Using Smart Goals to Achieve More

As a small business owner, you’re likely always looking for ways to achieve more. Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution about it. You might have resolved to make more money, find more clients, or grow your business. It’s fantastic to have an idea of what you want to do, but how will you know whether or not you’re successful? That’s where SMART goals come in. SMART goals help you…  Read more

Separating Personal and Business Expenses

There are some things in life that go together well and others that definitely do not. Business and personal finances are in the category of items that should not be mixed. Although it may seem like a headache to keep them separate—who wants to manage all those bank accounts?—your life will be greatly simplified once you separate your personal and your business finances, especially your expenses. Paperwork and taxes will…  Read more

Four Easy Ways to Make your Business Environmentally Friendly

These days, there’s an increasing focus on reducing our environmental impact. Many businesses offer recycling programs and even have composting, while some companies encourage car pooling, offer parking spaces for hybrid vehicles, or move their operations into environmentally friendly buildings. There are many things you can do as a business owner to make your business more environmentally friendly, but it’s important to take steps that represent permanent change rather than…  Read more

App Options to Get Started with Online Meetings

Looking into affordable video chat and voice calling options for your small business? These four popular, user-friendly alternatives to Skype will help you connect seamlessly with staff, colleagues, and customers. Read on for a breakdown of each app’s features to decide on the best fit for you. 1. WhatsApp With more than 1 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is currently the most popular multi-media messaging app for mobile in existence – and…  Read more

Cash or Accrual? What’s the Difference?

When you start a business, you have many decisions to make. One of those is the method of accounting your business will use for reporting income and expenses on your tax return. It is an extremely important decision. With few exceptions, the method you choose can only be changed in the future with the IRS’s permission. The two methods generally used are the cash method and the accrual method. The…  Read more

Why Cloud Accounting Should Be Part of Your Disaster Plan

After a disaster like a hurricane or a flood, we often think of the recovery process in terms of physical repairs to damaged property. Businesses, however, must also cope with the recovery of their records. Consider these 6 questions to determine if your business and accounting files are best stored locally or in the cloud. What if my accounting records are lost? Accounting records are not simply needed in order…  Read more

Tips for Managing Independent Contractors

For small businesses, working with independent contractors can be a life saver. You can hand over tasks you don’t have time for – at a fraction of the cost of an employee. Unlike staff, you won’t owe a contractor payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, health insurance, or other employee benefits. Because contractors aren’t employees, however, they do need to be managed differently. They’re accustomed to being their own bosses, for one…  Read more

Can a Virtual Assistant Help Your Business?

When you run a small business you likely want to spend as much time as possible on the tasks that make money for your business. Unfortunately, there are many day-to-day chores that require your time but aren’t necessarily worth your energy. Faced with those errands, many small business owners either spend their valuable time and energy on chores they hate or put them off until the last minute. That’s where…  Read more

3 Smart Cost-Saving Tips for Business Owners

Small business owners know how important it is to save money. They know that one day that dollar could come in handy, especially during slower times. Saving money is definitely important, but there are also things small business owners can – and should – spend their money on today. It might seem counterproductive to spend money when you want to put it in the bank – and make no mistake,…  Read more

Should You Choose a Friend to be Your Business Partner?

Planning to start a business partnership with a friend? Prudence demands looking at the pitfalls – as well as the potential strengths – of such relationships. Here are a few questions to consider. What will my friend contribute to the business? Does he or she have strengths that will clearly enhance the business – abilities, knowledge, or resources that you don’t possess or aren’t willing to acquire by other means?…  Read more

Thinking About a Business Loan? Here’s What your Banker Needs

Bankers typically go by the 5 C’s of lending: Capital, Character, Capacity, Conditions, and Collateral. When you apply for a business loan, your request must meet certain basic requirements. Your banker needs to have: A written request for a specific amount of money. A detailed explanation of the use of the funds. A projection of how and when you will repay the loan. A list of the collateral you are…  Read more

Get Paid First – Why Your Salary Should be your Business’s First Monthly Expense

It’s the line item most often left out of a small company’s budget: the business owner’s salary. Let’s face it: you can always spend cash on your business. From office expenses to employee salaries to rent, every month a portion of your revenue is accounted for. But paying yourself first is a must. You need to earn a living – and paying yourself can actually help your business succeed. Here’s…  Read more

Three ways to Speed up Invoicing

Everyone likes making money, especially small business owners. Invoicing, however, is typically one of the tasks that small business owners like the least. Chores like creating and sending invoices get set aside for other duties that are seen as more enjoyable or even more urgent. You tell yourself you’ll get around to it tomorrow, but tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month, and suddenly you realise your client…  Read more

What Numbers are Vital to your Business Success?

Key business numbers to monitor What numbers monitor the vital signs of your business? You may be surprised to find you must look beyond the numbers on your financial statements. Most successful business owners have a set of key numbers they use to monitor how well their business is doing. Usually these numbers are a combination of financial and nonfinancial measurements. You can improve the profitability of your business by…  Read more

Use Technology to Control Costs in your Construction Business

Controlling overhead costs is critical for all construction managers. Increased competition and slim profit margins have forced contractors to take a hard look at overhead cost management. Budgeting and Variance Analysis Technological changes have made budgeting systems, planning, and control techniques available to all contractors. Budgeting allows contractors to evaluate current operations, assess future costs, and provide a proactive approach to controlling overhead costs. Overhead costs are either variable or…  Read more

Do You Know Your Break-Even Point?

All business owners need to be aware of their break-even point — that is, the number of units they need to sell in order to cover their operating costs. Once you’ve reached your break-even point, it’s time to celebrate: your business is no longer in the red, and you are officially earning a profit. This article will show you how to calculate your break-even point so you can make wise…  Read more

7 Actionable Ideas to Improve Your Profit

Consider the following ideas for saving time and money and making your business more profitable. 1. Develop tight controls over billing and collections. To speed up cash flow, reduce the time between shipping your product and sending an invoice. Consider semimonthly instead of monthly billing, and send second notices more quickly. 2. Collect past-due receivables. Almost every business has past-due receivables. Phone the people who owe you the most money,…  Read more

Tips for Choosing a Small Business Bank

Finding the right bank to serve your small business needs can be a daunting task. With so many competing financial institutions to choose from, business owners simply don’t have the time for the in-depth research required to carefully weigh all the options. This guide to choosing a small business bank will help you narrow down your choices so you find the best fit for you. Small, medium, or large? You…  Read more

4 Questions you Should Ask your Accountant

Ideally, you and your accountant are more than just “adviser” and “client”. With your combined skills, expertise, and shared mission to support a thriving business, you’re more like strategic partners. The key to achieving success in any partnership is, of course, strong communication. At your next meeting, be sure to ask your accountant these four important questions. 1. What’s my best strategy for increasing revenue? Every business owner strives to…  Read more

When You Should Consider Hiring a Business Lawyer

When you run a small business, every cent counts. It can be difficult to spend money on anything you don’t consider vital. Hiring a lawyer during key times in your small business might seem like an unnecessary expense, but the money you spend now on a business attorney could save you time, money, and energy in the long run and could protect your business. When it comes to your small…  Read more

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