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Warning Signs: Is Your Business in Financial Distress?

Everyone hopes for the best when starting a new business. In the beginning, the hard work is often fueled by big dreams and future possibilities for the company. It is exciting and challenging at the same time, and owning a business can have incredible payouts in the future. But, as things are progressing, it is important that you watch for a few warning signs that might indicate potential problems for your company. When you see the signs of your business in financial distress, then a few changes can correct the course and help you avoid disaster.

Look for Clues about the Financial Health of Your Company

It is easy to get caught in the assumption that everything is going well. Then, you might feel blindsided when things start to fall apart… especially when you didn’t see it coming. The truth is that there are always clues that indicate the success of your company. If you notice these small issues, then it is time to adjust your strategy and habits so that you can avoid bigger problems in the future.

Sometimes, these clues show up in the financial reports. But, other times, the clues might be in sales patterns or other indications that could impact the bottom line. The most important thing that you can do is pay attention to the financial statements and the ongoing patterns of the success in your company. Then, you can seek assistance if you notice anything unusual. This proactive approach is essential so that you can avoid problems later on.

If you don’t have experience with accounting and bookkeeping, then it can be helpful to enlist the services of a team that understands small business strategy. Tapping into this expertise can help you identify things that will impact the future of your company.

Here are a few things that you should be watching for that indicate signs of a business in financial distress:

Sign #1: Cash Flow Problems

If money is coming in, but there is never enough to pay the bills, then it is an indication that you need to look at the cash flow for your company. The profit margins are found in the difference between receivables and expenses. You can bring in large sums of money. But, you aren’t profitable if your expenses are higher than the amount of money that is coming in.

How much money is in the bank account right now? What are the upcoming expenses that need to be paid? One common problem that happens with cash flow is that the company has money in the account right now, but the money is spent leaving nothing leftover for expenses in the future. For example, it’s no surprise that taxes will need to be paid regularly. But, if you use the excess money in the savings account to buy more inventory or equipment, then you might not have the cash available to cover the expenses for the tax bill.

Cash drains can lead to the downfall of your company. Not only do you need to make sure that you are bringing in money to cover the costs. But, you also need to be sure that you don’t have high spending and overhead expenses that affect your cash flow. These are some of the most common reasons your bank account is being drained:

  • Excessive overhead costs
  • Heavy debt loads and high-interest payments
  • Poor spending decisions
  • Outstanding accounts receivable

Keep in mind that it is normal for companies to have fluctuations in sales numbers. You might have a great month with a large amount of cash flow. Make sure that you have money set aside so that cash is available to cover the expenses in the lean months that will inevitably happen in the future.

Sign #2: Increasing Overhead Costs

When the business is thriving, it is easy to slip into a pattern of overspending. If money is in the bank, why not use it for business investments, marketing, or more inventory? It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to increase overhead costs. But, you need to make sure that the receivables increase accordingly.

Also, keep in mind your spending patterns throughout the seasonal changes in the industry. Your spending might go up in the busy season. But, you need to be prepared to drop those expenses in the future when things start to slow down again.

If you can see that your spending and overhead costs are increasing but your receivables are staying the same (or even decreasing), then it means that you are heading towards financial problems. Eventually, you will burn through the cash in the bank and face a difficult situation because there’s no money left over to pay the bills.

Take some time to understand why your expenses are increasing. Where are you spending the most money? Are there any spending categories that can be adjusted to reduce the amounts that you are spending? There might be small costs that add up quickly, such as interest expenses or other non-operating costs that pop up. Or, there could be monthly subscriptions that are no longer needed. Don’t let these cash suckers eat away at your profits. Be proactive to make sure that every dollar spent is going towards an essential product or service that is impacting your company in a positive way.

Sign #3: High Levels of Outstanding Receivables

It’s great to see that sales are increasing. But, if you are selling products and services and the outstanding receivables number is growing, then it could be a potential indication of an issue. When your business profits are tied up in invoices that are outstanding, then you don’t have the cash in pocket that is needed to keep the company running.

The key is to ensure that customers understand the credit policies. Communicate the payment terms upfront, and then make sure that your team is consistent about following through on the collections. Sometimes, it takes a little work to ensure that you are collecting the money that is owed by your clients. But, it is worth the effort to collect the outstanding invoices so that you have money to keep your company going.

Sign #4: Sales are Decreasing

Even after a strong season or year, there might be times when the sales start to slow. It might seem like an obvious financial warning sign, but there are times when business owners don’t notice the changes in sales numbers. If you don’t have money coming in through product sales, then it is time to figure out the problem.

You need to get to the root of the issue to find the area where you can have the most impact to increase sales. The stagnation could be seasonal changes, which means that you can anticipate that things will increase again in the future. But, these revenue decreases could be due to adjustments in your marketing campaign or a difference in the inventory that is available.

It is essential that you know what your customers need and want so that you can be sure that your products and services are designed to match their needs. Then, your strategies can be catered to increase the likelihood of repeat customers.

Sign #5: Customers aren’t Coming Back

The easiest way to help your company grow is by increasing the rate of repeat customers. It takes a lot of money to generate new customers through marketing efforts. The simpler (and cheaper) method is to continue selling products to people who already trust your company.

You need to maintain communication with current and previous customers, helping them know where to go when it is time to make another purchase. Keep your company at the top-of-mind so that people know that you are always there to support them when they need help in the industry.

Run reports to look at the patterns of sales. Then, use your marketing strategy to reach out to customers who might be interested in buying again. When you are consistent with customer communication, then it is easy to build business relationships that last for many years.

Business in Financial Distress? Talk to the Experts

If your business is having financial problems, then you might need to bring on a team of experts to help with the cash flow and strategy. Make sure to choose a team of bookkeepers and accountants who understand small business strategies, ensuring that you receive services that are catered to the needs of your company.

At Easier Accounting, we have specialized our services to match the accounting needs of startups and small businesses. We understand the challenges that you are facing as you work to grow the company. So, we offer the services that you need to manage your ongoing financial tracking and reporting. At the same time, you can tap into the tax strategy to help you leverage all of the financial benefits that are available from working with an experienced team. If you are interested in learning more, then it is time to talk to our expert team for a consultation. Call today to see if our accounting services are a good fit for your company: (888) 620-0770

How-To Guide: Tips to Improve Your Business Bookkeeping and Accounting

If you want to improve the results for your company, then you need to take it back to the basics by upgrading the systems that influence every aspect of business management. By creating the right foundation with good business bookkeeping and accounting practices, then you can make a difference with the long-term success that is possible. The key is to pay attention to the details and hire the right team to assist with the implementation.

Many business owners have good intentions to improve critical systems, such as financial reporting and accounting details. But, it is common for these activities to fall to the backburner because the attention is focused on immediate needs. It is easy to ignore the stack of paperwork that needs to be addressed when you are spending your time talking to potential customers and business contacts. Instead of procrastinating these efforts, you need to understand the importance of good systems so that these things are pushed to the top of your priority list.

Common Options to Improve Business Bookkeeping and Accounting

Even though you know that your business bookkeeping and accounting systems need to be improved, where should you start? You need to think about the overall system as well as the ongoing tasks that should be addressed on a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule.

Here are a few common practices that need to be considered if you are looking for ways to improve your accounting and bookkeeping:

Practice #1: Common Understanding with Vendors and Business Contacts

It can be a challenge to juggle the invoices that are coming and going when you have different systems in place for business contacts and vendors. For example, are some of your vendors stuck in the old process by sending invoices through the mail? We live in a digital age, which means that hard copies are no longer necessary. There’s no reason why you need to hold onto the paperwork.

Talk to your vendors to see if they offer digital invoicing. Then, make sure that you have the right system in place to keep the files sorted when they come through. For example, all of the invoices should be sent to the same email address. Next, the attachments need to be imported into the accounting system or saved in a cloud storage folder for future reference if needed.

Creating the same system and understanding with all of your business contacts can help to simplify the work that needs to be done in your office. It takes a little bit of effort to systematize this process, but it is worth the long-term benefits that are available.

Practice #2: Identify Bad Practices

Are there any bad habits that are dragging down efficiency or impacting profit margins? You need to evaluate the things that should be changed so that you can work on optimizing processes for the future. Sometimes, it is easy to overlook these bad practices when they become a normal part of your business activities.

The best solution to find the bad practices is to bring in an outside perspective to evaluate the way you are handling your regular activities. For example, important tasks might be falling through the cracks if you aren’t tracking the progress of various projects or invoices. Or an accounting team might help you find unnecessary costs that can be dropped so that you can minimize your overhead expenses.

Even though the changes might seem small, they can have a significant impact on the success of your company in the future. If you want to improve your results, then you need to improve the way you are managing all of the details in your company.

Practice #3: Be Clear about Bookkeeping Duties and Responsibilities

One of the most common reasons why important tasks are overlooked is that people don’t take responsibility for the things that might be handled by another employee. Don’t wait for employees to step up and take ownership for essential tasks, such as reconciling the books or sending invoices. Instead, you need to choose the people who should oversee the task and ensure that everyone takes personal responsibility for the areas where they are assigned.

You might have in-house employees who can help with bookkeeping, invoicing, and more. Or, you might choose to outsource these services so that a professional company takes responsibility for the tasks that need to be completed. It’s up to you to choose the system that will work best for your business. At the same time, be clear about expectations so that employees or contractors take the lead on their responsibilities.

Practice #4: Use the Latest Automation Features

Automation can have a transformational impact on your accounting and bookkeeping practices. If you are stuck in old habits and systems, then right now is the perfect opportunity to make the changes that are long overdue.

We live in a world of technology, which means that you need to be looking for options that fit your industry. There is no reason why your employees should be spending time on tasks that can be automated. For example, some businesses still practice data entry for every transaction that moves through the office. But, often these transactions can be automated by syncing the bank accounts and credit cards with the bookkeeping system.

A good bookkeeping system will pull in the transactions and even set up categories based on your predefined parameters. This automation reduces the need to spend valuable time on busy work. Instead, you can let the system handle the details so that you can focus on other aspects of growing your company.

Practice #5: Managing Inventory and Spending

It is common for businesses to get caught in the trap of overspending and poor management of cash flow. If you are spending too much on inventory and business management, then you will be able to see the trends in the reports. But, if you don’t have a good reporting system in place, then it means that these important details are probably slipping by without the attention they deserve.

Make sure that you always have the right amount of inventory on hand. Even though you want to bring in a large amount of inventory so that you never run out of products that can be sold, you might accidentally burn up your cash flow with products that won’t be sold for a while. So, it is important that you manage your spending by being careful with the amount of inventory that is purchased.

Also, look for other areas where you can reduce overall spending. Can you identify spending patterns that aren’t essential for business growth and management? There are often simple solutions that can be used to reduce overhead costs so that you can minimize your spending and maximize profit margins simultaneously.

Practice #6: Plan for Big Expenses

Even though business might be good right now, you never know when an unexpected expense will pop up. You can’t predict when an emergency might happen. But, you can always expect that something will happen eventually. So, you need to be sure that you are ready with money in the bank when these details need to be addressed.

Upcoming big expenses might be accrued for a variety of reasons, such as tax responsibilities, inventory purchasing, equipment and computers, employee payroll, and more. It takes money to run a business, so you need to think ahead to ensure that you always have the cash flow to keep things rolling. It is wise to have a few months of business expenses set aside as an emergency fund.

This emergency fund can be used for one-time costs that might come along. At the same time, the emergency money can also be helpful to get you through the lean times if things slow down in your industry.

Practice #7: Hire the Industry Experts

There’s no reason why you should reinvent the wheel when industry experts have already created and improved the systems that can be used for business bookkeeping and accounting. If you are looking for the right solutions to improve your company, then you need to turn your attention to the advice offered by the experts.

We’ve been offering these services for many years, giving us the experience and education to know the best ways to maximize the results from accounting and bookkeeping. When you choose our experienced team, you can tap into the knowledge that we will share about the options that are available for your company. As we have helped other small businesses, we’ve gained the knowledge and information required to ensure the long-term results that you deserve.

Why Easier Accounting?

Why should you enlist the services that are offered by our team at Easier Accounting? We know that you have many options for accounting and bookkeeping services. But, our team is working hard to provide the custom results that are best for small businesses and startups. If you are looking for assistance with payroll processing, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and more, then you need to contact us as soon as possible. We are here to help so that you have the best options available for your industry: (888) 620-0770

Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing an Outsourced Accounting Team

If you need accounting support, then the most common approach is to find an accountant in your local area. There is nothing wrong with working with a team that is close to home. But, you shouldn’t overlook the other options that are available in the industry. Before you rush into this decision, the best thing that you can do is learn more about the benefits of outsourced accounting.

Employee, Local, or Outsourced Accounting Services

There’s no question that you need accounting support, especially if you don’t have much experience with financial reporting and bookkeeping. Don’t waste your time on tasks that could be assigned to an industry expert. Instead, you need to look for the right services that will match the needs of your business.

One of the most common mistakes made by new homeowners is that they hang onto many of the responsibilities that could be outsourced. You don’t need to manage control over the busy work. Instead, find the right team to support your efforts so that you can focus on the business building tasks that are required. There’s no reason why you should be sending invoices or managing the bookkeeping transactions that are moving through your company. A better solution is to create the right system to outsource these tasks so that you have the necessary support for the overall efforts and vision of the company.

Bookkeeping and accounting should be the first thing that should be handed off to an experienced team. Here are a few options if you are looking for assistance with your financial tracking and reporting:

  • Employee: You have the option to hire an employee with a background in finance. If you want to have someone in-house, then make sure to choose an employee with experience in the industry. You need to hire someone who can take responsibility for the tasks and ensure the quality of work that is completed. But, you need to understand the drawbacks that come from hiring an employee. If you hire someone, you need to pay the salary as well as the cost of benefits that are required. Plus, employment taxes can add up over time. Most businesses find that an employee is more expensive compared to outsourced accounting services.
  • Local Contractor: You can see that hiring an employee isn’t always the best solution. So, you might turn to the local business results to see if you can find an accountant to help with the services that you need. A local contractor can be helpful in many ways, and some business owners like the comfort of meeting with someone face-to-face. But, if you limit your options to local services, then you might miss out on the benefits available from working with a team in a different location. There’s no reason to limit your choices, especially when the local services are more expensive compared to the outsourced options that are offered
  • Outsourced Accounting Team: Finally, the most popular choice is to choose an outsourced accounting team to assist with your books. Looking online will open up many windows of opportunity. This process allows you to choose a team the provides more than basic accounting services. You can find a company that specializes in small business accounting services to match the needs of your company.

Hiring an outsourced accounting team is one of the best ways to keep your costs low and maximize the benefits that are available. These services are catered to match the needs of your company while ensuring the long-term results that you deserve. We live in a digital world, which means that there is no reason why you need to have someone in your office or down the street. Instead, you can tap into the automation and cloud-based accounting that can improve your business systems with the support of a team offering these services online. If you are interested in learning more, then you need to talk to our experienced team at Easier Accounting for the full details about the ways our services will support your business goals.

Hiring an Accounting Team? Consider These Factors

Now that you can see the benefits of hiring help for bookkeeping and accounting, it is time to hire the experts who are a good fit for your business goals. Here are a few factors that should always be considered before you move forward with the decision:

  • Size of Your Business: It is essential that you consider the size of your business and the volume of transactions that are moving through the company. It is probably unnecessary to hire a full-time employee if you only have a few or a moderate number of transactions that are recorded in the books. This work won’t be enough to keep a full-time employee busy. At the same time, the size of your company should influence the team that you hire. If you are a startup or small business, then you need to pick a team that specializes in small business services (and skip a company that offers big corporate services).
  • Needs for Your Financial Goals: Identify the areas where you need the most support for your business goals. Are you looking for an accountant who only talks to you once a year to complete your annual taxes? Or, do you want a team that will take a proactive approach throughout the year to ensure the long-term results for your company? A variety of accounting services are available, including payroll processing, tax preparation and filing, long-term tax strategy, bookkeeping, invoicing, and more. Find a company that can support your goals with all of the work that needs to be completed throughout the year.
  • Qualifications of the Team: Your financial details contain sensitive information, which is why you need to be cautious about hiring an accounting team that you can trust. Learn about the qualifications, education, and experience of the accountant so that you understand the quality of services that are available. It might seem like a good idea to hire your niece to take care of the bookkeeping at a low hourly rate. But, many potential issues will arise if mistakes are made with the books. Never cut corners on the quality of bookkeeping and accounting services that are used for your business efforts! Instead, choose an accounting team that has hands-on experience with the services that are required for your business.
  • Cost of the Accounting Services: Finally, don’t overlook the price of the services that are available. The goal of outsourcing these services is that you can improve your profit margins, decrease spending, and maximize revenue as much as possible. Consider the cost of the accounting services to be an investment for your company. You need to understand the scope of work that will be provided as well as the cost that you will need to pay for the services. Then, compare this price with the expenses that would be required to support a full-time employee. You will see that it is usually more affordable to outsource these services instead of bringing on another employee.

Remember, that a big price tag doesn’t mean that you will receive the best accounting services. It is important that you hire an accounting team based on reputation, experience, and the scope of work that is provided to support your company. Evaluate the needs of your business and then find an accounting team to match.

You’ll Love the Services from Easier Accounting

At Easier Accounting, we understand that you have many options when it is time to hire the services of a company in the industry. We are here to support your goals and offer the advice that you need, without making you feel pressured into the services that we provide.

The best thing that you can do is have a conversation with our team. We invite you to discuss your needs with us so that we can determine if these services are a good fit for your company. If we discover that we can support your needs, then we can work together to design a custom plan that will ensure the long-term results that you desire.

We are striving to show you how affordable and easy it can be to hire an outsourced accounting team. We offer the full range of accounting services that are required, without the expensive price tag that is usually associated with hiring an accounting. By keeping our business online, we can minimize the overhead expenses so that these savings are passed onto our customers.

Are you interested in learning more about the ways that your company will benefit from outsourced accounting services? Then it is a great time to reach out to our team so that you can have a conversation. We offer information about the accounting packages that are available, so you can take some time to read through our website. Then, call us at your convenience when you are ready to learn more about the ways that our accounting services are transforming the industry. Easier Accounting is always here to help! Call today so that you can see if our services are a good fit for your company: (888) 620-0770

Christmas and New Year’s Tips for Small Business Owners

Christmas is in just a few days, and many small business owners are wrapping up the final holiday details so that they can take time away from the office. It is important to have a good work-life balance between your business and family responsibilities. But, there are a few things that you shouldn’t overlook if you are preparing for a vacation or time off.

Right now, Santa is going through the naughty and nice lists. As a business owner, you should be going through your own to-do lists of things that need to be completed before you leave for the holiday. Here are a few tips to help you keep up with accounting and the other business tasks that need to be addressed:

Christmas Spirit for Your Employees and Vendors

You might have gifts for the family members under the tree. But, you aren’t done with the shopping until you have offered a holiday gift to your employees. Even though it is a busy time of year, it is important that you take a moment to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that comes from the work that your employees offer to the company.

Create a festive environment in the office by bringing in food and treats. You might even hang up lights or set up a Christmas tree. When you are sending out emails, consider adding in holiday greetings or small things that will make the communication a little more festive.

Simple employee gifts might be as basic as adding a Christmas bonus on their paychecks. Or, you might consider handing out gifts so that you have something to give in person. Cash and gift cards are always popular because people like the option to buy the things that they want to receive for Christmas.

Don’t Go Overboard with Holiday Celebrations

It is common for companies to have a Christmas party or a New Year’s gathering. While these events are memorable and fun, you need to be careful not to consume too much alcohol. Too many drinks can have a negative impact on behavior. You want to create good memories, not something that you will regret the next morning!

Even though you are having fun with your team, it is important that you don’t cross the line of maintaining respect among employees. So, it is usually best to keep alcohol to a minimum and provide plenty of food and water during the event.

Check Your Cashflow

When you are planning holiday gifts or parties, you need to be sure that you have the cash available that is needed to pay for these expenses. Cashflow is a critical factor that can make or break your company! You might have good intentions to offer holiday bonuses for your employees. But, the plan could backfire on you if the bonus checks bounce.

Talk to your accounting team to ensure that everything is up-to-date in your financial tracking system. Go over your budget and look at anticipated costs. Then, you will be able to put together a budget that is available to pay for the holiday events.

This cash flow assessment is also important to ensure that you can meet other accounting needs, such as payroll and tax payments. These details need to be evaluated this month before the year comes to an end. But, you should make a point to review this information regularly throughout the year.

Clear Communication about Holiday Hours

Don’t leave people guessing about the times that your office will be open during the holiday season. Instead, focus on clear communication with your employees and customers to set expectations for the holiday hours.

This information can be posted on your door in advance so that customers and visitors know when they can come to the office. Also, share the time-off details with employees so that they can plan their family travel arrangements. It is common for employees to take extra PTO days during this time of year, so make sure that you coordinate these details in advance to ensure that you have enough coverage during the times that the business is open.

Do you have an emergency contact number? Make sure that you have clear responsibilities assigned for the coverage of this number during the holiday season.

If you are going to take extra time off during the holidays, then this information also needs to be discussed with your staff. Communicate to ensure that everything is covered while you are gone. Then, you will be able to leave the office to spend time with your family, with the peace of mind to know that things will keep operating while you are away. Pre-planning will help you avoid vacation interruptions that come from phone calls or emergency emails that need to be answered.

Website and Email Messages

Will there be a few days when you won’t be checking your email? Set up an out-of-office message so that no one is confused by the delayed response. An out-of-office message is a professional, polite way to handle communication if you are going to be away. If someone knows your return date, then they won’t be worried if it takes a little while before they hear back with your response.

Also, consider adding an update on social media websites. If you are going to be away, then post a quick message on Facebook or Instagram to let people know that your office will be closed. Social media provides a great way to communicate information in a fast way, keeping your customers, employees, and vendors updated about the things that are happening in your office.

This essential information should include details about the days that your business will be shut down for the holidays. Also, provide clear information about the re-opening times. You might provide details for emergency contact if needed.

Maximizing the Down Time During the Month of December

Some businesses are busy during this time of year, and there isn’t a lot of extra time available for additional tasks. If you are in the retail industry, then it is likely that you are pushing through the holidays knowing that you can take a break after the year is over.

On the other hand, some companies slow down during this time of year. December can be a quiet time for service-based industries, giving business owners a little more free time. If you own a business that isn’t busy during the Christmas season, then you might consider the advantage of focusing your extra time on bonus tasks that will set you up for the new year.

Yes, you can use the time to spend with your family and friends. But, some business owners find it difficult to step away from work completely. Here are a few important tasks that you might consider to evaluate your success for the year and improvements that might be needed in the New Year:

  • Cashflow trends throughout the year
  • New clients that were lost or won
  • Main referral sources, to dedicate more effort to those marketing strategies
  • Effectiveness of marketing techniques
  • Professional development activities that contributed to your skill set
  • Process and workflow, looking for inefficiencies that need to be corrected
  • New idea brainstorming
  • Tax evaluations and payment plans
  • Accounting software and financial reports

Assessing this information will ensure that you are ready to hit the ground running when the New Year starts.

Don’t Forget to Take Time to Relax!

As a business owner, there is always something else that can be done to support your company. It can be a challenge to be in this position because it can be hard to step away from the office. But, don’t overlook the benefits of taking time for yourself so that you can relax and recharge.

Whether your business doors are staying open or you are closing down for a few days, structure your schedule so that you can take care of yourself. Personal care is more important than many business owners realized. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, then you won’t have the effort or energy to support the needs of your employees or team.

There will always be more time to pay the bills, service your clients, or go through the accounting and financial paperwork. But, there are only a few moments when the family gathers together to celebrate the holiday. So, don’t be afraid to set down your phone and focus on the moment that you are sharing with the people that you love. Stay present in the experience of celebrating the holidays, knowing that you can set aside an hour or two after the party is over to catch up on the business tasks that need to be addressed.

Segmenting your time in this manner is important for mental wellness and the relationships that you share with friends and family members. If you don’t have the option to take time away from the office, then it might be a sign that it is time to outsource some of the busy work.

Our team at Easier Accounting wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! If You need assistance with your year-end accounting, then feel free to reach out to us anytime: (888) 620-0770

8 Steps to Manage Your Stress Levels While Running a Business

It is an exciting endeavor to start a business, but many people will agree that their stress levels go up after undertaking the responsibilities of being a business owner. Whether you are running a multi-million-dollar company or you are still working on a start-up in the basement, you need to consider how your business efforts are affecting your mental and physical health.

Stress might seem like a harmless issue that pushes you to work harder. But, doctors have found that high levels of stress will take a toll on the body. Learning to manage your stress might be just as important as assessing your inventory or customer outreach. If you fail to manage your stress, then it could be the factor that brings down the company.

Stress Leads to Burnout and Health Problems

Have you experienced the situation where you crash after an intensely stressful situation? Maybe you slept hard for a few days after pushing for a month. Or, you came down with a serious head cold while trying to keep up with a new product launch. When a person faces difficulties in work or relationships, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Hormone levels change, cortisol goes up, and the major organs are working on high alert.

For our hunter-gatherer ancestors, this stress was important to preserve life and keep them going in difficult circumstances. Today, many people are carrying chronic levels of stress. Instead of short bursts of high stress, people are shouldering the burdens that keep them in the fight or flight response indefinitely.

When the body is in this fight or flight mode, the heart rate goes up, breathing is faster and heavier, and there is an increase in glucose in the blood. These responses require energy, which means that the energy is taken away from some of the other important physical processes. As a result, the body slows down efforts for physical growth, immune protection, cellular repair, digestion, and reproduction.

Researchers have found that high stress levels can lead to chronic disease or even death in serious situations. When the stress hormone cortisol goes up, then so does your weight. One research study found that high stress in the workplace was associated with a higher number on the scale. Then, there are many additional health problems that are linked to obesity. Not only does stress impact the waistline, but it has also been connected with other life-threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Business and Stress Go Hand-in-Hand

Stress is unavoidable for business owners. Most people who own or manage an organization agree that they are always on the go. A full schedule, intense decision-making, and employee management can cause a long list of difficulties that are hard to manage. Small business owners face stress on financial, mental, physical, and emotional levels.

When you are running your own business, there are many responsibilities that you didn’t previously have to consider. Stepping from an employee status to a business owner means that you need to worry about tax payments, loan costs, spending your savings, and cash flow. These factors can make it hard to sleep at night because you are worried about how it is all going to pull together.

Many people push through the stress because they can see the possibilities of future growth and success. It takes work to get a company off the ground. But, once it is running you can structure the organization so that you can relax a little bit instead of being involved in every aspect of the company.

But, you shouldn’t wait to manage your stress levels. If you want to protect your health, then you need to take a proactive approach to control your stress right now while you are building the business.

8 Tips to Manage Your Stress

Your calendar is already packed with meetings and responsibilities. So, how are you supposed to make changes to reduce your stress levels? Even though it seems like you are adding another thing to your to-do list, these efforts can actually improve your productivity and free up your mind to maximize results.

Stress management should be at the top of your priority list, and you will see that everything else falls into place. One of the best things that you can do is find more balance between work and home life. Here are a few stress-management tips to help entrepreneurs and small business owners:

  1. Set a Schedule: Even though you have the flexibility to choose your work hours, your stress levels will drop if you set a schedule like a normal job. When you “punch out” at the end of the night, leave the work responsibilities behind so that you can focus on your family.
  2. Personal Time in the Morning: It is easy to slip into emergency-mode from the moment you step into the office. Even if there are tasks that need your attention, make sure to get to the office early enough so that you can have an hour or two of uninterrupted work time. Keep your email closed, the phone turned off, and shut the office door. This time can help you get ahead of the most pressing tasks to decrease your worry about the outcome.
  3. Assess Priorities: Take a moment to consider the way you are using your time throughout the day. If you are spending a lot of time on busy work or things that aren’t essential for the company, then you need to rearrange your priorities. As a business owner, you should be focused on management and business growth, instead of worrying about bookkeeping or invoice payments. Focus on the things that will bring in new business.
  4. Outsource to the Pros: After you identify the things that are taking up your time, the next step is to outsource these tasks to take them off your plate. For example, hiring a bookkeeping and accounting service is one of the best things that business owners can do to manage cash flow. These accounting services are essential to track transactions, reconcile the accounts, and help with future business growth. You can benefit from the professional experience of the outsourced team without having to take on the cost burden of another employee.
  5. Set Clear, Achievable Goals: When you have a strong reason “why ” then it gets easier to focus on the things that need to be accomplished. Why are you building the business? If you are putting in too many hours for all the wrong reasons, then these questions can help you reassess your priorities so that you can step away if needed. For example, you might find that you don’t enjoy one of the services that are offered or you no longer want to offer a specific product. Specializing your business offerings can be a great way to bring out the joy in your work, which in turn will decrease stress levels.
  6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Healthy meals and exercise are key to give the physical support and energy that you need. Limit your caffeine consumption, eat more fruits and vegetables, skip the processed snacks, and choose lean protein at every meal. Also, don’t forget to step away from the desk for a good workout. Physical activity releases the “feel good” hormones that will decrease stress and make it easier to get through the day without turning to junk food and caffeine.
  7. Identify Realistic Action Steps: If you are caught up in fear and anxiety about cash flow issues or tax payments, then these emotions can get in the way of daily action steps to help you clean up the mess. Talk to an accounting professional to identify the real For example, you might think that your problem is that you need to generate more sales. But, the underlying cause could be high overhead costs. A financial professional will be able to look at the situation from a third-party perspective, to offer strategy and advice to turn things around.
  8. Open Up Unstructured Time on Your Calendar: It is common for business owners to have meetings and obligations that fill up the calendar. Before these responsibilities are added to the calendar, make sure to block out time to relax and unwind. Spend time with your kids at the park, get a massage, or enjoy an hour dedicated to your favorite hobby. This time can help you feel re-energized, which will boost productivity when you are back in the office again.

If you are struggling to keep up with the responsibilities of running a business, then our team at Easier Accounting is here to help! We understand the financial stresses of business management. Our services are designed to decrease your stress levels and set your company up for success in the future.

We invite you to contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. We will gladly discuss the options that are available and help you learn about the benefits that you will enjoy from these services. Call today to learn more about why you need small business accounting services: (888) 620-0770

Is it Time to Expand Your Small Business?

As a small business owner, do you ever dream of taking your business to the next level? When done correctly, growing your business will increase revenue and with careful management will increase profits as well. But when is the right time to expand? The timing of these things really matters. Here are a few ways that you can tell it is time to grow:

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1. You’ve Been Profitable For at Least 3 Years

If you have been cash flow positive for several years, it is a good indication that your company is well positioned to expand. Any seasonal ups and downs or one-off project windfalls may not be happening by chance, but rather, it could be evidence that there is a bigger piece of the economic pie available for the taking. Consider expanding.

2. Your Customers Are Requesting More of You

When customer requests for additional offerings, options, locations, products, etc. are consistently received, the timing may be right to grow your company. You are feeling the pulse of market demand. Honoring your customer’s requests may be the right thing to do, and soon.

3. You Cannot Keep Up with the Current Demand for Your Products or Services

Do you find yourself saying to potential customers, “I’m sorry, there is no way I can provide you what you are asking for in a reasonable amount of time.” If this situation happens regularly, you are likely leaving business on the table. It may be the right time to expand your capacity to perform services or provide the product.

4. Business Leads Come to You without Much Effort

If you decide to invest in growing your business, will you need to hustle a lot more to create enough business to pay for the expansion? Or are new leads regularly coming into your pipeline in sufficient quantities that the only limiting factor is how much work you can offer? If leads are abundant, you may want to look at growing.

Here at Easier Accounting, we are familiar with the concerns of our small business accounting clients. We are more than happy to help you work through any accounting questions that might come up when you are considering whether the time is right to expand. We believe in the importance of small businesses and are passionate about helping them to succeed. Contact us to learn more about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770

Avoid These Common Financial Mistakes Made By Small Business Owners

Starting a small business is exciting and stressful at the same time, and some people compare it to a roller coaster ride. When you start a new venture you can expect to experience some great opportunities, but there are some common mistakes that might pop up along the way as well.

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Since the stakes are high, it is essential that you are careful to avoid these common mistakes so that you can create long-term growth for your company. Here are the 3 biggest mistakes that you can avoid:

Classifying Employees Incorrectly

Do you know the difference between an employee and a contractor? It is essential that you talk with an accountant to understand these differences, because the classification impacts the way the payments are handled. If you classify an employee incorrectly as a contractor, then it is possible that you might have to pay back wages and penalties.

Lack of Automation

Are you still trying to do everything by hand, because you don’t have a good financial system in place? It might not seem like a big deal to track payroll, invoices, and other financial information in a spreadsheet. But, these activities are eating away at your productive time each day. Instead of trying to track everything by hand, it is better to implement a good financial system from the beginning. It’s much easier to use automated systems right now, rather than wasting time with manual tracking and then trying to transition everything to an automated system later on.

Cash Flow Problems

It is common for a small business to be over-extended, making it hard to come up with the cash flow that is needed to keep the business running. If you aren’t staying up-to-date with finances, invoices, and bank account balances, then you might find yourself in a world of hurt when you need cash to restock inventory or pay your employees. Instead of making knee-jerk reactions every time you need to make a financial decision, it is better to stay current with your financial tracking systems so that you always have current financial information about your company.

The easiest way to stay current with your small business finances is to hire a professional to help. In fact, many business owners find that hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to assist with financial tracking is a way to decrease costs and boost the success of the business. Here at Easier Accounting, we offer the accounting and bookkeeping services that you need. Call us to learn more: (888) 620-0770