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Keeping Your Doors Open With a Business Loan

March 31, 2020 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Chicago Far West Suburbs, Bookkeeping Services, Business Continuity

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The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc with businesses of every size and type. If yours is one of them and you're struggling to meet your obligations, you might be eligible for a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or other organization.

Here's what you need to know.

Basic Application Requirements Still Apply
In a recent blog on coronavirus preparedness, our colleague Andy Hale mentioned the new low-interest SBA loans that have become available. These Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which the SBA is offering in conjunction with state governors, can provide distressed businesses up to $2 million in working capital.

Although the SBA is expediting assistance through a streamlined three-step application process, you'll still need to provide some basic financial information, including:

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6 Tips for Business Leaders Now Managing a Remote Workforce

March 26, 2020 / by Bill Davis posted in Small Business Advice, Business Advice, Richmond, VA, Business Continuity

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As the coronavirus pandemic deepens, more and more businesses are having most or all of their employees work from home. While this change inevitably creates short-term disruption, maintaining a strong sense of teamwork and high productivity is still possible.

Here are six tips that business leaders need to know for managing a remote workforce.

1. Establish Clear Communication
This is first for a reason: Nothing derails a business faster than poor communication.

With in-person meetings no longer an option, it's imperative that you as the business leader make it clear from the beginning how you want your team members to communicate — with each other, vendors and clients.

Obviously, you'll need to use online communications. Chances are, you've been using some intra-office communications system anyway, whether simple email or a more specialized messaging or work-sharing platform. Be sure all team members have the latest version of the app and are fluent in its use. (Some probably used it considerably less than others at your workplace, so don't assume everyone is up to speed.)

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How to Prepare Your Business for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact

March 18, 2020 / by Andy Hale posted in Austin, Dallas, Business Continuity

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Every business in the United States will be affected, directly or indirectly, by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The proper response on the part of your company depends to some extent on the severity of the outbreak and the nature of your business. Still, there are some steps that every business owner can take now to minimize the potential impact.

Prepare — But Don't Panic
Communication is key — both with your employees and your clients. Calm, clearheaded leadership that makes employee safety your top priority is of paramount importance during any crisis. Reach out to your clients to let them know you’re there to support them as best you can.

COVID-19 is no longer a distant threat. In addition to close communication with employees and clients, you also need to develop strategies to protect your core functions and incorporate business continuity planning that will help you keep your business running.

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6 Tips for Growing Your Business With Purpose

March 12, 2020 / by Dave Molenda posted in Milwaukee

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There's a reason I called my book Growing on Purpose. It's because growing your business requires a plan, not just randomly throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

With that in mind, here are six tips to help you start managing your growth with purpose.

1. Find Your Baseline

Change for the sake of change is rarely the solution to any problem. First, you must determine why you need to change.

If you're trying to grow your company, then by definition you're not satisfied with the status quo. So the first step for creating a reasonable roadmap for growth is to determine where you want to be relative to where you are now, as well as how long it will take to get there. If you're falling short of revenue projections, that's a much different (and more urgent) problem than if you're struggling to keep up with the demand for what you offer.

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Suffering From Tax Anxiety? Don't Fret — You Still Have Time

March 3, 2020 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

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Note: This blog first appeared on the NCACPA website.

Even the most competent, upstanding, conscientious business owners tend to fret over filing their taxes. And no wonder. Considering the legendary incomprehensibility of IRS regulations, who can blame business owners for feeling out of their league when trying to determine their tax obligations?

The result? They put off dealing with their taxes as long as possible. Which only compounds the worry.

Relax! You'll Be Fine
Okay, so before we continue, take a deep breath. There's no reason to panic. The first thing you need to realize is that you still have time to compile a comprehensive, clean-as-a-whistle tax return. If you have an S corp, partnership or multiple-member LLC, your filing deadline is mid-March, same as last year. (Technically, you get an extra day this year because March 15 falls on a Sunday, which bumps the deadline to March 16.) Otherwise, your filing deadline is the same as for most other Americans: April 15.

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The Secret Formula for a Social Media Marketing Budget

February 27, 2020 / by Jason Johnson posted in Northeast Florida

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It can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of a social media campaign. That makes it challenging for businesses to determine how much to budget each year for social media marketing. Don't you wish there was a simple formula you could use to help you figure out the right amount?

There is. But before I tell you the secret formula I've developed to determine your social media marketing budget, let's establish a few ground rules so we can be sure we're all measuring the same thing in the same way:

  1. There's no point in discussing raw dollar amounts for a social media marketing budget until we agree on how to define what a marketing budget is supposed to accomplish. The goal is to use your resources efficiently. To do that, you need to find a way to measure each social media campaign's effectiveness. If you're spending, say, $5,000 on a campaign that's ineffective, doubling the budget to $10,000 is not going to fix it.
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Transform Your Business With 360-Degree Vision

February 20, 2020 / by Mark Wald posted in Small Business Advice, Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Tips for Startups, Business Advice

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The leader of a growing company needs eyes in both the front and back of their head. They must look forward to project cash burn and capital needs to support their growth. But solid financial projections require reasonable assumptions rooted in past performance — sales growth, profit margins, fixed vs variable costs, cash flow and other key performance indicators (KPIs).

The fact is, you can't do a good job of planning for the future (forecasting) without timely, accurate and thoughtful scorekeeping (bookkeeping) to give you clear insights about the past.

Looking Forward and Looking Back
"Scorekeeping" and forecasting call for different sets of skills. In some larger companies, they're even organized as separate teams: an accounting team that keeps score and a finance team that analyzes results and forecasts ahead.

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Our 2020 Quiz on Business Tax Laws

February 18, 2020 / by Jane Lvovskiy posted in Bookkeeping Services, Brooklyn - Staten Island

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There have been some recent changes in the tax laws — and, yes, they're going to be on the test. The answers, and your overall grade, are at the end.

1. We'll start with an easy one. In 2019 the standard mileage rate for using your car for business purposes increased by 3.5 cents. What's the new deduction (per mile)?
  1. 58 cents
  2. 51 cents
  3. "Your mileage may vary"
  4. If it's less than a dollar, I just throw it in a jar
2. Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code allows businesses to deduct how much of their QBI?
  1. 0%
  2. 20%
  3. 40%
  4. Like tipping, the amount is up to you
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The Top Three Reasons to Outsource Your Bookkeeping

February 13, 2020 / by Jim Rice posted in Small Business Advice, Rochester, Orlando, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice

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Many business leaders are surprised to discover the many ways their company can benefit from outsourced bookkeeping services. We've boiled it down to the top three. Here's the rundown …

1. Gain More Time to Build Your Business

As a bookkeeping services provider, I work with clients in many different fields, with different levels of complexity in their financials. But they all have one thing in common: As their companies grow, eventually they all realize that they're spending too much time on bookkeeping.

The problem is twofold: Many business leaders find bookkeeping to be a stressful and time-consuming energy drain — and that loss of energy leaves them unable to focus on two areas that are absolutely vital to their company's growth: business development and strategic planning.

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Why Telling Your Company's Story Is Vital to Your Success

February 4, 2020 / by Andrew Cardy posted in Northeast Florida

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In 2014, a journalist named Shane Snow wrote an article with the headline, "Why Storytelling Will Be the Biggest Business Skill of the Next 5 Years."

Well, five years later, I'm happy to say Shane was right. Very often I find that the difference between success and failure in today's business world is a company's ability to effectively tell its story.

Find Your True Story …
A surprising number of business leaders don't even realize they have a story. Often that's because they're wearing so many different hats, and so focused on solving the problem that's immediately in front of them, that they lose sight of the company's larger story arc as it unfolds.

If you're one of those business leaders and struggling to find your company's story, here's the first thing to understand: We're not talking about making up a story. It has to be true.

That's the whole point.

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