Mastering Profit First: A Comprehensive Guide for UK Small Business Owners

Mastering Profit First

Mastering Profit First: A Comprehensive Guide for UK Small Business Owners

Profit First is a transformative approach to financial management that ensures profitability from your very next deposit. Tailored for the UK business environment, this guide will help you understand and implement the Profit First system .

Understanding Profit First

Profit First, as its name suggests, prioritises profit over expenses.

Instead of the traditional formula

Sales - Expenses = Profit

Profit First proposes:

Sales - Profit = Expenses

This subtle shift in perspective changes how you manage your business finances.

Implementing Profit First in Your UK Business

Implementing Profit First involves four steps: setting up bank accounts, allocating percentages, removing temptations, and adjusting as necessary.

Let's explore each step.

Setting Up Bank Accounts

Create five bank accounts: Income, Profit, Owners Pay, Tax, and Operating Expenses. Every time you receive income, it goes into the Income account, and from there, you distribute money into the other four accounts based on predetermined percentages.

Allocating Percentages

Determine the percentages of income you'll allocate to each account. These should align with your business goals and the reality of your operating environment, including UK tax obligations. Remember, the goal is to ensure your business remains profitable after meeting all other financial obligations.

Removing Temptations

Transfer your Profit and Tax reserves to separate bank accounts to avoid the temptation of using these funds for operating expenses. You might also consider setting up these accounts at a different bank to further discourage misuse.

Adjusting as Necessary

Monitor your financials regularly, and adjust your allocations as necessary. Your business will evolve, and your Profit First system should evolve with it.


Mastering the Profit First system can revolutionise your small business finances. It requires a mindset shift and disciplined financial management, but the result is a sustainable, profitable business. With a clear understanding of the system, and determined action, you can implement Profit First and pave the way for financial success.

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About the Author

Annette Ferguson 

Owner of Annette & Co. - Chartered Accountants & Certified Profit First Professionals. Helping online service-based entrepreneurs find clarity in their numbers, increase wealth and have more money in their pockets.