Category: Blog

15 Jun

10 Indicators of A Healthy Business

Gabrielle Luoma Blog, Business Advice Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Employees celebrating a healthy business in conference room

Having a healthy business is a term that we’re hearing more and more of as time goes by. It doesn’t mean having a business that’s in the health industry. Rather, it’s about how you run your business and the way it treats its employees, as well as its customers. A healthy business is a soulful business, that encourages creativity, connection, and big dreams. It cares for its workers and customers and values its purpose.

There are ten signs of a healthy business (actually more, but we’ll settle on ten for now), and we’ve listed them below.

1. A Purpose –

Why are you in the business you’re in? What is your passion, your guiding force? And do those that work with you know the answer to those questions? (The answer should be more than just gaining profits.) Have a Mission for your business that everyone can get behind and work towards to better the world.

2. Clear Vision –

Know what you want to achieve. Have goals, both short and long term, and work diligently towards those goals. Allowing your employees to know those exact goals and how to reach them will help build a healthy working environment and make things move forward more easily.

3. Knowing Your Audience –

Who are you serving? Knowing exactly who your consumers are will create a better understanding of what you should be offering and how you should be offering it. Happy customers are ones that feel respected, which creates happiness in your business and garners more profits.

4. Profits and Value –

Understand what your business is selling (whether that’s products or services). Keep on top of the competition so that you know that your products aren’t being priced at the wrong value. Consistency and professionalism are vital to a healthy business, and a healthy relationship with your customers. It creates credibility and trust.

5. How You Run –

Knowing how your business runs is a very important part of having a healthy business. Be involved in every process, and be aware of the company culture you are building. Customers are more willing to buy into your brand if you’re open about how your business runs and why people are willing to work for your business.

6. Connection and Communication –

Good communication is vital to a strong business. Employees who feel as though they’re heard and understood are better able to connect with each other and yourself, creating an environment that nourishes and creates profits. Strong relationships between staff correlate to a strong relationship with your customers, thus bringing up profits.

7. Create –

Innovation is the key to success, and the key to innovation and creativity is a healthy environment to let it flourish. When you’re creating new and better products or content, you’re setting yourself apart from your competition and building something that much stronger.

8. Your Team –

A team that is strong, both mentally and emotionally, can build a healthy environment. Those that share values, beliefs, and responsibility, are better able to foster a healthy working relationship. Create a team of people that get along, and strengthen that relationship when you can. There’s no reason for people to be stressed at work by having to deal with those they work with. A healthy business has a team that is efficient and positive.

9. Respect –

Respect belongs not only to your company and employees but also to your consumers. Today’s consumers are more and more conscious about social issues, and often times their business goes to those that are respectful of their beliefs. While this can sometimes be dangerous territory to tread, it’s important to be respectful despite personal opinion, while staying true to your own standards. Respect, even in the face of differences, can garner a lot of trust, thus creating a healthier work space.

10. Belief –

If you believe in yourself, your company and your employees, it shows in everything you do and say. Belief garners trust, and trust builds lasting relationships and ideals. Your business should shape your life, and the lives of those that work for and with you. Believing in what you do and who you work with will build your world and your profits.

Your business is as healthy as the effort you put into it. If you’re looking for more information on having a healthy business, feel free to contact us. We’d love to talk it over with you.

01 Jun

Three Tips For Holistic Planning Strategies

Gabrielle Luoma Accounting, Blog Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

The planning stage of any business can be an exciting one. It can also be intimidating. Traditional accounting strategies in particular, can fall short of expectations when the planning stage is over and businesses actively start to flourish. Unforeseen financial setbacks and obstacles are inevitable in business, however holistic business strategies such as Six Sigma advocate a holistic hands-on approach to navigating common issues with regulatory, staffing and marketing accounting.

Finance and Marketing

First off, let’s define proactive vs. reactive strategy. Proactive planning deals with the possibility of future events occurring with continual improvement, going above and beyond the current requirements. Reactive planners wait until something occurs to then engineer a process. Health and wellness companies dealing with the mind, body, spirit can range from small proprietorships with small advertising budgets to larger conventional medicine practices with many doctors on staff. Some business may have the advantage of word of mouth through community, family, and friends, however, Taco Bell budgets usually don’t apply here.

During planning stages and beyond, consulting with a business strategist familiar with your particular industry and demographic can be a positive learning experience in terms of the holistic process. Tools and practices that continually improve the business will decrease the amount of money spent on reactive accounting strategy. For example, a company initially offering specific services may want to consider future growth and how to best serve that process through saving and use of current resources. Another area where holistic strategy works to reduce the amount of time and effort spent on a process is taxes. We can all vouch for the difference that responsible and consistently managed funds makes at the end of the year.

Regulatory Planning

Regulatory issues can also affect financial strategy in health and wellness industries. These issues can represent hidden financial risks that threaten even the biggest companies on the block. We hear about large industry giants getting audited and fined for regulatory violations all the time in the news. A sound business strategy in the should acknowledge new processes down the line. Historically, common business practice entailed crafting new processes alongside the old ones as new regulations came about. These processes would address each individual regulation. Using a more holistic approach would allow businesses to leverage various existing data points and processes to meet regulatory requirements, giving the business more options in addressing these regulations and easier budgeting parameters down the line. Using a point-by-point process is over-engineering and lack efficiency and fluidity. This could possible strain existing resources, increasing overhead costs.

Teams and Technology

Long story short, don’t count on the computer to safeguard you from potential risks involving the business. It takes an experienced team to run a new or existing business. While many accounting firms are getting more and more technologically advanced, the old way of accounting has remained largely unchanged and linear, while sustainable economic approaches are clearly needed now more than ever to grow the businesses of the future. Technology can boost this effort by allowing automation of certain processes that should occur during certain peak periods or in preparation for future business dealings. A business experiences varied cycles of growth and will need pre-existing and holistic approaches to “expect the unexpected.” Health and wellness is one vertical industry that changes according to new research trends, so this is very important. Getting everyone on the same page doesn’t involve an elite number of the organization’s finance team members; it will involve the entire team.

This isn’t a defining guide on what business strategies are best for your enterprise, as specific industry data should be taken into consideration. However, qualified and experienced professionals are available to address some key areas within your business that could be stronger in the long term. While there are many ways to define services, luckily accounting can be pretty straightforward once processes are in place to ensure the business has room to grow, and even make some mistakes along the way.

25 May

Why am I paying so much in taxes? Five Reasons an LLC May Not Be Right for Your Business, Especially as a Startup

Gabrielle Luoma Blog, Starting a new business Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Company liability form with pencil

Have you ever wondered why your business is paying so much in taxes? Choosing the wrong business structure can cost you at tax time, and a tax adviser can help you make the right decision for your company. In particular, some business owners structure their business as a LLC, or limited liability company, and that model is not the best choice for them, especially if their business is a startup. Here are five reasons a LLC might not be the best business model for you, if your business is new, and an explanation of what a LLC actually is.

What is a LLC Anyway?

Many small business owners choose a LLC, considered a hybrid between a sole proprietorship and a corporation for their company, because of the personal liability protection offered, the same as for a corporation. It also requires fewer formalities and less paperwork.

A LLC doesn’t pay income taxes on profits, but must report any profits on its tax return. A LLC can be taxed as a Corporation, an S Corporation, or as a sole proprietor.

Being structured as a LLC works great for some business owners who want to be separate from the business, without dealing with the formalities corporations must, but it doesn’t work well for some companies. If you talk with a competent tax advisor, he may even say it is not the best option for you.

If Your Business is a Startup, Investors May Be Taxed in Other States

Does your business do business in other states than the one you operate in, or does it have an active trade? You may find that passive investors may have to pay income taxes in those states.

There Are Other Tax Implications for Investors in a LLC

Investors are partners. They will have to pay taxes on the business income even when no money has personally been distributed to them.

For Tax Reasons, Some Investors Won’t Be Able to Invest in Your Company

If your startup is a LLC, some investors, including those with venture capital funds, can’t invest in your company. This is because a venture capital fund has tax-exempt partners, and they are unable to receive business or active trade income because of their tax status.

Some Investors Would Rather Own Stock in a C-Corporation

Often investors in startups would rather make a simple investment and acquire a stock, which is for them a simple investment. That way they won’t have any tax complications until they sell the stock. Then they will have a capital gain or loss.

Often start-up owners will hear they shouldn’t form a C-Corporation because they have to pay a “double tax.”

True, a C-Corporation pays tax on net income, or income after salaries and expenses. True, if that company uses its net income to pay dividends to shareholders, they must then pay a tax on money received. Some experts, however, believe that new, growing business needs to raise capital, reinvest that money and grow quickly, grant equity incentives, and then be purchased or go public, the double taxation penalty won’t apply.

The Management of a LLC is not Easy

While some business owners like the structure of a LLC because of its flexibility and simplicity, but sometimes when you use that flexibility, you will actually find things are more complicated than anticipated. This is partially because the structure of a LLC consists of an agreement among the members of the business. This can be any form the members want, while a corporation is more structured. LLCshaven’t been around long, so there is not nearly as much case-law supporting them as for corporations. For that reason, it is hard to determine how courts or government agencies would view a particular agreement.

For more information, feel free to contact us.

24 May

Why Do Small Businesses Fail, and How Can I Prevent This?

Rebecca De La Paz Blog, new business owner, Starting a new business, Tax Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

Many people dream of starting a small business. This is a dream that can become a reality, or—as happens to about 33% of prospective business owners, according to the Small Business Administration – it can result in dismal failure within two years. There’s no magic-bullet solution to ensure a successful business, but if you don’t want to be in that 33%, you should be aware of the common reasons that small businesses fail.

  1. Poor cash flow.

Uneven, unstable, or nonexistent cash flow is the #1 killer of small businesses. New business owners are liable to run into this problem because they have few or no paying customers and because they must overcome an onslaught of new expenses to keep their doors open. Depending on the type of business, the impact can be severe (particularly for brick-and-mortar businesses that must pay rent).

Heavily project-based businesses are also apt to run into cash-flow problems if getting paid takes too long, as the bills don’t stop coming due. Before trying to predict income, sit down with an accountant to forecast your expenses so that you know how much savings you should have on hand and how much capital to seek.

  1. Lack of managerial experience.

Say that you have decided to open a specialty bake shop because you’re an incredibly talented pastry chef. You may know how to pipe a macaron better than the old French masters, but that doesn’t mean you know how to run a bake shop. Many talented individuals are fantastic at the chief service or product that their business offers but lack the business insight they need to make it succeed.

An MBA is not needed to run a business, but it certainly helps to take business courses dedicated to the appropriate industry and to enlist a small-business consultant to help draft a business plan and put it into action. Talk to other business owners of all types and learn from them; ask them what they would and wouldn’t do again when running their businesses.

  1. Not providing what the market wants.

There’s a reason that small-business ownership is just a dream for some people; often, a person’s dream career just is not realistic because it does not have a market. If you live in a small town and want to open a formal dress shop, you should ask, “Do the people in this town have the income and tastes to present sufficient demand, or would a big city have a better market?”

Whether businesses target local or general markets, the inability to find a customer base is often what causes them to fail, despite their owners’ love. Do some market research first before deciding to invest in a business or start a new product line. Such research takes time and money, but it can prevent a major loss—or reveal a major opportunity in a different place or another line of work.

  1. Not keeping up with the pace of growth.

Have you ever heard of “the law of diminishing returns”? It refers to the inability to keep up with growth—both forecasted and unexpected. This problem causes a lot of business owners to crash and burn. When a business has been in famine mode for years because of cash-flow issues but suddenly begins to take off, it can be difficult for its owner to change his or her attitudes about money.

When a business grows, it eventually needs to hire help to keep up with the number of customers, as the owner can’t do it all; if this doesn’t happen, the business will start to lose money. Is that slow, old computer taking up too much time on high-value gigs and preventing work from getting done faster? Invest in both people and equipment when the time comes. Don’t fall victim to the law of diminishing returns.

  1. Not Learning From Failure

Even the wealthiest business owners in the world have had failures, whether they are projects or entire companies. They got to where they are by learning from their failures.

Based on the common causes of business failure outlined above, if the market doesn’t want your product, you must adapt. If a lack of time or poor-quality equipment are holding you back, you must hire help or invest in faster computers and more efficient machinery.

It’s only truly a failure if you do not learn from your mistakes.

By getting a proper handle on your finances and properly managing of all of your resources (including labor), you can drastically increase the chances that your business will succeed. Sometimes, the market is just fickle, requiring you to adapt to changing demands and technologies. By being prepared for all the intricacies of running a business and by having the wisdom to learn from failure, your business won’t be among the 33% that fail in the first 2 years.

18 May

QuickBooks Online Accounting, Why do I need it? You Can Use the QB Marketplace

Gabrielle Luoma Accounting, Blog, QuickBooks Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

 

Woman using Quickbooks online

If you’ve ever wondered why you need QuickBooks Online Accounting, you should check out the advantages of the QB Marketplace. The advantages to using QuickBooks online are many, including mobile functionality, which could let you be able to do such things as capture receipts on a smartphone, an affordable price, being able to share information easily with your accountant, scheduling and sending invoices automatically, phone support, and more.

The Mobile Functionality is Great

With QuickBooks online, there are more than 300 cloud-based apps to make your life easier. You will be able to do accounting for your business anywhere. Whenever you have a spare minute you can run payroll, reconcile accounts, send invoices, and do more on your phone. The number of functions you can perform remotely is surprising, and all you need to capture a receipt on your smartphone is snap a picture of it. You will be able to attach it to any transaction, using a QuickBooks mobile app.

The Automation Will Make Your Life Easier

According to the QuickBooks webpage, 75 % of customers get more work done online. This is partially because of automation features, such as sending and scheduling invoices automatically. You can also download and categorize bank transactions, which will greatly reduce the amount of data entry needed. It will also streamline the accounting processes.

You will be able to get free access to the latest features, upgrades, and products and free data-encrypted back-ups.

The QB Marketplace Will Help You Save Money

An article in Business News Daily,Quickbooks Online Review: Best Small Business Accounting Software”, stated the QuickBooks offers the “best and most affordable paid packages and services for different types of businessesof all accounting software reviewed, with prices starting at only $9.99/month for one user, with access possible for up to 5 users.

In addition, users can save more than the Desktop version for bank download transactions, phone support, updates, cloud hosting, and annual upgrades.

Share Your Information Easily With Your Accountant

QuickBooks Online has all the features accountants recommend. Share information with yours easily through an instant file. This will allow accountants to see your books for free without counting that toward the number of users in a business’s plan. Collaboration and coordination between accountants and business is streamlined.

Phone Support

You will receive free phone support with QuickBooks Online. With SaaS solutions, the IT support staff can usually remotely help and repair software issues with little problem.

When IT teams solve problems on-premises solution, if the problem is in-house, they have to call phone support themselves. Because of free phone support, small business owners will be able to efficiently and quickly bypass accounting issues. Your business will continue to remain productive during the process.

There Are Many Time-Saving Features

The time-saving features QuickBooks provides are truly amazing. Some have been mentioned already.

QuickBooks automates numerous tasks, making accounting less stressful and less time-consuming for small business owners. You will be able to automate bank and credit card transactions, recurring invoices, and bill payments.

In addition, you can categorize expenses and reconcile them without having to manually do so for every single transaction. In addition, because of the wide collection of built-in reports, you won’t have to create reports from scratch.

Data is backed up automatically, saving you from worries about the safety of your books or concerns of whether they are up-to-date. In addition, you have email invoices, for quicker payment, and more than more than 150 third-party apps. These allow e-commerce, email marketing, payment processors, payroll services, time tracking, and more.

For more information on the advantages of QuickBooks Online Accounting, feel free to contact us.

 

 

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