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The ABCs of Good Record-Keeping

There's a handsome payoff for getting a handle on your business's finances.

By Amy Rauch Neilson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

(YoungBiz)- On a typical day, you can find Meghan Ellwanger, the 18-year-oldowner/operator of the Berry Patch Nannies goat farm in Somerset,Wisconsin, looking after the goats she raises for breeding andmilking. Caring for the goats includes feeding them--baby goatsneed to be fed four times a day--giving them water and cleaningtheir pens. Ellwanger also delivers the babies, watches their dietto keep them disease-free and has even experimented with artificialinsemination.

That may sound like enough to keep her busy, but there'salso the behind-the-scenes management of her business. Along withher everyday duties, Ellwanger spends a fair amount of timewatching her business's bottom line. Her detailed records,which she keeps both on the computer using Quicken and by hand,help her to track the costs associated with running herbusiness.

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