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Small Businesses Must Look Beyond Short-term COVID-19 Impact

April 23, 2020 / by Steve Barber posted in Northwest Maryland, Business Continuity

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If you're a small-business leader, chances are you've been overwhelmed the last few weeks, trying to figure out a way through the COVID-19 crisis. Which aspect of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act is best for your company: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Employee Retention Credits, or Deferred Payroll Taxes? Or can you get by with selective belt-tightening?

While it may be tempting to keep your head down and focus only on those vital details, it's equally important to lift your head up and figure out a plan for getting through the coming weeks and months, and positioning your company for growth once things return to normal.

PPP Status Update
The PPP funding that was designed to help small businesses meet employee payroll for eight weeks was out of money after just two weeks.

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Eight Ways to Get the Most from Your COVID-19 SBA Loan

April 21, 2020 / by Mark Schanen posted in Milwaukee, Business Continuity

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If your business has been able to cut through the red tape and obtain COVID-19 funding through the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), you're one of the lucky ones.

However, you still must determine the best application of those funds to secure the long-term health of your business.

Your Loan Is a Means, not an End
The most important benefit of receiving emergency funding is that it buys you time to catch your breath and make clear-headed decisions about picking the right path forward. But it's important not to squander this opportunity. You need to act decisively — and soon.

To some extent, the nature of your business will dictate your plan. If you have a business deemed "nonessential," such as a movie theater, you can't do much beyond using the emergency funds to pay your employees (and your bills) and hoping that the virus subsides before your money runs out.

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Construction Pros Use Bookkeeping for Contingency Planning

April 14, 2020 / by Steve Barber posted in Bookkeeping Services, Northwest Maryland, Business Continuity

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Disruptions are the norm in the construction business. And while the COVID-19 outbreak — which has led to a widespread halt of building projects — is more extreme than most disturbances, successful construction companies are structured to handle multiple projects with long durations and to anticipate potential interruptions along the way.

When it comes to contingency planning, outsourced bookkeeping services are one of the most useful tools those in the construction trade can use.

Preparing for the Worst
Construction companies encounter cash-flow interruptions for a number of reasons, from routine weather delays to once-in-a-century pandemics. Even projects that stay on schedule often require a juggling act between making upfront vendor payments and collecting revenue from clients on the back end. Staying up to date on your finances is the best way to prepare for these interruptions. And the first step is to establish a cloud-based bookkeeping system.

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Coronavirus Relief Options for Your Small Business

April 6, 2020 / by Craig Feltner posted in Business Continuity, Greater Cincinnati Ohio

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With both the coronavirus pandemic and the government's response evolving on a daily basis, it's undeniably a stressful time to own a small business.

Fortunately, several forms of relief are available or will be soon. Unfortunately, business owners are applying for them in record numbers. That means navigating the application process as quickly as possible, with all the proper financial records ready to go, is critical.

Weighing Your Options
Your two primary options for federal assistance are the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that is part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under certain conditions, any business that uses a PPP loan to pay employees for eight weeks will have the loan forgiven.

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Three Tips to Stay Up to Date on Cash Flow in Your Business

April 2, 2020 / by Earle Durham posted in Small Business Advice, Merrimack Valley, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Southern Maine, Business Continuity

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If you're one of the vast majority of businesses feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, these are unsettling times. One way to protect your business' health is to regularly monitor and forecast your cash flow.

With that in mind, here are three tips to ensure your cash flow keeps pace with your business goals.

1. Review Your Cash Forecast Every Week
A cash-flow forecast is just that. It's a projection of how much cash you expect your business to have in the near future based on the information you have today. Simply put, cash flow is projecting your:

  • Cash In: sales, collecting accounts receivable, investments/loans
  • Less Cash Out: accounts payable, operating expenses, payroll, R&D expenses, sales and marketing expenses, owner’s draws, loan repayments
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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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