Tuesday, October 28, 2014

4 Excuses Why People Fall Short of Starting a Business

1. I do not know anything about Starting a Business

Starting a business has many components to understand, which all can be taught through either experience or reading blogs, articles, or books. Also attending workshops about various topic are so readily available today with the internet. Also, meeting with other small business owners or consultants can help you gain the knowledge to get your business started.

 2. Afraid of Failure

Its so natural for people to be afraid of failing, especially in small towns, where everyone knows everyone. Failure can happen whether you own a business or are an employee. While running your own business is big risk adventure, it can also have big opportunities with hard work and continuous innovation skills.

3. Right now is not the right time

Every stage of life we can say something about it not being the right time. You have to ultimately make the decision and just work at it. Timing should not be an excuse. We can't control what will happen tomorrow or beyond, but properly preparing and planning will help in identifying the start date of your business. Begin looking at what you have and know and identify what you still need to know or acquire to start your business. Then start planning and setting dates when it should be completed.

4. I need a paycheck weekly.

We all have bills to pay and we need the money to pay for goods to keep us in good financial standings. You can begin with identifying what it will cost you to go 6-12 months worth of expenses. Set aside those funds in a special checking or savings account. Do not touch the money, as you may need it to fill the gap when business times are tough. Also, you can always start your business and maintain other employment. People can begin a business part time and work full time. You can also go into your business fulltime and work a part time job to have a steady paycheck. You will have to do your own financial review and see what you need to live comfortably. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bookkeeping Basics: The Four Hallmarks

Author:  Resa Remus-Stariha, Bookkeeper

                Bookkeeping is the recording of a business’ everyday transactions.  Bookkeeping records the facts about a business for both internal and external use and are used to report the financial position of a company, track assets and liabilities, show income and expenses, and prepare taxes.  The four hallmarks of bookkeeping are:
1.       Relevance: Relevant information provides accurate feedback. It evaluates what is happening in the business which is crucial in decision-making.
2.       Reliability: Reliability represents the truthfulness and dependability of the information.  It means that this information can be verified. Remember: garbage in – garbage out.
3.       Consistency:  Sales, expenses and various other transactions should be entered into a bookkeeping system on a routine basis.  Consistency in entering data provides an accurate picture of where the business has been and where it is going.  A business owner will be able to quickly identify if expenditures are exceeding income and create a business plan toward profitability. 
4.       Comparability:  Comparability gives the company the ability to compare operations over years or over product lines.  It gives the user quality information to compare different companies, markets or time periods using the same standard.

A simple spreadsheet can be used for very basic records, however there are a myriad of programs that are available and not difficult to learn -QuickBooks and Peachtree are two of the preferred software packages utilized by small to medium size businesses to get more defined information.  Whichever method is chosen these ten basics need to be tracked:

1.  Cash
2.  Accounts Receivable
3.  Inventory
4.  Accounts Payable
5.  Loans Payable
6.  Sales
7.  Purchases
8.  Payroll Expenses
9.  Owners’ Equity
10. Retained Earnings

Applying the four hallmarks of bookkeeping to the ten items to be tracked is the key to accurate bookkeeping.  It should be noted that these hallmarks are interrelated, an example is: putting information into the system is both relevant and consistent.

1.       Relevant: Any information pertaining to the business should be entered into the chosen system and all documents filed on a timely basis. For the small business, set time aside weekly for this task. Have important files close at hand, older files can be stored elsewhere if space is at a premium.  Paperwork can accumulate quickly and become unmanageable or lost if not managed on a regular basis. How long to keep documents varies, it is important to maintain files for that prescribed time.  Check with your accountant for more details.
2.       Reliability:  Source documents should always be used for the correct amount of each transaction and filed. Keep all receipts and other source information.
3.       Consistency:  Be consistent in how you treat similar expenses and similar income.  One example is sales tax: Goods are most often taxable with some exemptions while services are generally exempt with a few exceptions. Having a policy handbook will eliminate any questions especially if more than one person is involved with maintaining the books.  Accounts should be reconciled on a monthly basis. 
4.       Comparability:  Evaluate the business on a routine basis through the financial statements:
a.       Income Statement: Evaluate revenues, expenses, gains, and losses.
b.      Balance Sheet: Evaluate assets, liabilities, and equity.
c.       Statement of Cash Flow: Evaluate cash sources and uses.

Bookkeeping is a basic necessity of every business.  Maintaining company books makes analyzing the business more accurate and tax preparation easier.  It is a vital practice to help understand your business.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 31st Jill Salzman to Speak at Deer Park Country Club

Who is Jill Salzman?
Jill is a graduate of Brown University and law school after that, she started Paperwork Media LLC, a music management firm and her first entrepreneurial venture. She went on to create The Bumble Brand, LLC, to sell Bumble Bells, audible anklewear for the newest of human beings (she sold it in 2011.)Having built two successful companies, she launched The Founding Moms to connect mom entrepreneurs around the globe with one another.

A sought-after speaker, Jill has been featured in national media outlets including CNN’s Headline News, People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, Business Matters, WGN TV and WAHM Talk Radio.  Her TED talk, Why Moms Make The Best Entrepreneurs, received rave reviews.  She was recently named one of the Top 50 Women To Watch In Tech and Top 100 Champion Small Business Influencer. Jill writes for NBC5′s small business blog, Inc. Well, and she’s been published in The New York Times and eHow.com.  She released her first book, Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, published on January 12, 2012 through Piggott Press. Orbit Media Studios named Jill one of the Best Chicago Marketing Speakers in 2014. She’s a co-host on the most entertaining business podcast in the world, Breaking Down Your Business. And she recently launched a Top Tips video series for entrepreneurs.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Which Social Media Should You Be Using for Your Business

Seems like every day someone is telling you something new you can do on a social media platform or maybe they told you about another app that you should download on your smartphone or tablet.

Yes there are many apps and social media platforms that are available to download for free or for a small fee, but identifying which ones you should be using is another task. When people ask which social media platform they should be on, I ask them a few questions: Are you using any social platforms now? Tell me why you decided on that platform? What do you like/dislike about that platform. Now the answers do not tell you which ones to be on or not to be on, but it tells you alot about what a person may enjoy to do or doesn't like to do.

Trying out 2-3 social media platforms that you aren't already using is a great way to start identifying which ones to use. If you never try, you will never know.  I would try a new one every week for 3 weeks. You want to spend 1 day creating a profile and navigating around it. Then read up about best practices on that social media platform. Then during the next 5 days find 2 days use it actively. Do not go away from the social media platform when the 2nd week arrives and you try a new one. Take a day to set up the profile and navigate around it. Next day, once you had time to see the platform, again read about best practices and then try them out. I find that once you have the platform open and profile created it helps you to try out the best practices.

If you are not comfortable with learning new social media platforms or find yourself struggling, then do give yourself an extra week in between. I am young person, so 1 week seems doable since i grasp onto new things. Once you have been doing social media platforms 4-6 weeks(Or even during the first 4-6 weeks), but do not let 6 weeks go by before you ask another tech savy person about their review of social media platform or ask them for latest tips for using the platform better. Another person the ask are your customers. Which platforms do they use?

If you love taking photographs...you will enjoy Instagram
If you love reading articles or news....you will enjoy Twitter
If you enjoy the professional articles and keeping professional contacts in one spot...you will enjoy Linked in.
If you enjoy crafts and recipes...you will enjoy Pinterest