Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is the liquidity crunch shackling down your business?

The burning question on every business owner’s mind will be the impact of the current economic recession on their business. ML, Lehman Bros., AIG… what darkness awaits in future?

Small businesses, for the most part, are on a strict budget and do not have a lot of expendable capital. Smart tactics one can adopt to wait out and survive the severe downturn cycle in the economy:

  • Rethink Existing Business Model: The business model followed during stable or growing economy might not bear the burden of the financial crunch. Check out how you can make the business model leaner. That means cutting out the extra flab and making the business compact and better able to survive the rough tide. A part time CFO/Controller can help you help you overhaul your business model

  • Never Alienate Customers: There is obvious liquidity crisis and budgets are on tight leash. This is actually not the right time to reduce marketing budget drastically. Sit down and plan the areas wherein you can control cost which will not have negative impact on existing customer or for finding new prospects. Your survival depends on steady stream of customers. Shifting from traditional marketing to outsourced internet marketing can probably help your save costs.
  • Focus More on Revenue Generation Tasks: Try 80:20 principal for your business. Spare 80% of your resources for core revenue generation and outsource bookkeeping, accounting, tax, repetitive SEO work, email marketing work, website tweaking and maintenance etc. Outsource back office support that does not require on hand presence. Time saved will equal to more time for revenue generation tasks.
  • Increase Business Cash Flow: Get your billing cycles tighter by timely collections. For this bookkeeping and accounting statements needs to be clear and in order. A professional bookkeeping and accounting vendor can help you get your billing cycles in place by sending statements well in advance and making collections procedure smooth.

  • Keep Positive Attitude: Economy runs in a cycle. So after this downturn, economy will stabilize and it will have start climbing up. The time gap is uncertain. Small business owners need to keep a positive attitude get disciplined and flexible to manage the downturn.

Entrepreneurs must understand markets in order to fashion business plans and strategies that can be effectively implemented as per the current environment. You will feel more empowered once your business survives and continues to grow beyond this phase.

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Friday, September 12, 2008


Bookkeeping Services
Business record management or bookkeeping might be of low priority compared to other revenue generation activities, however regular record management not only makes business reports more sensible, but can prove a real stress relief during tax submission. Here’s what you can do to make record management easy:
  1. Maintain separate accounts for business and personal provisions. It is very essential to differentiate the two and it is not simple. Verify and find out legitimate business expenses and which cannot be put under business expenses.

  2. Get receipts or invoices for all business expenses and keep them in a monthly file – at the end of the month attach these to your bank statement, and make sure none are missing. Use this information to enter into you record keeping system or to give to your expert book keeper.

  3. Use a separate credit card for business related expenses. It will be easier for management of records.

  4. Maintain proper order and filing system for all records. It will be waste of time to hunt and search of document before the tax preparation season. Get organized before the start of fiscal year and keep year wise records of all financial and business relevant transactions.

  5. Keep proper documentary record of assets purchased which might include vehicles, equipment, real estate etc relevant for business.

  6. Maintain clear employee compensation records.

  7. Keep your tax records year wise and up to date. It is easiest to keep these broken down by month, and file them in plastic sleeves in a ring binder or in manila folders.

  8. Keep a log of your business travel in your vehicle. Note the kilometer reading on the odometer at the beginning of the financial year and then enter the kilometers by date each time you use the vehicle for a business purpose.
All of the above activities are required to avoid mistakes and penalties when preparing accounts. Set aside few hours every week to maintain systematic records. Like a lot of the administrative business related to running a business, they just require establishing good habits and persistence. But if you apply these rules of good record management now and follow through, it will create a positive difference during tax season and your accounting will be easier all year long.

If you are still very pressed for time, outsource bookkeeping work for as low as 15 to 20$ hourly charges to get the required back office support to get your business organized. Established bookkeeping service providers offer these services online too and you can have access to your data 24x7 from anywhere. This could be easy to maintain and manage.

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