We are big fans of Johnny Martin. He came into the office a while ago and did some training with the team on some of the finer points of business finance and accounting – we found it really useful. He does some great monthly workshops at the British Library, too.

We heard he had written a book recently and so decided to pick it up and review it. Johnny has extensive experience on all sides of business, as an owner, financial director and investor, so he knows his stuff!

Why read ‘Understanding your business finances’?johnny_martin_Book-cover

Starting a business is a daunting affair. You might have the best idea or product but if you don’t know what all the numbers and jargon mean, you might not get off the ground.

From business models, to types of reporting, financing a business and day-to-day accounting, Johnny gives good coverage of the basics that will help you on your journey as a business owner.

What sets this book apart is that it’s also a workbook. After explaining the concepts, Johnny uses very grounded scenarios and problems as examples that really help you get your head around what it all means.

Many of the books on finance we come across are quite academic and theoretical, whereas this one provides help on day-to-day accounting and practical finance.

This practical help should be invaluable to anyone thinking of starting a business, or who is currently running a business but feeling a bit lost.

What issues are addressed?

One of the big business pitfalls addressed in this book is that “No one goes bust with money in the bank”.

Many new business owners see orders coming in but long payment terms mean they can run up against cashflow problems, particularly when salaries and suppliers have to be paid. Suddenly there’s no cash in the bank and they can’t generate more sales. As Johnny says, “Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity… and cash is reality!

What are Johnny’s top tips?

The tips in ‘Understanding your business finances’ for using cashflow forecasts, including how to measure and manage working capital, are top notch and essential for any growing business.

A feature I particularly enjoyed about this book are the recommendations for further reading, or websites to check out. These are helpfully displayed at the side of pages next to relevant sections. These kinds of tips give readers the opportunity to deepen our understanding as and when we choose but also gives what we’re learning more context, making it more relevant which makes us more likely to remember it.

Johnny Martin’s ‘Understanding your business finances’ is a fantastic introductory guide to business finance that takes you through a lot of difficult concepts in a friendly manner. It is accessible, easy to read and packed with great information and knowledge that can be applied directly to a real business.

Interested in buying a copy? Go to Johnny’s website: http://www.johnnymartin.co.uk/resources.