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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


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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Simple Steps to Improve Cybersecurity at Your Small Business

January 30, 2020 / by Bill Davis posted in Small Business Advice, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Richmond, VA


How can a small business protect itself from cybersecurity threats? Start with a plan — and some free or inexpensive resources.

Here are some simple steps small-business owners can take to help keep their systems safe — even with a small staff and limited budget.

Be Proactive
Your plan doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate. It just needs to spell out some basic ground rules for you and your employees, such as:

  • Use password protection. The days of using a single all-purpose password are long gone. You need to change your passwords on a regular basis and store them offline. Fortunately, there are many low-cost password managers available for small businesses. If you aren't already using one, it's time to start.
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Fraud Prevention: How to Keep Your Books Secure

June 21, 2018 / by Bill Davis posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Richmond, VA


Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to $1.5 Million Fraud Scheme

That headline represents a small-business owner's worst nightmare. The person you trusted to ensure your finances were handled properly and professionally instead exploited your trust for their own gain.

How can you be sure this will never happen to you?

Segregation of Duties Is Key
It's shocking how much damage an unscrupulous employee can do to a small business. In the case cited above, a bookkeeper at a Virginia construction company pleaded guilty to funneling $1.5 million into her own account over eight years.

The devastation can be psychological as well as financial. That's certainly the case when the guilty party is a trusted friend or even a family member.

From day one, you need to establish a system of internal controls that includes segregation of duties. It might feel awkward, particularly in a small family business. But delegating responsibility for, say, reviewing invoices to one person and paying invoices to another person is vital.

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Working Too Much on Bookkeeping? Consider Outsourcing

May 24, 2018 / by Bill Davis posted in Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Richmond, VA


Small-business owners often get themselves into trouble by taking on too many responsibilities. Bookkeeping is one area especially prone to DIY-itis. The consequences can range from burnout for the owner to stunted growth for the business. Learn from other entrepreneurs in these examples from some of our recent case studies.

Can You Scale for Success?
Some business owners with a knack for numbers find they can do their own books quite well during the launch phase, when the volume of work is low. But what can start out feeling like a cost savings can end up feeling like a quickening treadmill as business picks up.

It worked that way for Adam Merrill. In 2016 he launched a custom home building business in Florida. With a modest goal of five homes per year and what he called an "accounting mindset," he assumed he could do the books himself. But as his business boomed, Merrill quickly revised his projection to 12 homes a year. Before long he was devoting a full day each week to bookkeeping rather than focusing on the growth of his business.

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