Any business owner knows that business is personal. It’s impossible to separate your business and personal life when you have everything riding on maintaining a thriving venture. Recent history suggests that small-business owners are having a hard time separating their personal and business lives financially. In 2011, 49 percent of small-business owners used personal accounts for business expenses, according to a Foxbusiness.com report, up from 42 percent in 2009. Business owners are prone to doing what they have to do to get by, but they may not have explored all of their options to pay expenses and keep things afloat.

Investors

Whether your business is struggling to make ends meet or struggling to manage its growth, sometimes the numbers don’t add up at the end of the day. Before you reach for your wallet to cover the difference, consider opening your business to investors. An outside influence can get you through tough times financially and provide another voice in your search for success. Of course, allowing outside investors means you give up some control of your business, but you can arrange the deal in such a way that you have the final word on all business decisions.

Business Credit Cards

It’s not the end of the world to take on some debt for the of sake of your business, but you compound the risk when you do it on a personal credit card. Business credit cards offer flexible terms and rewards to suit your business, and they’ll help you organize your business expenses. American Express business credit cards, for example, offer the option to carry a balance, pay the balance monthly without interest and earn cash back on popular business purchases. These perks, along with the ability to track spending separately, make business credit cards a no-brainer for modern small businesses.

Avoid Overreaching

If you’re using a personal credit card to cover business expenses, chances are you’re business is in a bind. Sometimes, you can’t avoid financial turmoil, but detailed bookkeeping might keep your business above water. Have employees keep detailed spending reports, which allows you to monitor cash flowing in and out.

If possible, avoid using credit to make business purchases. Instead, save up profit and pay in cash. These basic budgeting principles won’t revolutionize your business, but discipline will keep you out of dire situations that require you to tap into personal funds.

Keep a Safety Fund

You probably have a financial safety net for personal emergencies; why not do the same with your business? Take advantage of a surge in business by preparing for a rainy day. Small businesses have ups and downs, and an emergency fund can get you through tough times until things turn around.

Avoid putting your family’s financial stability on the line when you lose your biggest client, face an employee law suit or experience an IT Armageddon. A safety fund protects your business and your loved ones.

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