Operation Getting More Value In Business

As a business, providing customers with value for money. However, you mustn’t forget to ensure that your spending generates the best results too. Making your capital work harder will lift a great weight from your shoulders while also enabling you to pass some of the savings onto your clients.

So, how exactly can you ensure that all decisions are made in the best interests of your customers? Here’s all you need to know.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Business Financies
 
Assemble The Strongest Possible Team

The majority of business matters will be handled by your employees. Therefore, getting the recruitment process under control should be the first item on your agenda. This should be followed by an ongoing investment into their development both individually and as a team. The best ways to achieve this are through training and team building exercises. When they work harder, you’ll get more value for money on a daily basis. There is no stronger foundation for success.

Keep Assets In Good Health

Taking care of your business assets will unlock greater performance levels and prolong the lifespans. Keeping business vehicles in good health with the right gas oil is a significant step in the right direction. Meanwhile, computer system updates should bring telling results too. Even though the daily maintenance can have a very significant impact, you must learn to spot signs of faults. The sooner you act, the sooner you’ll restore their health. This should save a lot of money in the long run.

Research Your Purchases

You already know that customers want to get the best value for money when buying products or services. You should take a similar approach before completing your transactions. Simple ideas like using price comparison sites can work wonders. Likewise, you’ll want to check that any company you plan to do with business can be trusted. Falling victim of fraudulent activity or inadequate supplies will harm the venture and could be very hard to recover from. It’s best to be safe rather than sorry.

Know Your Demographic

Marketing is an area where only the best will do. Efficient marketing should be built around targeting a key audience. It’s impossible to impress everyone, but smarter research and insights will allow you to focus on the people that are likely to purchase. SEO, PPC, trade show stools, printed materials, and social media marketing can all be used to great effect. Remember to analyse the success of every campaign and make the necessary adjustments for ongoing success.

Avoid Bad Debts

While you obviously want to get as many sales as possible, you must not force thing when dealing with repayment plans. Good sales figures count for nothing if the money never arrives. Understanding bad debts and how to avoid falling victim to them is vital. While some people will default on payments, but you don’t want to let this become a major problem. Protect yourself in this manner, and your hopes of maintaining a positive cash flow will be greatly increased.

When the financial elements are under control, you can focus on actively driving the venture in the right direction.

Tips to Reduce Insurance Costs for Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Healthcare | InsuranceAs a business owner, you know that it’s important to protect the business that you have put so much into by having appropriate insurance coverage. However, even though you might appreciate the importance of having various types of insurance to protect your business, you might still be burdened by just how much it costs. Controlling insurance costs is possible in some ways, though, including by following these tips.

Choose the Right Insurance Company

One of the biggest things that will impact the insurance rates at your place of business is the insurance company that you choose. Taking your time to shop around and choose an insurance company that offers the right coverage but that also has affordable rates is very important, so if you haven’t done that lately, you might want to explore different options like Captive Insurance to see if there is a better insurance company out there.

Focus on Health and Wellness

If the health insurance rates that your company is paying are way too high, consider focusing on implementing a health and wellness program for your employees. This can help your employees live healthier and happier lives and may impact insurance costs for your business at the same time.

Focus on Protecting Your Property

You may be counting on your insurance company to protect your building, vehicles and other company property. It’s definitely good to have insurance coverage to protect these things, but taking steps to protect your own property as well can help with preventing theft or other problems and reducing insurance rates. For example, installing GPS systems in company vehicles and installing a security and surveillance system in your commercial building can both help.

Insurance rates can be a big burden for many companies. Don’t get rid of or reduce your insurance coverage because of these costs, though. Instead, look for ways that you can reduce your rates. You can start by trying the tips above, and your insurance agent might even have suggestions that can help, too.

5 Money Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

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As an entrepreneur, you know how important money management is. Both inside and outside of the workplace, it can be the difference between struggling to make ends meet and paving your way for financial success. What’s more, it can be the difference between making and losing a profit. For this reason, money management simply must be a skill that you work on and try to become well versed with regards to.

If you feel that your career as an entrepreneur is being held back by a lack of knowledge on your part in the art of money management, then make sure to check out the five pieces of advice below.

1. Establish personal financial goals and steps to reach them

In order to turn over a profit in your career and grow your entrepreneurial portfolio as a result, you must, first, be able to manage your money on a personal level. Well, if you can’t look after your own money, how are going to be able to look after a business’s or even another person’s?

To learn how to look after your own money, you should establish some personal financial goals. It means setting targets and being proactive in the steps that you take to reach them. Whether this means aiming to have a specific amount of money saved by a particular time, or whether this means spending a certain amount in a week, you should set your targets and put plans into place so that you can reach and hit them. By becoming well versed in the art of goal setting and step taking as a person, you’ll succeed as an entrepreneur because these are skills that are exchangeable.

Something else that you should do on a personal level is to know what your credit score is. You’re never going to get anywhere as an entrepreneur if you don’t know what your rating is. What’s more, you could actually be held back from making future investments based on past discrepancies. It means that knowing where you stand with regards to credit is essential.

2. Get educated

If you want to become a genuinely great manager of money, then you need to educate yourself financially as often and as fervently as you can. It doesn’t necessarily mean taking a course in finance or accounting; this just means throwing yourself into tasks in which you have to be on the ball in a financial sense to stand any chance of success.

A good first port of call is to throw yourself into the deep end with investing and stock markets. By learning all about what it takes to study and manipulate ever-changing financial markets, you will soon understand how to stay afloat financially no matter what financial fiasco comes your way. By educating yourself in regards to bull and bear markets and what kinds of investments can and should be made within them, especially, you will set yourself up for a lifetime of financial strength and longevity. In this instance, you should check out Dr Kent Moors stock picks, specifically the information that details oil investment, as this will help you to have a better grasp on what, how and when certain investments should be made.

3. Learn to crunch numbers

By learning how to crunch numbers, you will be able to make sense of every financial figure that comes your way, which means that you’ll never be left dumbfounded by anything that you come across, and you’ll find yourself missing out on profit far less. To learn how to crunch numbers and reach financial figures easily, spend as much time as you can with your company’s accountants. Also, you could try playing games that rely heavily on one’s ability to read and understand financial patterns, one such game being poker.

Learning how to crunch numbers will also benefit you in your quest to become a great marketer. This is because number crunching will teach you what it takes to translate the impact of trends and then turn them into tangible results for yourself.

4. Become well versed in the art of organization

You’re never going to become an entrepreneur that has a reputation for being great with their money if you aren’t good at organization. It doesn’t just means learning how to organize your money, either. You should treat organization as if it is a way of life. You should know where everything is at all times, and you should know where you have to be at all times too.

In regards to chronicling your financial information specifically, start by organizing everything into categories. Put information of the utmost importance and outgoing payments that are deemed urgent at the forefront of your financial plans, and sums that can afford to be left unattended for a while on the back burner.

5. Find yourself a mentor

If you aren’t a professional accountant or financial advisor, you will struggle from time to time when it comes to money management. Sometimes you’ll feel like you can’t keep up with all of your monthly outgoings and incomings, and sometimes you’ll spend far more than you can afford to. To stop yourself from inflicting irreparable damage on yours or your business’s financial status, you should find yourself a mentor who can guide you. It could mean working alongside an accountant at your firm, it could mean hiring a financial consultant to help you from time to time, or it could simply mean talking to an older friend or relative of yours that has some experience in equity and asset holding.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then learning how to manage money is an absolute must. To do this, you should ensure that your personal finance is as strong as it can be, you should educate yourself with regards to investment, you should learn how to number crunch, you should organize yourself in a business sense and as a person, and you should align yourself with a mentor. By doing all of this, you’ll be well on your way towards being able to handle even the largest sums of money.

7 Things Tax-Savvy Business Owners Should Do Before Year-End

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances ArticleIt’s not too late for you to take steps to minimize your 2018 business taxes!

At the end of the year, many small business owners start looking for ways to lower their business taxes. Although the best tax plans are usually implemented year-round, it’s not too late for you to save in 2018 while you begin to plan for next year.

Here are just a few of the many tax-saving strategies we recommend to our business clients at year-end:

1. Time your income and expenses

Although it is difficult to predict how your business will fare next year, we can review your books and business plan to see whether receipt of income and payment of expenses would benefit you more this year or next. If you have had a great year, you may wish to decrease your revenue by delaying some of your December billings until early January. If you have the cash available, you can also increase your deductions this year by (1) purchasing equipment that you were planning to buy in the near future; (2) stocking up on office supplies and other items that you utilize on a regular basis; and (3) pre-paying your business mortgage, rent, insurance and/or professional subscriptions.

2. Depreciate your new equipment

The Section 179 deduction has been expanded – business are now permitted to take a first year deduction of up to $1 million on purchases of qualified equipment. Above this amount, the deduction is reduced dollar for dollar until it completely phases out at $2.5 million. For equipment expenditures that either don’t qualify under or exceed the limits of Section 179, you can take an immediate first-year deduction of 100% of the adjusted basis of the property under the new bonus depreciation rules. The new law also allows you to take this depreciation allowance for equipment that you purchased second hand – just make sure to put it in service before the end of the year.

3. Set up a 401(k) plan

You are entitled to a tax credit of up to $500 per year towards the setup and the first three years of administering a company 401(k) plan. You also receive a deduction for all amounts put into the plan, which are tax-deferred until you or your employees withdraw funds.

4. Give bonuses to your staff

You can lower your business taxes and make your employees happy with gifts or bonuses at year-end. Keep in mind that while S Corporations can deduct the full amount, C Corporations can only deduct bonuses to shareholders with a 50% or greater interest in the company. These deductions are not available at all to LCCs, partnerships and sole proprietors.

5. Take all available deductions and write-offs

Remember that pass-through entities such as S Corporations and Partnerships are now able to take a 20% off qualified purchases under Section 199A of the new tax code. Also, don’t forget to take a deduction for business loan interest and to write off bad debts and obsolete equipment!

6. Buy energy-efficient business property

Be good to the environment and yourself (through tax deductions and credits) by purchasing energy-efficient business property, vehicles and equipment.

7. Meet with your tax professional now!

“It is vital that you plan your taxes before the end of the year in order to utilize as many new benefits of the new tax law as you can,” says Moskowitz, “otherwise, you may regret missing a tremendous benefit because you only found out about it after December 31st.”


About the Author

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances ArticleSteve Moskowitz founded the full-service tax law firm of Moskowitz, LLP with the firm belief that everyone with the drive and commitment to start and operate a profitable business should not be held back by fear or ignorance of the tax code. In fact, one of the core principles of our firm is that individuals and businesses should learn how to benefit from it.

About Moskwitz, LLP

The tax lawyers and other financial professionals at Moskowitz, LLP offer comprehensive assistance to businesses large and small, including year-end business tax planning services. Located in the heart of the financial district of San Francisco, Moskowitz LLP works with businesses of all sizes. To learn more about Moskowitz, LLP and how we can help you legally save taxes, visit our website at: https://moskowitzllp.com/ or call toll-free at: (888) 829-3325.

How to Boost Your Profits

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances ArticleAmerica is built on the spirit of entrepreneurship. There are over 28 million small businesses nationwide, and a further 22 million that are solely operated. That’s a large number of businesses that contribute to the country’s economy. However, the number of businesses that fail within the first four years is a significant 50%, and out of the survivors, only a third will reach a decade.

Running your own business is a challenge no matter what industry you are in or the products and services that you provide, and there is no singular reason for these failure rates.

Common Reasons for Business Failure

Failing to plan

For your business to be a success, you need to make both short and long-term plans. You need to identify your goals and define objectives that will help you reach them, from the next few months through to the following years. Your goals will shape every business decision you make and give you direction. They need to be quantifiable so that you can assess how successful the actions that you take are. This is important; how will you know what is working and what isn’t if you have nothing to measure?

Ignoring customer needs

The customer is always right. That’s a correct statement, surely. Not always, but it has you relate to your customers that will affect the success of your business. In the digital age that we live in, there has never been a better time to truly understand your customers’ and clients’ needs and wants. Always keep an eye on what your customers want and tell you about your business; their perception of your business may be very different from what you intend. They are fickle, and your business needs to be able to respond to emerging trends, feedback and correspondence. It requires flexibility and patience, but if you not only listen but hear to what your customers say, you will reap the rewards.

Lack of profit

Lack of profit is very different to lack of revenue. Your business turnover may be high, but that does not mean that it is a profitable business. For your business to grow, the profit needs to flow. There are several reasons for a lack of profit: poor management decisions, cash flow problems and premature scaling; all can be related back to a failure for adequate planning. Only 40% of small businesses are profitable – the others either break even or lose money. If your business is not making a profit, you need to assess every aspect of your business so that you can identify why you are not.

How to Boost Your Business Profits

The quandary you have is how to generate more sales while reducing your expenditure. While your current efforts have been successful to some extent, you must maximize the opportunity to turn a profit.

Modify your strategy

You need to implement a new strategy to do this. Research online about how other successful businesses in your niche have succeeded. The chances are high that they have switched to a more relationship-based model that uses technology to improve their customer experience and loyalty. Here is an example of how this change in strategy has been used to grow a law form, check it out.

Increase the product selection

To increase sales, identify which products you can cross-sell to existing clients and customers. You already know that they are interested in your niche, but are there other relating products that your customers will buy from elsewhere? An example of this is for a yoga clothing company to sell yoga mats. The key to making this cross-selling strategy work is to comprehensively understand who your current and target customers are. Know what they want and what they need. You can incentivize your customers to buy more from you by offering bundles and discounts.

Review operational procedures

There will always be aspects of your operational functions that can be improved upon. The Japanese word ‘kaizen’ translates as improvement, and is the name given to a strategy that works on the principle that all employees work together to improve process incrementally. Kaizen is a valuable mindset to adopt and can dramatically reduce waste and improve a business’s profitability. It is imperative that you get all staff members on board and seek their feedback on how to improve your business’s function.

For example, a sub-total column on an invoice can help speed up the efficiency of your accounts department; introducing cloud-based technology so that your teams can collaborate easier, or even something as simple as moving the printer’s location to be nearer to the receptionist can help to make working more efficient. Kaizen is not a one-off experience, consistently aim to improve efficiency. Ask your employees for their recommendations and act upon the information that they give you.

Regularly review expenditure

You may just have been focusing on the income and profit columns of your account reports; however, you need to pay equal attention to your costs. Businesses evolve over time, and so you need to make sure that your regular outgoings are still relevant to your business today, and not based on historical data.

Review your running costs and identify areas that you could save money. Rolling contracts are a great way of controlling cash flow as you know how much money is leaving your account and when, but they can also make you complacent to other deals that are currently up for grabs and can save you money.

Are there routine tasks that you can outsource? Or, would it be more cost-effective to hire someone on a part-time or freelance basis to complete jobs that you currently pay for a full-time member of staff or do yourself? Outsourcing can be a great solution to boosting efficiency and profits; you only pay for the project that you need completing.

You should also review your suppliers. There may be better market deals that you can access that may not have been available when you started out. It can be risky, as there is potential to damage the relationship you have with your current supplier, but it is worth opening the conversation up, just tread carefully.

While it can seem daunting to undertake such a thorough review of your business, it is critical for your business to be a success. You need to adjust your business to the changing times and embrace technology to help your customer’s user experience and increase the efficiency of your organization.