be grateful that your business finances are clear and separate to allow you get your tax done easily and to maximise any deductions you are entitled to. Anything to make tax time easier as a business owner is golden in my books.

Every dollar counts in a small biz! 

One of my bags from The Friday People range. Sending orders from home! Image: Supplied.

3. When it’s time to grow you may have to get finance

As your business grows you may need finance to further expand. Having a business account helps you to easily demonstrate to the lender your business’ full financial records. 

Not quite there yet in needing finance for your business? Make sure you head to CommBank when you are!

As this is Jen Alker's own experience regarding her own business' circumstances, CommBank doesn't guarantee the accuracy or appropriateness of the information presented for everyone. This article is intended to give general info of an educational nature only. It doesn't factor in the financial situation or needs of other readers and shouldn't be relied on as financial product advice. We recommend contacting CommBank for expertise on what might help support your own business' financial needs.

Commonwealth bank
Starting a side hustle or new business? Get the support, expertise and solutions you need to set up a business with CommBank. The Business Transaction Account has a $0 Monthly Account Fee option giving you the peace of mind to separate your personal and business finances. Just one way CommBank can help get your business up and running in no time.