The High Cost Of Disorganization

As a business owner, have you ever wondered just how much your disorganization is costing you? All that time you waste looking for things, files, or paying someone to clean up your books, research issues after you receive a government notice, or a vendor statement with a high balance? it really is money down the drain in lost productivity.

As an entrepreneur, you have to be aware of many things in your business. It is your responsibility as a business owner after all.

Here is a list of documents and things that you should keep organized:

  • Business registration (Federal and State)
  • Company bylaws for corporations
  • The operating agreement for LLCs
  • Employment agreement
  • Employee Records
  • Payroll Federal and State Filings and Payments
  • Bank and Credit Cards Statements
  • Deposit details (copies of checks received and invoices)
  • Check copies or paystubs
  • Business Tax Returns
  • Customer Contact Records
  • With today’s cloud technology, getting your documents organized is simple and easy to implement compared to the high cost of disorganization.

An organized system should be a helpful tool, not a hindrance to productivity. Stop procrastinating this very important aspect of owning a business, avoid the high costs and get to work in organizing your business documentation.

Carolina Aponte

How To Overcome The Most Common Business Obstacles

Running a small business is challenging, let’s face it, if becoming a successful entrepreneur was easy, everyone would be doing it. Of course, success is definitely possible, and if you are truly determined you increase your chances of success by tenfold.

And if you can overcome the following common obstacles to success, you will give yourself the best possible odds of achieving your goals.

Mindset Change

Your mindset is your collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought habits.  And your thought habits affect how you think, what you feel, and what you do. In other words, your mindset is a big deal.

You need to change your own mentality. You need to develop a mindset where you believe that no challenge is too great and you need to stay as positive as possible, especially when things get tough.

Set Goals

The effect of setting goals cannot be overemphasized, a defined vision allows you to set goals that define the path you plan to take and how you envision your progress along the way. A strong vision, along with clear-cut goals, will give you a strategy for achieving success.

Ask For Help

The truth is, you cannot do it all yourself and you do not have all the skill sets to do it either. You need help that is but obvious. Delegate responsibilities to others, consult with or hire experts in the areas you are stuck with. Independent contractors or consultants are an economical place to start – they contribute as needed and get to know the ropes without the expense and management oversight that employees need.

It is OK to ask for help, no shame in doing so, actually more power to you for recognizing what your weaknesses are.

Manage Your Money

Money makes the world go around, so you must not forget about your money! This is one of the most important aspects of a business since it’s pretty much your lifeblood, so you need to be able to manage it effectively. Keep track of how much you have, where it’s coming from and where it’s going. You may be able to do it yourself at first, but as your business grows, you may find you don’t have the time, so you may want to think about getting an accountant or bookkeeper. 

When you are feeling overwhelmed on the grounds of challenges, ask yourself why you started it in the first place. This will give you clarity of mind and motivation to finish what you started despite the bundle of challenges you face.

Carolina Aponte

 

 

Ways to grow your business in 2019

Happy New Year!

If you are not focus on growth chances are you will either be stagnate or become part of ‘failed’ businesses statistics. So if you are running a small business with the intention to grow it, here are some tips that may help you achieve it.

  1. Automate, automate, automate!

If you are working with a small team or by yourself, you need to create systems for your business that save you time and effort. Creating a system for generating and sending invoices, for example, means you won’t have to start from scratch every time.

You can create systems for virtually everything from scheduling meetings with prospects, to creating templates for repetitive tasks. And as you scale your operation, having systems in place can give your growing business an edge.

2. Marketing is a numbers game

Tearing yourself away from day-to-day tasks and deadlines to focus on marketing is hard, but it’s essential if you want your business to keep going — and growing. Chances are you’re wasting plenty of time that could be used for marketing activities.

If you want to find that time, try tracking the time you spend on different tasks for at least a week. Once you have a better idea of how much time you’re putting in each day, you’ll see where you have time to spare to promote your business and launch new marketing campaigns.

3. Organization is key

Inconsistent record-keeping practices like throwing receipts into a shoebox or not keeping track of mileage will come back to haunt you at tax time. When it comes to time tracking, especially, poor record-keeping can cost you money, lots of money!

Create bins or folders to better organize your paperwork, do the same with your electronic records. Use names that will make it easy to find a year or two from now.

4. Understand your business finances

Even if you hire an accountant at tax time, every entrepreneur should understand the basics of bookkeeping and accounting. You have options, you might take an accounting course online or attend a workshop at one of the many non-profit organizations in town such as WBCC. You might also see if your accountant is able to provide guidance and consulting in this area.

If you’re still tracking your income and expenses on Excel spreadsheets, please do yourself a favor and consider upgrading to an system like QuickBooks Online or Xero. These tools are built for small businesses and can help you automate as well as keep you informed on how your business finances are doing throughout the year.

Growth can be challenging but also very rewarding, now that we have a fresh new year is a great time to work on your business goals.

Carolina Aponte

 

 

 

Why are your clients not paying their bills?

For a number of years I was the accounting manager for a multi million, multi location corporation where one of my main functions was to oversee the accounts payable processing. We paid thousands of bills per month and had many small business vendors.

I would get calls from vendors trying to find out why their bills were not being paid, they were frustrated, they were angry. Over and over again, after researching with the AP team, there were recurring issues from these vendors that prevented us from paying them timely. It was not because the company did not want to pay them or did not have the cash to pay them.

Actually, most customers want to pay you on time, but they won’t if there are problems with the invoice.

For example:

  • Invoices are missing critical information such as mailing address, telephone number, purchase order number, etc
  • Invoice does not have ‘terms’ such as due on receipt, Net 10, Net 30
  • Invoice is sent in too late –past their payable cycle
  • No flexibility in payment methods –checks, credit cards, PayPal, etc

The fact is that poor AR practices cause a number of issues for businesses. From extending credit to unqualified customers to failing to follow up with past-due accounts in a timely manner, poor AR practices suck time, money and productivity from a business.  The worst part of all is that many of the problems are easily avoidable.

Now that we manage the books for many small business, when they first start working with us we quickly identify the AR issues and work with our clients to rectify and improve the processes that insures a positive cash flow for their business.

Carolina Aponte