Tag Archives: Small Business

bookkeeping

Start the New Year Right: Bookkeeping Tips for Entrepreneurs

Ugghhh! Bookkeeping. It is often one of the most neglected elements of business for entrepreneurs. It isn’t sexy. It isn’t fun. Calculating income and outgo. Projecting quarterly taxes estimates. Reporting. Entrepreneurs want to be out there doing. Fixing. Selling.

Don’t neglect your books this year. Start the year off right and adopt these simple tips and you will thank us December next year.

Separate Business and Personal Accounts

The very first step you should take as a business owner–even if you are a small business, sole-proprietor–is to separate your business and personal accounts. When a client pays you, it can be tempting to just dump that money into your personal account. Especially if it is all coming and going “out of the same pot.” Don’t give in to this temptation. Also avoid the temptation to pay personal expenses from business accounts. It is fine to disburse funds to your personal account or to pay yourself a salary from your business accounts, but keep it separate. No vacations on the corporate credit cards–no matter how good the rewards are! Set up a separate account for your business and deposit all income into (and pay all business expenses from) that account.

Pay Yourself First

Your personal stability is as important as your business’s stability. Make it a habit to save a certain percentage of whatever you earn.

Keep On Top of It All

So you hate bookkeeping. That is fine. If you don’t need the services of a full accounting firm, it is okay. Find a good bookkeeper. Many will moonlight for a couple hundred dollars a month. This can be a cost-effective way to keep things all in order. Make sure you are on top of quarterly tax estimates. Track and record your expenses. And invest in bookkeeping software. You will thank us (and so will your bookkeeper!). Finally, know what’s going on in your business from week to week and month to month. You don’t have to do your books to know your books.

Document Your Processes

In a startup business, things are changing rapidly. Sometimes on a daily basis. As you develop processes–no matter how immature they are–document your processes. As the processes mature and change, update your process manual. This is not only common sense, but it will save you a world of headaches should you ever have to face an emergency or unexpected absence from your business.

Be sure to follow these simple guidelines in 2017 and you will be well on your way to keeping your business on sure footing, financially.

Why “Why?” is Vital to Every Entrepreneur

Why “Why?” is Vital to Every Entrepreneur

Over the past several years, with his juggernaut Tedx Talk Start With Why and best-selling book of the same title, Simon Sinek has popularized a concept first introduced by Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Although the concept of “beginning with the end in mind” was first applied by Covey to the habits that highly effective people develop, and then later by Sinek to how leaders inspire action, this concept is vital to every entrepreneur.

“Why?” Informs Everything for the Entreprepreneur
Entrepreneurs solve problems. Whether he is a small business owner or a VC-funded entrepreneur seeking to grow and scale a business, understanding the “why” is essential to entrepreneurial success.

The why–or the purpose–drives (or should drive) all strategic decisions for the entrepreneur. As Covey pointed out, the person who has his or her eye firmly focused on the larger why is positioned for success. The entrepreneur who thoroughly understands his “why” and can articulate it clearly is able to inspire others to join his cause, to take action, and to build something that is greater than the sum of the parts.

How to Find the “Why?”
Many entrepreneurs understand the why instinctively. Solving a problem is an impulse for the entrepreneur. He often “just knows” that it needs to be done. And many entrepreneurs are driven, focused and passionate by nature, so they may be able to influence and recruit talent, employees and investors to join them without fully exploring the why. But what does the entrepreneur who understands the power of the “why?” but does not yet have it clearly articulated do?

1. Identify the Problem That is Being Solved
Take the time to clearly identify the problem you are solving. No matter how complex the solution is that you imagine, distill the problem you are solving into one simple sentence. “Our company solves X (problem)”

2. Add The Target Market
You have identified the problem you solve. Now identify who you solve it for. “Our company solves X (problem) for Y (person/group of people).”

3. The “Five Why’s” Exercise
Startup guru, Ash Maurya developed the Lean Canvas as a way for entrepreneurs to easily articulate their basic business model. In the process of filling out a Lean Canvas, Maurya introduces an exercise to help the entrepreneur truly uncover the fundamental problem he solves. It is a simple exercise, but one that takes a little work. Once you identify the problem you believe you are solving, you begin to ask “Why is that a problem?” Once you have an answer to that question, you take that answer and ask the question again (up to five times). Pushing through the simple, obvious answers to this exercise uncovers the deep problem that an entrepreneur is really solving. Once you uncover the problem that is an emotional pain point for your target market, then you are equipped to connect in a meaningful way that will ultimately drive sales and profitability.

 

Most Unique Businesses to Check Out: Part I

Unique Businesses

PhotoCreds: news.artnet.com

There’s a notion out there that everything under the sun has already been created. Nothing original exists. Just recycled ideas dressed in different clothes. But we reject that notion. Maybe some things are borrowed but that doesn’t mean it’s been done that way YOU do it! So we’re proud of these entrepreneurs who had the creative ideas and determination to go out on a limb and try something new. The trend we’re noticing in these businesses is A) combinations of services and products under one roof and B) giving back, using a product to shed light on a worldwide problem, or supporting an underprivileged community. We like these trends. We hope these trends are here to stay.
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Inspirational Quotes from Successful Entrepreneurs

InspirationalQuotes

 

As you begin your business, the only guaranteed thing you can count on is that there will be obstacles. While that seems a grim statement to start off on, it’s the truth. So as you’re bulldozing through those roadblocks, what will keep you going? When you’ve run out of cliché sayings or have read all the motivational posters with pictures of eagles on them that tell you to soar, where will you go for the words you need to blaze through to a successful finish line? If you answered Arkansas Capital’s blog page, you are correct and therefore one of our favorite entrepreneurs. Read below for some of the most inspirational quotes from some of the most successful entrepreneurs.
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Startups to Spy On in 2016

2016StartUpsBlog

Inc.com has released their list of startups they think you should be keeping an eye on in 2016 and we picked our favorites! Besides your startup – yours is always our top favorite.

 23andME – an informative and potentially life-saving human genome testing service that allows the public to discover their family history and inherited traits.

ClassPass – an NYC startup offering all-access memberships to fitness classes in gyms and studios across the city for a flat fee of $99/month.
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