Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What departments do you wish your small business had?

If you worked for a large corporation and you had a legal question, you could contact the legal department and get the answer.  The same would be true of accounting questions or human resources.  Small businesses do not have the luxury of departments such as these although there are more and more outsourced options available to fill these needs.

As a small business owner, what department do you most wish you had?  I really wish we had an IT department.  I am not very tech savvy and it would be so nice to have someone to call when my Chrome starts acting weird or I can't get a program to load properly.  There are lots of computer and IT small businesses out there, but I have yet to find one who is really helpful with software related issues.

We provide outsourced accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, sales tax and CFO services and we know of firms who provide outsourced human resources services.  Legal services are always easy to locate although we recommend you look for an attorney with business experience.  There are plenty of tax accountants available to assist small business owners and we suggest you make sure the provider you select has experience with the type of business you are running.  Not all businesses are alike and if you are running a farm, you want a tax accountant who understands taxes for agriculture.  Marketing is another area which causes difficulties for small business owners.  Finding a firm who understands and operates within your budget is important.

There are ways to get the department you need for your small business but make sure to do your research and pick the right provider.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How can a small business owner sleep better?

There are many things that keep a small business owner awake at night: their family, their bank account, their employees and their business.  How can they rest easier?

Finding business/life balance is tricky.  It really can't be avoided when a business is in the start-up phase but realizing there is an end to the imbalance can help.  Once the business is stable and cash flowing on its own, hiring employees and outsourcing tasks can ease the owner's burdens and free up time for family.

Getting the business to the point that the bank account is no longer a worry requires a solid business plan, regular reading of the financials and making changes as needed and keeping clients or customers happy so they keep coming back and bringing their friends with them.

Keeping employees off your mind requires hiring the right people, training them properly and rewarding them appropriately.  Sites like zapposinsights or the Disney Institute can give a small business owner ideas on how to develop an employee training strategy and a business culture which will eliminate some of the worries of being an employer.  Having the right people helping with payroll processing, payroll tax filings and human resource issues is also good for reducing employee related worries.

Most small business owners treat their business like a family member so they will always worry about it.  Doing some regular risk management planning and surrounding themselves with trusted advisors like an accountant, banker, insurance agent and lawyer can help reduce their concerns.

Knowing that you have people who have your back can help anyone sleep better!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Protecting your assets-sometimes the little things are dangerous.

We talk about risk management and safeguarding your assets from time to time on this blog and we try to stay as current as we can on the subject.  I set through a webinar today on internal controls and one thing that struck me in the technology section was the risk of carrying around information on a flash or thumb drive.  This is a common practice and one we use regularly.  I learned today how to encrypt such a device.  It is easy to do and the link here will give you the details.  http://www.tomsguide.com/faq/id-2318737/encrypt-usb-flash-drive.html