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Interior Of Factory With Empty Work Benches
Cataloging the problems and growth patterns of small businesses in a systematic way that is useful to entrepreneurs seems, at first glance, a hopeless task. Small businesses differ widely in size and capacity for growth. They are characterized by independence of action, differing organizational structures, and varied management styles. However, on closer inspection, it becomes obvious that they experience common difficulties arising at similar stages in their development. These points of comparison can be organized into a framework that increases our understanding of the nature, characteristics, and problems of businesses ranging from a corner dry cleaning establishment with two or three minimum-wage employees to a $20-million-a-year computer software company experiencing a 40% annual rate of growth. For owners and managers of small businesses, such an understanding can aid in assessing current challenges; for example, the need to upgrade an existing computer system or to hire and train second-level managers to maintain planned growth.

Developing a Small Business Framework

Numerous researchers over the years have developed models for examining businesses. Each uses business size as one dimension and company maturity or the stage of growth as a second dimension. While useful in many respects, these frameworks are inappropriate for small businesses. As great as start-ups can be for macroeconomic development, they can also be chaotic for a couple of reasons.

  1. The risk for start-ups is extreme and the total cost can be exorbitant. Founders put in more time, energy, emotion and capital than they ever thought would be required. And, since most fail, the total cumulative cost to launch start-ups that succeed is enormously underestimated.
  2. Start-ups disturb the price structure. While trying to get a position in the economy and before they know what it takes to capitalize business growth, a classic start-up exercise is to enter the market with low prices. This sounds like honest opposition and good for customers. However, established corporations do know what they must charge to sustain their business. And, even after a startu-p runs out of investment and leaves the marketplace, damage to the price structure remains.

Small businesses that lasted the financial crisis and aftermath did so by establishing exactly what it takes to run their business in the leanest and meanest terms. One of the consequences of this trial by fire is that these firms have emerged in better shape than after previous significant economic bookkeeping downturns. Here are six reasons:

  1. Fewer start-ups. There has been less price structure disruption since 2008.
  2. The banking industry has confirmed an unparalleled lack of business loan demand which is ironic in that interest rates have never been lower.
  3. Stronger balance sheets. Reduced debt plus methodical retailing, inventory, and supply chain practices that prevent inventory creep all improve important financial ratios.
  4. More gross profit. Rigorous expense control relieves pressure on gross profit from flat sales and pricing pressure.
  5. Enhanced capital and cash. All of the above practices contribute to profitability which, in the current environment, is more likely to be retained. Retained incomes push capital and cash in the direction of sustained operations and long-term success.
  6. More credit worthy. Firms that grow beyond organic funding will be more worthy of credit and preferred terms and rates.

Signs that your Start-Up is Maturing into a Small Business:

1)   Customer needs do not appear to be evolving rapidly.

2)   Consolidation by leading competitors is reducing economical intensity.

3)   Disruptive innovations and new applicants are gaining share only gradually and top out at relatively low levels.

4)   Marketplace shares of leading contenders have hardened and are changing gradually, if at all.

5)   The price, brand, and/or channel stratagem has replaced product innovation as key value drivers.

6)   Cash flows are progressively turning positive and being returned to investors rather than investment in the market.

Final Note:

Small businesses play an important role in any civilization. When they are first recognized, they represent ways that corporate owners test their business ideas in a market. Small businesses that create jobs for labor, in addition to the owner, offer even more economic stability. Providing a steady source of income for business owners and employees is just one reason they are important.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

Man using computer laptop in flower shop
For a small business, it is critically important to have a strong business credit. Its significance is due to two reasons. One is that it is helpful in maintaining a separate personal and business credit history, secondly, it is helpful in building a strong credit score. Strong credit scores have various benefits for a small business. A strong business credit score is helpful in securing better interest rates and having better trade relations with valuable suppliers. Lending money or getting more credit to grow your small business becomes much easier due to strong business credit. 

Let’s discuss the ways by which you can build business credit for a small business.

Mapping of the business

The first ever step in building business credit is to establish your small business. Building business credit is a dream without establishing your business. Just opening a business does not mean that you are now in the main streamline of the business world. Following are the necessary elements to a mainstream business.

  • Obtain an EIN for your small business. EIN is a social security number used for filing federal taxes and for opening the business account.
  • Obtain a phone number and get it enlisted in the directory so that it can be found on search. A mobile number, landline number or VoIP can be used for a small business. This number should be on the legal name of the small business.
  • Open your bank account. This account number should be opened in the legal name of the small business. All transactions and bill payments for the business should be done through this business account.

A good relationship with suppliers and vendors

A solid line of credit with suppliers and vendors is an asset to your small business. Establish and maintain a pleasant relationship with them. Having to prepay for things can be avoided by building a better relationship with vendors. A simple method for building a positive credit history is to build a line of credit with three to five suppliers or establish payment terms of net thirty days. Ask this supplier to report the payment history of your small business to credit reporting agencies.

Timely payments

Timely payments have a very positive and amazing effect on your credit profile.  Late payments badly affect your image. Timely payments of all bills depict that you are a reliable business owner and you have enough money to pay on time. Moreover, you can pay off debts timely. Vendors, lenders, and creditors don’t hesitate to build any kind of contract with you if you have a history of paying on time.

Business credit card

Open at least one business credit card. More than one business credit card is also recommended, but use them cautiously and avoid overspending. Preferably, the business credit card should be opened with a company which reports to credit card reporting agencies. These companies are beneficial for establishing credit.

Incorporate your small business

The small business should get incorporated to separate legally business and an owner’s personal profile. Incorporation can be done either by adding Inc or LLC. This is a legal way for separating personal credit history from that of the business. And, ultimately helpful in establishing and building business credit for your small business.

Separation of personal and business expenses and finances

Business expenses should not be paid from your personal credit cards and personal bills should not be paid from the business accounts. Both credit profiles should be clearly separated. This will not only help to build business credit, but also make payment of taxes easy and comfortable.

Monitoring of small business credit

Credit card statements should be regularly monitored. Any error should be reported to credit reporting agencies. About 25% small business owners have reported errors in their credit reports.

Conclusion

Building a business credit for your small business is key to further progress and growth.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hand holding envelope  of cash
Embezzlement is the theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s custody. In other words, it is stealing something from an organization that is not yours. Regardless of the scale or magnitude of a business, embezzlement of funds exists in almost every organization. Therefore, you must come up with a prevention plan before it drains your small business.

Employee fraud and embezzlement can occur in any organization. Small businesses often lack experience and knowledge, which prevents them from having the right checks and balances in place. According to studies, businesses lose approximately 8% of their annual revenues from theft and embezzlement, making it the biggest reason why most start-ups fail to create an impact. Employees can make or break a business. They have the potential to take a business to the top or break it apart to pieces. Employees can determine the fate of a company and it’s long-term survival.

Employee embezzlement can drain your small business, perhaps making you lose everything within a short span of time. The portion of assets than an employee steals each month accumulates to a huge amount, which eventually leads a business towards its gradual demise. Stealing from an employer raises serious moral and ethical concerns; it’s not a legal activity under any circumstance. Moreover, it may lead one to face serious repercussions such lawsuits and jail time.

Embezzlers can often get away with their actions because they are smart and steal at a suitable time of their own choosing. They know the processes of their organization and have a clear picture of how to steal without getting caught. However, with increased technology and advanced accounting software, now you have options to prevent maximum leakage or data theft in your company. Below are our suggestions on how to stop embezzlement before it drains your small business.

Look For Financial Discrepancies

An unusual fall in profits or a squeezing profitability index are symptoms of embezzlement. By keeping a highly advanced system in place, you can prevent embezzlement or data leakages. In doing this, you will get to know your profit shortfalls and even catch culprits for further disciplinary actions.

Regularly Check Company Records

No matter how much trust your accountant, you should always regularly check your company’s financial records to obtain a clear picture of the finances. Any discrepancies found in the records should be taken care of wisely. Financial books and bookkeeping records reveal the true status of a company’s finances.

Respond to Client Complaints

This is one of the major ways to find out if embezzlement is occurring in your organization. Clients often complain when their order is not dispatched properly or doesn’t justify their expectations. Therefore, if you start to receive a lot of complaints, it is wise to look into the matter. It may show you if something suspicious is happening.

Notice Employee Habits and Behavior

Pay attention to any significant changes in the habits and behaviors of your employees. To stop embezzlement before it drains your business, you need to develop a mechanism that may discourage employees from participating in such malicious and unethical deeds.

Leverage Control over Financial Decisions

In the core of every successful business lies well-established and ethical teamwork. You can’t expect to excel all alone. You need to empower your team to help with the prevention of fraudulent activities. Although most organizations are affected by this disease, you need to come up with suitable preventive measures in order to stop and save your organization from embezzlement.

Leverage control over your organization’s finances to establish your leadership over all aspects of your business, especially related to financial decision-making. Stopping embezzlement in it’s tracks is extremely important for winning the competitive business race.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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Small business owners are hesitant to report an employee stealing from their company as they do not want to involve the police, new research finds.

Employee theft may not be the number one concern that keeps a business owner awake at night, but it can bring about negative impacts on a company. Besides hurting the morale of employees and damaging a brand name and reputation, it can drain a significant portion of annual revenues and profits that eventually kicks a business out of the competitive race. In the wake of challenges and the ever-evolving mindset of stealing, companies cannot expect to survive for long. So, companies need to come up with loss prevention strategies and implement the proper tools and techniques to prevent employee theft and embezzlement.

Statistics Reveal a Different Picture

According to the study conducted and reports filed by the University of Cincinnati, research shows that 64% of employees steal from small businesses while only 16% of employers report the theft to the police. There is certainly no denying the fact that cheating employees are ever-ready to steal from a company whenever they get the opportunity. Small businesses are more susceptible and vulnerable to employee theft and embezzlement.

One report finds that companies with fewer than 100 employees have a higher percentage of theft and embezzlement cases. A staggering 92% of theft cases bear testimony to the fact that employees feel more inclined to steal from small companies due to their freedom to handle important business affairs like business management, bookkeeping, or accounting on their own. The University of Cincinnati research also found out why employers are reluctant to get the authorities involved and you may be surprised to know the reasons which include concerns about the criminal justice system and emotional ties.

What Makes Small Business Owners Hesitant to Report Theft?

There are reportedly four reasons why employers feel reluctant to report employee theft to the police and we will discuss those below.

No Real Victims

The nature and approach of business owners plays a significant role in determining the fate of an employee stealing from a company. Some owners are more concerned about recovering their losses than actually reporting the fraudulent activity. This category of people may even forgive their employees and give them another chance to prove their worth and loyalty or perhaps, under extreme cases to set a precedent, fire them after recovering their losses without reporting them to the authorities. Many business owners do not see victimization as a serious offense to be prosecuted officially and causing troubles beyond firing the employee stealing from the company. They believe that are many more things to worry about rather than this.

Attorney Advises Against It

The costs of prosecuting a perpetrator may be much more than what an employee actually stole from your company. Small businesses usually have scarce resources to deal with employee theft that restricts them from prosecuting a case in court. However, for large businesses and corporate level frauds, $20,000 or more, prosecuting a case is advisable.  Still, the slow restitution could take ages when you recoup the stolen funds. Therefore, many attorneys advise against reporting employee theft to law enforcement, especially if the successful prosecution outweighs any likely benefits that the employer intends to attain for their time and efforts.

Emotional Ties

Since trusted and seasoned employees often have a long work history and good reputation, they tend to steal more from a company than those who just joined the work force. Because of this, business owners often forgive the convicted employee based on emotional ties and history. This is probably one of the biggest precincts faced by small business owners that prevents them from reporting a crime to the local authorities.

They See the Criminal Justice System as Ineffective

Small business owners are often reluctant to get involved with the police in complicated issues involving employee theft. Obviously, the police are going to investigate the matter and may look for evidence of theft, which may involve interaction with coworkers that will create a negative vibe in the organization. On the other hand, there are some business owners who consider criminal justice proceedings as ineffective or incompetent. Quite often, there have been reported cases of law enforcement personnel caught in taking bribes from perpetrators which poses a question on the credibility of the justice system. So, rather than getting involved in lengthy and complicated prosecution methods, small business owners bare themselves from the trial.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Woman wearing white apron and rubber protective yellow gloves, holding rag and spray bottle detergent. MORE FROM THIS SERIES IN MY PORTFOLIO
A spring cleaning refers to the ritual cleaning of homes in the spring. In the winter, everything is packed due to the brutal nature of the cold weather. When spring comes around, people open their windows, doors, and clean their homes out completely.

In business, this term ‘financial spring cleaning’ refers to the actions which are performed to streamline all aspects of the business. In this routine, you are primarily focused on increasing sales, revenue generation, and managing daily operations. You should take the time to refresh your finances.  Notice of pending invoices, old bills, and a revision of business plans should all be examined to take immediate and necessary actions. All of these steps will not only save the business from loss and complications but also benefit you greatly in the long run.  So, how do you open your proverbial windows and doors to rid your business of the clutter?  Let’s take a look.

Re-examine payment policies:

Increasing cash flow is the key to grow a business and enjoy a debt-free company. A small business owner should sit with their accountant with bookkeeping records. From transactions and customer history, determine the number of customers whose payments are pending and for how long. Generate an aging table for accounts receivable to know the period for which each payment is pending. Categorize the customer according to the time of outstanding payment, i.e. 30 days, 90 days or 120 days. This aging table is used to collect outstanding payments, to evaluate payment policies, and have a solution for the customer who is habitual in making delayed payments. If you get payments from a customer early, you may be saved from borrowing money or going into more debt.

Assess pricing models:

The other crucial part of a financial spring cleaning strategy is an assessment of your pricing. The pricing of your small business should be comparable to your market competitors. Pricing should be at levels which are profitable and you are not at a loss. But in fact, pricing is a difficult area for many small businesses. Many market conditions affect pricing and it is not easy to manage price, but the best strategy is to keep pricing of products and services comparable to your market competitors.

Review cash balances:

The coming of summer characteristically causes many businesses to postpone their huge purchasing decisions until the fall. This is typically a crucial time for small businesses because they have to pay fixed expenses like utility bills, office rents, etc. whether revenue is falling and you are at a loss. During this slow business period, you must prepare yourself well for the fall, maintain enough cash balances to get through successfully until your normal business is back. Reviewing of sufficient cash balances is a significant step for financial spring cleaning. If you contain adequate funds, it’s sensible to go for a working capital loan or a new line of credit.

Discover opportunities for re-negotiations:

Almost all business need to do long-term contracts. These contracts may include leasing a costly piece of equipment long-term instead of purchasing it or making a long-term service contract. All of these agreements are done to save money, sometimes a huge amount of fixed costs are allocated each month to pay for the fees of these contracts. These contracts should be reassessed and opportunities for re-negotiation should be explored so that money can be saved.

Analyze your subscriptions:

Many small business subscribe to different types of software. Some of them are only required for a specific project or a limited time, but due to hectic business routines, you don’t remember to cancel that subscription after it is no longer needed. In many cases, these are automatically renewed, as software companies have your credit card numbers. Each month, subscription fees are deducted and you may not even notice. A financial spring cleaning provides you the opportunity to re-evaluate all recurring expenses and cancel such subscriptions which are not in use.

Final thought:

Just like spring cleaning is necessary for cleaning your home and enjoying the refreshing feelings of doing so, a financial spring cleaning is also a good step to refresh the productivity of your small business and improve it’s financial health. To keep your business prosperous, a periodic and detailed review of the business and making adjustments accordingly is necessary.  And, good news!  It doesn’t have to be spring for you to start!

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

It's nice to see the company grow!
Most small business owners come up short on cash flow despite the fact that their businesses are gaining revenue. Cash flow is the net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out of a business.

The simplest and quickest way to sort out cash flow problems and improve cash flow in your business is to collect receivable income as soon as possible and slow your payments down wither your suppliers without burning bridges. But, this formula cannot be applied for long and without proper planning. 

Plan and implement policies to improve cash flow in the company.  Here are five ways to improve your cash flow:

1. Bookkeeping

Keep an eye on your Budget.

  • Keep a strict check and balance on the expenses going on in the business. Do not sign any reimbursement application before double checking the purpose, date, and invoice number.
  • Avoid frauds.
  • Cut down on unnecessary expenses.
  • Manage business operations more effectively.

Decrease Expenses in the Business.

  • Eradicate unnecessary expenses in your business. If your advertising is costing you too much, then utilize social media and directly interact with your potential customers on those outlets.
  • Try not to borrow money for a rapid growth in business.
  • Do not mix your personal expenses with the business expense.

2.  Delayed Customer Payments and Discounts

  • Many customers delay their payments. In small business, if you are running short on income, quickly generate invoices and send them to customers immediately. This will minimize the delayed payments by the customers to some extent.
  • Offer offering your customers some discounts if the payment is made within a given time frame before the deadline. Always encourage your clients to pay quickly.
  • Keep a check on discounts being given to the customers. Reducing prices often negatively affects the net profit ratio and revenue in your company.

3.  Overstaffing

  • Business owners have to manage a lot of business operations. Especially, at the start of business, many small business owners hire more staff than is actually required. Overstaffing has a negative effect on small business income and growth.
  • If your business wins a project and you need more staff to accomplish the task before the deadline, you have to increase the payroll of your company. A temporary project also increases the expenses in a company. This is a common scenario in construction companies, landscapers, and designers. Construction businesses often outsource their employees depending upon the complexity of projects. This process is predictable and calculable. Prepare in advance and plan out the finances and other issues. You can set money aside for the last season in business or borrow money for the project funding until the next season yields revenue.
  • You can manage your employees by re-arranging shifts or paying overtime until the project is finished.
  • This management is a way to improve your cash flow

4.  Clear Debts and Liabilities Early On

  • List all of your debts and other liabilities that your company has to pay.
  • Make a priority list.
  • Keep monthly savings in another account for the payment of debt if taken or for making other on-time payments by your company.
  • Keep the money for monthly payment of the debt. Do not use this money for any other purchase. Otherwise, the debt with interest will keep piling up.
  • Sacrifice the fast track for slow growth or you will have to take debt for your small business.
  • Managing your liabilities and paying them on time will also improve your cash flow.

5.  Section Your Customers, Suppliers, and Inventory

  • Focus on your inventory. “Was the purchase made necessary, is the stock not ‘too much’?”
  • Manage your inventory. Do not purchase extra stock.
  • Focus on your suppliers. Who supplies you on time and on better terms and conditions?
  • Focus on key customers that give your business a big margin in profit and generate great revenue.

Conclusion

Cash flow problems are very common for small sized businesses. Business owners should know the ways to improve cash flow in a company. Managing expenses, keeping an eye on accounting and bookkeeping, on time payments and receiving payments on time, and clearing out debts are ways to improve cash flow in a company.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Business people meeting at office and use post it notes to share idea. Brainstorming concept. Sticky note on glass wall.
Small businesses must come up with innovative marketing strategies if they want to stay ahead of competitors. Although, the conventional ways of marketing a product or service are still relevant, try using new ideas to reach out to your target market. Listed below are 18 of the best marketing strategies for small businesses.

Get out of the Store

Establishing a presence on the internet, even if you have a physical store, is critical. Create an interactive, regularly updated site or blog and build informative yet informal profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Share your Expertise Freely

Let the public know what you’re an expert in and use that to boost your reliability and value. Publish tips, share your expertise through public speaking, and even try pitching to the media. Make it super easy for people to associate you and your business with excellence and expertise in your field.

Never Stop Growing your Network

Expand your network of contacts and potential clients. Ask your best, most powerful, influential friends or business associates to introduce you to the five people they think you should meet to expand your business.

Twitter Giveaways

Give away your product or promotional item on Twitter.

Network your Networks

Network with friends who then network with their friends. There’s power in numbers. Don’t spam, of course, but utilize your network to get the word out to your people who know people who know people.

Maintain Relationships with Clients

The difference between a successful company and a mediocre one often boils down to an owner’s commitment to building (and sustaining) relationships with clients and prospects.

Listen. Tweet. Listen. Listen Again.

Identify your ideal clients and find them on Twitter. Then start following them! Spend weeks listening to them; you’ll be amazed what they will tell you about their concerns, their ideal products, and their current frustrations with their vendors. It’s a great way to get open and honest market research.

Leverage Linked-In

Join as many Linked-In groups as you can that are related to what you sell and post a question or tips on a regular basis.

Facebook It!

Your Facebook friends can be your greatest free marketing tools so enlist their help! On Facebook, use the NOTES application to create a special, limited-time “friends and family”promotion.

Tweet It!

Twitter is a great place to share photos, host contests, shout out to loyal customers, have scavenger hunts, and promote events.

Blog Tour

Blog tours are like book tours, but without all the flying, cheap hotels, and fast food temptations. They’re a great way to get seen and discovered outside your usual niche, all from the comfort of your own office or home.

Inspire Customers to Call You

Do something really different. Send a monthly postcard instead of a hard copy newsletter.

Be Generous

To keep customers loyal to you, instead of a frequent buyer program, send your customers small “surprise” gifts.

Low Hanging Fruit

Turn to those in your field for the low hanging fruit. Find larger companies or older, more experienced businesses and invite them to lunch. Ask them to consider referring their smaller cases, or business they don’t have time to handle, to you.

Feed them and They Will Come

Anything involving food gets attention. Partner up with local neighborhood businesses and a restaurant (or other service providers in a complementary but non-competing industry if that’s your gig) to throw a special event.

Help Other Employees

Offer employee incentives to various big businesses or to smaller businesses in your hometown.

Online-Map Listings

Online map listings are essential for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. They are the first thing people see on search engines.

Small Groups

It only takes one person to start a movement. So don’t hesitate to start an informal group that can provide something of value to the market in which you specialize.

 Conclusion:

To conclude, these marketing ideas will surely help you in promoting your products or services among your target consumers. You must devote time and money to reap benefits out of these strategies.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

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Accounting is key for small business owners, however, it can be overwhelming and stressful. The easiest way to manage business finances is to utilize the tools available in the market. There is accounting software available that helps you manage cash flow, generates invoices, have an audit-ready business, and make preparations for tax time. These tools make handling your small business customers and expenses more efficient.

Following are the eight top-rated small business accounting tools which are used to manage your finances and bookkeeping functions in the business.

  1. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks is a bookkeeping and small business accounting tool used to handle accounting operations. QuickBooks is developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks is used to:

  • Generate invoices with the logo of your company and with all details required by your customers
  • Process payrolls according to HR policies
  • Manage all business transactions, including bills from suppliers and vendors
  • Manage your inventory
  • Track expenses

QuickBooks can be accessed from your laptop from anywhere you want. QuickBooks is used by small business owners to simplify accounting operations and manage finances in a short amount of time. It is affordable and easy to use software that can easily be learned and used by small business owners with no financial background.

  1. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is a well-known software used by small business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurial agencies to handle accounting processes. It is a user-friendly tool and is preferable for a service provider.

Following are the features of Freshbooks:

  • Generating invoices
  • Managing expenses
  • Accepting payments from customers
  • Generating automatic reminders for payments
  • Managing clients of each project with pricing
  • Stellar customer services

  1. Xero

Xero is a wonderful software with a wide range of small business accounting tools. It is a good choice for online product sales.  Xero is used for:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Paperless management of expenses
  • Payment in 160 or more currencies with the ability to convert and update exchange rates automatically
  • Generating invoices and quotations
  • Tracking and managing inventory
  • Generating purchase orders
  • Automatic reconciliation of accounts
  • A dashboard with bank balances, expenses, and invoices
  • Customized reports required by the small business
  • Tracking cash flow in real time
  • Graphical presentation of data
  • Data can be shared and accessible to accountant and others
  • Generating customized reports and reminders to customers
  • Scheduling of Payments and returns

  1. Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a good choice for both a product seller and service provider because of having CRM and time-tracking features. Bookkeeping is also available in Zoho Books.

  1. Xporter Data Export Tool

Xporter isn’t specifically an accounting tool. It is used to export stored data to an Excel file. Any kind of required reports can be generated and automatically emailed to desired contacts.

  1. SimplyCost

SimplyCost is simple and economical Shopify app used to create profit reports. It tells you the actual profit you are gaining from the sale of a product. It also keeps track of worth of inventory.

  1. Profiteer

Profiteer is an app to track the cost of goods sold and variants. It is able to export a CSV report of the total value of inventory and profits. Currency fluctuations are also catered by this app and an accurate report of profit is generated for a specific period.

  1. GoDaddy

GoDaddy is also simple and economical to use. Mobile access and time tracking are present. But, the payroll option is missing. It estimates quarterly taxes. Live support is also present in this small business accounting tool.

Connector apps are used to connect and integrate accounting software. By integration apps, data can be transferred automatically from one application to another and to other partners. This is a time saving and easy to use application and used to export all kinds of data related to tax matters, customers, and expenses on a single click.

These connector applications are for:

Conclusion

While purchasing accounting software, detailed homework of your business needs should be done. Invest wisely in the purchase of a small business accounting tool according to the nature and volume of your business.The more specific requirements for a business also require an efficient and effective accounting software to manage finances and bookkeeping in the business.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Wooden cubes with word "Tax" on dollar bills. Isolated on white. Business concept.
Circumnavigating the tax season can prove rough for all companies; nevertheless, small businesses become very vulnerable when we talk about dissecting the issues regarding tax and making optimal decisions regarding the financial health of the company. The time to think about tax season is not at the start of the year, it is throughout the year. The following five strategies will help numerous small businesses plan for a very simple tax season.

 

  1. Invest In Your Retirement Now

If you are a small business owner, you need to create a retirement plan that takes complete advantage of the tax deferral rules in order to maximize your tax savings now and all the retirement savings for later. Rather than trying to tackle all of the various ins and outs of setting up your retirement plan on your own, it is advised that you consult a professional in this field. There are various options available which you could choose from. Let a professional make this choice for you, not only will they help you with your business finances but with your personal finances as well.

 

  1. Make Balancing Taxes Your Priority

Traditional tax planning is comprised of having to accelerate the deductions and the credits. This will occur alongside deferring the income. Numerous taxpayers are “cash taxpayers”, which means that the users get to deduct the expenses when they are all paid and must declare the income once the payment is received. Thus, expediting the expense payments whilst deferring the income payments might improve your current year’s tax position. You need to bear in mind that the inverse also rings true. If the business is anticipating a significant revenue in 2018, it is wise that you collect the income this year and furthermore delay the expenses until the year 2018.

 

  1. Find Silver Lining in Loss as Well

Numerous small businesses finish off with a net operating loss during the initial years of the business operation. The net operating loss leads to a tax deduction bigger than the taxable income, which mostly occurs when all of the various business expenses exceed the earnings. Even though this appears to be very bad news, NOLs (Net Operatin Loss) might be used to recuperate all of the past tax payments and reduce the tax payments in the future. NOLs can be used to create tax relief by applying the loss to the payments and receiving a credit by applying the net loss to the future income tax. The rules will vary based on the business; therefore, understanding how to work them will have a huge impact.

 

  1. Understanding the Taxable vs the Nontaxable Fringe Benefits

All fringe benefits, for instance: a company car and subsidized meals along with insurance, is an amazing way to pay for all of the services along with decorating an even more appealing employee package. Nevertheless, all of these various fringe benefits are taxable most of the time. Having an in-depth knowledge of which fringe benefits lie outside of the taxable demesne might ease the tax burden each year. When small businesses appreciates the benefits, you will also be able to save money on the payroll taxes. The tax rules for every user are somewhat different, therefore it is important to select the correct fringe benefits for your company.

 

  1. Invest in the Counsel to Benefit Small Business

Planning all of your taxes should never be an end of the year scramble. As an alternative, it should involve a reliable and yearlong conversation with a tax lawyer or a professional accountant. It is better for the continued health of the business to work with a professional who has been in the industry for a long period of time who also knows the ins and outs of the industry. You will also save a huge amount of money when you work with a professional.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

QuickBooks


QuickBooks has proven to be a useful invention in the discipline of accounting and bookkeeping, especially for incumbents and small businesses. Despite the market being flooded by many similar accounting software, such as Xero, Wave, FreshBooks etc., QuickBooks has taken the lead by transcending the competition. It has been the most favorable among small business owners. It’s several versions are catering to multiple business needs that other competing software lack to date. Its transcendence in the market for serving small businesses are attributed to the following reasons.

Diversity & Flexibility

QuickBooks is available in different versions allowing for greater diversity in serving small businesses. Small business owners can choose from an array of versions depending on their unique business needs and specifications. For instance, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Online Plus, QuickBooks Mac, QuickBooks Hosting, QuickBooks Premier Hosting and the sort. Each one comes with a unique set of features to enable businesses to choose the one that fits best with their business needs. The various versions may be purchased according to one’s budget as well, allowing for even more flexibility. Hence, QuickBooks leads the competition through flexibility in pricing and features.

User Friendly

Another reason for this market transcendence is the user friendly interface that it comes with, allowing for easy access and use within the business. Employees working on a legacy system are generally more resistant to change. Traditional bookkeeping has been popularly replaced by accounting software which may be a source of intimidation for employees at work. However, QuickBooks helps with the initial phase of using the software step-by-step and also extends the option to seek professional help, if need be.

Compatibility

QuickBooks offers a compatible interface that may be integrated with multiple vertical market applications easily and without much trouble. This superior compatibility helps with aligning and streamlining every single process within the organization and allows for savings in terms of cost, time and effort. Automation sounds like a brilliant idea when it comes to accounting, but automation to this extent is no less than a miracle for small businesses.

Customization

In addition to the above reasons, QuickBooks has been successfully outperforming the competition due to its ability to customize almost everything related to accounting and bookkeeping. One can customize a chart of accounts to their specific business needs, customize invoices, sale receipts, and estimates. You name it and QuickBooks has it covered! It sure is a one-stop solution for all your tedious accounting hustles.

Simplification of Tasks

QuickBooks has been an innovation in the market to help serve small business needs related to complicated and enervating accounting procedures and activities. Not only has it provided a complete and sorted package for A to Z accounting but it has helped with simplifying complex spreadsheets, returns filling, reconciling, invoicing, and financial reporting tasks throughout organizations, especially for small businesses.

Unlimited Features

QuickBooks has also taken over full responsibility for performing all of the accounting tasks with the provision of its various features. It manages cash flows, invoicing, billing, receivables and payables, employee performance, bank transactions, check printing, online banking, emails, payroll as well as financial reporting. Other features include access to its online version from any and all internet-enabled devices. This is particularly useful for small businesses that are operated remotely.

Business Tracking

Another one of the many reasons why QuickBooks has led the market competition is the streamlining and automation that it has facilitated for small businesses. With its use, business owners have been empowered as they can now track each and every business transaction and workflow hassle-free and in a seamless manner. This has enabled a transparent work environment for small business owners.

Conclusion

Therefore, based on the numerous reasons identified above, QuickBooks has remained victorious in establishing a position for itself in the market – a position that transcends that of any competitor serving small businesses.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.