Your Small Business Is a Business – Treat It as Such

A message from the Richmond, Virginia office of the U. S. Small Business Administration

By: Martin Short, Lead Economic Development Specialist & Public Information Officer

OPERATING A SMALL BUSINESS comes with a lot of variables and considerations for the owner. Some business owners are challenged by having to wear so many hats, address internal challenges, and most importantly, win customers. These challenges often cause business owners to work in their business and not on it. When this happens, this often causes internal problems, it prevents acceleration and growth. Also, the owner ends up so engrossed in the internals that they lose sight of treating their business as a business. 

Here are some valuable best practices that can help make the road smooth.

  1. When starting a new business, open a business bank account. Too many small business owners operate business income through their personal bank accounts.
  2. Establish a comprehensive recordkeeping system. A comprehensive recordkeeping system will track all your income, expenses, and receipts. 
  3. Learn the requirements and expectations of the IRS.

Operating a business involves keeping good financial records and complying with local, state, and federal laws. In addition, this practice can be of great benefit when applying for a loan. Clarity of records helps the loan officer and underwriters assess your application and repayment capacity. Most importantly, a financial system will enable you to look at your business immediately and tell you about the business’s financial health. 

The IRS offers assistance for small business owners relating to business compliance matters. Connecting with the IRS and learning their requirements can save you a lot of time and trouble. In addition, the SBA offers a dynamic learning platform to help understand basic business practices. Also, the SBA offers business technical assistance through a variety of resource partners. One can access resource partners near them by utilizing local assistance on the SBA’s website.

Keep in mind, that your business is a separate entity from you, therefore treat your business as a business. Visit the SBA-VA Richmond District Office to learn more about workshops and learning opportunities at

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