Let’s Get Down to Business: Financial Fears
I’m often asked questions on how I’ve dealt with the financial aspects and obstacles that go hand-in-hand with running a business, so I thought I’d share with you how I’ve navigated through all these financial fears. When I started HonestlyKate I had absolutely no background in business, so let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of financial struggles throughout the past few years. And to be honest, I now have to work backwards to try and fill some of the holes that have been created.
But thankfully I can now say that it’s all been a huge learning-curve and I’m getting better and better at it each day. So, here are a few financial insights I’ve gained through starting HonestlyKate from the ground up:
Is it hard having an inconsistent income stream? Do you ever have issues budgeting, paying rent, or paying business expenses?
In short, this is definitely an issue I deal with regularly, as I'm still technically a freelancer. This means each month I make a different amount of money, so it’s hard to gauge where my money should be most impactfully spent. When I first started my blog, this was one of my biggest obstacles because I had to make decisions on who would have the most direct impact on growing my business — I couldn’t afford to throw money away. As you know, Instagram is a very visual platform so the best place for me to spend money while simultaneously growing my business was on photography.
Tax time! Do you have to employ someone to do your taxes as a business owner with unusual income sources?
Yes, it’s really important for me to use an accountant because I have to be extremely careful about remembering when, where, and what I spend money on. Since I don’t have a background in finance, business taxes are not an easy feat for me, and it’s important for my business that I put my trust into someone who can help me with them. I usually meet with my accountant two-three times a year.
What are the average costs associated with photography, glam, brand awareness?
All of these things are very costly. Photography and Uber are my two biggest expenses at the moment, but that’s because strong visual content and showing up for events and meetings on time are my biggest priorities. I was very fortunate in that brand awareness happened naturally for me by putting myself out there and hustling every day. And luckily I have a partnership with Glamsquad because that would be another big expense for me.
How do you obtain healthcare without an employer provided plan?
Healthcare is something I pay for out of my own pocket, which is a huge pain in the a@@, but it’s important so I do it. I’m 26 years old and right now there is no other way to go about it. Hopefully, this will change one day.
Have you considered hiring a manager or assistant and how much would you pay them?
Currently I do not a manager or assistant. In the future, I think this would be feasible and I would love to hire somebody to help me out more full-time. But for now I have a few incredible interns who have changed my life (thank you all!), and I recently signed with an amazing agency that has helped to elevate my brand and take some pressure off of me.
How do you negotiate contracts? Do you receive cash payment or gifts from distributors/designers as payment for promotion?
This is a question I get a lot. When I first started I did a lot of product exchanges in order to get my name and face out there through popular brands. I don't do this anymore because I have to generate an income, so I charge a fee. I saw a great quote once that said: "You don't hand a plummer an apple and expect him to unclog your toilet..." Everybody needs to make money to live!
How do you plan time off (who can possibly run a blog business the way YOU do?)
I've become an expert at separating my personal time and work time. I really make an effort to try not to be on my phone at all when I’m with my friends, my boyfriend, and my family. It's so easy to get wrapped-up in the enticing world of social media, and those people keep me grounded. It’s crucial for me to make time for them and for myself. So planning time of is a must, I’d get burnt out if I didn’t (like any other entrepreneur would).
Are you saving for retirement or investing money on hand to make sure it’s working for you as hard as your work for it?! -
Right now I am not saving for a retirement fund (to be honest, that hasn’t really crossed my mind because I’ve been so busy)! But, I do invest my money. Anytime I receive a check, I put a little bit of it aside.