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Business Advice


Creating a Powerful Word-of-Mouth Referral Network

January 7, 2021 / by Mark Wald posted in Small Business Advice, Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice

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Ready to grow your business? Learn what to do — and what not to do — to generate more client referrals with word-of-mouth marketing.

When you provide a professional service, as Supporting Strategies does with outsourced bookkeeping and controller services, word-of-mouth can be your greatest marketing asset. Over-deliver for one client and they refer you to another client. Do well for that client and they tell another one. Gradually, your growth becomes exponential. That's how I was able to expand Supporting Strategies | Los Angeles to nearly 250 clients in less than seven years, as I outlined on a recent episode of The Staying Power Podcast.

But a powerful word-of-mouth referral network doesn't just happen on its own. Here's how to create one the right way.

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How Bookkeepers and CPAs Team up at Tax Time, and Beyond

December 22, 2020 / by Mark Wald posted in Small Business Advice, Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice

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Learn how outsourced bookkeeping and controller services support time- and cost-efficient tax compliance and advisory CPA work.

Taxes … ugh!

Tax laws require most businesses in this country to file an annual income tax return. However, they’re so complex and change so often that it’s very tricky for the average business to comply on their own. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and IRS Enrolled Agents (EAs) are licensed professionals who devote years of study to mastering tax laws — not just to help their clients comply with the laws, but also to employ strategies to minimize tax expense.

Like lawyers, doctors and other licensed professionals, CPAs and EAs are experts in their field. They invest countless hours each year on continuing education to stay sharp on the ever-changing income tax laws.

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Want to Know How Healthy Your Business Is? Read Your Balance Sheet.

December 17, 2020 / by Steve Barber posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Northwest Maryland

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From financial wellness to financial intelligence, your bookkeeper and controller can help you gain insight about your business through your balance sheet.

Of all the key financial statements that business owners must understand, including the income statement and cash flow statement, the most important is the balance sheet. It shows the company's true financial position in a way no other document does.

What Is a Balance Sheet?
Anybody who has taken an accounting class knows the formula that the balance sheet is based on: assets = liabilities + owner's equity.

Seems straightforward enough. The key is to make sure you're accounting for each of those categories in its entirety. And the first step is to define the terms:

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Give Thanks to Those Who Helped Your Business Endure 2020

November 24, 2020 / by Mark Schanen posted in Small Business Advice, Business Advice, Milwaukee

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This Thanksgiving, reach out to people in your business community to let them know how much you appreciate their continued support.

There was no "business as usual" in 2020. From government-mandated shutdowns to shortages of critical supplies (including toiler paper, of all things), this was a year of continual disruption. And unlike previous years, when Thanksgiving gave us a chance to pause and share our good fortune with friends and family, most of us will be forced to keep our distance as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues through the 2020 holidays.

Such hardships are all the more reason to reach out (virtually) to those in our lives and business communities, near and far, to thank them for all they've done to help us get through this trying year.

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Selling in the Time of COVID-19

November 17, 2020 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Small Business Advice, Boston, Business Advice, Business Continuity

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Ready to increase your sales numbers? In a recent podcast, Steve Schultz shares his tactics for selling bookkeeping and controller services during COVID.

How does a company achieve sales success in a challenging market? That was the focus of a recent Sales Game Changers Podcast hosted by Fred Diamond, Co-founder and President of the Institute for Excellence in Sales.

Diamond's guest, Supporting Strategies Chief Evangelist and VP of Franchise Development Steve Schultz, said success starts with a simple reality check. "Our goals didn't change," Schultz said of the company's approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, "but our tactics have had to change."

Those adjusted tactics include the following …

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Is Now the Time to Buy a Business?

October 29, 2020 / by Peter Holmes posted in Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Northwest New Jersey

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If you're considering buying a business, read these bookkeeping tips to learn how to evaluate the financial health of a business before you buy.

Whether you are an entrepreneur looking for a potentially lucrative investment, are a pragmatist seeking a recession-proof source of income or have decided the current environment could offer the chance to get a good business at a low price, here's how to approach the process.

Ask the Right Questions
The first question to ask before buying an existing business is: Why is it for sale? This is not to suggest that any business available for purchase is inherently a risky investment. There are perfectly legitimate reasons for a business owner to sell out, from retirement, to health issues, to short-term financial stresses like the novel coronavirus outbreak.

But there are also times when a "For Sale" sign is a red flag. In order to determine which category a prospective business investment falls into, you need to probe further. You'll want to know:

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It's Not How Much Bookkeeping Costs, It's How Much Value It Adds

June 11, 2020 / by Indre Bauza posted in Small Business Advice, Northern Virginia, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice

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No one ever says "You get what you pay for" when describing a good deal. People say that only when they realize (too late) that the inexpensive solution they chose is inadequate.

In reality, it's possible to get much more than you pay for — and outsourced bookkeeping services are a prime example.

A Long-Term Solution to a Pressing Need
During the launch phase, few business leaders have a solid long-range plan for keeping their company's books. Often, cash flow is modest enough that the owner, office manager or other staff member can do the books.

When your business grows to the point where it's no longer feasible (or wise) for the owner or a staff member to continue doing the books, however, finding a dedicated bookkeeper becomes a pressing need. That can pressure the business owner into settling for a short-term fix.

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Case Study: Flexible and Consistent Bookkeeping for a Franchise

May 28, 2020 / by Lynette DeRose posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Case Study Blogs, Chicago Southland

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For Creative Colors International (CCI), one of the primary selling points for its franchises also created one of its biggest challenges.

The Illinois-based CCI, which specializes in repairing various types of furniture coverings, allows individual franchisees to tailor their offerings for their particular markets. For example, some franchisees contract exclusively with a single client for whom they work onsite, while others operate a mobile business with a variety of clients.

From a bookkeeping perspective, the result was a hodgepodge of reporting procedures that strained both franchisor and franchisees. Says CCI President and Co-Owner Mark J. Bollman, “For an owner/operator just starting out, doing the work all day and then coming home to a stack of invoices when they're tired hasn't been conducive to on-time reporting.”

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How to Plan a Successful Business Succession

May 14, 2020 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

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Note: This blog first appeared on the NCACPA website.

It's not surprising that many new business owners devote little thought to their exit strategy. They have way too much going on today to worry about tomorrow.

Still, putting together a business succession plan as soon as possible is part of being a responsible business owner. After all, illness, disability or family obligations could force you to sell out sooner than you'd planned.

And even if you eventually do exit according to your own timetable, you'll want to do it properly, both to maximize your profits and ensure a smooth transition. This is especially important when passing the business on to a family member or longtime partner. You want to avoid misunderstandings that could strain the relationship and put a damper on your well-deserved retirement.

Visualize the Moment
The first step in planning your succession is deceptively simple: Stop and think of exactly what selling your business would mean in practical terms.

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Welcome to the Virtual World: Remote Work and Video Conferencing Tips

April 30, 2020 / by Dawn Hershik posted in Small Business Advice, Chicago Far West Suburbs, Business Advice, Business Continuity

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Since its inception, Supporting Strategies has embraced the remote-work model. In fact, Forbes and CNBC have both included Supporting Strategies in their lists of growing companies offering work-from-home opportunities.

Now that so many people find themselves joining us in working remotely, we'd like to share some tips about working from home:

  • Have a designated spot to work. If you're fortunate enough to have an office at home, that's great. If not, find a space and set it up so you have everything you need in one place. It doesn't have to be fancy, just functional. Doing this will also help you focus and almost feel like you're in an office.

  • Try to stay on the same schedule (or a schedule). It's easy to sleep in when you can flex your work routine but you'll be more productive and feel better if you stick to the same schedule every day. A nice bonus: Since your commute is shorter, you can set your alarm for later.
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