This blog post is sponsored by CIBC but all opinions expressed are my own.
I haven’t been shy about sharing that one of the most impactful things I’ve ever done for my personal finances is starting a business—even if it did kind of happen by accident.
When I first started Half Banked, I had no idea that this hobby would eventually earn money, and even in the short time I’ve worked on it, the business has undergone multiple shifts.
For the first year or two, I was primarily a freelance writer. Over the past two years I’ve shifted into digital products, brand collaborations, speaking, and affiliate marketing.
At each stage, that meant very different things. The time commitment, strategies, and work involved to run each of those business types varied, and in some cases, that’s why I ended up making a change.
But the one constant as my business has undergone all of these shifts is this: It’s never been my full-time gig. It’s always been a side hustle for me, and that means that my time has always been at a premium.
The thing is, whenever I speak to friends who run their businesses full-time, they’re no less pressed for time—they’re just as focused on making sure they’re using every hour they have available on the highest impact things they can work on.
There are a lot of ways you can do this, from straight-up saying no to things, opting not to do certain things for strategic reasons, hiring help to outsource some of your work, or my personal favourite: hiring technology to do some of the heavy lifting for you.
That’s why I was so excited to hear that CIBC had built a solution that streamlined one of the most important back-office tasks you have as a business owner: banking and accounting.
The right systems can save you time and money
CIBC’s new CIBC SmartBanking™ for Business combines business banking tools with popular accounting and payroll services, so you can see all of your important business financial info in a single place.
It integrates securely with QuickBooks Online® and Xero, and you can even connect Ceridian Powerpay Plus if you do payroll in your business. Having your bank account connected to your accounting tools for business is one of the best ways to streamline your accounting process, in my personal experience. It keeps everything accurate, and for me personally, saves me hours of manual work every month.
Those are hours I can spend on other things in my business (or, quite frankly, on relaxing and enjoying some Netflix on the weekend!) without sacrificing the financial insights I need to make decisions about my business.
Automate important but lower-impact processes in your business
No one, especially not me, would argue that your business finances aren’t important. Having a clear view of what my business was earning, and what that meant for my take-home income from it, helped me make the most important decision I’ve made: to keep the business a side hustle, not a full-time gig.
But that said, when I think about high-impact activities, I tend to think about things that directly earn money, and I think that’s true of most entrepreneurs! So, while yes, your business finances are critically important, they’re also a great candidate for outsourcing to technology when you can. There’s no reason to spend hours each month reconciling accounts if your systems, like CIBC SmartBanking for Business, can do it for you.
Bank-level security for all your integrations
One last note that I think is worth mentioning, because it comes up a lot, is that having integrations that are run by your bank can be a great thing for peace of mind. If there’s a problem with your integrations, you’re covered. With CIBC Smart Banking for Business, you can feel even safer connecting Quickbooks Online or Xero to your business bank account.
Take back your weekends with automated systems
Every business owner is busy, whether you’re managing your business on top of a full-time job or focused entirely on your business—and no matter which camp you’re in, you deserve at least some downtime on the weekends!
Even if you’re not quite ready to outsource work to people and bring contractors into your business, adding technology that could help me work smarter and save time has been one of the most important ways I’ve bought some of my time back without ignoring critical parts of my business.