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The Importance of Accounting For Small Businesses

When starting your own small business one of the most important aspects to think about is the accounting process and how you choose to account all of your financial information. It is important to understand that the accounting of your business’s financial information needs to be accurate or else your business may not be as successful as intended. Even if you don’t like accounting or numbers, there is no way to avoid accounting for a business. The purpose of accounting for a business is to have a record of the receipts and expenditures of it’s daily activities. Also, accounting makes it available for the business owners to assess and analyze the business’s performance. This will help the owner to decide what improvements they need to make, or what practices to keep doing in order to keep the company at it’s successful place.

In order to file for tax returns, apply for a loan to expand your business, or for certain legal purposes, accounting is necessary. Accounting for your small business is also important so you are able to assess your financial performance. The financial statements such as the balance sheet and cash flow statement show financial information that is important in the success of your business. The balance sheet shows how much your business is worth and what your assets are. The cash flow statement shows where the future cash needs of your business are. Without any of these financial statements your business would not be able to account for the revenues and profits made from day to day, which results in mistakes and inaccurate records.

In the tough economic times we are facing today, having accurate accounting is necessary. There are so many firms that can assist you in accounting for your small business. So many small business owners believe that they need to be able to do their own finances and take the accounting in their own manners. However, that surely is not the case. It is much better to hire a firm that is respectable and can help assist your company in the accounting department. That way, while the firm is handling your accounting necessities, you can be improving your business by putting your name out there to draw in more clients, keep a strong relationship with existing clients, and encourage your employees constantly so that they, too, are putting their best efforts towards your company. This will definitely improve your business and help you as the small business owner to feel more confident and less stressed, knowing that your finances are safe with a trusted accounting firm. There are too many instances where small business owners have tried to take accounting into their own hands, and unfortunately have not succeeded in the process. If you want to have a successful business, you have to learn to keep the accounting out of your job task. In addition to hiring an accountant, as the business owner it is important to purchase accounting software, such as QuickBooks. This type of program is where you will be able to keep track of receipts and expenditures and will help make the financial reports for you as well.

If there is one certain fact about small businesses and accounting it is that the staggering failure rate for new businesses, has more to do with bad financial management than almost any other problem. Whether it means the company does not have a successful business plan, their expectations are impracticable, there is no limits on spending, or just bad decisions made in the financial department overall, businesses such as these need to realize the importance of accounting and what a difference it can make for their company. There are a few options small businesses have for improving some of these mistakes. Small business owners need to be aware of how accounting systems work so that they can realize when their finances are successful or in danger, as well as understanding how to make and read a chart of accounts that makes sense to them.

One of the major problems with small business owners and failing to do the accounting for their business is that the businesses grow so fast to the point where the owners do not have time to worry about the accounting part of the business. They get caught up in trying to perfect their customer service, that they do not see the significance in getting the financial aspect of the business up to par. Hopefully, small business owners will begin to realize how important accounting is for the business, and we will see more successful businesses and less failed businesses in the future.

Why Branding is Vital to the Success of Your Online Business

Let us describe branding, its benefits and how properly branding your business can increase your chances of success. In the age of the Internet anyone can set up shop using a cookie cutter website for a few hundred dollars, sometime less. Creating your own brand will set you apart from the rest.

Essentially branding involves the image of your business. Branding actually goes beyond image to include style, logos, emblems and the perception of quality you intent to convey to your customers. The image should suggests positive values such as quality products and excellent services as well as reliability and soundness. Branding helps to describe your business and how you differ from your competition. In fact, distinguishing your business from the competition is the primary goal of branding. Once you have distinguished yourself from the pact, advertising and promoting your business can have a better impact by being more targeted and effective.

The success of your business can often be based on your ability to create your brand. Proper branding can greatly increase your level of success. Factors including your website, your marketing efforts and other aspects of your business create your company’s identity. Most consumers rely on a corporation’s image when deciding where to spend their money. Purchases often are motivated based on emotions. Irregardless of size or structure, all businesses can usually benefit from the use of a well conceived brand. The very success of smaller businesses, whether brick and mortar or online, may depend upon the use of good branding methods. The brand could be the deal maker. Proper branding suggests experience and professionalism. This can also level the playing field between competing businesses despite size or tenure, particularly when conducting business online.

Building a brand enhances the confidence of the online business owner. Branding affects customer trust and loyalty as well. Branding can give a solid, consistent image to your business. It gives your business credibility and can sets proper expectations with your customers. Branding can be incorporated into promotional campaigns using business cards, flyers and newsletter. Branding can also be used on premiums items like t-shirts, ink pens, coffee mugs and other goods. These items increase your brand’s visibility and remind customers of your brand even when not actually conducting business with you. This gives your business brand equity with your customers. Likewise, a brand is considered to be an asset. Successful franchises and existing business are usually sold for a much higher price than generic businesses offering the same products and services. Customers usually think as much about who they are buying from as what they are buying. Combine branding with consistance, good quality products and top notch service and customers will keep coming back for more.

Branding is trully your customers’ perception of your business and can be like a promise or a pledge you make to your customers. When you want to create a brand you want the customer to know you are the best, provide quality goods and services and have something more to offer than your competition. Your goals is to create loyalty and trust. To that end, your customers need to be educated on the benefits of your products and services. This step is critical in establishing your brand. It is helpful to identify the features of your products and what benefits they provide. The features that offer the greatest benefits should be emphasized and the subject of your marketing campaigns.

It is important to know what the customers think about your business. Customers may have negative feelings about your business because of bad experiences with your website, your customer service or your products. Other customers may fear making purchases online.

Using surveys and questionnaires can identify exactly what is good or bad about your operation and can provide a clear understanding of your business from the customer’s point of view. You can learn what your reputation is with the consumer and what they feel about the quality and value of your products. Their experience dealing with customer service, your website and other issues could be disclosed by the surveys or solicited comments.

Creating a brand based on customer input can be very beneficial. This is especially true if you implement changes based on customer feedback. The customer then gets a sense of ownership. It also demostrate empathy on the part of the business owner, giving your business a more human quality though all dealings may have been handled electronically. It is natural to stick with a company and products when you are satisfied and pleased. This results in repeat business and a better chance for overall success. Your customer base can be considered as your target audience when it comes to branding your business. If you do not know and understand the audience you are targeting then you can not brand your products and services based on their needs and wishes. Your audience is the targeted customers you are hoping to reach to purchase your products and services. To define your target audience you may need to look at factors such as gender, age, geographical regions, income and demographics. The age of an audience must be considered when branding your business. A younger crowd may want to see a brand that is vibrant, hip and current. When your audience is older they may be looking for a brand displaying status, sophistication, and professionalism. Gender of an audience is an issue if you are selling clothing, hats, jewelry or other such items. Income is something to think about when considering an audience and developing a brand. You cannot sell very expensive luxury items to a working class audience. People with high incomes do not usually consider purchasing cheap goods.

There are many things about your audience that you must know when creating a brand. If you do not have a clear understanding of your target audience then you will likely fail. It is important to define your audience as narrowly as possible. The more you can narrow down your audience the more your brand will separate you from the competition. This means you will have less competition and a greater share of the customer’s dollars coming to you.

Branding for your targeted audience will allow you to be more successful and develop longer lasting relationships with your customers. Targeting the wrong audience can spell disaster for your business.

When ever possible, brand your business to better reach your target audience and to create your own special niche.

Help For Starting a New Small Business

Starting a new business comes with many risks involved. It is not easy to start a business large or small. Starting a business involves a lot of hard work. As you are about to become an owner of a small business, you must realize the challenges which do exist within many different aspects. A small business no matter the products or services offered needs to plan accordingly while achieving the goals needed to exist within the market.

You must network

This is one of the most important steps in starting a new business. Networking means that you are expanding your network of businesses as well as friends who could end up aiding you in starting your small business. You can join the Chamber of Commerce within your region. Anyone could benefit greatly from the advice of business professionals. Join professional networking websites. These websites can make you more aware of the business world as well as opportunities, which do exist locally to your small business. Embrace your family and friends. Inform them about your new small business while seeking their advice.

Research and understand what you are getting into

A lot of planning, knowing your competition as well as a thorough study of the market is necessary in starting your small business. These are very important points you should keep in mind in starting your little business. Select the best opportunities among the many, which do exist for beginning business owners. You can create or add to an existing business idea. Prepare a business plan. Finalize the plans on what kinds of business you want to have or do currently have. Gain complete knowledge about the market as well as investment opportunities with your company while preparing this business plan. Keep in mind that strategic consultants can prepare these for you but with an ironclad contract and they charge hourly for their services.

Family and friends

You might want to consider being funded through family and friends, financial institutions or banks. Each of these options needs some degree of authority over the money, which they lend to you for your small business.

How should I list my business?

Choose a legal structure for your small business. Run your business as a sole proprietor or you can enter into a partnership. Register the business, which is when you will find out the rules and regulations of commencing your business. Keep a back up for your business by opting for small business insurance.

Do not forget Accounting and bookkeeping. From the beginning, you or someone you hire should keep the books on a regular basis. This will aid you in avoiding any type of future financial difficulty.

You have various options when searching for ways to finance your business. After the business plan is prepared, the next step should be arranging for the funds for your small business. Calculate how much capital will be needed while looking for the many options available. Remember you want to start a business first look within your own personal savings. Other options to consider are banks and investors. Financial institutions and investors however will always ask for a share in the management as well as profits. You may need to also submit collateral as a backup for money given by these institutions.