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Florida Small Business Tax Laws and Rules

Florida Small Business Tax: Here’s What You Need to Know

With Miami recently named the top city to start a small business, now is a great time to get a startup off the ground in Florida. Most small businesses start out as sole proprietorships. Compared to many other business entities, sole proprietorships are simple to set up and run. Florida small business tax rules are also favorable for business owners and state laws are generally supportive of small business startups.

But  Individual advice from a Florida small business accountant is better than any information online, as your accountant will advise you according to your situation. Still, there’s nothing wrong with learning more about your small business tax liability in Florida.

Does Florida Have a Strong Economy?

Before looking into small business taxes, it’s good to consider the Florida’s economy. One of the benefits of starting a small business in Florida is the economic growth in the state. Of all US states, Florida has one of the fastest growing economies. According to statistics from 2018, if Florida were its own country, it would boast the 17th largest economy in the world based on GDP growth.

Some of the biggest industries in the sunshine state are as follow:

  • Tourism
  • Agriculture
  • International trade
  • Aviation
  • Life sciences
  • Financial services

While business in many other industries can thrive in Florida, the above represent the industries that employ the most people, generate the most revenue and make up the biggest part of the economy.

The labor force in Florida is expanding by more than 3% annually, while the rest of the US sees little to no growth in the same area.

Florida’s economy is growing at a fast pace. It helps that state laws in Florida encourage rather than dissuade people from starting businesses. When combining all of the benefits of starting a small business in Florida, including taxes and the economic outlook, the state is ranked as the 20th best state to start a small business overall. While that listing might seem mediocre, another survey listed Florida as the sixth best state to start a small business based on startup success.

How are Small Businesses in Florida Taxed?

Most small businesses are sole proprietorships. A sole proprietorship is a company owned by a single person. The owner of a sole proprietorship will usually have full say over what happens in the business, even if a small business employs a manager to make certain decisions, the owner will retain the ultimate authority in his or her business as the only owner.

Sole proprietorships are taxed on profit. This means that business owners will need to implement proper bookkeeping strategies to calculate their tax liability. Small business profits can be calculated monthly by adding up all income. Once a business owner know their total income, all business expenses must also be tallied. Subtracting all the expenses from the total income produces the profit.

While this system seems simple enough, both state and federal tax laws are always changing. Not all business expenses qualify for full deductions – meaning business owners can only subtract part of the costs of certain expenses.

To make matters more complicated, most small businesses in Florida will pay taxes in advance on a quarterly basis. What this means, is that businesses actually pay tax based on what they expect to earn in the future, not what they’ve already earned in the past. If a business underestimates its quarterly earnings and pays too little tax, outstanding taxes will need to be paid later, often with additional tax in the form of late payment fees.

Florida Self-employment Tax Rate

Self-employment tax acts as a replacement for Social Security and Medicare tax. As self-employed business owners don’t have these employment benefits, a self-employment tax compensates.

Florida’s self-employment tax rate is 15.3% for the first $128,400 net income of small businesses. Additional business tax rules apply across different income brackets, however.

Statistically speaking, Florida ranks fourth as one of the states with the lowest self-employment tax rates.

Should You Pay Tax on Your Side Business?

Paying self-employment tax when your business in your sole source of income is expected, but what about if you’re employed with a business on the side?

Unfortunately you’ll still need to pay self-employment tax. If your business makes more than $400 annually, you’ll be liable to pay self-employment tax, regardless of whether or not you hold a full-time (or part time) job.

Florida Sales Tax Rate

Sales tax is a tax levy on all product or services your business sells. As a result, almost all small businesses will qualify for some form of sales tax. One average, Florida sales tax is currently charged at 6%.

What this means, is that you will have to account for 6% sales tax on all the products or services you sell. If you need to sell something for $100 to make your desired profit, you’ll charge a customer for $106 to account for the money you’ll need to pay in sales taxes.

Forgetting to account for sales tax is a mistake many business owners make. Always calculate how much profit your business needs to make to be sustainable, then set your rates. Once you know what you desired rate is, add a 6% sales tax on top of this amount and put the money you get towards you sales tax aside. Never spend your sales tax money. Make sure you have enough left to pay all your taxes!

To calculate how much you need to add onto the cost of your product or service to account for sales tax, use your calculator to multiply your price by 0.06%. Once you have this result, add it to your price – this is the amount you’ll need to charge customers.

For example, if you have a product you want to sell for $50, your calculations will look as follows:

$50 x 0.06 = $3

The $3 is what you need to add onto your $50 to account for your small business taxes, so you’ll be charging your customer $53 for the product you sell.

In the past few years, Florida has consistently ranked 22nd for sale tax rates – meaning the sunshine state is relatively average as far as sales tax is concerned.

Florida Small Business Tax Summarized

Florida ranks 4th as one of the states with the lowest small business tax rates. This makes Florida a great state to start a small business. Tax laws in Florida do differ based on what type of business entity you own though.

While most small businesses operate as sole proprietorships, there are other business tax models in Florida. Florida taxes corporations at an approximate tax rate of 5.5%. However, there are many variables with regards to how much taxes a business entity will end up paying.

The best way to know for sure how much tax your business should pay, it’s best to hire an accountant to analyze your books. A Florida accountant will know what tax deductions, credits and exemptions your business qualifies for.

When consulting an accountant about your business’ tax liability, it’s imperative to have thorough financial records of your business on hand. If you don’t have any financial records yet, your first step should be hiring a reliable bookkeeper for your business. Once tax season comes around, your accountant will calculate your tax liability based on your financial books.

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How to get your first B2B customers - strategies for startup success

Startup Talk: How to Get Your First B2B Customers

B2B businesses are among the most profitable. Businesses have larger budgets at their disposal than individuals and often require products and services on an ongoing basis. The profitable nature of having businesses for customers is attractive to many entrepreneurs, but how can you get your first B2B customers?

Selling to Businesses vs Individuals

A lot of business models are centered around selling to other businesses specifically. Examples include marketing companies and many different kinds of Saas businesses.

Other business models have the potential to work with both businesses and individuals. Examples of businesses that can be both B2B or B2C include cleaning services, catering companies, auto workshops and printers. The benefit of working with businesses rather than individuals, however, is that businesses are likely to send ongoing work on a regular basis.

A cleaning service might get hired to clean company offices on a weekly basis, for instance. Similarly, an auto workshop might get work to do ongoing fleet maintenance on business vehicles. Printers and catering companies might get once-off work from individual to print wedding invitations and prepare food – which is still a good source of income, but not ongoing. A business, on the other hand, will always have marketing materials to print and corporate functions to cater for.

Considering the benefit of B2B customers, even businesses with the potential to sell to individuals should market to business entities as well.

Turing Your Startup Ideas into a Profitable Business

There’s a good chance you’re sitting with a startup idea you haven’t acted on because you don’t know where to start getting customers. The difference between an idea and a profitable business is, after all, paying customers.

Or perhaps you already started your business on the side, but you’re struggling to generate enough income from it to make it your full-time job.

Whatever your current situation, your business will grow much quicker if you have B2B customers. B2B customers can offer you a better stream of reliable income than individuals.

But don’t get tunnel vision running after B2B customers. It can be tempting to offer a B2B customer a hefty discount because of the reliable income stream you expect to get. It’s okay to give loyal customers discount, but you’ll need to do some math beforehand.

Calculate How Many B2B Customers You’ll Need

First, calculate how much revenue you’ll need to run a sustainable business. Don’t forget to factor in all your business expenses, as well as taxes. A lot of entrepreneurs mistakenly forget to factor in taxes when calculating how much revenue they need. If you’re unsure about what you’ll need to pay in taxes, consult a tax professional to get an idea of your tax liability based on your income.

Knowing how much your business will make after tax will help you make accurate calculations. You can then proceed to calculate how much of your product or service you’ll need to sell to be sustainable.

With some business models, it’s easy to estimate how much a customer will be worth. With others, this can be much more complicated. To start out with, you just need to know how much you need to make to be sustainable, then reverse-engineer approximately how many B2B customers you’ll need to make that amount.

If, for instance, you run an office cleaning service and you charge a monthly rate between $500-$1500 for an office (depending on the size), your average B2B customer might be worth about $1000 monthly. If you need to make $15,000 to run a sustainable business and cover all your expenses, you’ll need about 15 B2B customers.

At first, calculate how much you’ll need to sell at your standard rate. Once you have a prospective B2B customer, consider if they will provide you with enough ongoing income to qualify for a discount. If not, don’t offer to give them one. Businesses often have more budget than individuals, so they might not expect a discount anyway.

How to Get Your First B2B Customers

Only go look for customers once you know how many you need and what you must charge them. Knowing this information will help you have a clearly defined goal to work towards. It’s no good getting ahead of yourself and onboarding customers when you aren’t charging them enough to be sustainable.

Once you’ve got a goal to work towards, follow the necessary steps to get your first B2B customers.

1. Define Your Target Customer

Every entrepreneur has heard this advice, so it’s nothing new. Despite that, a lot of entrepreneurs still don’t know how to accurately identify profitable target customers.

There are a few things to consider when identifying who to target as potential customers:

  • What business is most likely to require your services?
  • What businesses will be easier to sell to?
  • What businesses will have enough financial resources to spend on your product or service?
  • Will your product or service be fundamentally important to the operation of these businesses?

For example, if you run a printing shop, you might target all businesses. Most businesses could use pamphlets, so you might end up casting your net too wide when approaching potential customers.

In this case, take a step back and ask yourself, what businesses might need a lot of printed materials? Surprisingly enough, it might not be businesses in need of only corporate materials. Events planning companies, for instance, might have regular work printing event invitations and plans, which could include personal events like weddings and baby showers. Apart from this, they might also have regular work for printing event banners and advertising posters.

Event planning firms could make good customers for printing businesses because your service would be a fundamental part of what they do. Getting printed materials is a service they’ll always require. They’ll have lots of work from their different clients, so one event planner might bring in the same amount of business as 10 other customers combined.

Identify what kind of business could be the same kind of valued customer for your startup, then approach these companies first when prospecting.

2. Identify Your Selling Points

Once you know what businesses to approach, think about how you’ll sell your product or service to them. What is your business’ main selling points? A selling point can be anything that helps your business stand out above the rest.

If you run a cleaning service, it could be that you use environmentally friendly cleaning agents, for instance. Environmentally aware businesses would appreciate this thought.

Or, perhaps your main selling point could be that you offer your services after hours. If you’re looking to target offices, many customers might like the idea of getting cleaners to come in after their employees’ head home. No noisy vacuum cleaners disturbing employees while they work, or areas left uncleaned because they were being occupied by working employees.

Whatever industry your business serves, make sure your target customers will value your selling points. There’s no point in using selling point that won’t arouse interest from prospects. Explain why your selling points are valuable and how they solve a problem your competition doesn’t cater for.

Don’t Be Too General

When coming up with selling points, there are a few common ones that businesses use. Some examples include:

  • X Years’ experience in our industry!
  • Fully licensed and trusted service.
  • Exceptional service and friendly staff.

These aren’t bad selling points in all cases, but many startups can’t brag about their industry experience.

Plus, these selling points are generalized. Your prospects have heard them before – probably more than once too. Any business can claim to have “exceptional service and friendly staff”, but this doesn’t always mean it’s true. A lot of businesses who claim to have friendly staff will inevitably have bad service and rude staff.

It’s not to say you can’t use general selling points at all, but you need to combine them with unique selling points as well. A unique selling point can often add credibility to more general ones.

3. Try Cold Calling or Emailing

It can be scary to make phone calls or send emails to businesses you have never contacted, but don’t let this put you off.

Once you have your selling points, write a professional cold email or some cold calling scripts. You don’t need to follow your cold calling scripts to the T, just have some notes on hand for reference. Also anticipate common questions your prospects might ask, and have a summarized answer ready in writing.

Alternatively, you could also visit potential customers at their location (if it’s open to the public) and hand out a business cards with a short 2-minute brief.

4. Contact the Right People

Contacting the right people can make the difference between whether you get interest or get shrugged off. Especially if you’ll be approaching bigger businesses, make sure you get through to the right person.

The right person to contact will be someone who has the authority to make buying choices regarding your product or service. If your business is somewhat technical, they also need to be someone who will understand the technical advantages of your product or service – someone who will be able to appreciate your superior product or level of expertise.

LinkedIn can be a great place to source the right people to contact. As an added benefit, it’s also a great place to reach out to these people about your product or service.

Compile a list of businesses and individuals to contact, then start making cold calls and sending emails, or connecting with people on LinkedIn.

A lot of online business advice instructs entrepreneurs to inform their personal network of their new startup. This could help in some cases, but in most cases your existing personal network won’t be enough to bring in enough customers. That’s why networking is an important step in growing your business. With enough perseverance, you should get your first B2B customers soon!

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tax deductions for small business

Tax Deductions for Small Business You Should Know

Tax deductions can go a long way in helping you get more out of your get mall business. A lot of business owners might feel hesitant to take full advantage of all the tax deductions they qualify for, but this shouldn’t be the case. As long as your business is doing its part and paying tax, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of permissible tax deductions. After all, the extra money you get for your business by deducting certain expenses can be spent on growing your business which, in turn, will mean that you can contribute even more to the economy.

With that in mind, there are a number of things you can (and should) legally deduct from your taxes.

Rent for Your Business Premises

Renting your business premises is probably one of your larger business expenses. For that exact reason, tax deductions on your rent can make a big difference for your business financially. The more expensive the rent on your premises, the bigger the advantage of deducting this expense, so if you have a large business premises with hefty rent, this can help to lighten the load.

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have either. Shop owners, healthcare practitioners and even automotive businesses can all take advantage of this deduction. The only prerequisite is paying rent on your business premises.

Vehicle Maintenance and Upkeep

Vehicles are another big business expense for a lot of small businesses. By keeping track of all your business expenses related to your company vehicles, you can deduct your vehicle expenses from your tax. Examples of vehicle expenses that can be tax deductible includes money spent on fuel, vehicle maintenance and repairs, parking and even tolls.

If you’re not keen on all the extra admin involved in tracking each individual vehicle expense, you also have the option of using the IRS standard mileage rate, which is currently sitting at 58 cents per mile driven.

Another alternative is to choose whatever option gets you the best tax return. To calculate this, you will have to keep track of all your vehicle expenses, which means it will involve a lot of work, but it might be worth it if your business owns any vehicles that are more expensive to maintain due to higher fuel consumption or more expensive service parts.

Any vehicle used for business purposes can qualify for this deduction, whether it’s a car, truck or even motorcycles. There are some exceptions to motorcycles, thought. For instance, you’re not allowed to use the IRS flat rate for a motorcycle. The only way you can get deductions for a motorcycle, is by keeping track of all your business-related transport expenses.

Computer Software

Almost all businesses have computers. As a result, most small businesses can benefit from deducting computer software. Whether you have an office and you pay an annual expense for your operating system, word editors and slideshow software, or you have a graphics design firm and you run programs to create images, you can deduct your computer software as a small business expense.

To take full advantage of this deduction, look into all the software and even online tools you use for your small business. You might even be able to deduct the fee you pay to your email service provider or money spent on bookkeeping software.

Advertising and Marketing Expenses

Money spent on advertising and marketing is a business expense, often a big one. You’ll be happy to learn that all the money you spend on advertising in tax deductible, which makes sense, as all advertising is related to business.

There are so many different things that you can deduct as a marketing or advertising expense. If you start to add it all up, it will quickly amount to a staggering figure. Here are some of the things you can potentially deduct as marketing expenses:

  • Business cards
  • Pamphlets
  • Paid advertisements in your local newspaper
  • Advertisements on billboards
  • Promotional materials and goods
  • Your company website expenses
  • Online marketing expenses

This means that any marketing expense can be deducted from your tax. Whether you want to make branded keychain holders to hand out at a corporate event, or print promotional pamphlets, these expenses will usually be tax deductible.

If you spend money on any online marketing-related software or services – such as an email newsletter service provider or pay per click advertising – it might also be worth investigating whether you can deduct these expenses. Perhaps you find you’re unable to deduct the expense for your email newsletter as computer software, but you can deduct it as an advertising or marketing expense instead.

Office Supplies

If you have an office for your small business, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of money each here on office supplies. Whether you’re buying printer ink, paper or pens. Even coffee, tea, milk and cookies can count if you regularly stock your office with these items for your employees.

No matter what industry you work in, your business will have admin, which means your business can deduct for office supplies. It’s easy to get so lost in deducting for expenses directly related to your industry, that you forget to deduct business expenses related to your admin.

Money spent on postage, shipping and delivery fees might be another hidden deduction you can get, which can help a lot if your business regularly makes use of such services.

Furniture and Equipment

Any equipment you purchase for your business (such as computers or printers) and even furniture can be deducted from your tax. There is, however, a catch here. You have the choice between either a full deduction for these items in the year you purchased them, or to depreciate them over a seven year period.

What you choose will depend on what’s best for your business. If you’re uncertain about which option is better and more applicable to your situation, it’s always best to consult your accountant about the matter.

Business-Related Education

If you spent money the past year on education for yourself, or any of your employees, you might just be eligible for a tax deduction. Expenses for seminars, workshops, classes and college programs can be seen as a business expense if it’s related to your industry.

To comply with safety regulations, businesses often have to send employees for first aid and safety training. If this is the case for your business, it’s good to know these forms of training will almost always be a tax deductible expense, as it is education related to your business.

The only important rule for deducting education as a business expense is that it has to be related to your business. You can’t deduct education expenses if you undertook it for personal reasons. If, for instance, you went for cooking classes or dog training lessons, you probably won’t be able to deduct this unless it’s related to your industry and it can benefit your business.

Cleaning Expenses

Cleaning is part of your business upkeep, so if you hired a professional cleaning company to clean at your business premises, there’s a good chance you can deduct it as a business expense. Regardless of if you hired a company to do mundane cleaning work at your office, or if you made use of a specialized cleaning service, cleaning is a tax deductible expense for your business, as it’s a necessary part of keeping your business premises hygienic and safe.

Some cleaning expenses that you may be able to deduct include:

  • Pressure washing your business premises both inside or out
  • Regular or high-rise window cleaning services
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Dry cleaning uniforms
  • Everyday cleaning services

Cleaning is an expense your business will incur every year, so adding it to your tax deductions can make a big difference.

Business-Related Supplies

Business supplies are one of the more obvious expenses, but it’s important to check all of your expenses in this area to make sure you’re getting all the deductions you can.

If you run a store, for instance, it’s obvious that you can deduct all the stock you bought in the past year as a business expense. At the same time, businesses that provide a service must also remember that all supplies they need to complete their service are business supplies. This could be building materials for a contracting firm, or cleaning supplies for a cleaning company.

However, there may be some hidden supplies that your business could possibly get deductions for. If you buy any cleaning supplies to clean your business premises, or if you buy uniforms, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to deduct these expenses.

Always Consult Your Accountant

To so stay within the legal bounds of tax deductions, it’s always best to get an expert opinion. Hiring an accountant can help you stay current with your taxes and avoid penalties for illicit tax deductions or practices. As an added benefit, the money you spend on financial services for your business (like your accountant) is also tax deductible!

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small business taz

How to Register Your Small Business for Tax?

If you recently started a small business, or your looking to do so, tax is an important subject that you simply can’t ignore. You must know how to register your small business for tax, or whether tax registration is even necessary in for your business.

A lot of small business owners feel intimidated by tax rules, so much so that it might deter some people from starting a business altogether. The idea of an already unstable income combined with uncertainty on how to fulfil tax obligations is a major sore point.

Don’t let the fear of tax get in your way of achieving something great. Tax can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few simple ways in which you can make sure that your business is paying tax the right way. One of the first ways to start, is to register your business for tax in a way that suits your industry.

Does My Small Business Need to Pay Tax?

Paying tax won’t be an issue if your business doesn’t need to, so asking the question of whether you need to pay tax is a logical place to start. Unfortunately, no profitable small business is normally small enough to qualify for tax exemption.

Very few people expect a child running a lemonade stand to pay tax on their earnings. Realistically, these earnings are too small to amount to anything significant. Similarly, if someone bakes cookies and sells them from home, it may be more of a hobby than a serious business venture, and this is likely to reflect in the earnings.

You’ll know if your small business is more of a hobby than anything else. If you’re a hobbyist, chances you’ll end up spending all your earnings to support your hobby, meaning you won’t truly have a profit, so you’re not running a business, as all your earnings go back into your hobby rather than to contribute to your personal expenses.

It should be noted that the gap for earning without being liable to pay taxes is very narrow. Even if you’re working alone without any employees as a sole proprietorship, your earnings are be taxable. This is especially true if you’re a freelancer, contractor or any other kind of service provider and you earn most of your income through your business.

If your earnings are substantial enough that you can buy groceries, pay rent or afford to cover any of your personal expenses with your business earnings, you should consider yourself to be a small business owner, which means your business is tax liable.

Different Ways to Register Your Small Business for Tax

How you pay small business tax will depend on how you registered your business with the IRS. If you’re still in the process of starting your business, here are the different ways you can register:

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the simplest business structure. It’s easy to start, seeing as you don’t need any formal registration to run your business as a sole proprietor. As a sole proprietor, you’ll be entitled to all of your business earnings, with no legal distinction between yourself and your business. The benefit of running a sole proprietorship is that it’s simple and easy, the disadvantage is that you’ll also be liable for any debt incurred by your business, meaning your personal assets are at risk.
  • Partnership: Where two or more persons decided to start a business venture together, a business is considered to be a partnership. Depending on how a partnership is registered, business partners (like sole proprietors) can be responsible for all business losses, placing their personal assets at risk. This is known as a general partnership.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): Registering an LLC is a good option for many different business owners. The main benefit of an LLC is that the business owners or any shareholders aren’t liable for business debts or legal fees incurred, protecting personal assets. Additionally, business owners have the choice whether their LLC company should be taxed as a personal proprietor, partnership, S-corporation or C-corporation.
  • Corporation: Corporations are owned by stockholders and require a set structure. Corporations can fall in either one of two categories – S or C-corporations. It’s unlikely that you’ll register your new small business as a corporation, seeing as stockholders are required to elect a board of directors for a corporation. Although some small business owners register as the sole stockholder and appoint themselves as the a single-person board of directors, this business model doesn’t lend itself well to most small businesses that are just starting out.

As mentioned above, there are different ways in which you can register an LLC for tax. While registering an LLC to be taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership won’t change the tax rules that your business falls under, there are two unique corporate tax regimes for LLC companies. Here’s some more information about registering your business as an S or C-corporation.

  • S-corporation: With the S-corporation model, the business entity pays no income tax. Instead, the tax liability of the business tax is distributed to the S shareholders on a personal income tax level. To qualify as an S-corporation, a business must be a domestic corporation (i.e. not foreign) and have no more than 100 shareholders. Additionally, an S-corporation may only have 1 class of shares. Certain businesses, such as financial corporations, are ineligible to be registered as S-corporations.
  • C-corporation: Unlike an S-corporation, C-corporations are taxed independently of their business owners. With a C-corporation, there’s no limit with regards to how many shareholders a company may have. Furthermore, rules regarding foreign shareholders are more relaxed. Because of this, most major corporate companies are taxed as C-corporations

For most new businesses, sole proprietorship is the most popular choice. It’s easy and doesn’t require any upfront investment in terms of registering your business. Once your business expands, however, registering it as an LLC to be taxed as sole proprietorship can be a good way to protect your personal assets.

Tax Rates for Different Small Businesses

Your taxable income will differ depending on how your business is registered for tax. Here are the business tax rates:

  • Sole proprietorships pay a 13.3% tax rate
  • Partnerships pay a 23.6% tax rate
  • S-Corporation pay a 26.9% tax rate
  • C-corporations pay a 17.5% tax rate

Keep in mind that for these tax rates to apply, your business must fall within the guidelines of a small business in your industry. For new businesses, this usually isn’t a problem. Most freelancers, contractors or even healthcare professionals with a healthcare practice quite easily fall into the specifications set for small businesses. Similarly, small building contract firms, plumbers or other service providers are usually eligible to qualify for small business tax rates.

Different Kinds of Small Business Taxes

Although it can be tempting to register your business as a sole proprietorship simply to take advantage of the 13.3% tax rate, there are other taxes that small business owners must pay, which can complicate your choice.

Depending on your business model, there are different kinds of tax you might have to pay such as:

  • Income tax
  • Employment/Payroll tax
  • Self-employment tax
  • Excise tax
  • Sales tax
  • Property tax

While all businesses are required to pay some form income tax, you won’t be liable to employment tax if you have no employees, not would you need to pay excise tax if you don’t sell eligible products such as cigarettes or liquor.

If you register your business as a sole proprietorship, you’ll usually have to pay self-employment tax. Self-employment tax covers tax expenses that are normally at least partially covered by your employer, such as Social Security and Medicare. You are liable to pay self-employment taxes if you’re self-employed and your net earnings in the past year were at least $400.

How to Pay Small Business Tax for the first time?

Whether you’re starting a new business, or you already have a young startup and you need to pay tax for the first time, consulting an accountant is the best way to help you stay on track with your tax obligations.

Although owning a sole proprietorship can simplify your taxes, there are various reasons why getting an accountant is still the best choice, especially when you’re just starting out.

Firstly, you may choose to register your business under a different tax regime than sole proprietorship, which can complicate your taxes. Even if you register as a partnership, tax rules can become daunting.

Secondly, your first year or two of business will be a busy time. You’ll need to learn a lot about your industry to succeed. You’re unlikely to have enough time to learn enough about filing your small business tax correctly, which could place you at risk for penalties for late payments and other mistakes.

Most importantly, consulting an accountant is a great way to get professional, trustworthy advice on how you should register your business for tax, giving you a head start on your small business tax.

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Beating Business Taxes and the Art of the Reserve

Business owners face a lot of uncertainty. Will your product or service be a hit? Have you targeted the right audience? How do you build better engagement with customers through social media? These are all common questions, but one of the most frequently asked, particularly by new business owners, is how much they should set aside for business taxes. Understanding and familiarity come with experience, but if you’re just starting out, it can be daunting and confusing.

More Big Companies Using Reserves

While we mentioned that larger companies weren’t all that dismayed by their tax bill, that’s not entirely true. In fact, it’s becoming less true with every passing year. Today, most large corporations than ever before are setting aside a reserve to meet their tax obligations, and more of them are saving larger amounts than they actually pay in taxes.

The reason? Increasing uncertainty surrounding what they’ll owe and when they’ll owe it. In fact, the difference between what’s collectively paid to the IRS and what’s collectively kept in corporate reserves is measured in the billions of dollars. As a small business owner, you won’t need to worry about that quite so much, but you will need to know a few things.

When Should You Pay?

When should you pay your taxes as a business owner? The answer, despite the many different interpretations out there, is quarterly. This is particularly true for those who don’t fall under the heading of a traditional small business owner. For instance, freelancers, consultants, subcontractors and the like.

These professional will benefit greatly from ensuring that they’re paying their tax bill on time, all the time. Of course, that still leaves the question of how much you should pay, but we’ll cover that momentarily. For now, suffice to say that you need to account for your taxes quarterly, particularly your employment taxes (Social Security and Medicare).

What Do You Mean By “Reserve”?

When it comes to paying business income taxes, it is important to realize that only the largest firms can afford to pay their tax bill all at one time. Most companies need to save for the event. As a small business owner, you’ll need to save for it, too. This term for this is a “reserve”. Essentially, it’s the portion of your earnings that you reserve in order to meet your tax liability with the IRS.

How Much Should My Reserve Be?

Sadly, there is no one size fits all answer here. Too much depends on the variables in the situation. Some advisors recommend that you take 10% of every single payment you receive and sock it away against the need to pay business taxes during your first year. Why only 10%? Is that enough to cover your actual tax bill? No, it’s not. However, it gives you the means to build a sort of nest egg against the day that you do start paying taxes.

Here’s how things work. New businesses generally aren’t profitable. If you don’t make a profit, you don’t owe any income taxes (no income equals no taxation). However, you still take 10% of your income and put it away against future needs.

The second year of your business is also unlikely to be profitable. However, you still keep putting away 10% of your earnings. This ensures that if you suddenly do turn a profit, you have the cash to pay what you owe Uncle Sam. If you don’t become profitable overnight, then you have additional cash reserves for the third year.

Each year that your business fails to turn a profit, you show a loss on your taxes and write everything off as a wash. You keep whatever monies came your way. Here’s the thing – if your business is not profitable for too many years, the IRS may decide to step in. They’ll declare your “company” a hobby instead of a business. Guess what happens then? All those write-offs that were perfectly legitimate when you were running a business must now be paid back to the government because you owe money. If you still have that nest egg built by saving 10% of everything, doing so will be much easier.

When Do You Reserve More?

You will eventually start to put more money into your reserve. One your business is running smoothly and things have settled a bit, it will be time for you to save more. For instance, once you’ve accounted for your operating expenses, you’ll need to begin reserving around 40% of your profit for tax purposes (15% for your self-employment tax, and the rest for income taxes). Of course, the actual amount reserved will depend on a couple of factors.

Your tax bracket is the most important. For instance, the 40% is only applicable if you’re in the 25% tax bracket. You could earn more or less, which will change that. You also need to consider whether or not your state requires you to pay state income tax. While you can claim that on your federal income taxes, you’ll still need to pay it out to the state, which means you need to save it in the first place.

What If You’re Profitable Off the Bat?

Some businesses are profitable immediately – freelancers, contractors and consultants come to mind. The 10% rule discussed previously will not apply here. Instead, you need to reserve around 30% of your income for business taxes. This ensures that you have ample money to cover both income taxes and self-employment taxes.

Finding the Right Path

Charting the right path for your business can be difficult, particularly if you’re new to the whole process. Working with a tax professional can help ensure that you’re able to save an ample amount of money for Uncle Sam while also making sure that you have enough for operating costs. As a note, make sure you’re working with a professional with plenty of experience helping small business owners reserve money for tax purposes.

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How to Calculate How Much You Owe in Business Taxes

For employees, filing taxes can be complicated, but the process is pretty streamlined. Your employer withholds what you elect from each paycheck, and pays a portion of your taxes for you. The employer sends that money to the government over time, and you file a return at the end of the year. If you’re lucky, you get a return. If you’re not, you owe and must pay. It’s not that simple when it comes to business taxes, though.
If you’re a business owner, or even just a self-employed professional, you have quite a few more hoops to jump through to pay your taxes. You have a lot of work necessary just to figure out how much you’ll actually owe, much less make the quarterly payments required of you. The good news is that estimating ow much your business will owe in taxes doesn’t need to give you an embolism.

The Two Surprises

If you’re a business owner and this is the first year your company operated, or the first year you’ve turned a profit, you’re in for a couple of surprises. We’ve already touched on the first one – as a business owner, no one is turning in taxes for you throughout the year. The second one is that you are still responsible for Social Security and Medicare payments, and no one is paying those regularly either.

The Good News

The good news is this – it’s possible to estimate what you’ll owe in business taxes. If you have a ballpark estimate, you can pay enough to avoid IRS penalties. The rule of thumb here is that the IRS requires you to pay at least 90% of all income taxes during the year. So, you have a little bit of leeway in case your estimated taxes are under the amount you actually owe.

How to Figure Out What Your Business Owes

When it comes to determining how much your business owes in taxes, it’s best to start with a determination of whether or not you’ll have to file quarterly or not. The answer is yes for most businesses. However, if you owe taxes of under $1,000 for the year, you won’t have to file quarterly.

Once you determine whether you need to pay quarterly or not, the next step is to figure out what you’ll owe per quarter. To do that, you need to estimate quite a few things, including the following:

  • Your taxable income
  • Your deductions
  • Your adjusted gross income
  • Your tax credits

In most cases, you can use your previous year’s numbers as a guide to estimate what you’ll owe this time around. However, if this is your first year as a subcontractor or freelancer, or the first year running a profitable business, that won’t work. In that case, simply take your income up until the current quarter as the base and extrapolate from that point.

You will also need to estimate your business expenses for the quarter, as these will balance against your income. Again, you can use the numbers from last year if you want, or you can use the numbers you’ve generated so far this year to figure it out.

Finally, you need to include your personal income information. Note that this does not apply if your business is a C Corporation. Your personal income information, all of your deductions, and your credits/exemptions will come into play here.

To start estimating how much you’ll owe in business taxes, you have two options. You can do it yourself using Form 1040-ES and the accompanying tax calculation worksheet. You can also work with a tax preparation professional that specializes in helping business owners stay ahead of the IRS. Such a tax firm will be able to help you create as accurate an estimate as possible, and even help you make timely payments every quarter.

Of course, you can also use tax software to estimate your tax liability, but this is only a single step above doing your business’ taxes on your own. Note that you must make sure that self-employment tax is included with each quarterly payment (that’s your Social Security and Medicaid liability per quarter).

Perhaps the simplest method is this – average your income for a year, then divide that into four parts. Each part corresponds to one quarter of the year and will tell you want to pay the government.

Know Your Corporate Tax Rate

If you run either an S Corp or a C Corp, you’ll need to know the corporate tax rate for the year. Note that this doesn’t apply to companies that are not incorporated. The maximum for a C Corp is 35%, but that doesn’t apply to an S Corp. This is because all profits and losses for S Corps are passed along to the shareholders, who claim them on their personal taxes in proportion to their ownership in the business.

For C Corps, the tax rate is 15% if you earn $50,000 or less. If you earn between $50,000 and $75,000, the tax rate is $7,500 plus 25% of the amount beyond $50,000. If you earn between $75,000 and $100,000, the tax rate is $13,750 plus 34% of the amount beyond $75,000. If you earn $100,000 to $335,000, the tax rate is $22,250 plus 39% of the amount over $100,000. If you earn between $335,000 and $10,000,000, the rate is $133,900 plus 35% of the amount over $335,000.

Moving Forward

When it’s all said and done, the best thing for small business owners to do is to work with a trusted tax professional. While estimating what your business owes each year can be relatively easy, it’s imperative that your estimate is accurate. Otherwise, you could end up digging a deeper and deeper hole with the IRS, which is never a place you want to be in.

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Questions about Business Taxes: Am I a Small Business?

On the surface, determining whether a business is small, medium or large seems like a simple enough process. However, it’s actually quite complicated, particularly when you throw others into the mix – freelancers, independent contractors, subcontractors, consultants, entrepreneurs and the like. Determining whether you are actually a small business is a vital consideration when it comes to business taxes and bookkeeping, as well as for many other things. How do you figure it out, though?

The Small Business Administration’s Answer

The Small Business Administration, or SBA, is the governing body handling small business-related issues in the United States. The SBA offers help finding financing, provides assistance to business owners, helps you find advice and guidance, and more. They also work to connect small business contractors with the government in many instances. As such, they’re uniquely positioned to help you determine whether or not your firm is too large to fall under the “small business” heading.

First and foremost, the SBA states that a small business is “organized for profit, has a place of business in the US, operates primarily within the US or makes a significant contribution to the US economy, is independently owned and operated, and is not dominant in its field on a national basis.” However, that is just part of the equation. The SBA also determines business size by profits (average annual receipts) and by the number of employees working for the company.

Rather interestingly, manufacturing firms are “small businesses” with as many as 1,500 employees. Mining concerns are small businesses if they have under 500 employees. A grocery store (even a chain) is a small business if it doesn’t bring in more than $35.5 million in average annual receipts. For those a little confused by all this, the SBA offers a handy size chart as a downloadable PDF.

Others Who Fall under the Small Business Heading

In addition to the designations made by the Small Business Administration, there are others who technically fall under the small business heading. For instance, if you work as a freelancer, then you will need to file business taxes like any other small business owner. If you are a contractor, and that is your primary source of income, then you will need to file taxes as a business owner. If you are a consultant and that is your primary source of income, then you’ll need to file taxes like any other business owner.

In short, if you earn your primary income in any way other than as an hourly or salaried employee of another company or individual, then you the IRS views you as a business owner, at least when it comes to tax matters.

In a nutshell, then, a “small business” can include any of the following:

  • A sole proprietorship (you own and operate the business yourself and report the business earnings through your personal taxes in most instances)
  • A partnership with one or more other people, generally requiring a Form 1065 and a Schedule K-1 and Form 1040
  • An LLC, which is actually taxed as a sole proprietorship or as a partnership, as limited liability company is not a recognized taxing form by the IRS

What Should You Know about Business Taxes and Bookkeeping?

While you might not think of yourself as an entrepreneur or a business owner, the IRS most likely does. That means you need to put some thought into how you file taxes for your business. Even if you only work out of your home office and make less than $50,000 per year, it’s important to think carefully here.

One of the most important considerations is your business designation/classification when you file with the IRS. Some of this will hinge on how you formed the business, too. You obviously can’t file as a C Corp if you don’t have any articles of incorporation. The IRS will likely view you as a sole proprietorship in that instance.

Each business classification carries unique benefits and drawbacks when it comes to income tax. For instance, a C Corp doesn’t pass its profits through to shareholders. Instead, you just write Uncle Sam a corporate check for the taxes owed and go about your merry way. However, S Corps do pass their earnings (and losses) on to shareholders, so you must claim those on your individual income taxes, not corporate taxes.

Do You Really Need to Work with a Tax Expert?

You might think your business is too small to benefit from working with a professional tax preparer. However, unless your business is miniscule AND has no cost of goods sold, and cannot benefit from asset depreciation, you probably do need one. Even something as relatively simple to complete as a Schedule C can actually be quite a headache, and there’s a significant chance you’ll make a costly mistake.

That’s all it takes to end up in hot water with the IRS. Then you might be facing fines and penalties, or overpaying on your corporate taxes simply because you didn’t know any better. In a worst-case scenario, you could be flagged for an IRS audit, which is not where you want to be when you have a growing business to run.

In Conclusion

In the end, unless you work for another person or company, Uncle Sam will treat you as a small business owner. That can be very confusing, particularly for those who don’t run traditional businesses, such as freelancers. With the gig economy on the rise, more and more working professionals are in for a rude surprise come tax time. The best defense is to work with a tax preparer to help ensure that you have a viable strategy to reduce your tax liability and ensure that you’re meeting your financial obligations to the government at all times.

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8 Ways to Make Your Online Business a Success

Starting a business is never easy. The reason for this is that there are many complicated factors involved in starting a business properly. This is also true if you are trying to start a business that is entirely online, yet has a presence in the greater Miami area. Here are eight ways to make your online business a success:

1. Make a Desired Story/ Experience for Your End User to Have: Before you design the concept for your online business, it is highly recommended that you sit in a cafe with a notebook and draw out how your concept should look. This process could take several visits or maybe just a couple of hours. It is wise that you really use this time well so that your branding message is consistent. Once you are able to do this, you will be amazed at the quality of the concept that you can create. Those that do not take this time do themselves a major disservice going forward. Thus, be sure that you use this time well and you will have a great starting point for your site.

2. Remember That a Website Is Like an Artist’s Canvas: Regardless of what industry your online business will be focusing on, it is essential that you realize that there is room for creativity on the Internet. This is particularly true for import/export companies or biotech companies that make their sites to rigid. The most successful online business site platforms come from a site that is relatable to both industry experts and also the average person that may want to start out in this industry.

3. Contemplate Which Social Media Buttons You Would Like to Have: Depending on the industry that you subscribe to, it is important that you realize the value of social media. If your company has the potential to take stunning pictures, then Instagram and Pinterest are great avenues to explore. If your business offers can fit into a small sentence, then it is best to use Twitter as your platform to reach many. Facebook and SnapChat are also great tools to interact with a younger audience that is active on social media.

4. Use Stock Images: Stock images are available on many different sites on the Internet. It is wise that you match your business logo to the various different photos on your image. For example, there is usually a color scheme that will match each business logo. Depending on what your industry is, you will need to match this to the stock photos that you choose along with the font colors that you will have available on your site. If you are able to do this, you will have a clean and comprehensive look for your clients to experience. Remember that not all stock images are free; however, it is best to get the ideal ones to promote the vision that you have for your site and strengthen your brand.

5. Be Open to Advertising: Advertising is a great way to generate revenue from your site and increase traffic there. What is important is that you assess how the various types of advertisements look on your site. If you have too many, your site will look quite cluttered and unprofessional. Having an eye for balancing these variables is vital to your business and how its image is perceived to your customers.

6. Consider Having a Blog as a Part of Your Website: Having a blog is a great way to attract traffic to your website. You can blog about your background, events you attend or pertinent issues in your industry. It is important that you blog a great deal because blogging will attract new interest and generate sales to your site. This is particularly true if you have a business that is entirely based on the Internet. Consider interacting with other bloggers to get them to feature your posts. All of this will serve to grow your business.

7. Invest in Reliable Companies to Drive Traffic to Your Site: At the beginning, it will be an uphill battle to get traffic to your site. This is why it is recommended that you find a reliable company to bring traffic to your site. This will raise awareness of what your projects are and you will gain clients interested in trying them out. Be sure to have products that are lower in price. What you will find is that there is a value in having a low priced product for consumers to gain your trust. Gaining your trust will be absolutely invaluable to your success as an online business given that the majority of your payments will be handled by your website.

8. Install a Secure Checkout Payment System: If people are going to engage you on your site, then you are going to have a secure payment and checkout store. This should be selected carefully and tested many times before you try it on your clients. There should be some assurance if the transaction fails. If these bugs are removed from the beginning, it will give your firm a far more professional image when you are starting your operations. One great company to use for the store is PayPal. Their system is simple and allows for customers from multiple nationalities to utilize their sites.

It is important to strategize before you decide to roll out your online business to your target consumers. The reason for this is that it is quite complicated to create an online business that is truly successful right away. There is a great deal more trust that needs to happen before customer flock to your brand. The sooner that you consider this, the better off you will be when you decide to invest the capital to actually construct your site. Thus, be sure that you consider the aforementioned ideas above for growing your online business. Upon doing so, you will see an incredible result to your target group of consumers that will grow your business quite rapidly.

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7 Ways to Increase Profit Margins in Your Business

When one is able to finally own their own business, it is a very exciting time. The reason for this is that owning a business allows for a very creative process that is far more stimulating than working for someone else. That being said, becoming one’s own boss does take a great deal of time and effort in order to ensure that the business becomes a success. What distinguishes a good business from a great business is the transition period from a smaller venture to a larger company. This transition often defines the business’ potential to do well in the long term. When contemplating expansion, it is wise to see how to increase the profitability of your business. In doing so, you will be setting yourself up for a successful period of growth and increased profits. If your business is located in Miami, it is important that you adapt your expansion strategy consistent with the local market. Consider these seven ways to increase profit margins in your business:

1. Managing Bookkeeping Services in Miami: Miami Bookkeeping is a wise thing to sign up for. The reason for this is that bookkeeping is something that every business needs to consider with respect to expansion. If you are having areas of your accounting that are ending up being more expensive than they should be, then it is important to revise your strategy and then assess which expenses have no longer become necessary. If you have the right bookkeeping expert on your side, you will be able to make a great deal of progress and apply this to your expansion.

2. Business Development Plan: Part of successfully getting to your future goals is developing a reliable business plan. Once you are able to do this, your business has the potential to experience a great deal of growth. This is why it is important to take the proper time to grow your business effectively. Once you are able to provide this sort of plan, you will be quite amazed at how it affects your over strategy and inspires you to take the steps necessary for business growth.

3. Marketing Strategy: Understanding the psychology of your consumers and prospective consumers is vital to your business model. It is essential that you take the time to properly strategize how you plan on reaching consumers. Traditional marketing strategies that are not digital seldom are effective anymore. Depending on the nature of your business, it is essential that you take the time to properly plan how you plan to market and reach your consumers. In so doing, you will be not only building a spectacular brand for your company, but also attracting the right consumers to grow your business.

4. Inventory Control: Depending on the nature of your business, it is important to assess how much of each product you need to have in stock. Many companies tend to lose profits over not ordering the proper amount of inventory. This tends to come from a lack of knowledge about what their customer’s realistically want. It is important to assess this carefully in order to be ahead of the curve when it comes to ordering products. This, in the long term, will allow you to allocate funds to other areas of your company for future development.

5. Staffing Obligations: When you are starting a new company or trying to grow your existing venture, it is important to assess what staffing that you realistically need. In doing so, you will be able to find a way to increase your profit margins. Staffing is quite expensive and the reality of bringing on another full time staff member can drain your profit margin. One viable solution to this is to outsource several tasks to Freelancers. If you are able to do so, you will be able to save a great deal of capital and not pay employment tax or health benefits to another full time employee. Thinking in this manner is a great way to cut costs.

6. Reevaluate Your Office Space: If your business has expanded sufficiently to warrant a second space, then it is wise to assess how big the space needs to be in terms of your profit margins. If you are able to figure this out, then you will be able to find a space that meets your budgeting needs. Also, reflect upon whether the office can be located in a more remote part of down. This will make you able to save a substantial amount of capital on the amount of money that you are investing in a new office space.

7. Anticipate Taxation: Taxation is something that is often dreaded by business owners; however, it is vital to consider tax implications when one is considering expansion. Once they do so, it will be a smooth transition. Some pertinent examples of tax implications could be seen from purchasing a larger office and hiring additional staff. Be sure to take these considerations into your calculations so that you are able to have an accurate tax return that will not get you into trouble later on.

When trying to increase the profit margins in your business, it is also wise to debate the benefits of expansion and/or reorganizing the existing structure of your organization better. Once you are able to decide whether restructuring or expansion is better for the health or your organization, you will quickly see that it is best to make a strategy to implement those two options into your business. If you are contemplating expansion, then it is best to calculate what costs are absolutely necessary to expand. Upon making this calculation, you will quickly see that many of those expenses are not essential for further business development. If you are looking to restructure your existing organization, you will have to figure out which practices are standard for your company and which ones can be eliminated. This analysis will allow you to increase the profit margin of your organization. Thus, truly contemplate which option is best for the health of your business. In doing so, you will setting your business up for success in the long term.

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11 Ways to Develop the Human Resources Department of Your Business

Being a business owner can be quite stressful. The reason for this is that there are many complicated components to being a business owner. One such component is managing your employees and bringing out the best in them. This requires developing a respectable Human Resources department. If you are trying to start a business in Miami, it is recommended to treat developing your own Human Resources department with importance. Consider these eleven ways to develop the Human Resources part of your business:

1. Invest in Bookkeeping Services in Miami: Miami bookkeeping is an essential tool for a company to invest in. Bookkeeping is a sector that does involve human resources in the sense that these employees need to have proper income tax paid and work environment to do well at their jobs. Bookkeeping also is a critical component of one’s business. Be sure that you start bookkeeping from the beginning so that you do not get behind with your finances.

2. Invest in Continued Learning for Staff Members: Allowing your staff to grow and attend courses is a great way to improve the work environment. Be sure that you are considering this in your strategy for your human resources department. In doing so, you will be creating a positive atmosphere that your staff will greatly appreciate. Additionally, you will be developing their skills that could prove to be an asset to your organization.

3. Consider Your Recruitment Process: It is also wise to devise a strategy for recruitment. Traditionally, recruitment comes from CV’s and applications; however, the best Human Resources departments are going to career fairs at local universities and also, are getting referrals from successful employees at the organization. Be sure to hire the proper person and/or section of your human resources department to take care of this and you will be elated at the level of individuals that you receive.

4. Health Insurance: Human Resources also should be finding a way to get reliable health insurance for the employees. This health insurance should ideally include dental insurance. Be sure that you are hiring staff to administer the applications to the various health insurance plan offerings and also, to process the claims should they arise. This is a sector that takes a lot of follow up phone calls and patience. Having the proper strategy and staffing is essential to do this well in your Human Resources part of the organization.

5. Taxation: Human Resources also has to have a strategy for taxation. This applies to both the employee’s salaries and also to the taxes that the organization has to pay. Human Resources will be responsible for organizing a strategy for both of these departments in the organization. Doing this well takes a great deal of time and dedication.

6. Operating Procedures for the Organization: Many issues come up in Human Resources related to the employee’s day-to-day lives. It is important to consider a way to place these various rules and regulations into a specific handbook. Employee handbooks settle workplace disputes far better.

7. Disciplinary Actions: There are times in every organization where difficult conversations have to occur. Additionally, there are times where a protocol has to be followed for dismissing an employee. The Human Resources department has to have a definitive strategy in order to avoid lawsuits. The owner of the business has to ensure that these procedures are developed successfully. This will take a great deal of time and dedication and must be taken seriously in order to produce the best results.

8. Team Building: Human Resources has to be an example to the rest of the organization. They are not only responsible for their own conduct, but they are also responsible for fostering a positive environment for the rest of the staff. For this reason, it is important to consider ways to foster team building and to start up a mentorship program. In larger organizations, it will be important to develop these programs because it will eventually lead to a positive work environment and happy employees that are motivated.

9. Wellness: Human Resources is also responsible for wellness exercises. Staff wellness leads to more work productivity. To this end, wellness has to be integrated into the corporate culture. The firms that have integrated this strategy have found a great deal of success with their team in the way that they work and foster new projects.

10. Inspiration: Human Resources has the duty of inspiring employees to achieve greatness. This can be achieved through having engaging events and also through having charity volunteer opportunities. All of these sort of events do great things for staff and also promote a corporate culture that is respectable. Human Resources has the power to be the nerve center of the organization’s culture and they absolutely should rise to the occasion in order to inspire their employees to do wonderful things.

11. Scheduling Meetings: Human Resources can devise a system for using the conference rooms in the office efficiently. This tends to reduce employee conflicts. Reducing employee conflicts is pivotal to the organization being healthy. Human Resources should devise a way to make the office run more efficiently by having standard procedures. Even something as little as planning the meetings can have a major impact in the vibe of the organization.

Human Resources is something that is very important to develop in every organization. The reason for this is that Human Resources is something that is quite influential to the organization’s success. Companies that do not invest in their employees through their Human Resources department really lose out on a chance at employee retention. For these reasons, it is worthwhile for a business owner to truly build up their company and have a strong Human Resources department. Not only will the employees benefit, but the overall culture of the organization will as well. Thus, consider in investing in your organization’s Human Resources department and you will sincerely be amazed at how the investment will pay off to better the development of your business in the long term.

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9 Steps to Grow Your Business Idea into a Successful Enterprise

Having an idea to start a business is a wonderful feeling; however, it takes a great deal of effort to grow that business idea into a reality. Upon contemplating your business idea, it is wise to consider where your business will be based so that you will be able to find the proper professionals to work with your enterprise and help you grow. If you are located in Miami, this is particularly important because the market is quite small. Here are nine steps to grow your business idea into a successful enterprise:

1. Invest in Miami Bookkeeping: Using bookkeeping services in Miami is a wonderful idea as you get started. In fact, the sooner that you invest in a bookkeeper, the better. This will enable your organization to remain compliant with regulations and stay on track from the beginning, which will be a great asset to your company in the long term.

2. Make a Business Plan: Producing a business plan can be greatly challenging as well. The reason for this is that business plans take a great deal of detail and thought. In order to have a successful business plan that will work, you are going to have to make a list of what your long term priorities are. This way, you will be able to set targets and hire any necessary staff to help you get where you want to go.

3. Hire Staff You Require: Many employers do not have a clue about what staffing they need. It is important to contemplate this issue carefully . The reason for this is that many employers have high staff hiring and end up wasting a great deal of their budget on employees that they may not need as of yet. The key to being successful with hiring is to make detailed job descriptions for the roles you need to fill and then hire. This way, you can be sure that you are hiring the proper amount of staff to do the work that you require.

4. Consider Where Your Office Will Be Located: Remember that signing a lease is costly and will have an impact on the finances of your business. Be sure that you think of the logistics of your individual business model. When you are doing so, you will be able to find the ideal location that will be convenient for your customers to spend money with your firm. Be sure that you contemplate this carefully so that you pick the ultimate location for the success of your company.

5. Invest in a Website: Your website will be one of the most important single decisions that you will make. It is imperative that you hire a proper web designer that is not only technical, but also creative. Once you do so, have a clear list of bullet points for this web designer about what your vision is for your company. In so doing, you will be essentially building your branding/marketing message without realizing it. Having to put your business idea into words really embodies your branding and helps you to move toward greater marketing efforts.

6. Establish Marketing Channels: Marketing channels are vital to your business idea. If you want to grow organically, you have to periodically open up your business to the possibility to attract new customers. Considering how the best way to market your product will depend on what industry you are in. For some products, social media marketing is the ideal fit; however, for others, there are more traditional print advertisement approaches to consider.

7. Educate Yourself Periodically: Having a business idea is one thing; however, it is quite another to figure out how to learn new skills that you may not have studied in your education. Part of being a successful business owner is going to be related to educating yourself as much as possible. If you are able to take online courses or attend seminars, it will diversify your knowledge. Additionally, attending networking events from several different industries is an exceptional way to learn from the problems that other business owners face. Your company will be stronger as you learn more, thus, even when you get busy, it is vital to keep learning in order to make your company the best that it can be.

8. Be Mindful of Taxation Issues; Hiring a bookkeeper is one step; however, it is vital to have a clear and concise understanding of what the taxation regulations and deadlines are. If you are able to keep a detailed record of what you owe for taxes from the beginning, you will save yourself many unnecessary fees and potential audits in the long term. The IRS is not a governmental body that forgets prior debts. Having your information organized and prepared is a wonderful way to keep your business legal and ripe for expansion.

9. Be Open to Modifying Your Business Approach: If you design a business plan, it is important to understand that there is a possibility of your business model going in an entirely different direction. It is important to assess your business plan periodically and ascertain whether you are taking the proper steps for your ultimate success. In doing so, you will be making a great difference in the potential for your company to grow from an idea into a successful business venture.

Growing your business idea into an actual company that is profitable is no easy feat. It is wise that you carefully plan how you are going to approach the desired business market that you want to enter into. Once you do so, you will be able to find the ultimate strategy to make your firm succeed. Be sure that you focus on the important details such as bookkeeping and taxation before hiring too many employees. Once this issues are resolved, you can then focus on your business development and marketing strategy. Conducting yourself in this manner will enable you to grow your business idea into a profitable venture that will be quite successful.

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7 Best Kept Secrets About Marketing Your Business

When you have a new company, it can be quite difficult to get together a viable business plan and marketing strategy. The reason for this is that depending on your industry, there are certain precautions that need to be taken in order to set up your business properly. If you fail to do so, you will end up putting both yourself and budding company at a major disadvantage. If you are attempting to start a business in the greater Miami area, then it is also important to consider bookkeeping services in Miami. By working with Miami bookkeeping, you will be putting your company at a major advantage. Here are the seven best kept secrets about marketing your business:

1. You Can Outsource: These days, marketing agencies have changed a great deal. The reason for this is that the Internet has really changed how business owners can reach consumers. One ideal way to engage with consumers is to use the Internet to your advantage. It is absolutely possible to outsource your business with social media marketing. Then, the individual social media marketing firms will be able to handle your marketing work that takes too much time for you while you get exposure to additional consumers. This is a great way to get unique exposure for your brand and still dedicate the proper time to your business.

2. Networking Events Can Be Cost Effective: Be sure to keep in contact with as many networking groups as possible. This will allow you to find unique business connections that will prove very valuable to you. Many times, these groups are not expensive to join and they lead to many opportunities that your business may have not been exposed to otherwise.

3. Tap into Your Alumni Networks: If you attended a local university, do not be afraid to use those connections to your advantage. Also, if your university is far away, check and see if they have a local alumni chapter. The alumni chapter will be a major source of business for you because individuals tend to value their university years fondly and want to stay connected. For this reason, the alumni networks are full of people that want to give back to their alma mater.

4. Establishing a Website is Quite Streamlined: Having a website is also a major benefit to your company. It is wise to learn how to create a website. One common myth is that the process is quite complex; however, these days, it is quite simple to design a website without having a major investment. Platforms such as WordPress and Square Space make the experience quite simplified. Investing in these platforms is a major advantage for your business because you will be able to have exposure to more clients and also, have a professional space to showcase the benefits of working with your company.

5. Face-to-Face Contact is Still Longer Valued: In the marketing world, many aspects of the process of engaging with prospective consumers has gone digital. This has led individuals to believe that there was no value to face-to-face interactions when discussing marketing strategies. In fact, the digital age has a bit of a backlash in that there are still some consumers that prefer face-to-face engagement. Companies need to keep this in mind when designing their marketing strategy so that they have the best possible way to reach consumers.

6. SEO Keywords Are Your Friend: It can be quite difficult to comprehend what SEO marketing really is. There are a plethora of articles online attempting to explain SEO marketing to non-tech individuals. That being said, it can be quite difficult to internalize what SEO marketing truly is and how it can be used to benefit your company. What is important to understand is that SEO keywords are the trick to attract your page as a result in search engines. This is precisely why having these keywords on your site can and will lead to more traffic.

6. Blogging is an Important Investment in Your Company: At first, blogging did not gain too much attention. Blogging was seen as something that was more for personal means than for the business world. Today, it is absolutely the reverse. Blogging is a major benefit to companies because the blog can publish articles that are catered towards the target consumer of the company. From this standpoint, one will be able to attract individuals that enjoy reading articles online and from there, those potential customers can be exposed to the website for potential sales. Blogging many times is free of charge and a great way to not have startup costs when marketing.

7. Pick and Choose Your Social Media Options Wisely: There is a lot of buzz about social media marketing. That being said, it is important to understand which methods of social media marketing may be the best fit for your company. If your company benefits from colorful and engaging photographs, then Instagram is the ideal fit. If your clients like short sentence facts, Twitter is your best bet. If your company has many younger followers, Snapchat is the new marketing force to be reckoned with. Be sure to contemplate what message your company is trying to send and figure out what is the best way to deliver the message to your target audience. If you think in this manner, it will be a far better method to attract the ideal customers to your company.

Marketing is something that has changed a great deal in the past ten years. In order to market your company effectively, it is essential to study your target consumer quite carefully. This study will prove crucial in how you design your marketing strategy. When contemplating what your marketing strategy will be in this digital world, be sure to not lose sight of your traditional consumer that still wants an old school flair to how companies market their products to them. Additionally, make sure to balance the needs of your younger consumers. In doing so, you will be able to make a divine marketing strategy that will capture audiences from a wealth of age groups and demographics.

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8 Ways to Use Your Company Website for Marketing Purposes on a Small Budget

Recently, it has become quite popular to design websites for smaller companies. A common myth is that this process can be quite expensive. The key to designing a website that is both professional and cost effective is going to be related to meeting with experts. If you are located in the Miami area, it is wise to meet with a firm that specializes in bookkeeping services in Miami. When you do so, you will be able to use Miami bookkeeping to make cost effective decisions regarding your upcoming company website project. Here are eight ways to use your company website for marketing purposes on a small budget:

1. Attractive Design: Having a website that has an attractive design is essential for the success of your business. It is essential that you take this into account and take the proper time that designing your site requires. If you are able to do this, your customers will respond quite positively. What is vital to implement into your attractive design is a web page that is easy for your consumers to use. Once you do so, it will be far easier to get customers to engage with your site and end up being long term customers.

2. Put the Website on All Correspondence and Business Cards: Having a reliable website name is also a major asset because you will be able to legitimize your other methods of correspondence with that extra dose of professionalism. Being able to put a professional website on all of your methods of correspondence will also serve you well because it will allow customers to be able to access your site with ease. Half of the battle of getting and retaining customers is related to allowing them to access information about your business with ease. The sooner that you make your website available to your customers, the better.

3. Use the Website for Blogging: Once you have a professional business website, you will be able to attach a blog to this site. This is a great way to attract more traffic to your site. Potential customers will be able to see your site on the Internet and then engage with your site through the blog SEO keywords. This feature of Internet search engines and SEO keywords has greatly changed marketing because it allows smaller businesses to attract a large customer base without investing a substantial amount of capital.

4. Advertise the Website on Social Media: Portals such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter do not cost a great deal to advertise. The advertisements that they create are quite catchy and are easy to track. The ease of using these social media outlets is a wonderful asset to your company because you will be able to save on the overhead cost of hiring a marketing professional and putting them on your payroll. For companies that have a lower budget, yet still want to enjoy the perks of having a website, advertising on social media is absolutely the cost effective way to go.

5. Have Social Media Buttons to Attract More Followers: On your website, it is absolutely free to put social media buttons. This allows you to build profiles on those corresponding social media sites. What will end up occurring as a result is that you will attract followers on these social media sites that will then be directed to your website. These followers have the potential to turn into sales if you utilize your social media outlets to your advantage. What is ideal about these buttons is that they do not affect your marketing budget, yet bring you revenue. Be sure to integrate these social media buttons into your website and you will be elated at the sales results that you experience.

6. Allow for Purchasing Directly on Your Site: If the nature of your business model provides for online sales, then be sure to create your website with the possibility of purchasing products directly online. Once you do so, you will essentially create a one stop shop for your customers to be lured to your site by SEO keywords or social media and then complete their purchase in one solid transaction. This is a great way to capture customers that like to make quick purchases. Be sure that you keep this in mind when you are designing your site because if you invest the capital early to properly create an online store, you will surely repay your investment back quickly going forward.

7. Photo Gallery: Customers respond to photographs. It is vital that you have some form of photo gallery or images on your site. It will add a great deal to the overall design and feel of your site. There is a direct correlation between high sales numbers and professional images. At times, these images can come from your social media account. Be sure that you are taking this into consideration from the beginning. In doing so, you are creating a site that customers will flock to rather than view quickly and not be engaged. Customer engagement leads to sales and it is important to not forget this when investing capital in the creation of a professional business website.

8. Keep Your Branding Consistent: Companies do themselves a great disservice when they keep their branding inconsistent. This also applies to the design of their website. Be sure that you are carefully considering that your branding message is consistent across your social media outlets, website, and physical promotional materials. By doing so, customers will not be confused about your brand image and will subsequently invest in your products.

When looking into how to effectively design a professional website for your company on a budget, be sure to investigate the plethora of marketing mediums that are available to you at an affordable price. If you are savvy with connecting your website to these marketing mediums, you will be able to generate many more customers in the long term. Additionally, make sure that your customers can relate to your website and overall branding message. Once you do so, you will not only attract new business, but also create a sizable following going forward.

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10 Ways to Cut Costs in Your Business

When starting a new company, it can be quite difficult to figure out ways to save money on costs. When considering which costs are necessary to grow your business, it is best to put the costs that you are incurring in priority lists in order to be sure that they are in fact valuable to your organization. If your organization is located in the greater Miami area, it is also important to assess which costs will be particularly useful for you to develop when you are trying to be successful and attract more clientele in the greater Miami area. Consider the 10 ways to cut costs in your company in order to promote expansion:

1. Hire a Bookkeeping Service: Investing in a bookkeeping services in Miami is essential in order to organize the finances of your organization. By looking into Miami bookkeeping, you will be able to organize your finances without necessarily investing in a full time employee. This will be a major savings for overhead costs for your organization. Be sure to consider this carefully so that you can save a great deal of capital on your total costs.

2. Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is a very cheap and effective method of marketing to attract consumers. Be sure that you consider this so that you will be able to attract a plethora of different customers to your business. This marketing is many times, free, which will also be an asset to you because you will be able to reach more customers without spending more money. Thinking along these lines will be important for your company’s financial health.

3. Take Subject Expertise Courses on Coursera: Becoming an expert on a platform such as Coursera is an excellent strategy. Be sure to consider this because you will be able to take a free course on the Internet that will allow you to eliminate the need to hire additional assistance. This is a major source of value to you because you will be able to diversify your firm’s portfolio while simultaneously investing in your individual talents.

4. Build Your Own Website: Designing your own website has never been easier. This is due to the fact that there are a plethora of sites now allowing individuals who are not web savvy to design websites. If you are able to perfect this sort of expertise, you will be able to design wonderful websites that will look professional and will have a substantially lower cost.

5. LucidPress: LucidPress is one of the most useful websites that you can prepare professional materials with as a business owner. On LucidPress, you will be able to design materials related to magazines, newsletters, and even promotional brochures. Be sure that you use LucidPress to make the pamphlets that a graphic designer would. In doing so, you will be able to eliminate the need to hire additional employees and/or freelancers.

6. Downsize Your Office: Some companies tend to invest in offices that are far too large for the actual needs of their company. In many respects, offices are starting to get smaller in that they have more of their employees working remotely. Do not be afraid to consider this for your firm if you do not need to have a large office. Taking this into account will save you a plethora of capital on your company.

7. Freelance Your Tasks: If you need certain tasks completed regardless of whether it is something simple such as typing an email or something more complex such as a marketing brochure, you will be able to use a site such as UpWork to freelance your options. Be sure that you take advantage of these sort of sites because doing so will be a major savings for you because you can pay an hourly or fixed price and not have to hire another full time employee.

8. Double Check Ordering: Ordering is something that is commonly overpriced in companies. Be sure that you have a system in place to order products and to double check whether those products are in fact necessary. If you do so, you will find that you will end up saving a great deal of capital on your ordering expenses that can surely be allocated to other costs.

9. Incentivize Work Productivity: Many employers forget that their employees time also has the potential to be quite valuable to their business. Consider what you can do to inspire work productivity from your employees. Whether it is an extra work incentive or a bonus pricing matrix, these items can cause your employees to do more and end up increasing your products substantially. Be sure to keep these items in mind because they actually have more benefits than detriments for the finances of your firm.

10. Train Your Existing Employees: Employers can tend to lose sight of the talent that they do possess in their firm. What is wonderful is to take periodic surveys of the employees that you do have and then you will be able to see what other things they could potentially be bringing to your organization. Should you do this, you will be able to see what employees have the potential to develop additional skills to contribute to your organization. Once this occurs, you can also see which employees need more training and invest in their success so that they feel valuable. In the end, this will end up making them do more for your organization and saving you capital as a result.

Cutting costs in your company can be achieved by ways that actually contribute to employee development rather than merely saving money on projects. Due to the digital world out there, there are a plethora of opportunities that can occur for your firm to develop in ways that will save you from hiring additional employees. Through utilizing freelance employees, you will be able to save a great deal on outsourcing your projects. If you truly evaluate the operations side of your firm, you will be able to cut costs substantially while simultaneously developing your staff in the process. This will lead to positive growth for your firm in the long term.

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Three Fun Ways to Reward Yourself After Filing Your Taxes

Even though tax season is not very fun, one has to find a way to reward themselves for being diligent and filing their taxes on time. If you live in Miami, you are advised to consult with a business that offers bookkeeping services in Miami in order to find out recommendations for your individual case. That being said, according to Miami bookkeeping, here are three fun ways to reward yourself after filing your taxes:

1. Buy Something Fun and Tax Deductible For Your Business. If you have filed your business taxes on time, perhaps treat the employees in your office to that new Coca-Cola machine that you have been wanting to get. This will make their office experience more enjoyable and you can write the present off as a business expense in your next tax return.

2. Get Yourself a Personal Gift For Filing Your Personal Taxes. If you are good, you should be rewarded. Thus, if you file your personal taxes on time, get yourself a present because you deserve it. This will also encourage you to practice better financial behavior in the future.

3. Get Yourself a Designer Datebook. One fun way to celebrate paying your business or personal taxes on time is to get yourself a nice datebook to keep track of your appointments and expenses. This is a great way to motivate yourself even further to reach your goals.

What is important to remember is that you should reward yourself after filing your taxes and not feel guilty about it. Many people do not realize this and experience a great deal of remorse from treating themselves nicely. The point is, if you do what you are supposed to, you should take a reward without thinking because you have earned it and complying with tax season is surely no different!

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Three Reasons to Incorporate Your Startup in Delaware

Once you have decided to put your business on a professional footing by incorporating it, next ask “Where.” It matters. Begin by reviewing the Big Five reasons for incorporating in the first place:

To protect your assets
To permanently protect your business name, brand, and trademarks
To make sure that your business can continue even after you die
To improve your tax flexibility
To better use your tax advantages

Step 2: Pick Your Ground and Control Your Battles

As a society, we talk a lot about standing our ground, but not so much about picking the best ground to defend. Although general statutes of incorporation overlap, state business law varies more than most people think. More than half of all public and Fortune 500 companies choose to stand their ground in on tiny state, Delaware.

Delaware Advantages

Getting to why that is starts with a good hard look at the five reasons to incorporate in the first place. Of course, we all hope that our business grows. As that happens, most people find Delaware incorporation increasingly attractive for three key reasons related to the Big Five.

1. Flexible business law

Delaware offers one of the country’s most nimble and least intrusive. No one likes being painted into a corner. In particular, the shareholders and officers of Delaware corporations and the members/managers of Delaware LLCs don’t have to be residents of Delaware.

2. Efficient courts

Although no one wants or expects future litigation, bad stuff happens. When it happens in Delaware, you’ll find yourself in the Delaware Court of Chancery, which only deals with business law and uses judges instead of juries. The more complex your business the greater the advantage that offers.

3. Favorable Taxation

No one likes taxes one bit, but we can manage them. For example, Delaware doesn’t levy corporate income tax for companies that form there but don’t do business in Delaware. Remember to ask your Miami tax preparer about the franchise tax, though. In addition, Delaware doesn’t charge non-residents a personal income tax or levy tax on stock held by non-residents. In fact, just as your growing business found a need for bookkeeping services in Miami, the more complex your situation becomes, the more likely you are to find favorable tax treatment in Delaware.

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Three Things You Need To Know When Incorporating Your Startup

A lot of business owners who are just starting out wonder if they should incorporate – especially freelancers, consultants and contractors. According to the United States Small Business Administration, a new business owner setting up his/her business as a sole proprietorship is perfectly fine, but there are perks to incorporating. You can enjoy personal property protection against lawsuits, access to small business loans that are not available to self-employed sole proprietors and tax breaks.

Liability

If someone sues a sole proprietor in court and wins, that small business owner’s personal assets typically become part of the judgment. Essentially, you can lose everything you own. On the other hand, incorporation removes those personal assets from the table. As a result, you won’t find yourself completely starting every part of your personal life over because someone decided to sue.

Loans

Small business owners who do not incorporate can face an uphill battle when it comes to getting loans. If they have excellent credit, they can usually get a personal loan with ease. If they do not have fantastic credit, they will likely be repeatedly denied by banks and small business lending companies. Even if you manage to get a personal loan, you will likely pay more in fees because a personal loan is associated with higher risk. A small business bookkeeping company is more likely to agree to loans for small businesses that have been incorporated because separation of personal and business assets and debts is associated with less risk.

Taxes

An owner of a small business who incorporates under a certain type of status can also expect to pay fewer taxes. With an S Corporation status, for example, the small business owner who would normally pay income, state and employment taxes based on the total amount of business sales only pays employment taxes on the amount he/she has chosen as a personal salary.

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Ways to Relax After a Busy Tax Season

While a Miami tax preparer can certainly help to take the stress out of tax season, dealing with Uncle Sam is never a completely tension-free experience. Here are five tips for relaxing when all of your tax form preparation is behind you:

1. Pamper yourself. If you secured quality bookkeeping services in Miami, you might find that you ended up with a refund. Use that money to treat yourself to a relaxing massage or other personal luxury. Tax season can leave you feeling anxious, so indulge yourself this one time.

2. Have an at-home movie festival. If you want a more frugal way to unwind, consider kicking back in your house and enjoying some of your favorite films or TV shows on DVD or streaming video. Round out your festival with inexpensive snacks from the grocery store and your favorite drinks. Invite a few friends to celebrate a close to tax season.

3. Just breathe. Now that all of those tax troubles are behind you, release stress with simple breathing techniques. Take a few deep breaths, and while doing so, observe the pause that naturally occurs between your inhale and your exhale. This exercise can relieve tension you didn’t even know you had.

4. Play. Everyone knows that exercise relieves stress, but play is the most fun form of exercise. Play exercises not only the body, but the imagination. Get involved in a make-believe game with your children, niece, or nephew, or pull together a pick-up game of soccer or basketball with your friends.

5. Organize for next year. The satisfaction that comes from knowing you are prepared can be a very relaxing thing. Label some file folders for collecting tax receipts, charitable contribution receipts, and other documents you may need to give your accountant next year.

There are dozens of ways to relax after a busy tax season, but these five ideas will give you a good start.

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CPA vs Financial Advisor – Which Do You Need?

Are you looking for someone to help with your taxes? Do you want a professional’s advice on how to choose the best retirement plan? Your friends and family may have advised you to see a CPA or a financial advisor. However, these are two similar yet very different professionals. Learn the difference and what each can do for you.

What is a CPA?

A CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, is a professional that assists with filing income taxes. Although there are many DIY tax preparation software products available, many people choose to hire CPAs because they can usually guarantee accuracy and reduce the possibility of being audited. CPAs are also the professionals of choice if the tax forms are complicated, which is often the case with businesses and corporations. In addition to filing tax forms, CPAs can also help tax payers pay the least amount of taxes because they’re aware of tax laws and loopholes.

What is a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor has talents very similar to a CPA. However, whereas CPAs help reduce your tax liability, financial advisors use their knowledge to help increase the income you do have. Individuals who win lotteries or inherit large sums of money typically seek the services of a financial advisor. Financial advisors work with large sums of money every day and are current with the best ways to invest money whether it’s in certificate of deposits, annuities or the stock market. A financial advisor will look at your income and individual financial situation and determine the best way to increase your wealth.

Prior to visiting a financial advisor or CPA, it’s important to know what your needs may be. An individual in need of tax preparation or similar accounting services in Miami might seek a Miami bookkeeper and tax preparer while someone interested in investment opportunities may want the services of a financial advisor. Although each of these professionals can offer financial advice, it’s important to choose the one that best fits the individual’s present needs.

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Tips for Getting More Referrals

iStock_000016263193SmallAs a small business owner based in Miami, you understand better than anyone how competitive the market can be. Your Miami business can succeed if you make a priority to get more referrals from satisfied customers. Research shows that potential customers can be persuaded most effectively through referrals. If you really want to be a business that gets the most referrals, this won’t come easy. You need to do some leg work to ensure that your small business has every chance to succeed.

Here are a few things that you can do as a local business to get more referrals:

Why Not Ask Your Customers?
Asking your customers in person for referrals can be a great place to start. There is no harm in asking past customers to tell their friends, family and acquaintances about the services that you provide. A fatal flaw that many business owners unwittingly make is simply not asking for referrals from customers. You have nothing to lose and only more business to gain. It is worth a shot. You can even make it easier for past clients to give out referrals by giving them some of your business cards.

Make it Into a Promotion
Another great way to get more referrals is to give your customers an incentive for doing so. This can be a great motivation for your past customers to spread the good word about your Miami bookkeeping business. They will be much more likely to give out referrals if they are getting something out of it. By rewarding referral efforts, you can ensure that the amount of referrals for your small business will increase substantially. Offering a gift card for a price reduction or a free service can be a great way to motivate your past customers into making referrals.

Remind Them with a Letter in the Mail
Sometimes asking for referrals in person is not enough. You can send a friendly letter in the mail or an email that offers a reminder. It is a great way to thank past customers for their business and urge them to refer friends and family. Keeping in touch with past customers is a great way to earn more referrals.

There is no better marketing for your business than referrals. They have the power to convince others to choose your electrician business over competitors. You need to focus on increasing referrals in order for your small business to succeed.

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7 Ways to Secure Your Finances as an Independent Contractor

hands-typing-5Being an independent contractor does have quite a lot of perks, such as choosing when and with whom to work, but at the same time it does come with some risks as well. One of the major risks that you can encounter in this regard is the ability to get a good, stable income each month.

Thankfully, there are a few methods that you can use in order to try and obtain a stable income on a monthly basis, and we are going to help you with some pointers to help you achieve that.

1. Find repeat work.

Working with new clients each day can be exciting, but the best step towards financial stability as an independent contractor is to find ongoing work. If you manage to find a company/person that wants to work with you in the long run, then you will have an income that you can truly depend on at all times, and these projects might actually keep you busy for quite a while.

2. Get better time management ideas.

Managing time as an independent contractor can be tricky, because there are many things subtracting your attention from work. Because of that, you need to try and manage your time more efficiently. This will help you get the time you need to acquire more work and thus acquire more money.

3. Line up work and create a schedule.

Planning a schedule beforehand is a good way to secure your finances as an independent contractor because not only you know that you’ll have a secure income, but at the same time you can avoid sitting around and doing nothing.

4. Track deadlines.

One of the best methods to secure your finances is to track your deadlines and bookkeeping activities. If you submit your work before the deadline, then clients are certainly going to return to your services more often, and thus you can secure your income.

5. Ask the clients for referrals.

If the clients are satisfied with your work, then they will gladly send you referrals. Having more people interested in your work means that you can make more money and secure your monthly finances, so you are bound to get astounding results because of that.

6. Create a strong professional network.

Entering social media sites for business users, such as LinkedIn, for example, allows you to connect with other people in your field of work, but at the same time you also get great exposure as well – something you are surely going to appreciate.

7. Explore all marketing opportunities.

A very good idea is to use digital marketing such as PPC ads, as these will allow you to promote your services online in a more efficient manner and thus obtain more clients. Sure, this does require a little investment, but you can make the money back quite easily!

If you are an independent contractor, then you definitely want to follow these tips and integrate them into your daily strategies. These ideas will help you secure your finances, earn more clients and just have better revenue, something that all independent contractors want to achieve!

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3 Most Common Small Business Finance Mistakes

iStock_000013718070XSmallRunning a small business is exciting, but the financial aspect of such a venture can be challenging, especially if you are not adequately prepared. Here are some common finance mistakes that you should avoid.

Spending Too Much On Overhead
Overhead cost is the cost of materials, supplies, and any other expense used to run the business. To maximize profit, business owners need to reduce overhead cost as much as possible. Instead of buying business essentials at retail price, shop at yard sales, thrift stores, browse Craigslist, and peruse the newspapers for good deals. You will be surprised at what you can get at a very low price; desks, fax machines, computers, typing paper, and much more!

Not Filing Taxes Online
You will save a lot of time and hassle by filing online once every year instead of mailing in returns every month. Not only will you save the money spent on postage and envelopes, you can wait until the last day to file; a big bonus especially if you are short on cash on any given month. For additional help, consider consulting the accounting services in Miami.

Taking Out A Big Business Loan
Many business owners find out that they have bitten off more than they can chew when they overestimate how much they need to start their small business. They put all of their effort into repaying the loan, now strapped with interest, and end up stressed out wondering if their business is going to succeed. Instead of going to the bank, consider dipping into your savings; if you are confident about your abilities, then you will surely get a return on your investment and then some. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have a part-time job while you are getting started until the business takes off.

Consider these tips to facilitate your small business venture and if you are struggling at tax time, consult a Miami tax preparer to give you peace of mind.

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7 Tips for Productively Working From Home

iStock_000010976791XSmallThanks to the internet, working from home is very easy nowadays, and we can easily do that from a variety of reasons. First, we have a lot more time for ourselves, and we also have the opportunity to transform the things we love, our passions, into a source of income. There are challenges that we need to face, of course, and procrastination, as well as the house chores and other things can be great distractions all the time when you try to get work done. This is why we have created a small list of tips that will allow you to work in a productive fashion from home!

1. Create an office area
A good way to promote the idea of working is to have a separate area within your home that is your desk. This way you will be able to fight temptations the right way, so a good idea in this regard is to invest in a good computer, desk and a chair – all of which will make you feel comfortable. Thanks to this office, you are bound to get astounding results!

2. Create blocks of time designated for work
You will need to focus on creating a schedule that requires you to sit at least 3 hours within each time block and work. This way, you will be able to focus on the matter at hand and provide better results, but at the same time you will be able to also have the time to rest after focusing!

3. Leave the house each day
Working from home can be lonely and frustrating, and it can make you crazy sometimes, so it’s a very good idea to take a walk, go shopping or just go in town, it’s up to you!

4. Create a to-do list
Numerous tasks can appear for the next day, and they can be scattered via mails or websites. Adding a to-do list, which is either manually written or on your phone/computer is a good idea to be more organized and professional, but at the same time you can get your job done a lot faster.

5. Minimize distractions
When you work from home, visiting web pages can immediately become a major distraction, especially if you have a lot of work to do. You do need to take a few small breaks in order to visit the web, social media and other sites, but remember that the focus needs to stay on your daily tasks.

6. Avoid procrastination
Don’t leave things for the next day; instead do whatever it takes to complete everything on your to-do list. Remember to leave at least a half an hour there for emergency, just in case you do need to go somewhere fast or if something happens!

7. Take care of yourself
Since you work from home, you basically don’t have any schedule; instead you are the one creating your own! This means that you need to pay complete attention in regards to how much you work, and at the same time you have to be careful to respect your dietary habits and sleep patterns. Even if you work from home, you need to maintain your normal schedule, with tiny changes here and there.

As you can see, there are numerous things that you can do in order to work in a productive fashion from home and increase your productivity. All you have to do is to create a good balance between your life and work, establish some boundaries and also pay extra attention to your health, and you will definitely be successful!

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