How to manage the numbers

How to manage the numbers, easily and effortlessly

One of the challenges which I faced back in the days when I was running my B&B as a hobby, and not a proper business, was the books and the numbers.

Being a complete dunce when it comes to maths, I knew that I would get confused, but I still didn’t do anything about it.  Instead I just ignored it and hoped it would all just go quietly away.  But of course, it didn’t, and everytime I thought about it, I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Ugh!  Can you relate to that?

Without having a handle on the numbers, I had no idea whether I was making any profit, covering my overheads, doing better than last year, or anything at all!  It was crazy.

So during the “waking up” period of my life, when I realised that my ever-demanding hobby had to start paying for itself, ie: growing up and becoming a real business, I faced this challenge head on.

Here’s what I did:

Spreadsheets, yes I hear you…. There are just four that I’ve found that I really need:

  1. Occupancy rate: how many nights booked per room
  2. Weekly bookings taken by channel, ie: online, telephone, email and doorstep, plus those I’ve turned away, just so I know whether demand is growing or not
  3. Cashflow – weekly and projected
  4. Revenue and expenses

I record all of this on a weekly, sometimes daily basis as things change quickly in this business, and then I give all of that to my accountant at the end of the month, and she sorts out how much tax I need to pay, what I write off etc.

I try to keep it simple.  What do you do?


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