Urban League of Louisiana Hosts “Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurs” Series

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NEW ORLEANS — It’s obvious, but we’ll say it anyway: To run a flourishing startup, you have to get your finances straight.

Next month, Urban League of Louisiana’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will host three sessions focused on financial literacy for entrepreneurs.

They cost a total of $10 and take place at the Urban League of Louisiana inside the Patrick Taylor Room (4640 South Carrollton Avenue, Suite 110). In order to attend, all participants must be a Certified Small and Emerging Business via Louisiana Economic Development’s Small and Emerging Business Development Program. (To become a Certified SEBD, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.)

The financial literacy series kicks off on Monday, Oct. 7, with the first session: “How Much Money Does It Really Take to Start and Grow a Business?” From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., attendees will discover which startup expenses are crucial, versus which ones are questionable.

Plans for revenue growth and a quick break-even can fool an entrepreneur into believing all startup costs can be quickly recouped, but that is rarely the case. Focusing on expenses directly related to generating revenue generation is one of the keys to financially managing a startup. Incurring large costs for new or fancy equipment, fixtures or facilities where used options at a fraction of the price will do can use up cash that could be used for marketing, promotion, inventory and other crucial business needs.

The second session, “Recording, Tracking, and Analyzing Your Business Financials”, happens on Monday, Oct. 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. While entrepreneurs don’t need to be accountants, they do need to know how to accurately record revenues and expenses. Accurate records enable an owner to gauge the financial health of the business through the use of ratios and other measurements. Having at least a basic computer-based financial system and keeping up with regular data input is a must for any business owner when financial indicators aren’t trending well.

During this session guests will learn how to interpret and use business financial statements. Three major financial statements comprise a financial “report card” — the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement. Each one tells a different part of the story about a company’s financial condition. Together, they can be used to find weaknesses and strengths. Ratios derived from financial statements provide clues to where an owner needs to implement corrective actions before a situation becomes serious.

The third and final session, “Sustaining Your Business While Growing”, takes place on Monday, Oct. 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This workshop explains how a business can be profitable on paper, yet fail from a lack of cash flow. Important aspects of cash flow include the timing of accounts payables and receivables, inventory turnover, fixed expense loads and other areas. Without a solid foundational knowledge of such areas and the effects they have on cash flows, a business owner is handicapped in managing cash.

Register on eventbrite.com.


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