Blog

Spring Cleaning – Habits & Impulse Buying

Spring Cleaning – Habits & Impulse Buying

Except for the cleaning part, spring is pretty great. More flowers. More wildlife sightings. Fresh air. More cash in the bank and April showers bring May flowers! Life feels pretty good beyond the stagnant winter months, as cash gets flowing again. Boy! Wouldn’t it be great if every day were spring! Knowing the off-season will eventually come back around, I encourage you to take this opportunity to do the spring cleaning that often gets overlooked: Dust off the good money management habits Impulse buying is for the birds Clean out the junk drawer of seasonal debt Just as you would dust a shelf, throw out old rubbish, or organize your supply locker, now’s the time to spring clean your habits and impulses around money. Be deliberate and discerning about expenses and how you may stretch the dollar while more dollars are coming in. Having a “rainy day fund” is not just an old adage. Plan ahead and implement now while things are looking up. Here are a few tips to get you started: Follow a strict budget for each job you’re managing. Run weekly reports “budget vs actual” to stay on track with profit Set a financial goal for the Continue Reading »

Make your company run like ‘Clockwork’

Make your company run like ‘Clockwork’

Setting up any business system can be a challenge. They range anywhere from organizing employee’s job assignments effectively to creating cash flow projections. Handbooks and guides on how to do all this are plentiful, but if you’ve heard about Mike Michalowicz’s entrepreneurial journey, you’d know that his organizational techniques are more than just a little effective. Take a look at Mike’s tips on balancing four ways you can better streamline workflow and the overall health of your company. ‘The 4D Mix’ – These are known as the four different stages of a business’s activities: Doing, Deciding, Delegating and Designing. Whether there are a number of employees or it’s just a single owner of a company, the four D’s are constantly happening to keep things moving forward. The problem is, there isn’t a good balance between these actions and many people get stuck between the “Doing” and “Deciding” of things. Learn the true differences in the 4D Mix so you can experience a higher success rate when running your business. Doing – This is the act of actually getting a product to a client or servicing customers. Whether it’s planting and shaping a few wisteria saplings, or building unique birdhouses, this “doing” Continue Reading »

Three Business Reports for more Control

Three Business Reports for more Control

A great business needs great financial organization. Why? Because those who “wing it” when dealing with things like revenue and expenses, eventually find themselves in a downward money spiral—that is really hard to get out of. Any serious landscaper or interior designer will tell you to properly measure the ratios of products you’re using, in order to get the most out of them. Otherwise, it’s just money down the drain. Know where your money is going, how often and why. For instance, when you have a clear understanding of your cost of goods for the month, you will be able to plan with greater ease the number of products needed for the following months. Then you will be able to see amounts of money spent and where best to apply it within the company. To get more control of your finances, maintain these 3 monthly reports. 1. Income report – Also known as the Profit and Loss Statement, shows a business its revenues vs. expenses within a monthly, quarterly or yearly timeline. The end result will be your net income or net loss (not to be confused with gross incomes or losses). Net income is company profit made after all business Continue Reading »

Startups with Financial Discipline will Thrive

Startups with Financial Discipline will Thrive

A room full of entrepreneurs will agree, that sometimes all it takes is a really good business idea, and everything else just falls into place. However, most of the time, the idea has to be worked and re-worked in order to turn into a well-calculated risk! Growing a business happens in stages. Like a sapling freshly planted in the ground, a new business requires a lot of attention before it is financially self-sufficient or stable. The story of the entrepreneur losing financial ground in its first or second year is a reality that may be construed as apathetic ownership or just plane ambivalence. The bottom line is, no one expects it to happen to them—and they shouldn’t… If they are keeping track of their finances correctly and exercising a great deal of financial discipline, even the toughest soil can produce a flower. Best practices for startup, after your launch: Do another solid review of your business plan. It’s important to look past the initial excitement of “lift-off”, with another hard look at your destination. When products and services sell, clients begin to notice your brand more, and as the onset of a larger bank account begins to occur, it’s easy to get Continue Reading »

Are you a Profit First beginner?

The great thing about using the Profit First method, is once you start it’s easy to continue. Even if you got interrupted in the process, or somehow got off course, you can always pick up right where you left off. Because Profit First isn’t consumed with complicated accounting jargon and instead focuses on the business owner’s money habits and attitudes, the concepts remain easy and always available to implement. While everybody has setbacks, the Profit First methods do require follow through if one is to fully benefit, however. Following up with our blog Become profitable in the simplest way (starting simply with profit first) we discussed how to easily begin managing money that addresses cash flow issues by opening two separate bank accounts—one bank account for saving money to pay taxes and the other to build profit. Now that you’ve gotten a feel for separating your profits and money for taxes, forge ahead by opening three more bank accounts for deeper money management! The next 3 bank accounts for Profit First enthusiasts will be: Owner’s Pay — savings account Owner’s Pay is for the owner’s salary or regular recurring distributions. To keep this balanced system growing in a healthy way, continue to keep Continue Reading »

Should Your Small Business Hire an Accountant?

Should Your Small Business Hire an Accountant?

Whether you’ve played baseball, football, basketball or soccer, odds are you signed up to play on a team. This team consisted of a Coach. The coach would observe your abilities during practice or try outs and then make a sound decision on what position you should play — recognizing your strengths. At practice the coach would also identify areas you needed to improve upon, to become a better player on the team. The goal of the Coach is to see the team work together and enhance their skills, ultimately to succeed. When you are interested in learning to play an instrument, speak a different language, learn to dance, or book a fancy vacation – 9 times out of 10 you would seek the help or guidance of a professional in the particular area of interest. The same is true for a small business. As a new/existing business owner, why wouldn’t you want to look for a mentor to help you grow? As an accountant, we like to think of ourselves as a coach or “money partner” to your business. We also enjoy watching young entrepreneurs evolve.The most important thing you can do when it comes to your business finances is Continue Reading »

A Landscaper’s Costs and Profits

A Landscaper’s Costs and Profits

Some landscapers feel they have a knack for estimating any kind of job. Whether it includes extra bricklaying, trimming shrubs, driveway repairs or simple flower plantings—they usually have a good idea of what it will cost and what the profits will be. In short, they are confident in their industry and how it works. That’s a good thing. It also means, unfortunately, that it can be easy to become more passive or inattentive to job profitability. There are numerous variables that will eventually decide what a business owner’s future will look like, from 3 months down the road to 1 year and on. Overbidding can lose you good work and underbidding can be worse. Now is the time to take a good hard look at every possible request a client may ask of you. Know what you are willing to do first, then block out some serious time for creating an itemized list (+ taxes) for those costs. After you’ve created your list of hard costs, you’ll want to check out the topography of a project first. For instance: Make note of previously planted trees/shrubs Consider the dimensions of pre-installed structures Take accurate measurements of areas to be worked Determine Continue Reading »

Professional Development Drives Success

Seasoned business owners know the importance of developing homegrown talent within their organization. Investing in training and improving your people will improve your culture, productivity, and ultimately, your bottom line. So how should an organization go about ensuring their people are moving forward and not stuck in neutral? Here are four simple ideas businesses can incorporate to help their employees grow professionally: Provide a professional improvement plan for each employee. Most workers are happiest and most productive when they understand their future career path within an organization. Implementing professional development plans for your employees will help you monitor their progress, find the best fit for their skillset, and ensure that they are developing the skills that will allow them to bring value to the organization. Reward improvement. When an employee becomes more valuable to your organization, reward them for their improvement. Both monetary and non-monetary rewards can work, but be sure that improved responsibility and performance are rewarded with additional compensation. And don’t be afraid to publicize the rewards provided. Match increased skills with increased responsibility. Continue to challenge employees to improve. You’ll quickly find out which employees are motivated to rise to the challenge. Once you identify these individuals, Continue Reading »

Paperless Workflow

More and more businesses are making an effort to reduce or limit paper usage and physical storage. The potential benefits are easy to see: reduced supply costs, less waste, elimination of destruction and storage costs, and improved workflow efficiency. But sometimes it’s easier to see the destination than to navigate the road to get there safely. The fact is, as inefficient and wasteful as paper can be, its use in many ongoing business processes has become so ingrained that many professionals just don’t feel comfortable without it. It’s like going from reading paperback books to reading books on a tablet. Even if you know the reading experience should be just as good, if not better on a Kindle or Nook, to many it just doesn’t have the same feel. So what can businesses do to ensure a successful paperless transition? At AccountSolve, we have implemented cloud-based solutions, eliminated paper storage, and reduced paper-based reporting and communications with clients. This involves changing not only how we do business on a day to day basis, but getting our clients on board with the new processes as well. Here are five things we’ve learned along the way: Define your process first. Include the Continue Reading »

People Power – Retain Top Talent

The economy is starting to heat up across many sectors. While economic improvement provides opportunities, small businesses are facing the increasing challenge of hiring and retaining talented employees. Why is it imperative to retain your best people? People are the foundation of every successful business. The importance of each employee is even greater within small businesses, especially for those who have felt the pain of losing top talent. Finding a replacement that you trust can be a timely and expensive proposition. So what can you do to motivate and retain employees? Find the right recipe. There isn’t one right answer. It’s important to find a “recipe” of benefits and culture that make employees feel secure and empowered. Traditional motivators such as time-off, healthcare benefits, and flexibility of scheduling are a good start. Don’t underestimate the small things either. Small investments by the business can have large effects on employees. Simple recognition of hard work goes a long way – saying “thank you” or expressing appreciation for a job well done. Wellness programs and the opportunity for community involvement can also build camaraderie and loyalty. Demonstrate opportunity for professional advancement. Beyond simple benefits, many are motivated by the opportunity for new Continue Reading »