ACCOUNTING TIPS 

Accounting for Small Business

An account is the name given to the statements where business transactions in monetary terms are recorded. This recording is one of the basic and essential acts in order to operate a successful venture. As an entrepreneur you should know some basic accounting treatments and able to go through and understand profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Methods

There are basically two methods of accounting which can be applied. They are accrual and cash basis. Accrual is widely accepted and mostly used as it provides a better picture of the business in terms of profit and loss. Cash system focuses on transactions only when money is transferred, this can give a window dressed accounting picture as in the practical world today transactions take place on credit also which can be ignored in this system.

BookKeeper

When starting a business, it is important to keep accurate track of all the transactions. If you are not an eligible accountant or have adequate knowledge regarding the entries, you should hire a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper as the name suggests is the person who will record transactions as per the accounting standards and laws along with making financial statements.

This record keeping will give you a fair idea regarding your business. The profit, loss, creditor and debtors which are due along with providing a picture about your assets, expenses, incomes and liabilities will help you in making better decisions. It will also give you a reasonable idea regarding where as an entrepreneur you and your business stand and what areas to focus on in order to succeed.

Technology

With changing time, manual accounts have given way to computerized software and accounting systems. As entrepreneur this is even great as this further reduces the chances of human error and fraud. It also helps with making prompt decisions as a computerized system gives immediate ratios and other individual account details. It can even easily take in any expansion and increase in work load, assisting in all issues and works.

Up to date accounts also help in making the most accurate calculations while making tax payments and other such regulatory payments. It also increases the goodwill of the company as both debtors and creditors like to deal with people who fair play.

Invoicing

At times due to any issue receipts and invoices must be checked or presented as evidence. A good accounting system in such a case tends to be the only savior. As double entry provides full proof regarding every entry made. Checking on and finding the detail also becomes an easier task. This also reduces chances of human error and any potential fraud by any party involved.

Managing accounts using the right system and software and a qualified person shall help in the growth of a business. It makes an entity look smart and professional ready to face the challenges of the market and stand with firm footings in the corporate world. So, mange your accounts and take the first step towards success!

Business Essentials

Getting Started

Congratulations on opening your new business! And as you check out all the new furniture and finalize a few deals with your accountant and lawyer, you are probably beginning to thing about what kind of technology you should be using in order to make your business as successful as possible.

 

Basically, a lot of businesses have similar needs, which will be outlined in this article. However, based on what type of business you are running and its needs, you might need to use some stuff that other businesses don’t need. So, here are some things that your business simply has to have if you want it to be successful.

 

Local Technology Consultant

Ensuring that you have a technology consultant who knows about your business and who can help you when it comes to your technology growth would be one of the most important investments for your business.

 

Having a lawyer and an accountant is very important for obvious reasons, but having a good, trustworthy technology consultant is just as important. Take some time to build a strong relationship with your technology consultant in order to ensure that everything is going to work out nicely between the two of you.

 

Computers

Having a computer for each and every single one of your employees is a necessity. But you need to ensure that these computers are not just any computers. So, instead of using old, slower computers, use the new, faster ones.

 

Each one of them should have a lot of hard disk space (at least 80GB) and memory (at least 512MB), as well as a fast processor (at least 2GHZ). But having a quality screen is just as important because it can prevent the eyestrain, or at least significantly decrease its effect.

 

An Access to High-Speed Internet

Regardless of how big or small your business is, you simply need to have an access to high-speed internet at all times. This is because it allows you take full advantage of VoIP, online backup, and all the other technologies that you wouldn’t really be able to use if you had a traditional dial-up connection instead.

 

If your business is an online-only kind of business, or it at least requires you to do a big amount of work online, your internet service is very, very important. You also need to make sure that the vendor that is providing the service offers a reliable support and service.

 

Another thing that can make your business very successful is having a website. Also, having an e-mail address that your customers can use to contact you is very important as well.

Be Innovative!

Innovation is key to success.

It goes without saying the better mouse trap always catches more mice, well maybe not but close. Point being to be innovative, don’t follow the crowd, stand apart.

They say the ones at the top and the bottom of the pricing chart succeed. While the ones caught in the middle fight for scraps. I think there is a lot to this. Think about it the ones at the top innovated a new approach, product or process. While the ones at the bottom likely innovated a new delivery system, procurement, process or something to bring their costs down.

So be innovative! This can come in many forms and a truly innovative company looks for as many ways to be and show their innovation as possible. It’s one thing to have the most innovative widget. But if your message around this widget is bland and rather lack luster, those cool innovations or the “value” might be lost in the wide world of marketing.

Messaging

As regular people in everyday life we have around 25,000 marketing messages flashed, shown, spoken, or otherwise presented to us. That’s insane, and we don’t notice but a small fraction and retain an even smaller fraction. So as an innovative brand you must find innovative ways to share your message. The traditional medium is fine, as well the newer trendy platforms like social giant Facebook or Snapchat. The medium matters but the message matters more. Even on the trendiest, newest social platform, there are thousands of posts or messages and you must find a way to stand out.

Customer Interactions

Try to innovate the way customers interact with your business. Too many times we see entire industry stuck in the stone ages with some process. When that process involves a customer touch point that is a huge opportunity to set yourself apart. Maybe it’s a follow up process or onsite payment processing, think through all customer touch points and think, how can I do this Better?

Innovation is usually thought about in product design or functionality. While this is a great place to make a name for yourself you really need to build around that product an innovative way to interact and communicate your message.

Example

Here’s an example of an old friend who does rain gutter installation in Boise, not just any rain gutters but custom gutter systems. He makes awesome rain barrels and features that really set his usually cooper gutters apart. He wanted to drive ore attention to some of his barrel designs and setup. So, he created a contest on social media. The contest showcased an amazing rain barrel he created and asked the contestants to guess the number of stones he had in it and the winner would receive the barrel and a custom rain gutter setup.

Another innovative aspect of this contest since it was on social they could quickly follow up all participants in the area. They offered a great discount on a rain barrel just for participating. That contest ended up driving over 25 sales for this gutter contractor.

 

The main point of this post is to encourage you no matter what industry you serve to be innovative in every aspect and market that innovation with innovation.

If you have some suggestions for future blog topics please send the editor a note, we are always looking for new topics.

How To Retain Customers

Once you differentiate yourself from the competition and portray that value to your target audience. Hopefully they convert into a massive amount of sales. But we want to not only sell them one-time but keep them coming back for more.

In almost every industry it costs more to gain a new customer than it does to keep them. Why? Education, credibility, trust and number of other reasons a new buyer costs more to procure.

 

Okay, well let’s talk about keeping a customer spending money with you not once or twice but multiple times. I always reverse engineer situations like this and I encourage you to do the same, since you know your situation best. It all starts with putting yourself in the customers shoes. Your customers, usually fall within your “target market” with some exceptions.

 

Study that market not only from a statistical side but from the real world. Hold focus groups and interact as much as possible to get to know the common values, needs, beliefs, culture etc.

 

Now if you were a customer within that mold you just identified, what would make you buy the first time? Is it Price, Innovation, Culture, Features? Maybe its all the above. Write your thoughts down on this as it might well become an integral part of your company.

 

So once they have your product or use your service why would they buy again. Is the quality just so superior to the competition? Maybe your customer service is top-notch? Continuous innovation? A culture driven industry? Answer these questions and continue to engage your audience keeping these messages top of mind.

 

Engage through e-mail blasts, social, special offer post cards whatever it takes. Keep your brand and its value on the forefront of their mind.

Customer loyalty programs are great, with a special offer following immediately after an initial buy. This can make the customer “stickier” as they have more engagement with your brand.

 

Special customer offers for holidays, anniversaries, birthdays things of that nature are a great way to show you appreciate your clients. Thus, keeping them more engaged. These can be setup relatively easy with programs to run about everything for you anymore.

 

This is just a few thoughts on how to retain the most precious thing in your business, clients. Feel free to comment below with any additional ideas.

How to Differentiate Your Business from the Competition

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that every company or business organization faces at some point faces an identity crisis, especially during the evolution phase. Young businesses are always looking for ways through which they can build a differentiated identity in a market that looks saturated. Even those companies that were pioneers in specific industries come to a place where they struggle finding their voice.

In almost every industry today, there’s more competition than ever. Whether you’re in the service industry or you’ve just launched a new product, there are others already clamoring for your target audience and market. Intense competition simply means your market will soon start shaping you if your business isn’t tenacious about distinguishing itself. Don’t forget that competition also means you’re into something good. So, what will cause people to come to you rather than your competition? Here are key areas to focus on:

Focus Relentlessly on Value

Whether you’re selling your product online, offline, or both, customers want to get that extra nudge when making their purchases. You must, therefore, focus on providing added value to what you’re offering your customers. Incentives such as coupons, free initial consultation, free shipping, or money-back guarantee are some of the ways to provide extra value to your service. It all starts by evaluating what your target audience needs most. Before a customer shifts to using your service or product, it must be much better than what your competition has or what they have been using.

Recruit the Best Talent in the Industry. You’ll need to cultivate the Right Working Environment.

Any Company that wants to achieve true value-driven business must ensure it invests in the best talent. It all starts by cultivating a work environment that attracts exceptional talent. This is very important especially when your business is at an inflection point of growth.

Innovate

Most business organizations fail due to their inability to innovate. As soon as you launch one product concept and it seems to be working well in the market, don’t relax and start enjoying the ride. To ensure growth in your business, you must keep moving and stay focused on what’s next. With your team, you should come up with ways to grow your product line and ensure constant innovation. Always think of ways through which you can serve your customers better.

Convenience and Trust

The market is no longer working and operating as it did decades ago. Today, customers are looking for convenience every time they shop for a product or service. Ensure your customers can easily find in-depth information about your product or service. Having an optimized and functioning website is no longer an option today. Focus on providing your customers with a speedy and convenient shopping experience.

Another important factor to remember is that customers will only purchase products from businesses they trust. You must, therefore, ensure that your team members and employees demonstrate courtesy, professionalism, reliability, competence, and responsiveness in their service delivery. The link between your business and the customers should never break down. Build lasting relationships with your customers.