5 time-consuming Tasks Small-Business owners ought to outsource

Overhead will overtake little businesses in a hurry. However too several business owners impede their revenue growth doing everything simply to avoid wasting some bucks.

Strategic outsourcing solves this perplexity.

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Many entrepreneurs reject outsourcing due to the additional price. However, they fail to calculate the worth of opportunities lost as a result, they sank an excessive amount of time into energy-sapping tasks, which can be best left to others.

Simply put, they save money but they do not make money.

As an example, I may place together my very own PowerPoint shows if I selected to try and do so.however i might pay double as long as as a very expert designer, and in the end, it might look 0.5 nearly as good.

If I did it myself, i would save $50 in outsourcing fees. however it might price me 2 hours of my week, 2 hours I may pay deciding a way to raise ten, twenty or maybe one hundred times that amount in revenue.

So within the spirit of making more time in your day to grow your business, here are 5 key outsourcing opportunities for small business people:

accounting-staffing-software1. Accounting
This may appear obvious, however it’s too important to depart off the list. Not solely is accounting time consuming, it’s conjointly more and more of a specialty trade (especially in extremely regulated states like California). Accountants understand the foundations and may keep you out of hassle. they’re extremely economical as a result of they are doing these items on a daily basis.

Rule number one: find an honest accountant for day-to-day Bookkeeping, a good payroll company to handle paychecks and with holdings and a better comptroller for tax accounting.

bank2. Banking
Separate from the accounting function is your relationship with an actual individual at your native bank. Most banks these days have small-business specialists who will assist you with income, loans, grants, lines of credit and more. you need cash to run a business. Your little business banker will facilitate.

3. ArtworkOpensuse-artwork
This includes web site art, logos, letterhead, etc. everybody thinks they’ll do their own style work, and that they will, however only a few will have a go at it well. you’ll realize unbelievably proficient designers on eLance.com who will handle all of your design desires for a really small amount. I had a complete PowerPoint deck engineered for a significant presentation. It value me$35 and it had been stellar.

4. Social media
I am all for reaching out on Facebook and Twitter, however doing so takes time. Trust me, there’s a school child in a very selling category out there that will love some part-time work strategically posting, responding to posts and articles, finding connected folks to link to, etc.

Social-MediaDon’t let your inner control freak get within the manner — outsource this significant element.

Ghost-Writing-iStock_000014841485Large5. Editing

If your business needs an excellent deal of piece of writing, realize somebody who focuses on word crafting and writing. spend some time bobbing up with nice content. Leave it to somebody else to pore over your documents and guarantee accuracy. A second set of skillful eyes can catch and improve things that you simply can miss.

Do what you are doing best and Outsource the remainder.

3 Most Common Budgeting Errors

Accounting tips on Common Budgeting Errors

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Continuous Budgetting

 

When it comes to creating a budget, it’s essential to estimate your spending as realistically as possible.

Here are three budget-related errors commonly made by small businesses and some tips for avoiding them.

 

  1. Not Setting Goals. It’s almost impossible to set spending priorities without clear goals for the coming year. It’s important to identify, in detail, your business and financial goals and what you want or need to achieve in your business.

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    Planning the budget

  2. Under Estimating Costs. Every business has ancillary or incidental costs that don’t
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    Accounting tips

    always make it into the budget–for whatever reason. A good example of this is buying a new piece of equipment or software. While you probably accounted for the cost of the equipment in your budget, you might not have remembered to budget time and money needed to train staff or for equipment maintenance.

  3. Failing to Adjust Your Budget. Don’t be afraid to update your forecasted expenditures whenever new circumstances affect your business. Several times a year you should set aside time to compare budget estimates against the amount you actually spent, and then adjust your budget accordingly.
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Accounting strategies

 

Call our office if you want to discuss setting up a budget to meet your business financial goals. We’re happy to help.

The Home-Based Business: Basics to Consider

Home-Based-Business-Owner-and-Sales-RepMore than 52 percent of businesses today are home-based. Every day, people are striking out and achieving economic and creative independence by turning their skills into dollars. Garages, basements and attics are being transformed into the corporate headquarters of the newest entrepreneurs–home-based businesspeople.

And, with technological advances in smartphones, tablets, and iPads as well as a rising demand for “service-oriented” businesses, the opportunities seem to be endless.

Is a Home-Based Business Right for You?

Choosing a home business is like choosing a spouse or partner: Think carefully before starting the business. Instead of plunging right in, take time to learn as much about the market for any product or service as you can. Before you invest any time, effort, or money take a few moments to answer the following questions:

  • Can you describe in detail the business you plan on establishing?
  • What will be your product or service?
  • Is there a demand for your product or service?
  • Can you identify the target market for your product or service?
  • Do you have the talent and expertise needed to compete successfully?

home-based-business-insurance-pentictonBefore you dive head first into a home-based business, it’s essential that you know why you are doing it and how you will do it. To succeed, your business must be based on something greater than a desire to be your own boss, and involves an honest assessment of your own personality, an understanding of what’s involved, and a lot of hard work. You have to be willing to plan ahead and make improvements and adjustments along the way.

While there are no “best” or “right” reasons for starting a home-based business, it is vital to have a very clear idea of what you are getting into and why. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you a self-starter?
  • Can you stick to business if you’re working at home?
  • Do you have the necessary self-discipline to maintain schedules?
  • Can you deal with the isolation of working from home?

6765845_f520Working under the same roof that your family lives under may not prove to be as easy as it seems. It is important that you work in a professional environment. If at all possible, you should set up a separate office in your home. You must consider whether your home has the space for a business, and whether you can successfully run the business from your home.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

A home-based business is subject to many of the same laws and regulations affecting other businesses and you will be responsible for complying with them. There are some general areas to watch out for, but be sure to consult an attorney and your state department of labor to find out which laws and regulations will affect your business.

Zoning

Be aware of your city’s zoning regulations. If your business operates in violation of them, you could be fined or closed down.

Restrictions on Certain Goods

Certain products may not be produced in the home. Most states outlaw home production of fireworks, drugs, poisons, sanitary or medical products, and toys. Some states also prohibit home-based businesses from making food, drink, or clothing.

Registration and Accounting Requirements

You may need the following:

  • Work certificate or a license from the state (your business’s name may also need to be registered with the state)
  • Sales tax number
  • Separate business telephone
  • Separate business bank account

If your business has employees, you are responsible for withholding income, social security, and Medicare taxes, as well as complying with minimum wage and employee health and safety laws.

Planning Techniques

Money fuels all businesses. With a little planning, you’ll find that you can avoid most financial difficulties. When drawing up a financial plan, don’t worry about using estimates. The process of thinking through these questions helps develop your business skills and leads to solid financial planning.

Estimating Start-Up Costs

To estimate your start-up costs, include all initial expenses such as fees, licenses, permits, telephone deposit, tools, office equipment and promotional expenses.

In addition, business experts say you should not expect a profit for the first eight to 10 months, so be sure to give yourself enough of a cushion if you need it.

Projecting Operating Expensesprofitable-home-based-business4

Include salaries, utilities, office supplies, loan payments, taxes, legal services and insurance premiums, and don’t forget to include your normal living expenses. Your business must not only meet its own needs, but make sure it meets yours as well.

Projecting Income

It is essential that you know how to estimate your sales on a daily and monthly basis. From the sales estimates, you can develop projected income statements, break-even points and cash-flow statements. Use your marketing research to estimate initial sales volume.

Determining Cash Flow

Working capital–not profits–pays your bills. Even though your assets may look great on the balance sheet, if your cash is tied up in receivables or equipment, your business is technically insolvent. In other words, you’re broke.

Make a list of all anticipated expenses and projected income for each week and month. If you see a cash-flow crisis developing, cut back on everything but the necessities.

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Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you think a home-based business is in your future. We’ll set up your business and make sure you have the proper documentation system in place to satisfy the IRS.

5 ways to turn your Vacation into a Tax Deduction


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Tim, who owns his own business, decided he wanted to take a two-week trip around the US. So he did–and was able to legally deduct every dime that he spent on his vacation. Here’s how he did it.

1. Make all your business appointments before you leave for your trip.
Most people believe that they can go on vacation and simply hand out their business cards in order to make the trip deductible.

Wrong.

You must have at least one business appointment before you leave in order to establish the “prior set business purpose” required by the IRS. Keeping this in mind, before he left for his trip, Tim set up appointments with business colleagues in the various cities that he planned to visit.

Let’s say Tim is a manufacturer of green office products and is looking to expand his business and distribute more of his products. One possible way to establish business contacts–if he doesn’t already have them–is to place advertisements looking for distributors in newspapers in each location he plans to visit. He could then interview those who respond when he gets to the business destination.

Example: Tim wants to vacation in Hawaii. If he places several advertisements for distributors, or contacts some of his downline distributors to perform a presentation, then the IRS would accept his trip for business.

Tip: It would be vital for Tim to document this business purpose by keeping a copy of the advertisement and all correspondence along with noting what appointments he will have in his diary.

2. Make sure your Trip is all “Business Travel.”Tax Credits Tax Deductions
In order to deduct all of your on-the-road business expenses, you must be traveling on business. The IRS states that travel expenses are 100 percent deductible as long as your trip is business related and you are traveling away from your regular place of business longer than an ordinary day’s work and you need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away from home.

Example: Tim wanted to go to a regional meeting in Boston, which is only a one-hour drive from his home. If he were to sleep in the hotel where the meeting will be held (in order to avoid possible automobile and traffic problems), his overnight stay qualifies as business travel in the eyes of the IRS.

Tip: Remember: You don’t need to live far away to be on business travel. If you have a good reason for sleeping at your destination, you could live a couple of miles away and still be on travel status.

3. Be sure to deduct all of your on-the-road-expenses for each day you’re away.
For every day you are on business travel, you can deduct 100 percent of lodging, tips, car rentals, and 50 percent of your food. Tim spends three days meeting with potential distributors. If he spends $50 a day for food, he can deduct 50 percent of this amount, or $25.

Tip: The IRS doesn’t require receipts for travel expense under $75 per expense–except for lodging.

Example: If Tim pays $6 for drinks on the plane, $6.95 for breakfast, $12 for lunch, $50 for dinner, he does not need receipts for anything since each item was under $75.

Tip: He would, however, need to document these items in your diary. A good tax diary is essential in order to audit-proof your records. Adequate documentation includes amount, date, place of meeting, and business reason for the expense.

Example: If, however, Tim stays in the Bates Motel and spends $22 on lodging, will he need a receipt? The answer is yes. You need receipts for all paid lodging.

Tip: Not only are your on-the-road expenses deductible from your trip, but also all laundry, shoe shines, manicures, and dry-cleaning costs for clothes worn on the trip. Thus, your first dry cleaning bill that you incur when you get home will be fully deductible. Make sure that you keep the dry cleaning receipt and have your clothing dry cleaned within a day or two of getting home.

mortgage-insurance-tax-deduction4. Sandwich weekends between Business days.
If you have a business day on Friday and another one on Monday, you can deduct all on-the-road expenses during the weekend.

Example: Tim makes business appointments in Florida on Friday and one on the following Monday. Even though he has no business on Saturday and Sunday, he may deduct on-the-road business expenses incurred during the weekend.

5. Make the majority of your trip days count as Business days.
The IRS says that you can deduct transportation expenses if business is the primary purpose of the trip. A majority of days in the trip must be for business activities; otherwise, you cannot make any transportation deductions.

Example: Tim spends six days in San Diego. He leaves early on Thursday morning. He had a seminar on Friday and meets with distributors on Monday and flies home on Tuesday, taking the last flight of the day home after playing a complete round of golf. How many days are considered business days?

All of them. Thursday is a business day, since it includes traveling – even if the rest of the day is spent at the beach. Friday is a business day because he had a seminar. Monday is a business day because he met with prospects and distributors in pre-arranged appointments. Saturday and Sunday are sandwiched between business days, so they count, and Tuesday is a travel day.

Since Tim accrued six business days, he could spend another five days having fun and still deduct all his transportation to San Diego. The reason is that the majority of the days were business days (six out of eleven). However, he can only deduct six days’ worth of lodging, dry cleaning, shoe shines, and tips. The important point is that Tim would be spending money on lodging, airfare, and food, but now most of his expenses will become deductible.

Consult us before you plan your next trip. We’ll show you the right way to legally deduct your vacation when you combine it with business. Bon Voyage!