Here’s What Small Business should Really Know about Retained Earnings

The world has gone crazy. Well, it certainly seems that’s the case. Inflation continues to push up prices on just about everything. There’s a hot war in Europe that’s seriously impacting the free flow (and cost) of energy. All of this, not to mention an ongoing labor shortage, materials shortages, and plenty of other madness, wreaking havoc on day-to-day life. Of course, businesses aren’t immune to this madness — particularly small businesses. What this chaos does teach any entrepreneur or current business owner is the importance of retained earnings. But, what are retained earnings and how can small businesses build them up for difficult times that will inevitably unfold in the future?

What are Retained Earnings Anyway?

Retained earnings are an important part of any business. They are the funds that a company sets aside to cover expenses during tough times or to reinvest in the business. (Like now, when the entire world is topsy turvy and the economic circumstances are unstable and unpredictable, to say the least.)
Retained earnings are an important concept in accounting. The term refers to the historical profits earned by a company, minus any dividends it paid in the past. The word “retained” captures the fact that because those earnings were not paid out to shareholders as dividends they were instead retained by the company. For this reason, retained earnings decrease when a company either loses money or pays dividends, and increase when new profits are created. —Investopedia.com
During normal circumstances, retained earnings are generally used to expand. Examples include hiring additional employees, purchasing new equipment, bringing in new or more inventory to sell, or even acquiring new commercial property. But, when sales slow and the business isn’t earning enough, retained earnings can be used as savings to bridge the gap.

How to Build Up a Business’ Retained Earnings

One of the most important aspects of any business is its retained earnings. Retained earnings are funds that a company sets aside to cover expenses during tough times or to reinvest in the business. This money can be critical for businesses when they need to maintain cash flow during difficult periods or invest in new opportunities. There are two main ways to build up retained earnings. The first is to generate profits and reinvest them back into the business. This can be done by reinvesting profits into new products, expanding the business, or hiring new staff. The second way to build up retained earnings is to reduce expenses. This can be accomplished by cutting costs in areas such as marketing and/or overhead expenses. If you want your business to be prepared for anything, it is important to have a healthy retained earnings account. By reinvesting profits and reducing expenses, you can ensure that your company has the funds it needs to weather any storm. With a strong foundation of retained earnings, your business can thrive for years to come.

Entrepreneurs should also Carefully Consider Retained Earnings if Buying an Existing Business

When evaluating a company’s financial statement, it is important to look at the retained earnings line item. This number will tell you how much money a company has set aside to cover expenses during tough times or to reinvest in the business. If you are interested in investing in a company, it is important to make sure that its retained earnings account is healthy and growing. What else do you think new and existing business owners should know about retained earnings? Please share your own thoughts and experiences so others can better understand this important topic. Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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