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Safeguarding Your Business Profits

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleAfter all the work and investment that goes into building a successful business, the day you start to realize a decent profit makes you feel on top of the world! The primary objective in running a business is to make money from it – even if that’s not the most important aspect to you personally and you love the challenge and the nature of the work first and foremost, you still need to make a profit to stay in business. Having gotten to the stage where the books are in the black and the profits are starting to roll in, how do you make sure that your hard-earned cash is put to best use?

The urge to splurge

Unless you have a superhuman level of self-control, you’ll probably want to buy yourself and your loved ones a few treats. A special night out or a weekend away, new clothes or hobby equipment, or maybe a luxury purchase for your home are all likely ways that you’ll want to give yourself something back from your business. There’s nothing wrong with that idea, after all, you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your labors. However, there are several considerations you need to make before getting too carried away with your spending spree.

Where is the money coming from?

You obviously know how the profit has been generated, but you need to consider how your business is set up and how you are paid out of the profits. For instance, do you get a salary and a percentage of profits, or dividends? You should discuss the structure of your business with your accountant to make sure it is positioning you in the most advantageous place regarding tax and debt liabilities. If you would have to take responsibility for the costs of the business taking a downturn and be liable for its debts, you need to take account of this, and make sure you are covered for such an eventuality.

Where is the money going to?

Whenever you pay out for anything, it’s worth checking whether your purchase could be legitimately set against your tax return as an expense. That doesn’t mean trying to pass off personal purchases that have nothing to do with your business, but you might be better off leasing a car through your company than buying one privately for example. It’s always worth checking how to gain the best advantage, as long as you stay within the law – if there’s one agency renowned for its tenacity, it’s the IRS!

Clearing debts

When you start to make a profit, your first step before deciding how to spend the money you’re making is to clear any debt that may be outstanding. Depending on how you have structured your finances, your business may be showing a profit on paper, but still be liable for repayments to investors for instance. If this is structured as a repayment plan over a defined period of time, you can still take any surplus profits for your personal use. Or your cash flow may require you to have a reserve fund to cover any shortfall caused by slow-paying customers or other short-term drains on resources. Once your business liabilities are confirmed, look at your personal finances. If you have loans, credit card debts, or lease and rental agreements, make paying these off a priority. It will save you money, in the long run, to focus on clearing debt and avoid paying interest on what’s due. You probably want to make an exception for your mortgage, which is more of a high-value long-term investment; unless your profits are so impressive you can afford to clear it now!

Putting money back into the company

Many business owners choose to reinvest their profits back into the business, and this should be your next consideration. If you want to expand or improve your operations, then reinvesting some of your profits is a sound way to grow your business. The money you reinvest needs to be detailed precisely on your accounts to ensure your tax liabilities are accurate, or you will lose out; so don’t splash out on new tablets for all your staff without the expense being recorded and legitimized.

Investing

Once you’ve checked whether you need a reserve fund, cleared any outstanding debts, and decided how much to reinvest in your business, you can then relax and start choosing how to spend your money. Treating yourself is important, as it will give you a thrill to know that you are splashing out on something you truly desire as a result of your hard work and business acuity. However, if you want your money to work for you, you should consider investments. There is an extensive choice of different types of investment available, from high-risk shares to low-risk long-term assets, property investment, bonds, foreign exchange, cryptocurrencies, and many more. The most reliable returns will be in low-risk stocks, but these can take many years to achieve their full potential. High-risk strategies by definition increase the odds that you could lose your money, but you could try a middle road with swing trading strategies. These are specially selected shares that experts calculate are just about to make a significant swing to profitability, which could gain you better returns over a shorter time frame.

The complexity and intricacies of the financial world need experts to exploit them to their full advantage, and if you try and go it alone without seeking their advice, you’ll lose a lot of time on research, and you could well make the wrong choices. A financial adviser can guide you through your investments and make recommendations to suit your needs and aversion to risk, which is preferable to trying to learn enough to make sound decisions by yourself. Most importantly, your CPA should be more than just a number cruncher. They should be able to advise you as to the most efficient way to structure your business and how to get the best from your financial arrangements.

How to Simplify Your Business’s Finances

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleIt might sometimes feel as if your business needs to choose between keeping its customers happy or enjoying healthier finances. If you feel forced to pick between the two, your business might never be able to reach its potential, which is why you must find ways to lower your expenditure without compromising on consumer satisfaction.

A few new tactics and tools could provide the solution you have been looking for, so keep reading to find out how to simplify your business’s finances.

Set Financial Goals to Increase Your Revenue

If you want to enjoy a greater annual revenue, you must set financial goals. Doing so will provide both you and your team with targets to hit each day, week or month, which will help to keep your business firmly in the black.

If you fail to meet a target, you can then identify the tweaks and changes you will need to make to your processes. It will help you to stay focused on your income and outgoings, so your business never takes a step backward.

Open a Separate Business Account

Never confuse your personal and business finances again by opening a company bank account. Many banks are happy to provide entrepreneurs with a specific account for a business. It will make it easier to separate your personal and professional income, which will make it much more straightforward to organize your taxes, pay your business expenses, and monitor your revenue.

Dedicate One Day a Month to Reviewing Your Finances

It doesn’t matter if you have the best accounting software or accountant, you must take the time to review your finances. Every business owner must have a firm grip on their income and expenditure, which can prevent costs from spiraling out of control.

A monthly financial review is a must, so set one day aside to review your statements, invoices, and bills. You also should use this day to negotiate with vendors, change suppliers, and find ways to reduce your outgoings.

Setup Payment Reminders and Alerts

With so many tasks to complete and projects to manage, it can be easy to forget to pay an important bill. However, you will soon realize your mistake when your electricity isn’t working, or your water has been switched off.

Never miss an important payment again by setting up an alert in a Google calendar. You will then receive a notification to pay a bill to help keep track of your finances.

Streamline Your Amazon Listings

Do you sell products through Amazon? If so, you can increase both your presence and selling power with Amazon market integration software. It allows you to manage both domestic and international accounts, so you can easily fulfill your customers’ orders to their exact specifications. You can also manage both your availability and pricing to maximize your cash flow. Visit sellercloud.com to learn more about the powerful platform that can increase your finances.

Go Paperless

Companies can often be guilty of holding onto unnecessary paperwork. By doing so, they can over complicate their filing systems. Organize your finances by keeping only the documents and statements you need and then shred the rest. You also should keep transactions and contracts in the cloud if possible and go paperless so that you can access them at any point and on any device.

Money Management Tips Every Business Should Consider

StrategyDriven Budget Management ArticleRunning a business is something that takes grit and resilience. This is because you’re likely to face many hiccups along the way as well as challenges as most businesses do. However, if you make a conscious effort to ensure you’re continuously learning, taking in new information, and keeping up with industry trends, you should find that your business continues to grow. Of the many key aspects of your business, finances are one of the most important. In light of this, you should continuously look for ways to ensure that your business finances are well managed. On that note, you’re going to find some key money management tips every business should consider below.

Look for Discounts

Bargaining and looking for discounts is something that can be done, even when running a business. For this reason, when looking for ways to manage money and resources in your business, you should consider where you can get reasonable discounts. You could, for instance, speak to your vendors and see if you can get a discount, especially if you’ve been a loyal customer. You can also try checking other areas such as your internet provider, phone bill, and insurance providers as well. The goal should be to save as much as you can as it all adds up at the end of the day.

Keep Track of Expenses

Another way that you can effectively manage money in your business, is to keep track of your expenses. This may seem obvious, but it can become easy to lose track of your expenses and begin spending outside of your budget. Some tips for keeping track of your business expenses include developing a bookkeeping system, setting up a payroll system, and determining your tax obligations. In addition to this, you should also carry out audits on a regular basis and ensure your finance team is effectively carrying out their job. As the saying goes that every penny counts, it’s imperative that you know where your money is going. When tracking expenses, you should also ensure that they are within your overall budget.

Periodically Review Expenditure

After tracking your expenses, the next logical thing to do would be to ensure everything adds up. While doing so, you might notice that there are unnecessary expenses eating out of your budget. You should, therefore, be realistic and see if there happen to be any expenses that can be completely eliminated or reduced. This could mean reducing the amount you spend on buying office snacks or seeing if you can get a cheaper alternative. If you find you’re going through a rough patch, it could also mean reducing the amount you pay yourself some months. To cover unforeseen expenses, you could find a loan with good or bad credit to help you get by that month. The idea should be to get rid of expenses you don’t need so that you free up your money and have more disposable cash to work with.

Save

One of the most important things to do when managing money as a business is save. This is where budgeting comes into play as saving is almost impossible without budgeting. You should begin by looking at your cash flow and determine how much you can actually afford to save. As with any time you’re saving money, you should pay yourself before spending anything. In addition, reducing your expenses as mentioned above means that you have a lot more left over to save and reinvest in other aspects of your business.

Hire a Professional

If you don’t have one already, hiring a CFO or accountant is a good idea if you need help managing your money as a business. They typically have the expertise needed to keep you on track and ensure you meet your financial goals. Seeing as tracking your business expenses can be tedious, they can take on this task and let you know if they identify any areas of concern such as with your cash flow. You could also explore the option of hiring a freelancer or contracting with a local provider instead if you’re trying to cut costs or can’t afford a full-time employee.

Money management tends to have similar fundamentals whether you’re trying to apply it in a business or your personal life. It is, therefore, key that you adopt positive habits when it comes to money and use the many tools and software available to aid the process. Hopefully, after reading the tips above you’ve learned a few more money management tips every business should consider.

A Comprehensive Guide To Saving Money In Business

Saving money in business can be done in numerous ways. Just about any business owner could look at their business and find ways to save when using the tips in this guide. You might think that you’re already saving as much as you possibly can, but don’t leave yet – take a quick look through the advice below and see if you can use any of the suggestions.

Don’t Hire – Outsource

Hiring comes with a whole host of responsibilities that you need to be aware of – one of them being that you have to pay your staff regardless of the money they earn for you each month. This is why it’s a good idea to look into outsourcing instead. If you’re unsure of whether you’ll need things doing consistently, outsourcing gives you fewer responsibilities while still getting the work done. If it turns out that you do need the work full time, you can then hire. Until then, outsource so you can be sure and save yourself any hassle.

Learn How To Negotiate With Vendors

Negotiating with vendors is key if you want to save money. You likely need to work with multiple vendors to run your business, so take advantage of this and practice your negotiating skills if you can. You also have the option of seeing if you can pool with other businesses to buy in bulk, which can further help you to save money.

Make sure you research vendors carefully too; the cheapest vendor isn’t always the best. You want a vendor that is going to give you top notch customer service on top of a great product. You can look at businesses like Construction Trailer Specialists, Inc. to give you an idea of what you should be looking for when working with vendors. In general, the better the relationship you have with a vendor, the more chance you have of negotiating a better deal with them. Focus on building strong relationships and you’ll be on your way to getting better deals.

Become A Greener Business

Becoming a greener business involves various techniques, but it’s a great way to go about saving money. You may also make more money, as people who are interested in working with green businesses might just come to you! So, how can you create a greener business? Start by cutting back on things like paper, and turn things off when you leave work for the night. Use recyclable packaging, and work with other green businesses to have an even bigger impact. There’s literally a long list of things you can do that will help you to become a greener business. Kinder to the environment and kinder on your bank balance!

Cut Back On Meetings

Meetings take up a lot of time and energy, so cut back on them where possible. Using collaboration software is much more effective, and it’s rare you actually need a meeting to talk about something important. In some cases a simple phone call or stopping by somebody’s desk can do it. Meetings simply aren’t productive, and this means they are costing you money.

Discourage Multi Tasking

Multi tasking in the workplace can trick you into thinking you’re getting more done, but you’re not. For example, checking your emails, updating social media, and working on a project will make you feel like you’re busy, but in reality, you’re getting less done than you would when focusing on one project at a time. Discourage multi tasking as much as possible, and discourage the use of things like social media and email during the day altogether. Have a set time for checking email, and then leave it alone for the rest of the day.

Shop Around For Your Business Utilities

In business you also need to pay the bills. Your utility bills can be a big drain on your finances if you don’t shop around for the best deals. Make sure you shop around for things like electricity so you can make savings – these will really add up over the course of a year.

Make The Most Of Telecommuting

Whether you can embrace telecommuting or not will depend on your type of business, as it isn’t possible for every single business type out there. However, where it is possible, it can be a huge money saver for your business. If you can keep things virtual as much as possible, you’ll be able to save money on overhead expenses and operating costs. Even if you can only find a way to convert at least some of your staff, it’ll make a huge difference.

Start Using Free Software

Using free software can be a game changer in business – it doesn’t all have to be paid to be effective. See what you can use that will help you to make things faster and cheaper. Even investing in some pieces of software could help you to save money in the long run, as you’re saving time and energy elsewhere.

Find Ways To Save On Your Marketing

Marketing is one of the most expensive things that a business will spend money on. Find ways to save on your marketing and you’ll have more money to your name. However, you should only save where you’re not going to hinder your efforts. Going to a cheaper marketing company may mean losing your results entirely. Word of mouth referrals are great forms of marketing, but you can’t buy them. You can create them by giving the best customer service experience that you can muster. You could take care of some of your own content marketing by creating awesome, shareable content, and then taking to social media to get your content out there.

Using social media regularly and taking control of other marketing aspects will help you to both make more money and save.

Find Ways To Get The Most From Your Employees

Make sure you look for ways to get the most from your employees. You can improve their productivity by giving them a great place to work, ensuring natural light and refreshments, and by being a great leader.

Improve Your Business Cash Flow

Improving cash flow within your business can reduce your need for loans and credit which come with interest, thus helping you to save money. Make sure you invoice promptly and send out reminders. Credit checking your customers can also help you to improve your cash flow and save money. If you work with a client with a bad credit score, you’d likely never get paid and end up losing out.

Hire A Professional Accountant

Hiring a professional accountant should be looked at as an investment, not an expense. They will look at your records and can help you to make better decisions, not to mention keep everything in order and ensure you avoid paying more tax than you need to.

Passive Energy Saving Measures

Earlier we talked about saving money on your energy, but there are also passive energy saving measures you can use. You can double pane your windows to keep the heat in, ensure tight seals, and use solar water heaters. Making energy efficient upgrades as your budget allows can save you thousands.

Turn Things Off After Hours

One seriously straightforward way to save money in business is to turn things off after hours. You can easily reduce your company’s electricity bill this way, and if you get the whole team on board, it’s very easy to do. Having personal computers left on overnight, or even over the weekend can suck energy out of your business like no tomorrow. Ensure everybody has turned theirs off before leaving work. If you own a restaurant or something similar then you’ll need to use your common sense; while you should turn off your ovens and similar appliances, you’ll need to keep your freezers running all the time. Looking for star rated energy appliances can further help you to save money.

Using Your Space Efficiently

As a business grows, it’s natural to dream of moving your business into an even larger space. However, you don’t have to do this if you’re smart; you simply have to make sure you’re using your space more efficiently. At the moment, many businesses tend to have 185 square feet of dedicated office space per worker. Many businesses even report their plans to shrink their footprints to less than 100 square feet of dedicated office space per worker by the end of this year. Things like mobile device usage, collaborative workstations, and multipurpose rooms (for example, conference rooms that can also be used as break rooms) are all great solutions for business owners who want to save money on the rent and make the most of their space.

If you take a close look at your business, you should find that these tips help you to save a fortune over the course of a year. Examine your business carefully and see what you find that can be improved upon. Do you have any tips to add to this guide? Leave your own thoughts and ideas below!

How Having A Way With Numbers Will Lead You To Success

No matter what kind of business that you run, it is absolutely essential that you know how to manage your numbers. So many companies end up bankrupt or missing on out amazing deals because they haven’t understood something, or they have miscalculated and are now at a total loss.

While being a good manager is important, if you don’t know the basic ins and out of transactions and financial management, you won’t get very far. Even knowing how to take out a loan with companies like Summit Financial Resources without having to worry about all the terms and conditions on interests, will save you.

Like anything; if you want to thrive in something you do, you should apply yourself to it as much as you can, drawing out as much information and going over that again and again so that it’s stuck in your mind and becomes second nature to you.

That’s how we learn.

Here are some of the most basic ways you can boost up your number skills.

Hire an accountant

Hiring an accountant to deal with all your money transactions is a great way of knowing that the job is under control, and allows you to have peace of mind. Trying to manage it all yourself can be very overwhelming and stressful, which then makes it more likely for you to mess up and make a mistake. An accountant will be able to monitor all of the money coming in, and all of the money going out of your accounts, ensuring that it is all done correctly and you aren’t missing anything. But not only that, they also deal with tax and any other things that you need to stay on top of so that your business is sticking to all the rules and doesn’t risk finding itself in any trouble down the line.

Speak to a financial advisor

If you aren’t sure what you’re doing, what to invest your money in, and what to put away safely, then a financial advisor will help you with making all those kind of decisions. You would sit down, and break apart your business finances with them, and they would work out what risks are good ones, and what risks you just can’t afford to make. They will help you figure out how to earn more of an income more often, while teaching you how to pay less in areas of your business like for manufacturing fees and marketing strategies. Advisors are trained to spot things that you may not, because they know exactly where to look. So bringing in a fresh set of professional eyes can make the whole world of difference to how your business is run.

So as you can see, these are only a couple of examples as to what you can do, but they are by far the most effective. A lot of people don’t like the idea of having to reach out for help, and bring a stranger into their company, but sometimes it’s necessary if you want to grow.