Starting out, many business owners do everything or next to everything in their businesses. When it comes to taxes, however, you might be wondering if you should attempt to do it yourself or outsource the task. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. With accounting software and online tax help, it can seem like a great idea to do your own business taxes . . . but are you sure it’s the best way? When it comes down to DIY or outsourcing your business taxes, it can be difficult to decide w More »DIY vs Outsource: Business Taxes
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As a small business owner, you may want to pay yourself last to conserve money, but sometimes putting yourself first is the trick to succeeding. With so many business expenses to pay for your company - utilities, rent, inventory, staff wages, marketing -- it can be hard to fit your own salary in. And as a business owner, you may assume you should put everything you make back into the business. Not so. The first thing you should do with your money is pay yourself first. Many business owners who b More »Small business owners: pay yourself first
If you find yourself in a position where you cannot service your debt, get help immediately. Early and swift action could help you avoid bankruptcy, protect your credit, and get your business back on the right track. Meet the Three C’s of Debt Crisis Management for small businesses. Managing a Debt Crisis The United States’ largest automaker filed for bankruptcy in 2009, agreeing to stake almost 60% ownership to taxpayers. Approximately a year later, the auto giant claims to be not only on track More »The 3 C's to avoid bankruptcy
When you run a small business, there are a number of advantages to hiring your children. These advantages come with built-in secondary advantages come tax time. Once you are familiar with these perks you will likely wonder why you didn’t hire your kids sooner. Hiring Your Kids and Taxes The greatest tax advantages will be reaped if your company is unincorporated and your children are under the age of 18. Once your children reach the age of 18 you will no longer enjoy any of the economic advantag More »Tax benefits of nepotism
Running your own business often means income isn’t steady, so it can be difficult to plan financially. Learning to handle unpredictable cash flow will help you avoid the financial roller coaster. When you don’t bring in a specific amount every month, it can be very difficult to plan ahead. Many businesses face the issue of unpredictable cash flow in the early months or even the first year and those who freelance will have the same problem. It’s impossible to predict how much will come in and so More »Managing volatile cash flow
When debts mount and you have no way to pay back you may begin considering bankruptcy court. But is this the right decision for you? Every month your debt mounts. Every month when you do your bills you wonder how you will pay them. Every month you consider how many more months of this you can take. If your financial problems have become insurmountable, you might want to start considering bankruptcy. While this is a measure of last resort, it may be the only option left for you. Bankruptcy Simpl More »Bankruptcy: strategic or stupid?
When you are just starting your company, you will find that money is a concern and if you haven’t planned well, it could easily become a big issue. Nearly all new business owners run into at least one financial problem, usually one that could have been prevented with just a little more advance planning. Underestimating Expenses This is one of the more common issues faced by business owners. Nearly everyone underestimates their startup and operating costs, so you need to be very thorough in your More »Boneheaded startup finance blunders
Budgeting and forecasting are a necessary part of any small business’ cash flow. To avoid going over budget, use these tips to guide you. Every year, your staff probably fights to get their budgets approved. It’s impossible to meet all requests, but there are ways to ensure you don’t go over budget at the end of the year. And while we live in uncertain economic times, you can improve your sales forecasting process as well. 1. Listen to Your Team Your goal is to keep spending down, but don’t let More »Better budgeting and forecasting
Rising gas prices, healthcare costs, and declining sales resulting from the Great Recession provide challenges to staying in business. Here we offer 10 ways to cut costs and stimulate sales during the economic drought. 1. Introduce new, lower-priced products Whether it is designing a new line of dresses with lower-cost fabrics or a revised menu with cheaper ingredients, inventing new, cost-effective items taps into your creativity to save dollars. 2. Location, location, location Are you using More »10 Ways Business Owners Cope with Rising Costs
The best way to avoid being audited is to follow the rules. File a return every year and be complete and honest. However, the IRS uses statistical sampling to identify auditees and you might just find yourself in their spotlight no matter how thorough you might be. If this is you, prepare yourself and manage expectations. An IRS audit might not be as bad as you think. Preventative Measures Getting an A+ on the audit is all about keeping accurate logs and correct reporting. Not a tax expert? No More »Get an A+ on your next IRS audit
The Internet makes life much easier in many ways, but if you’re planning on doing your banking online, you do need to take some precautions to avoid losing money. Internet banking has become so popular now that it’s possible to completely avoid setting foot in your bank once the account is set up. Some banks will even let you create your account online, without having to be physically present, making it that much easier to do everything from your preferred location. You can even bank with your p More »Tips for safer internet banking
When selling your business, getting a ballpark value is the first step toward getting a fair price. But who should advise you on an asking price? If you’re looking to sell your business you will want to get an appraisal. This will allow you to know how much your business is worth, giving you’re a base line for what you can ask. Finding the right person to value your business is the first step toward getting an accurate dollar amount. Pros and Cons of Accountants Accountants can take an inventory More »Can Accountants Value a Business for Sale?
Bootstrapping by definition means spending less than the average business, but there are a few important principles that are often missed by business owners. If you want to achieve success without outside help, then it pays to be smart about the financial moves you make with your startup. Here you will learn exactly what you need to be doing in order to make your bootstrapped business a success. Starting a business without any outside money can be a daunting task, but it is quite achievable if More »Smart budgeting for a bootstrapped business
Why is it smarter to run a business under a LLC for tax purposes? As a small business owner, the structure of your company must take certain tax benefits into consideration. When considering your desired tax structure during company formation, you have to look at what type of entity will benefit your company the most. An LLC is a type of business entity that the Federal Government gives favorable tax benefits for under certain scenarios. An LLC was recently created in the late 20th century and More »LLC tax benefits
Cash is the oil that keeps your business running smoothly. Without it, you risk imminent failure. Managing your cash flow can keep your business running, even during difficult times. You need cash to pay your vendors, your employees and your bills, so it’s necessary to have at least some cash on hand at all times. But what happens if your customers pay you late? This can seriously disrupt your payment schedule. It’s wise to manage cash flow months and even years in advance to ensure that you alw More »Is CPA better than PPC?
Accounting helps you keep track of your business’ expenses and income, as well as forecast how much money you will need in the future. If you start out in your small business balancing your bank accounts in a checkbook register or on a spreadsheet, that may work for the beginning, but you will want to find some sort of business accounting software to do the job properly. Using effective accounting software can help you better manage your expenses and income, see who owes you money and see what o More »Why you need business accounting
Choosing the right bank for your business is important, since you’ll be dealing with it for as long as you run your business. It’s a pain to change banks, so make sure you get the right one. Your bank should be one you are comfortable with and trust, but there’s a lot more to choosing the perfect bank for your business than just liking the people in it. You will need to consider the needs of your business and evaluate exactly what a financial institution can offer you before making a decision. T More »How to choose a bank
With health insurance costs soaring, employees are shouldering more of the burden. Employers who once covered all costs are now choosing plans that are a cost benefit for the business. Employees have to research to find the employer-provided plan that works for them. Health care spending accounts can help employees pay for a myriad of out-of-pocket expenses. Prescription drug charges. Copays. Orthodontics. Orthotics. The list of expenses not covered by health insurance goes on and on. The employ More »How to set up a Healthcare Spending Account