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As an entrepreneur, you’re often asked to know a lot about finance. While you may not have the most technical knowledge about the subject, you’ll still need to learn about a variety of financial terms and concepts. This guide will help you navigate through the multiple financial terms that every small business should be familiar with. It will also explain how to use these terms and provide you with a deeper understanding of them.

Income and Expense Basics

Without the proper understanding of how to make and spend money, an entrepreneur can be at a disadvantage. This is because an owner is not able to effectively manage their company’s finances. Having a financial firm that doesn’t share your company’s vision and understand your goals can prevent you from achieving your goals.


The return on investment is a calculation that is used to determine if an investment is profitable. It can be used in two different ways: first, it shows the expected return on investment, and second, it shows the profitability of the investment after it has been made. As an entrepreneur, you’ll use ROI to determine the value of an initiative. It can be used to estimate the potential value of an idea or to make an investment in the company. After the project has been completed, you’ll also use it to determine if the money was worth it.

Income Statements

Although your income statement is commonly used to determine the financial health of your company, it shouldn’t be used as an indicator of the company’s liquid health. Instead, it should be used to review and compare the company’s current and projected cash flow. Doing so can help you make informed decisions and improve the efficiency of your company.


One of the most important factors that any company should consider when it comes to its financial health is its operating cash flow. This is a vital metric that can help determine the company’s performance and the length of its runway. Generally, a company should aim for a positive OCF to fund its initiatives while a negative one to fund high growth.

Working Capital

A company’s working capital is referred to as its liquid capital. It can be divided into two different ways: the net working capital ratio and the net working capital. The former is used to measure the company’s current assets minus its current liabilities.

The goal of working capital is to help you determine if you have enough money on hand to cover a specific expenditure. However, it’s also important to limit the number of assets that you have in your short-term cash flow. For instance, you should limit the amount of cash that you have on hand to the short-term assets like accounts receivable and the business bank account.

You should also include the company’s current liabilities, such as taxes, accounts payable, and salary. These should be included in the working capital calculation to ensure that you have enough money on hand to cover the expenses.

Gross Sales and Net Profits

While gross sales are important, it’s also important to remember that net profits are not always the same as sales. Having the proper amount of cash on hand is additionally important to ensure that the company is running smoothly. Having the necessary knowledge about the various expenses of the company can help you make informed decisions and improve the efficiency of your business.

Profit Margins

One of the most common factors that any small business should consider when it comes to its profitability is its profit margin. This metric is used to determine the level of flexibility that the company can provide its customers. However, it’s also important to note that chasing profit for the sake of it can lead to various issues. For instance, if the pursuit of profit can reduce the quality of the company’s products and services, then it can affect the company’s other values.