An Entrepreneur earning a steady income from their business(es), is a sign of sustainable growth and success. Unfortunately not a lot of Entrepreneurs know this, most people believe that once they step into the world of entrepreneurship, salaries become a thing of the past.
As an Entrepreneur one of the crucial ways to monitor if your business is growing or successful is when you are able to put yourself on the payroll.
So at what point does an entrepreneur start earning a constant salary? The business’ ‘Break-Even Point’ is the key determining factor.
“The Break-Even Point is the production level where
Total Revenue = Total Expenses.”
Basically in layman terms, this means when the money coming into your business is enough to cover all the costs associated with running the business; essentially the business is running itself. Until you achieve this benchmark, you have no business putting yourself on a fixed salary. There has to be discipline on the part of the Entrepreneur not to touch their business’ earnings till the business can cover its costs of production.
The second key factor is to identify ‘Indirect Costs’ associated with running your business. These are usually things most Entrepreneurs overlook and consider as their own personal costs, it is crucial that all Indirect Costs be identified and captured, otherwise you will, unknowingly, be running your business out of your own pocket. Indirect costs are usually things like petrol in your car/transportation costs if you’re an Entreprenuer that moves around (e.g. MakeUp Artist, Nail Tech, etc.) or if you’re a Influencer: data, editing software, phone credit etc are indirect costs. For more about Direct/Indirect see my previous post here, where I explained how to determine the direct & indirect costs in your businesses. It’s a MUST READ!
Once you determine your indirect costs, you realize that it takes a huge burden off you, these then become part of the costs & expenses that contribute to production of your goods or fulfilment of services. When your business’ income can cover these costs and expense, then you may begin to consider a salary.
The next stage…..
How do you determine your salary?
First you divide your needs into the sub categories in order of priority: Healthcare, Feeding, Rent, Transportation, Bills, Pension, Grooming & Leisure.
Healthcare & Pension
There are so many options for healthcare and pension in Nigeria these days AVON, AXA MANSARD, STANBIC PENSIONS to name a few. The HMOs offer a variety of packages at very affordable premiums to cover a range of healthcare services at multiple hospitals all over Nigeria. You may decide to cover the one-off fee from your personal funds and the company will make monthly remittance to you as part of your salary earnings.
These can be remunerated monthly at your own discretion and can be as high or as low as you decide to set it.
If rent is one of your expenses or you are considering living on your own, then divide your annual rent and service charge costs(if any) by 12 months and see how much it will cost you monthly. There are a number of property websites in Nigeria now one that really caught our attention was www.fibre.com for those individuals who do not mind shared accommodation. Platforms like this create options for monthly rent payments. However if you currently have accommodation and your business is your only source of income and said business cannot bear such a cost it is advisable to table that cost until you scale.
Bills & Transportation
It is also important to calculate how much transportation and bills cost you monthly and include in your salary breakdown. Bills include phone & data costs, DSTV,gym etc. However if your business requires frequent use of your phone and constant internet, then these should be covered in your business’ costs & expenses.
Grooming & Leisure
In this area, you can calculate how much you spend on grooming yourself in a month or socialising? For example, hair appointments, going to the cinema, drinks with friends, etc. There is a reason why these are the last sub categories; they are not necessarily priorities even though the saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is relevant. These are the luxuries you can afford to scrimp on for the first few months till you can steadily cover your other more important expenses.
Below is a salary breakdown for a female entrepreneur in her mid 20s. She recently invested in an HMO policy with premium of NGN42,000 for the year and is making a monthly remittance to her company. She has also decided to start depositing NGN100,000 annually into her pension account with plans to review upwards. She was fortunate to find a beautiful studio in Lekki via www.fibre.com. Her leisure budget is currently too high but she feels she deserves it especially since she hadn’t taken money out of the company for 8 months.
The breakdown should look something like this:
Its important to state that the sub categories listed are based on our research and client demands and can be tailored to include domestic staff salaries and other expenses. This is just a blueprint to get you on your way.
If you’re interested in learning more about MASAL Consultants “Budget & Savings” services feel free to contact us and sign up for a free consultation. (contact details below)
Muna is a finance professional and beauty enthusiast based in Lagos. She is the Principal Consultant at MASAL Consultants
, a financial management firm that provides: public accounting, bookkeeping, financial planning & advisory services to SMEs, Entrepreneurs and Private Individuals.
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