Ready for Black Friday? Tips to Boost Small Business Sales

If you are in the retail industry, then the holiday season is the perfect time of year to boost your sales and optimize profits for the year. Shoppers have a buying mentality right now as they are searching for gifts to share with friends and family this holiday season.

Often, businesses take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a way to lure in more shoppers with time-sensitive bargains. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or your business is run online, this time of year shouldn’t be overlooked. Right now is when you need to start the preparations to be sure that you are ready for the influx of sales that will come from interested customers.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to sell physical products to take advantage of Black Friday shopping. Shoppers are looking for all types of bargains, which means that it might be a great time to offer discounts or packages for your business if you provide services or digital products.

Think Outside the Box to Catch People’s Attention

While Black Friday can be hectic and busy, your company doesn’t have to get caught up in the noise of the holiday shopping season. Instead, look for ways to make your offerings stand out from the competition. Here are a few options to help you think outside the box so that you can set your company apart from the rest in the industry:

  • Don’t Fight the Early Morning Rush: As a small business, you shouldn’t be trying to compete with the big-box stores by starting your sales before the sun comes up. Most shoppers will head to the big-box stores in the wee hours of the morning (or even on Thanksgiving evening). You can bring in more interested shoppers by starting your sales later in the day. Everyone will be done with the crazy morning rush and ready to move onto your special promotions by noon. Communicate your sales hours in advance so that your customers can arrange their shopping schedule to match. You might be surprised to see how many people are happy to know that they don’t have to set an early-morning alarm to access your Black Friday sales.
  • Longer Holiday Hours: Regardless of the time that your store opens in the morning, consider extending evening shopping hours. Some people like to head out for holiday shopping after spending the day with family. So, extended evening hours could bring in more shoppers that wouldn’t have visited your business otherwise.
  • Encourage Gift Card Sales: How often do customers walk out of the store empty-handed because they were unsure about the right gifts to purchase? Instead of letting your customers get stuck in analysis-paralysis, offer a simple solution: gift cards. It has been found that gift card sales always go up during this time of year. You need to be sure that you have gift card options available and on prominent display when customers walk through the doors for the Black Friday sales.
  • Start a Marketing Campaign Right Now: Why should customers choose your products or services over other options that are available? Start a marketing campaign right now to show the reasons why you are the go-to resource for holiday shopping. In this campaign, highlight the reasons why your business is better than the competition. For example, do you have handmade items, locally-sourced products, or limited-edition options that are hard to find? These hooks are often more effective than the race-to-the-bottom with discount prices.
  • Don’t Offer Unsustainable Pricing: Be strategic with the way the holiday sales are structured. The goal should be to increase conversions. But, don’t boost sales at the risk of harming your profit margins. While it is important to offer deals to bring people in the doors, you should be strategic with the structure of the sales so that you don’t take a hit. The most effective way to ensure that your profit margins are still built-in is by offering product bundles or quantity discounts. Or, offer deep discounts on old inventory that needs to be moved.
  • Bonus Services: What is an extra service that could be offered to bring people in the door? For example, you might go the extra mile by offering free gift wrapping on Black Friday or passing out balloons for children. Or, have stocking stuffers that are complimentary for purchases over a certain amount. Consider the extra services that your customers would value. Don’t forget to share these details in your marketing messages that are shared via email and social media.
  • Schedule an Event: Plan Black Friday to be a day when there is a party in your store. Offer snacks or drinks, play fun holiday music or bring Santa Clause into your store. Send out an email and share these happenings on social media so that your customers know what to expect when they visit your store.
  • Incentives for Social Media: If you are trying to boost social media engagement, then let your customers help with the difficult work. You can share great content on social media to highlight the Black Friday sales that are available. Another option is to add an incentive for customers who share on social media. For example, a share on Facebook gives the customer access to a special discount on the products they are buying. Always include the popular hashtag #blackfriday and a hashtag that is unique to your company.
  • Product Bundles: Gift bags or baskets are always a great solution when people are looking for fun, creative gift ideas. Instead of selling items individually, look for logical ways to package your products. This strategy is an effective way to upsell people to a higher price point. Plus, people love the gifts that are ready to go without additional work. If you don’t have pre-designed packages, consider offering a discount when customers choose three items that are related.

Step Up Your Digital Presence

Promoting your Black Friday sales on social media is a good way to share information online. But, more and more customers are turning to online shopping options. People love the idea of completing their shopping lists without leaving the comfort of home.

As a small business, you can take advantage of Cyber Monday and/or Small Business Saturday. If you don’t have online shopping options available, then right now might be the perfect time to expand your offerings to include e-commerce sales so that you can capture a larger portion of the market.

Offer coupons that are exclusive to Cyber Monday or Small Business Saturday. Or, you could also capture the people who procrastinated their Black Friday shopping by offering sales that are available through the first few weeks of December.

Administrative Prep for the Holiday Season

You might be busy stocking the shelves and working on holiday marketing and promotions. But, don’t overlook the importance of keeping up with the necessary tasks that need to happen behind-the-scenes for your business. For example, right now is an excellent time to get caught up on bookkeeping and accounting if you have been slacking on these tasks.

Procrastinating the financial reporting, auditing, and other business paperwork that needs to be handled means that these essential items will just build up through the holiday season. There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of the year to discover that you have a huge task list of unfinished business that should have been addressed for your company.

Make sure that your payment processing system is ready for the increase in sales. Upgrade accounting and bookkeeping software so that you don’t run into glitches during the busiest time of year. Assess inventory and redirect cash flow if needed so that you have plenty of product to offer when customers are ready to buy. Evaluate the employee schedule so that you have plenty of help available during the busiest times of the season. These small details will go a long way to help you increase sales, improve customer experience, and optimize the results that are available for your company.

Outsourcing the Services that are Needed

A little bit of work right now will ensure that you aren’t overly stressed as you reach the end of the year. If you don’t have the time or desire to work on these tasks by yourself, then it is the perfect time to bring in an industry expert for assistance.

For example, an accounting team can get your books in order so that you are ready to close out 2018 and start 2019 on the right foot. It is important that you have a good financial system in place so that the growth of your company isn’t hindered by the work that needs to happen behind the scenes. Professional accounting services are essential to assist with tax strategy, cash flow, and more.

Easier Accounting is here to assist with your small business efforts. If you need financial advice or you are looking to implement an improved financial strategy for your company, then we invite you to call to learn more about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770

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

Profit Before Taxes: What it Means for Your Small Business

Now that you’ve started a small business, are you keeping up with the numbers that shed light on the profitability of your company? Not only do you need to evaluate cash flow, but it is also important to look at the reports that show the overall health of the company. Understanding the bigger picture is essential so that you can adjust your business strategy. That’s why you need to prioritize your understanding of profit before taxes.

It is exciting to work on product development and tasks that have a direct impact on business growth. On the other hand, it is common for business owners to feel like financial reporting and tax strategy is boring. But, it is essential to understand the importance of these tasks and how they will affect the future success of your company.

If you want long-term success for your business efforts, then you shouldn’t overlook the reports and numbers. Luckily, you don’t need to manage these details without support. Tap into the experience of an experienced accounting team to learn more about your options and the services that are available.

What is Profit Before Taxes?

What does it mean when your accountant is talking about profit before taxes? This term, sometimes referred to as Earnings Before Taxes (EBT), refers to the amount of money that is brought in by your company before paying for taxes and interest payments.

Even though this number doesn’t include tax burden and debt payoff, it does incorporate the overall business expenses that are used as write-offs. For example, there are many costs that are accrued throughout the year for overhead expenses, product development, marketing, and more. These costs are deducted from the money that is brought in. Then, taxes and reports are calculated based on the gross profit that is calculated.

The profit number can be found in your Profit and Loss statement. Or, you can talk to your accountant for a detailed explanation about how the number was calculated.

Why You Need This Information

Why is it necessary to know your earnings before taxes? Having a clear picture of the financial success of your company is essential so that you can make the right decisions that impact the growth of your company. Not only is your profit before taxes number needed for tax calculations, but these details might also be necessary when you are bringing on investors or applying for business credit.

Investment analysts will request specific information about the financial trends for the company. These details can help the analysts determine the operating performance of the business and possible financial trends going forward. If you can show the potential of your business, then it makes it easier to get the angel investing funds that might be needed to help your company grow.

This type of analysis is essential at specific points of your business progression. Often, the numbers are used to gain an objective analysis for the current trends and possible growth in the future. Additionally, your accountant will use these details when evaluating the tax burden that needs to be paid in a given year.

Applying for Business Credit

There are often times when business owners need credit to keep the company running. If you are applying for credit, then the lender will complete a credit risk analysis. The lender wants to ensure that your business will have the viability to pay back the loaned amount in the future.

Additionally, the financial health of your company might impact the interest rate that is offered for the loan. If the lender can see that your business is a good risk for the investment, then it is easier to get a low interest rate. But, if your company is already bursting at the seams with debt and financial obligations, then the lender will see the risk and probably increase the interest rate accordingly.

Financial institutions want to see that you can repay your obligations without harming your business or operating profits. When the cash flow is too tight, as shown in the financial reports, then it is a sign that the loans might default in the future.

Problems with Your Business Profits?

You might feel the pinch of cashflow as you are working through the month. But, it is hard to understand the full picture without looking at the financial reports. If you are dealing with low profit margins, then your business could be facing some serious consequences:

  • Growth is Limited: It is hard to encourage growth in your company if you don’t have the cashflow to keep things afloat. This poor cash position means that you are lacking in the money that is needed to reinvest into the company. If the profits are low and you don’t have the cash available, then how will you reinvest for inventory replacement and product development? These problems could be the nail in the coffin that prevents you from competing with other companies in the industry.
  • Economic Changes Will Have a Bigger Impact: The economy is always in flux, which means that every business owner should expect financial changes in the future. When the inevitable shock happens to the economic growth of the industry, poor profit margins will have a drastic impact on your company. Not only do you need to maximize your profits during the good months, but you also need to save for a rainy day with an emergency fund.
  • No Options for Business Financing: Financial reports that show poor profits for your company make it hard for you to get the loans or finances that might be needed. These reports can impact lending from banks and credit unions. At the same time, investors will be hesitant to provide the funds if they can see the potential for failure due to poor profit margins.

Just because you can see that your business is reporting low profit before taxes, doesn’t mean that your company is going to fail. Instead, it is a sign that you need to make a few changes. Also, don’t proceed without enlisting the assistance of an experienced accounting team to help with your financial management. It is essential that you tap into the expertise that is offered. Then, use this advice to put your company back on track for the future.

Tips for Boosting Profit Before Taxes

What should you do when you learn that your business has low profit before taxes? Here are a few things that should be evaluated to change the trajectory of your company:

  • Product Pricing: What does it cost to produce the products that are sold? How much profits are available for each unit? Not only do you need to evaluate the product pricing, but you should also look for ways to reduce the upfront costs for product development. You might not be charging enough, or it might be time to eliminate waste or reduce expenses. Look for options to source cheaper goods. Or, you might be able to cut payroll expenses by outsourcing some of the services that are needed instead of hiring more full-time employees.
  • Overhead Costs: Look at every cost that is coming through for overhead expenses. You have a set list of payments that need to be sent each month for anticipated costs. Sometimes, these expenses are higher than necessary and cutting into your profit margins. Consider options to cut unnecessary costs or reduce the amount that you are paying. For example, you might be able to move to an office location with lower rent payments. Or, call the phone and internet provider to see if any cheaper packages are available.
  • Leveraging Tax Deductions: Also, keep in mind that this profit before taxes calculation includes all of the costs that are being used for business management and ongoing costs. It is nice to leverage tax deductions in the form of expenses that are being used. At the same time, you also need to understand that spending the money will have an impact on the profits that are recorded on paper.

The most effective thing that you can do is get personalized advice from an accounting professional.  As a business owner, you don’t need to be an accounting professional. But, you do need to be familiar with the way the numbers work and how they impact your business. You can consult with your accounting team to learn more about the current trends. This information is very important when you are making big decisions that affect your finances.

Tapping into outsourced accounting services is one of the best things that you can do to ensure that you are staying on track for the future. The services of a good accounting team might be the difference to help you avoid common financial pitfalls that are faced by business owners.

If you are looking for support with your small business finances, then we are here to help. Contact us at Easier Accounting to learn more about the accounting services that are available. We specialize in small business accounting, giving you access to team that is leading the industry. Call today to learn more: (888) 620-0770

Low on Cash? Small Business Management Tips for Cash Flow

Not having enough money in the bank can be the downfall of a company. Even if you have money coming in, the current cash position could be a hindrance for the daily operations of the business. If you aren’t keeping up with cash flow, then you need to talk to a financial professional as soon as possible. Here are a few small business management tips for cash flow:

Set a Schedule for Receivables

Even if you have good relationships with your clients, it can be unpredictable to know when the payments will come through. There might be times when your client is late on a payment, which causes a domino effect that hinders your cash flow.

It is important that you have clear guidelines and payment expectations for the amount due. Each invoice should include the due date for payment, such as due on receipt, due net 30, etc. This step will ensure that everyone involved is on the same page for the payment cycle.

At the same time, you also need to be sure that you are consistent with setting the schedule for when the invoices are sent. Have you found yourself too distracted by immediate tasks that need to be addressed, so you forget to put together invoices that are needed for the work that has been completed? Maintaining an invoicing schedule is necessary so that you are consistent with sending out the invoices and maintaining follow-up communication as necessary.

Manage Overhead Expenses

Often, the problem is not that you aren’t bringing in enough money. But, the issue lies in the money that is spent. If your overhead expenses are higher than the money that is coming in, then you will end up in the hole. You need to make sure that you have a clear picture of the money that needs to be received each month to break-even on the expenses that are due.

You might be surprised to see the small ways that you can reduce these overhead costs. Look for extravagant services or features that might be eliminated. For example, you might be able to adjust the landscaping services schedule to decrease the amount of money that is spent on the outdoor care of your location. Or, call around to see if you can get a cheaper business package for internet or phone services.

Sometimes, it is as simple as a phone call to your current provider to ask for a discount to remain a customer. Other times, switching service providers could save you a bundle of money on the ongoing costs.

Outsource Instead of Hire

There are times when you might need to increase your workforce to handle various services in your company. It is easy to assume that the best solution is to hire an employee with the skillset that you need. While there are times for employee hiring and workforce expansion, take a look at outsourcing options before hiring another in-house employee.

In most situations, outsourcing the services is usually cheaper compared to bringing another employee onto the payroll. You can save money on benefits and employment taxes. Plus, you don’t need to pay money for the equipment and office space that is required for the person to complete the work.

Outsourced accounting is a great example of how you can save money. If you hire an in-house accountant, then it is a significant annual expense to cover the cost of their salary, benefits, office space, and more. When your company is tight on cash flow, you probably don’t have the option to absorb these high costs.

On the other hand, it is much more affordable to choose an accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll processing company instead. These services are a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee. You can tap into the expertise without carrying the heavy financial burden of a larger team of employees.

Manage Your Records

Accurate bookkeeping and accounting records are essential so that you know the current cash position of the company. Not only can you see a snapshot of the immediate financial situation, but you can also see accounts receivable and anticipated payments coming in the future.

You won’t know that you are low on cash if you aren’t paying attention to the financial reports. Then, you might encounter a situation where paychecks bounce or you can’t pay the utility bills. We can’t stress this point enough: it is essential that you maintain records of all of your expenditures and income. Utilize the services of a bookkeeping company to learn more small business management tips for cash flow.

Leverage Assets

Most businesses have assets that might be of use when cash flow is tight. Do you have any furniture, electronics, or equipment that isn’t in use? Don’t let these items gather dust in the storage closet. You might be able to sell them on a local classified website to pull in the cash that is needed to pay the outstanding bills.

Something seemingly small, like an older generation smartphone, could bring in several hundred dollars. While the cash might seem insignificant, it can help to reduce the burden that you are feeling. Every little bit adds up, which is why you need to make incremental changes to your habits.

Consider Credit Options

Do you have a credit card or line of credit that can be used to cover the immediate expenses? Leveraging credit is a risky strategy if you can’t pay it back right away. The credit costs could increase the financial benefit in the future due to the payments that need to be met and the increasing interest costs.

So, be careful about the way you choose to use a company credit card. But, there are times when it might make sense if you need to get by until the end of a month when a big payment is anticipated. The best solution is to talk to your accountant or bookkeeping company to see if it makes sense to use credit as needed.

Have an Emergency Account

If you are facing cash flow problems right now, then this tip won’t help with your current situation. But, make sure to be prepared for the future: set aside the extra cash when it is available. An emergency account is essential if you face unexpected expenses or you don’t have enough to cover the overhead costs on a slow month.

Planning ahead is one of the best things that you can do to save your company. It is inevitable that your business will face cash flow problems at some point. So, you need to make sure that you are ready for the rainy days with a savings account set aside for these situations.

Scare Up Extra Business

Look at your current offerings and inventory to see if you can scare up extra business. Do you have old inventory that is sitting on a shelf? Run a sale to clear the inventory and bring in the cash that is needed. The sale will help customers feel the urgency to make a purchase. It is a win-win situation because the customers will be happy about the discounted price and you will be able to bring in the cash that is needed.

Even if you don’t have physical inventory, you can offer promotions for the services that you offer. Send an email to your customer list to offer a one-time package for the services that you provide. Or, look for ways that you can add extra services onto the packages when a customer is ready to buy from your company.

Hiring an Accounting Team to Help

One of the reasons why small businesses often face cashflow problems is because the business owner doesn’t have accounting and bookkeeping experience. Small mistakes can have a long-term impact on the financial health of the company. You don’t have to be a bookkeeping expert to ensure the success of your company. Instead, you need to hire an experienced team to oversee the details.

Hiring an accounting team will free up your time so that you can focus on solutions and problem solving for other aspects of your company. These services are essential to make sure that you are keeping up with some of the biggest payments that could influence your cash flow: payroll, inventory purchases, and taxes. Your accountant will discuss cash flow strategies so that you have money in the bank when these big expenses roll around in the future.

You can choose an accounting service in your hometown, but many people find that the offerings are limited. Instead of selecting a general accounting team, it is better to choose a company that specializes in small business accounting services. The internet has opened the doors of opportunity for you to connect with specialists located anywhere in the country.

Our team at Easier Accounting understands the best accounting and bookkeeping practices for entrepreneurs and small business owners. We’ve been using these strategies for many other companies like yours. Contact us right away to learn more about the ways that we can help with the cash flow for your business: (888) 620-0770

Tips to Overcome the Most Common Problems Faced By Startup Companies

Even though you have an unbeatable idea for your new business, certain problems are seemingly unavoidable for start-ups. Whether you are preparing to launch the company or you are a year or two into your business efforts, it is essential that you are proactive to minimize the impact of these common issues that are faced by startup companies. A little bit of strategy and problem-solving can go a long way to keep your company moving forward.

Become a Problem-Solving Expert

As an entrepreneur or business owner, problem-solving can be one of the most valuable skills that you can develop. You need to have a clear vision of your goals, as well as a deep understanding of the day-in-day-out practices and tasks that need to be accomplished.

Not only do you need to face big decisions that will influence the future of your company. But, you also need to be ready to think on your feet so that you can solve smaller issues when they pop up. These decisions can impact customer satisfaction, company culture, product quality, business development and more. Even when you are facing a seemingly insignificant problem, these small issues can compound to create a ripple effect for the future.

You are capable of tackling the problems that are holding back your success. As you face these issues head-on, you will gain the skills and knowledge that will prepare you for other problems that might come up in the future. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or pushing the decisions to the backburner, you need to be in the mindset of finding solutions that will create the results that you desire.

Cashflow Difficulty

Most business owners will agree that cash flow is one of the biggest concerns that they face on a regular basis. In fact, a large percentage of small business failures happen due to a lack of cash to keep the company going. Even if there is a potential for a strong profit in the future, you can’t keep the doors open without money to cover overhead costs this month.

Some of the biggest companies started out with limited resources. Research the roots of large tech companies and product developers, and you will see that many of these business ideas hatched in home offices, basements, and makeshift work areas in the garage. As the business idea takes hold, then it is possible to get the funding that is needed to launch the company.

Even if you have a savings account or investor funds to use, startup budgets are often focused on the best-case scenario instead of looking at the worst things that could possibly happen. While it is good to be optimistic about the potential profits, you also need to be realistic about issues that you might face.

As a result, it is smart to err on the side of having too much start-up cash in the bank, ensuring that you can keep things going while you are building the brand. It is hard to predict sales and cash flow in the early stages of the company, so you need to build in an emergency fund in case you encounter problems.

Finding a Balance Between Work and Home Responsibilities

Not only are you trying to launch a business from your basement, but you also need to carry the ongoing responsibilities with your family and home life. It takes a significant time commitment to make a startup successful. So, many startup business owners find it hard to create a balance between the long work hours and quality time spent with the family.

Set a schedule for your work tasks and draw boundaries when it is time to focus on your family. These relationships are important and shouldn’t be neglected! Taking a little bit of time for your spouse and kids can reduce the stress at home, which will have a positive impact to improve your business results as well.

Weak Marketing Strategy

Just because you have a good business idea, doesn’t mean that customers will come flocking as soon as the products are available. It is common for startup companies to rush into product manufacturing and business development, without dedicating much time or money for marketing efforts. Poor marketing strategy could leave you with a basement full of inventory and no funds left to connect with your target demographic.

Be strategic with your marketing efforts. Instead of rushing into expensive sponsorships, radio advertisements, or television commercials, consider the advantages of online marketing to dial in your ad targeting. You need to start with a clear picture of your target demographic, to understand where these people are spending time each day. For example, it doesn’t make sense to spend advertising dollars on Snapchat ads if you are targeting a demographic of middle-class retirees. These people probably don’t use Snapchat, but you might have better success targeting them through Facebook advertising instead.

Gathering market data makes it easier to optimize your marketing budget in a way that helps you connect with people who are interested in the product or service that you are offering.

Do you know who your target market is? Consider the problems that these people are facing and look for ways to cater your products to solve these common problems. If you are having a hard time finding your target market, then it could be beneficial to spend some of your start-up cash to bring in an expert to get you started with an effective online marketing campaign.

Poor Pricing Structure for Products and Services

You need to find the right balance when determining the prices for your products and services. If it is a race to the bottom to win customers over with the lowest prices, then you will never create the profit margins that are needed to help the company grow. On the other hand, over-inflated pricing can scare away your target demographic.

Focus on the quality of the materials and products, as well as great customer service. Excelling in these areas ensures that your customers will leave raving reviews about your company. As you establish a good reputation and show the benefits that you offer to your customers, then you can set higher prices to improve profit margins in the future.

One of the keys to ensuring success for your business: focus on solving your customer’s problems and establish value in the way your products will solve their issues, which will help to solve your business problems. This strategy gives you a stronger basis to increase your prices because customers will see that they will benefit from the purchase. It is a win-win situation when you are looking for ways to support your customers and overcome the common startup issues at the same time.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Business owners wear many hats throughout the day. Not only are you trying to figure out issues when they arise, but it is common to take a DIY approach to minimize the outlay of expenses for professional services. There is a saying that if someone is a “jack of all trades,” then they will be the “master of none.” If you are spreading yourself thin with the administrative tasks and busy work, then your top-level problem-solving abilities will suffer.

Instead of letting your time be overtaken by these smaller tasks, you will see that your results and productivity increases if you are strategic with outsourcing and delegation. Plus, hiring the services will give you a team of experts who can offer advice to help you overcome the problems that you face in your company.

For example, if you are dealing with cash flow issues and you don’t have formal accounting experience, then it might be a challenge to keep up with the books and prepare your company for future expenses. Instead of trying to manage these big financial decisions by yourself, it is better to hire outsourced accounting services to manage your books. You can lean on the professionals to improve your tax strategy and avoid common bookkeeping mistakes at the same time.

You don’t need to handle all of the operations of your startup by yourself. Trying to do everything on your own isn’t an effective use of your time or resources. Make sure that you have an accountant and a lawyer to answer questions along the way. At the same time, consider the advantage of hiring a few employees or contractors to assist with the ongoing tasks and services that need to be addressed.

As you free up your time by assigning important tasks to other people, you will be in a better position to give your full attention to the problems that might come up each day. Then, you can be strategic in your decisions to ensure that you are on the path to boost potential success in the future.

At Easier Accounting, we understand that it takes a lot of time and resources to get your new business off the ground. We specialize in accounting services for startup companies and small businesses. Call today to learn how we can support the growth of your startup. Our team is here to help with the implementation of a solid financial and tax strategy, making it easier to keep up with the cash flow that is needed to help your company grow. Call today to learn about the services that we offer: (888) 620-0770

New Year’s Resolutions – Financial Goals for Your Business in 2018

The New Year is often considered an opportunity for a fresh start. People begin the year with the best intentions to improve their lives and overcome bad habits. Talk to anyone that you know, and most people will have a theme for the year or some sort of personal goal that they are focusing on.

Personal Goals Impact Business Results

Often, these goals are centered around health and fitness. For example, people set resolutions to exercise more and eat less to achieve their desired weight loss results. Or, these goals might be focused on overcoming addictive behaviors, improving sleep habits, or buying a new home.

As a business owner, these personal goals can be important to help you feel better about yourself. By improving your physical and mental health, you will be in a good place to improve your business as well. Many entrepreneurs know that their business results are directly related to their personal successes.

But, setting personal goals won’t be enough to maximize the business results that you desire. If you want to increase your income this year, then you need to be willing to put in the work. It all comes down to the daily, weekly, and monthly systems that are in place to manage your business finances, inventory, client management, and more.

Do you need help choosing the right resolutions for your company this year? Here are a few suggestions to help you start 2018 on the right foot:

Resolution #1: Put a Stronger Focus on Customer Service

The satisfaction of your customers is one of the most important things that will affect your business results. If you have happy customers, then they will continue coming back to your company when they are ready to buy again. It is easier to maintain a list of satisfied customers than it is always to generate new leads.

The business world is shifting from basic customer service to personalized relationships. Instead of a scripted phone call to handle a customer inquiry, customers want to know that the company has a vested interest in the outcome of the situation.

So, companies need to step up and show customers that they are putting in the effort to outshine the competition. A few small changes in your customer service systems can go a long way to help you create the life-long relationships that you need for business success.

Also, remember that many customers are turning to the internet to share their experience with others. If someone has a good interaction with your company, then it increases the likelihood that they will share a positive review online. On the other hand, a negative experience could be detrimental to your company because of the bad review that drives other potential customers away.

If you want to succeed in this social world, then you need to be willing to put in the work that will create a good environment for your clients and customers.

Resolution #2: Strengthen Your Online Presence

There is no doubt that the internet is now an integral part of the business world. As mentioned above, many customers turn to the internet when they are looking for a local company or service. If you put in the effort to create an online presence, then it is easier to bring in customers who are interested in the things that you are selling.

Not only do you need to maintain a social media presence, but you also need a website that outlines the products and services that are available. These tools can be used to feed people into your sales funnel, resulting in an increase in your sales for the year.

There are other ways that you can leverage the internet to improve your business results. Sometimes these tools aren’t about customer interactions. Instead, you can find tools that can be used for team management and financial tracking. The dynamic nature of the internet makes it easier than ever to oversee the company success from anywhere in the world. You can go on vacation and still view reports about sales numbers, cash flow, and more.

Resolution #3: Improve Financial Tracking

Business finances are often the details that people push to the backburner. When you are facing immediate needs, such as stocking shelves and inventory orders, then it is hard to find the motivation to tally receipts or enter expenses into the financial system.

Even though these boring tasks seem like busy work, they are essential to ensure that you are meeting requirements for taxes and financial reports. The details will have a big impact on the long-term results that you achieve in your company.

If you are stuck in the rut of procrastinating your business financials, then you need to set a goal to make it a priority this year. Keep track of the costs that are incurred every day. These expenses are important business write-offs so that you can minimize your tax burden.

At the same time, you need to look at cash flow projections to determine the anticipated costs that are coming up. These factors can help you make big financial decisions so that you can improve the overall results for your business. If you don’t know the current cash standing for the company, then you could be making the wrong decisions that can have a negative impact on your cash position in the future.

Resolution #4: Outsource the Busy Work

Do you feel overwhelmed as you are trying to find the time to keep up with the data entry and financial tracking? If you are already loaded down with too many responsibilities, then it could be beneficial to outsource some of the busy work.

Some business owners choose to hire employees who can take over these tasks. But, then you still carry the responsibility to make sure that the employees are performing the work correctly. Plus, you will need to bring on the added costs of salary, benefits, office space, and more.

A cheaper solution is to outsource the tasks to an outside team instead. For example, you can hire an accounting service to oversee the financial tracking and tax preparation details. These services might cost a little money and impact your overhead costs. But, they are cheaper compared to the cost of bringing on another employee.

It is hard to quantify the benefits that are gained from these outsourced accounting services. Not only will you have an easier time tracking cash flow and other business details. But, you will also be able to maximize tax write-offs. Calculate the savings that are available for your company, and you will likely see that it is worth the investment to hire these financial services.

Resolution #5: Commit to Simplification in the Workplace

One of the drawbacks of workplace initiatives is that these goals can complicate the processes that need to be followed in the workplace. Even though your intentions are good, you need to be careful so that employees aren’t overloaded with unreasonable expectations. Employees still need the time to focus on the core job duties, instead of getting distracted with other tasks to meet the required goals

So, as you are choosing goals for the year, look for ways that you can simplify the process for everyone involved. Outsourcing is a great example of simplification. You can assign the tasks to a professional team, and let go of the worry about how these tasks will be completed. In most situations, outsourcing is an effective way to simplify your business efforts and still achieve the results that you desire.

Also, consider simplification for your daily tracking. For example, if you are still keeping financial records by hand or in a spreadsheet, then you are missing out on the benefits that are available from a good accounting software program. There is no reason why you should be doing these calculations by hand if there are tools that can do the difficult work for you.

If you don’t already have a good financial tracking system, then right now is the perfect opportunity to talk to our team about the options that can be implemented. We are focused on streamlined business solutions. Hiring an accounting service means that you can simplify your business finances, and at the same time free up your responsibilities to focus on business growth.

We have proven systems that will transform your finances and help with your goals this year. There is no reason for you to re-invent the wheel when we already know the best systems in the industry. If you want to tap into this expertise, then contacting us is the best thing that you can do for your company.

Are you ready to make 2018 the best year yet? Our team here at Easier Accounting wants to support your business goals for the year. If your resolution is to improve your accounting and financial systems, then right now is the perfect time to call us. We will take care of the financial details so that you can grow your company to higher levels of success this year. Call to learn more: (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

2017 Taxes and Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes it easier to obtain healthcare for most Americans. There are ups and downs to this coverage, and tax penalties apply for those choosing not to get it.

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How does this affect taxes?

Those choosing to waive health insurance for more than three months have to pay a penalty in most cases. What kinds of penalties? Take a look:

The penalty tax is calculated in two ways: you’re charged based on a percentage of the household AGI, or a flat rate. The catch – whichever amount is greater.

2017 Tax Year

2.5% of your total household adjusted gros income. That equates to $695 per adult, and $347.50 per child under the age of 18, up to the maximum amount of $2,085. Your accountant can provide concrete numbers on how much the penalty actually is.

Are there exemptions to the tax penalty? Absolutely. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • The most inexpensive coverage is more than 8.13% of your household income
  • You did not have insurance for less than three consecutive months in the year
  • Your income is too low and you don’t have to file a tax return
  • You are Native American or can get health services through the Indian Health Service
  • Religion
  • Participation in a health care sharing ministry
  • You have been overseas for more than a year
  • Hardship (homelessness, bankruptcy, eviction, etc.)

Important

You’ll have to claim that exemption when filing taxes for 2017. These penalties rise every year due to inflation. When paying the fees, there are some distinctions:

  • The percentage method only counts the part of your household income above the yearly tax filing requirement.
  • The per person method only counts the individuals in the home that do not have insurance coverage.
  • Having coverage for part of the year will count for something. You’ll pay 1/12 of the annual amount for each month someone in the home does not have coverage. There is a “short gap” exemption that applies – if you only lapse coverage for one or two months, you won’t incur a fee.

Knowing how to prep for the penalties for not having health insurance will help you avoid sticker shock once the tax return is filed. You can estimate how much you will have to pay by using the IRS tool. Your accountant should also be able to let you know how much you will be paying for not having health insurance.

If you feel you qualify for an exemption, have a conversation with your accountant to see if you can get the fee waived.  There are a number of circumstances that qualify, and a licensed tax professional can guide you much better than assuming you cannot get the exemption.

As the rules continue to change, obtaining health insurance for your own well-being is the best choice. If you cannot afford it, you can definitely avoid taking money you don’t have from your budget. File the necessary paperwork to ensure you aren’t caught in the fray. Get your documentation in order, and prepare to file.

Are Your Books in Top Shape?

It’s almost the end of the year. One of the things you may want to do to let close the year out and start fresh. To do that, make sure your books are in the best possible shape. Now is the time to have them looked at and carefully gone through. That way they will be in order for the coming year. If there are problems or discrepancies, why not take care of them now? Even a small problem can end up becoming bigger when it’s not addressed right away. A simple mistake can turn into something much larger. Catching it right away mitigates that damage so the issue can be fixed.

Time for a Professional?

Many people don’t realize there’s an issue until they have a professional look at their books. By then, serious concerns can arise. But if you take care of those problems early on, they become much less significant. No one wants to go into the new year being required to pay a lot of extra tax. They might also be asked to pay fees and penalties because of bookkeeping mistakes that were made. You can avoid that with professional guidance. Your books will then be in great shape, so you don’t have to worry. Living in fear of financial issues isn’t fun, and there’s no reason for it to continue.

Not everyone likes a stranger going through their books. While that makes sense, it’s also important to be open to having a professional take a look. With the right financial service help, you will have fewer worries about how your books are looking. Your books are very important to the financial health of your business. They give you insight into the ebbs and flows of money. They also show you if you’re consistently making a profit or experiencing a loss. But if your books aren’t right you could be doing better or worse than you think you are. That’s something you need to know.

Don’t shy away from diving into your books. Any small discrepancy can become a big discrepancy very quickly. That’s partially because numbers that are even a few cents off affect other numbers. Soon a few pennies is a few dollars, instead. If it goes on long enough, those few dollars can become hundreds or even thousands. That depends on the number of transactions listed, of course, and the size of the business. But even a small business can struggle with financial problems that multiply due to bookkeeping errors. A simple error can really affect long-term financial health.

Don’t let your business fall victim to bookkeeping problems. Instead, work with a professional company that offers accounting services. That way your books will be in top shape going into the new year. Then you can have a trusted company on your side, to keep your books looking good all throughout the year. Discrepancies, mistakes, and worries about whether your finances are right will be things of the past. That can give you a good feeling about your financial future, or help you see trouble before it becomes too serious. It can also give you peace of mind.

Easy Steps for Small Business Automation

Starting a business is a hands-on experience. Many times, small business owners find themselves working on accounting in one moment and customer service in the next moment. When your company is in the start-up phase, then it is necessary to have all-hands-on-deck to make sure that you are starting in the right way. But, don’t overlook the importance of implementing small business automation to set up for future success.

As your business grows, it is common to feel like your schedule is getting busier and busier. But, the truth is that you should be doing LESS as the company gains momentum. Setting the right systems in place will allow you to step back from the daily grind. Instead, you can focus on the overall strategy that is implemented throughout the company.

Here are a few options that you should consider for small business automation:

Software Solutions

There is no reason that you should be manually tracking details in a spreadsheet. Instead, find the right small business automation tools to manage the information so that you can reduce the busy work and free up your time. We live in an incredible digital era that makes it easier than ever to manage business expenses and other information. Consider using some of these automation tools:

  • Cloud-Based Accounting: All of your expenses and income can be tracked through a cloud-based accounting program. For the best hands-off solution, pair the automated software with an experienced accounting team. Your accountant will oversee the transactions that are moving through the account, complete regular reconciliations, and finalize the numbers to ensure that you have accurate reports. You can access this information anytime, anywhere through the online software.
  • Invoicing and Bill Tracking: Falling behind on your invoicing means that you will have a hard time managing cash flow. Unfortunately, invoicing sometimes falls to the backburner when other matters are more pressing. Instead, look for a solution that makes it easy to automate your invoicing. Often, this feature can be incorporated into your accounting software. You can also talk to your accounting team to get recommendations that work well with the rest of your accounting system.
  • Tracking Receipts: There is no reason that you should have a shoebox full of receipts and spending documents. Instead, implement a paperless filing system so that you don’t have the clutter of so much paper in the office. Dropbox can be a great solution to consider. Sign up for paperless statements, or take a picture or scan of each receipt/invoice, then file everything in an organized folder. This information can be shared easily with your accounting team for reconciliations.
  • Password Manager: Do you have the same password for every account so that you can remember the logins? If you are still using your pet’s name for your password, then it is time to make some changes. Passwords should be long and strong with multiple letters, numbers, and characters. Use an encrypted tool such as 1Password or Roboform to keep track of the credentials. Never store your passwords on a Post-It note or in a spreadsheet that can be accessed by other people.
  • Admin Tasks: Simple tasks can be outsourced to freelancers. For example, you shouldn’t be dedicating time to write blog posts or social media updates. Hire a freelancer to handle these tasks so that you have regular online publishing without spending hours every week on the task. You can find affordable help through freelancing websites, allowing you to access people with applicable skills and many years of experience with the tasks that you need.

Daily Tasks

Other tasks need to happen around the office to keep things going. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the tedious work. Instead, assign tasks to your staff or bring in outsourced services to help. These are some of the daily tasks that you can automate so that you don’t have to worry about the details:

  • Office Cleaning: You shouldn’t have to take out the garbage on your way out the door at night. Hire a cleaning service to scrub down the bathrooms, manage the garbage, and water the plants. These baseline tasks should always be addressed so that you don’t waste brain power thinking about these things.
  • Lunch Orders: It can take a lot of time to leave the office so that you can find something for lunch. Instead of spending an hour away from your desk, consider the option to have a pre-paid meal delivery service. You can submit your order in advance, and then the meal will show up in your office at the planned time. This service allows you to take a shorter lunch break because you don’t need to spend any time in the car.
  • Landscaping: If you own the building for your company, then it is essential that you invest in a good landscaping team. These services are helpful so that you can keep up with the outdoor appearance of the building. Remember: the curb appeal of your office will set the first impression when people come to visit. So, you need to make sure that you are setting the right tone for current and potential customers.
  • Snow Removal: Businesses located in cold areas need to also think about snow removal services. Often, these services are offered through landscaping companies. Instead of showing up an hour before the office opens so that you can shovel the sidewalks, it is nice to come to work and find that the snow has already been cleared.

Customer Management

There is no doubt that your customer relationships are the most important resource to your company. Maintaining positive relationships with your customers will increase the likelihood that people will come back in the future when they are ready to purchase again. Because customers are so important, business owners often dedicate a lot of time to customer management activities.

These are a few ways that you can automate customer interactions to reduce the time that you need to spend on these tasks each week:

  • Customer Service: It is important to provide fast, quality customer service. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to spend your day responding to emails or answering the phones. These tasks can be assigned to an employee. Or, you can outsource using websites such as Help Scout or Ruby Receptionist. Basic admin tasks can be handed off to these services, freeing up your time to focus on other important tasks for business growth.
  • Managing Communication: You need to be proactive to manage communication with your current and potential customers. One of the best things that you can do is put together an autoresponder series so that regular emails are sent. These messages should be personal and engaging, helping customers see that you are interested in their satisfaction.
  • CRM: One way that you can improve the personalization in your company is by implementing a database that tracks customer information. A good system will help you keep up with details such as the person’s birthday, their shopping history, and how much they have spent with your company. Then, you can send out personalized emails on birthdays or anniversaries. Additionally, you can offer discounts or coupons that are catered to their shopping habits.

Why You Need Small Business Automation

Automating these tasks in your company can give you the time and energy to level up your business results. If you are micro-managing every small detail, then you are stunting the growth of your company. Instead, you need to put the right systems in place so that you can automate these tasks. Letting go of some of the daily busy work will free up your schedule.

What will you do with the extra time? When you aren’t loaded down with busy work, then you can spend that time on business development. Research new product ideas, look for ways to boost your current services or optimize the office to improve results for your customers.

Another option is to spend your time building relationships. Forming the right business relationships is a valuable step to open up options for the future. You can’t put a price on important relationships. But, it can be hard to form these solid relationships if you are too busy working on the minor details in your company.

Our team at Easier Accounting understands the importance of small business automation. So, we are working hard to make it as easy as possible for you to manage your accounting and bookkeeping. We offer a wide range of services that will simplify your business management and make it easier than ever to help your business grow.

Whether you need help with basic bookkeeping tasks or you are looking for tax-strategy advice, we are here to offer the assistance that you need. You are welcome to contact us anytime for more information about the services that we offer. We’ve worked hard to identify the best solutions that will maximize results for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Call our team at Easier Accounting to see how we can help with your business automation systems: (888) 620-0770