StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Starting Your Business|Ensuring Your Business Starts On Stable Footing

Ensuring Your Business Starts On Stable Footing

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Starting Your Business|Ensuring Your Business Starts On Stable FootingWe can often see businesses as stable institutions, perhaps absolutely secure on the platform upon which they stand. But most of us who have experience in the industry know better. For example, industry titans can easily lose plenty of their stock if rocked by deep controversy, if failing to live up to their obligations, or if investing in a bad route without caring for the sunk cost to make that work.

But all of that is in the future. For a business just starting out, ensuring your firm begins on stable footing can allow you to move forward to the future and develop a more cohesive output, potentially allowing you to sidestep issues before they occur and staying optimistic about meeting challenges.

After all, a tree with deeper, more secure roots will take much more effort to become uprooted in winds of chaos. This means that no matter what your business weathers, these essential preliminary tips can help you start in the best possible sense, and for the best possible reasons:

Plan Effectively

Planning effectively is not just a nicety, it’s a requirement. You need to be able to list, to the letter, exactly how you hope to proceed in a certain capacity. This means knowing how you will commit to a certain task, how much it will cost, who will be assigned to it, when your deadline is, and potential variables that can go wrong. Time is money in a small business trying to establish itself, and so as far as that is concerned you need to be as careful as possible. Chart each step as delicately as you can. When you follow this process, you can treat your clients with the care they might require, offsetting the risk they have taken by using your services despite the lack of testimonials.

Dot The I’s, Cross The T’s

Ensure that your paperwork is perfectly considered. For example, a fein application can help you immediately find an ID number that allows you to curate your best taxes planning and payment schedule. Additionally, taking an accurate view to your paperwork can help you more appropriately catalog it, even if you then offset that to a professional accountant or tax management lawyer.

Hire A Consultant

Many firms feel as though there’s something shameful in hiring a consultant, but of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a consultant can help you inject the experience that you may have never been able to curate on your own, and this can be a real problem. Additionally, you might find that hiring a consultant can help you dispel your own foolish or inexperienced notions, allowing you to refine your own skillset and embark upon your own necessary training. Business leaders who are unafraid to admit this need can only come out stronger and more capable in the end – and that’s never a negative thing to consider or promote.

With this advice, you’re certain to ensure your business begins on stable footing. We wish you the best to that end.

3 Types of Taxes You Need to Account for as a Small Business Owner

3 Types of Taxes You Need to Account for as a Small Business Owner

3 Types of Taxes You Need to Account for as a Small Business OwnerThe longer a business stays open, the greater the chance it will survive. The latest statistics show a third of new businesses fail within two years. Things are more difficult for small businesses. Many small businesses try to stay afloat by cutting corners. The owners may try to handle their own accounting and tax returns. This is difficult for those who don’t have the proper training.

Start Out The Right Way

Failing to pay taxes can kill a business. Indeed, the IRS places a lien on a company’s bank account when they don’t make payroll tax payments. Likewise, a business can be closed for not paying sales tax. That’s why experts recommend hiring a company to handle Business Tax Services. The government scrutinizes the payment of payroll taxes. Owners face harsh fines and penalties for abuses. That’s because payroll taxes are taken out of the employees’ money. Payroll taxes include federal income tax, state and local tax, and medicare and social security taxes.

Payroll Taxes

The employer withholds income taxes on employee wages after deductions are subtracted. Withholdings are based on marital status, tax bracket and the number of dependents. Medicare and social security taxes are known as FICA. 6.2 percent of the employee’s salary is withheld for social security. That amount is matched by the owner. Likewise, each party pays 1.45 percent for medicare. Business owners must file the IRS form 941 quarterly. This form reports withholdings that were taken. The withholdings must be paid to the IRS by a certain time each month. It’s a lot easier having a company do this work. Employers are also legally obligated to pay unemployment taxes. This money has to be available when unemployment claims are made.

Income Taxes

The business owner pays income taxes to the federal and state governments. Indeed, the business’ status can help when it’s tax time. Sole proprietors are the only owner of a business. Hence, they can pay business and personal taxes on one return. A schedule C must accompany the tax return to show the business profits and losses.

Corporations have the most complicated tax system. A corporation must pay income tax twice. The corporation and its owners file separate tax returns. This means owners report after-profit dividends on their tax returns. They’re taxed for the same money as the corporation. LLC owners only have to file one tax return. Sole proprietors pay 100 percent of their FICA taxes. This is known as self-employment tax. This tax makes sure the business owner can get retirement, disability, medicare and survivor benefits.

Sales Tax

Small businesses that sell goods and services must pay sales tax. The owner must apply to collect sales tax before the business opens. Sales tax is kept in a separate bank account and turned over to the Department of Revenue with an accounting. Sales tax must be paid at regular intervals depending on what state one lives in. This is another job for a good accounting service.

Small businesses face a lot of liability if they don’t pay taxes. Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep up with varying tax schedules and do regular work. That’s why it pays off, in the end, to have someone do it for you. This is one area where the company shouldn’t try to save money.

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Build your Brand|How To Build Your Brand As A Small Business

How To Build Your Brand As A Small Business

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Build your Brand|How To Build Your Brand As A Small BusinessAs a small business owner, one of the most important processes that you need to go through is building your brand. You need to build a strong brand image so that you can stand out from the crowd, be memorable, and establish yourself in your particular industry. It can be a challenging an lengthy process, especially if you are in a competitive industry, but there are a few steps to take, which should deliver powerful and lasting results. So, if you have recently launched or you are simply looking to improve awareness about your company, below are a few tips for building your brand.

Create A Strong Identity

First, you need to make sure that you have a strong brand identity. You can never stand out from the crowd and be memorable if you do not have a strong identity. You may need to make a few changes. Look to the world’s most famous companies for inspiration and focus on these areas:

Make Your Branding Visible

Once you have a strong brand identity, you then need to use this everywhere so that people start to become familiar. It means having the company logo on all forms of communication, having promotional materials like pens made up, and even having the logo and tagline on the main wall in your office.

Use Social Media

In today’s digital age, social media is an incredibly powerful tool for building your brand online and reaching a huge audience. Make sure that you have strong branding on your social media channels and then create and share a stream of engaging, helpful, and relevant content to your target audience.

Use Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the most effective way to increase your visibility online. Using experienced agencies like should deliver fast and lasting results, which will help to improve brand awareness and reputation while directing more traffic to your company website. Online visibility is key in a time where modern consumers use the internet to find what they are looking for so this needs to be a key area of investment.

Give Back

Today’s modern consumer is also more selective with the brands that they use when it comes to their morals and ethics. This means that it is helpful if you are a company that operates ethically and also helps to give back in one way or another. It could include donating profits to a charity, getting involved with the local community, hosting fundraising events, or anything else that shows that you are a brand that cares.

These are the main areas to focus on when building your brand as a small business. It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you are a smaller company, especially if you are operating in a competitive industry. Strong branding and knowing how to get your name out there is key if you are to succeed and compete with the larger brands and these tips should help you to achieve this.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Freshbooks Cloud Accounting |5 Unexpected Benefits of Using Freshbooks Cloud Accounting

5 Unexpected Benefits of Using Freshbooks Cloud Accounting

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Freshbooks Cloud Accounting |5 Unexpected Benefits of Using Freshbooks Cloud AccountingEvery month, half a million people become entrepreneurs. While that number may seem inspiring, it’s important to note that the vast majority of those businesses will be forced to cease operations or subsidize them with other means of employment.

One of the biggest factors that differentiate winners from losers in business is the ability to integrate processes that eliminate menial tasks and promote growth. Therein lies the value of FreshBooks cloud accounting.

FreshBooks provides small business owners with an end-to-end means of managing their financials. In this post, we share five advantages of empowering your business’s workflow with FreshBooks.

1. FreshBooks Trumps Manual Spreadsheets

Small business owners have long used tools like Microsoft Excel to track their income and expenses. While spreadsheets served a purpose for managing financials in the past, with how far technology has come in the last decade, you’d be hampering your operation by using Excel over tools like FreshBooks today.

Sure, spreadsheets can be free to use, depending on the provider that you get yours from. Consider the amount of time you’ll spend manually inputting data into spreadsheets, though. When you do, you’ll find that FreshBooks’ automation makes it less costly.

2. FreshBooks is the Cloud Financials Leader

FreshBooks is not the only cloud bookkeeping/accounting tool on the market. As a matter of fact, its leading competitor, “QuickBooks,” commands a larger market share.

When you read a formal comparison between FreshBooks and QuickBooks, we think you’ll prefer FreshBooks, given its sole focus is on bookkeeping/accounting. QuickBooks, on the other hand, is just one product of many whose parent company, Intuit, divides its time between.

3. Subscription Packages are Flexible

Businesses have different needs. FreshBooks takes that reality into account and offers several flexible subscription packages. These packages ensure that you only have to pay for features that are valuable to you.

You can learn more about what’s included in FreshBook’s Lite, Plus, Premium and Select tiers on its pricing page.

4. Freshbook’s Features are Boundless

Whether you need to track your corporate vehicle’s miles or you need to project how much you’ll owe in taxes this year, FreshBooks has you covered. Small- to medium-sized businesses will never be in a situation where FreshBooks can’t accommodate what they need to do.

5. Your Business Will Become More Scalable

Armed with FreshBooks cloud accounting, you’ll be able to do anything that you need to related to your financials from anywhere in the world. That flexibility will allow you to scale much faster than organizations relying on legacy workflows.

Start Your Free Trial of FreshBooks Cloud Accounting

With all of the FreshBooks cloud accounting advantages that we’ve just hit you with, we hope you’re excited to give it a try. As an added bonus, sampling FreshBooks is 100% free!

That gives you no excuse not to explore how FreshBooks might be able to revolutionize your company.
Are you looking for more tips on how to upgrade your business’s structure and strategy? If you are, browse more of the content on our blog.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Leadership Strategy|Leaders: Stop Standing in the Way

Leaders: Stop Standing in the Way

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Leadership Strategy|Leaders: Stop Standing in the WayCollege graduates often get the same career advice: be yourself, disrupt the status quo. Meanwhile, their future employers cling to status quo by putting people in boxes and telling them what to do, in the name of efficiency or team cohesion.

People are frustrated and exhausted, not from overwork but from a particularly demoralizing kind of “underwork.” They’ve got skills, ideas and talents that they want to use but can’t, because to do so would disrupt everyone who finds comfort in the status quo.

Most organizations and leaders say they want to empower people to contribute at their fullest capacity. But most leaders are never taught how to do that.

We’re stuck in the age of standardization – an age when organizations didn’t see the need to value one’s individuality or personal perspectives.

But as a society, we are more diverse than ever. We are more informed than ever. We are aware of and proud of our individuality. We’ve entered the age of personalization, but our leadership strategies have not caught up.

If we don’t interrupt ourselves the cycle will continue.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Leaders: Stop Standing in the WayStop emphasizing conformity.

People feel boxed in because they are boxed in. In our workplaces we have fooled ourselves into thinking we have welcomed diversity of thought (a phrase we love to throw around) – when in actuality we have built shrines to conformity. We hire people who think just like we do, and we reward and promote people only when they meet the standards set by someone else.

Does your organization have a system for training leaders to identify individual capability when hiring or forming teams, so that everyone can look beyond experience and education as the only indicators of potential and invite new thinking into the mix? Inclusion is an action that constructively interrupts the process of always seeking more of what’s familiar.

Stop hiring for ‘the right fit.’

That’s code for you need to be just like everyone else. Your individuality is not welcome here.

Sure, most people want someone who is easy to get along with, in the name of productivity. They want someone who is easy to work alongside, in the name of efficiency. They want someone who is easy to like, in the name of team cohesion. Those are all great things for a team to achieve.

But too often productivity, efficiency and cohesion become the goals themselves, and the pursuit of those gets in the way of the original objective – which might be better served by a wider range of personalities and working styles.

It’s easier to be with and work with people who are similar to us. But if we really want to expand the capacity of our teams and our people, we have to interrupt our preference for ease and invite the discomfort of working closely with people who think differently.

Gear up.

If you threaten the status quo, the status quo fights back. Hard. People who have made the rules and benefitted from those rules are not happy when those rules change – even if that change is good and necessary and just.

Most organizations operate in a certain way: follow this path, get this experience, demonstrate these skills, move up the ladder rung by rung. A subset of people have benefitted from this system the way it is, but they don’t see the system at work because they’ve never bumped up against it. When that system changes, they lash out.

But disrupting the status quo is worth it.

Leaders everywhere tell me they have felt restricted their entire professional lives, and they want to be free to be who they are and empower others to contribute at the highest levels of their individual capacity.

This is where to start.

About the Author
StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Glenn LlopisGlenn Llopis is a Cuban-American entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker and senior advisor to fortune 500 companies and organizations in healthcare, financial, consumer packaged goods and beyond.