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10 Things To Do To Get Your Business Ready for 2019

Guest Article December is here! Before you get all soft and gooey about the holidays, it is important to take time to set things up right so you can achieve your business goals for 2019! You must plan your success for next year. Here are 10 things to do to get your business ready for 2019 Clean up your accounting records Hopefully, you use accounting software to keep track of your revenues and expenses, but if you haven’t been keeping everything up-to-date, it’s time to buckle down. If your receipts haven’t been entered into your system, it’s a good idea to make that happen asap.  IRS typically does not need receipts for items under $75 that relate to transportation or meals.  But, if you get audited, you may be questioned. You need to get your paperwork together and call the bookkeeper or accountant before tax time when everyone gets slammed. Remember, business taxes are due March 15th, not in April like personal taxes. Update Vendor 1099’s and W2’s IRS 1099- MISC is a year-end form you send to all non-employees such as consultants and contractors.  Anyone who you’ve paid more than $600 during the year should receive one, as well as any partnerships, LLCs or companies you may have contracted during the year. The IRS requires 1099’s out the door before Jan 31, 2019. If you have employees, you need to issue their W2’s by January 31, 2019. If you use a payroll service, they should provide W2’s for you and your employees. Get your 2019 W9 filled out and signed and scanned Take care of this small task this way, you’ll have this handy when someone asks for it.  Some vendors or corporate clients will ask for this form before paying any invoice. If your business is a sole proprietor, LLC or an S-Corporation, you will need to provide a W9 to get paid. Set up your files for 2019 If you are like me, you create files for next year at the end of every year.  My filing system is by year, then category then month.  How do…

Top 10 Veteran-Owned Business Resources

It’s the 5th annual National Veteran Small Business Week. If you’re one of the 250,000 veterans who transitions to civilian life each year and are thinking about starting a business there are resources that will help you launch or grow your big idea. There are government programs and non-profits whose mission is specifically designed to support veteran-owned businesses, reservists, active-duty service members, transitioning service members, and their dependents, spouses or survivors. Whether you need a business plan, financing, certification, a mentor, or just small business training, there are quite a few resources available. Here are the Top 10 Veteran-Owned Business Resources. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) This government organization is devoted exclusively to promoting veteran entrepreneurship, the OVBD facilitates the use of all SBA programs by veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists, active-duty service members, transitioning service members, and their dependents or survivors. SBA programs provide access to capital and preparation for small business opportunities. They can also connect veteran small business owners with federal procurement and commercial supply chains. The Veterans Business Outreach Program oversees the Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) across the country. Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) This is a one-stop-shop for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses looking to start, purchase, or grow a business. The VBOC has centers in 19 states across the US, where you can participate in transition assistance programs including Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot, as well as business development assistance such as training, counseling and mentoring, and resource referrals.. It’s also a great place to meet other veterans in your area. This small business program offers business plan workshops, concept assessments, mentorship, and training for eligible veterans. Find your nearest center. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) SBDCs are often located at a university near you, and they are a great place to start. The SBDC Network is committed to empowering veterans with the tools and professional expertise to succeed in business. They offer free and low cost training for veterans and anyone else interested in starting a business. They will also walk you through government certification for women, minority, veteran owned and…

10 Most Costly Mistakes for Small Business Owners

Running a business is tough. When you put out your shingle that says open for business you take on at least 12 jobs at once including CEO, CFO, Social media manager and Secretary, any of which could cause you to go out of business quickly if you make a significant mistake. Below are a few of the costliest mistakes I’ve seen repeatedly in my nearly two decades of running a professional service business. Hopefully, reviewing them will reduce your chances of making these kinds of errors. Carefully read the 10 most costly mistakes for small business owners, it will help you stay on the right path. Poor Cash Flow Management Cash really is KING. The most common mistake in business in not staying on top of cash flow. If you do not carefully manage your cash, you could soon be out of business, even if business is booming. Make sure that payment schedules are clear and agreed upon, and enforce them, a slipping payment schedule is a sign of a breakdown of some kind – even if it’s only a mail delivery problem. You need to track your accounts receivable turnover ratio, or how fast money is received once an invoice is issued to a customer. You also need to accept digital payments in all forms. Push for EFT or Electronic Funds Transfer and Wire payments. Offer discounts for early payments such as 2% for Net 10 payments. Never offer discounts for Net 30 payments, that is a business standard. When possible demand at least a one-third deposit. Start your collections process on Day 31 when payment has not been received, and don’t hesitate to make a call to track down your funds. Poor Project Management There’s external and internal project management. External is about the client management and internal management is about how you need to mange and communicate with your team. You must clarify exactly what is expected, when it will be delivered to clients. It will serve you well to go out of your way to clarify in writing a project plan after the contract is signed.…

SmallBizLady’s Summer Reading List 2018

As you know by now, summertime is when I catch up on my business book reading. Every year, I take a look at all the books I’ve been sent in the last six months to see what’s worth a good read. There are some gems that have been released this year in entrepreneurship, marketing, and productivity, and these picks are already making me itch to grab a cold glass of lemonade and curl up on my favorite beach to read them. Check out my Summer reading list for 2018. 1. Off The Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam If you feel a lot of busyness even when you’re not working on your business, this book is for you. Laura Vanderkam, a time-management expert, gives you seven counterintuitive principles you need to adhere to in order to feel like you have all the time in the world, as well as attitudes to help you remain calm even when you feel overwhelmed. 2. Boss Bride: The Powerful Woman’s Playbook for Love and Success by Charreah K. Jackson Just a few decades ago, women had to choose between having a serious relationship and their careers or a business. Now you can have both and excel. An international love and success coach, as well as Senior Editor at Essence Magazine, Charreah Jackson shares tips and strategies on how to be a powerful woman who refuses to sacrifice either her career or her love life, this book will help you have it all. 3. Attention Pays: How to Drive Profitability, Productivity and Accountability by Neen James Do you ever feel like you’re capable of more than you’re actually achieving? It might simply be a matter of knowing what to put your attention on. In this book, author Neen James helps you cut through the noise to put your focus on the right things to increase profitability, get better results, and improve your attention on the right things.   4. The Parker Principles: 10 Leadership Force Multipliers by Mel Parker Mel Parker knows a thing or two about leadership. Once an…

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