It’s Halloween, but don’t be afraid of starting a business

Halloween might be scary, but don't be afraid of starting a business.

While the ghosts and goblins of Halloween might be scary, don’t be afraid of starting a business if you’re experienced in your field and prepared for a new, life-changing adventure. (Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons)

Happy Halloween! Today you’ll probably come across lots of ghosts, goblins, and monsters that are sure to put a little fear into anyone. However, there are certain things you shouldn’t be afraid of doing in life. One of these is starting a small business. While it can be a little daunting, you should not be afraid of the potential risks if you are ready and prepared for the adventure. Here’s why:

– It can bring in lots of income

Ideally, starting a business will lead to a decent stream of income for yourself and your family. Many individuals wind up working at a day job during the startup phases of their businesses, but once they are financially stable, they should be able to focus on running a company full-time. Not only is small business ownership monetarily beneficial in many cases, it can also be quite rewarding knowing that you are supporting yourself through an entrepreneurial dream you’ve always had. Plus, having significant income entering your bank account can give you more flexibility and creativity with how to run your business and your personal life.

– It gives you credibility

Many self-employed individuals who provide services to others or who sell items online, for example, don’t own their own businesses. This is the case for a variety of reasons. Remember that by starting a business, you can gain the much-desired credibility of being a formal business entity with “Inc.” or “LLC” in the name of your company. From customers to partners to investors, outsiders who don’t know you will be much more willing to do business with a formally established organization rather than an individual.

– It gives you flexibility

If you feel way too tied down to a day job, don’t be afraid of starting a business because it’ll give you more flexibility in your life. While the startup phase and ongoing life of a company can certainly be time-consuming, small business owners can often work around their business schedules to handle what they need to do in their personal lives. In addition to this, there are options on what types of business structures are out there, where to operate a business from, how much income to aim for each year, and so many other flexible aspects that are in the control of a business owner.

– There are helpful resources out there

When launching a small business, your top priority should be to take advantage of the resources available to you. These may include free marketing opportunities, advice from business mentors, or using an accounting firm that specializes in handling business taxes. First-time business owners must often make their way through unfamiliar territory. That’s why getting assistance from others is so important. When you know you’re in good hands, the fear of getting into this new experience will be reduced significantly.

Don’t be afraid of the accounting and tax obligations of starting a business, either. To ensure you are in good standing with the IRS, work with the accounting pros at 1800Accountant. Learn more by calling 1-888-749-0117 or by visiting www.1800accountant.com.

5 Tips on Motivating Small Business Employees

We can all use a pep talk, a walk in the park, and some recreation to keep us from getting burned out from our work each day. If you are a small business owner and have employees working for you, 1800Accountant recommends the following tips to keep your employees motivated as much as possible:

1. Set a positive example for your employees each day.
Imagine having your employees sit and watch everything you do each minute of the day for one whole day. Think about how they’d perceive your actions. If you act motivated and confident about your work, these traits should rub off on your employees in the way they carry themselves. It’s amazing how much an upbeat attitude can positively affect those around you. On the contrary, if you aren’t thrilled to be at work every day, your employees could reflect this behavior themselves.

2. Offer employee incentives to encourage them to reach their goals.
As a small business owner, a great way of keeping your employees excited and interested in their jobs is to offer incentives to them. For instance, offer a small bonus to one or more employees for meeting a high goal. Buy lunch for everyone in the office for doing something above and beyond what they’re asked to do. In other words, give your employees a reason to reach for the stars on a daily basis. This will make a work environment more interesting and, more importantly, will keep everyone motivated to work harder on a consistent basis.

3. Encourage employee feedback and ideas from them.
When your employees are comfortable speaking their minds openly about their jobs, they will be more willing to keep up their levels of motivation. This is because someone who is unhappy with a job and is afraid to talk about his or her struggles is more likely to be in a rut when it comes to work. An honest and upfront relationship between employees and their boss is a fantastic way for everyone to be in good spirits.

4. Hold events/activities away from the workplace.
It may be helpful for small business employees to get out of the office and do different things together once in a while. These recreational activities are great for both motivation and team-building to get everyone more comfortable with each other in a business environment. These activities also help employees get their mind off work for a bit, which is necessary to stay fresh.

5. Mix things up on occasion.
People sometimes tire of doing similar tasks over and over again. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to mix things up. In a small business, give your employees some different duties here and there to keep them fresh. Doing different things uses a different part of the brain, and this can keep everyone motivated by knowing that there could be some fun twists and turns in their jobs on occasion.

Turn to 1800Accountant for all of your small business development and accounting needs today. Call 1800Accountant today at 1-888-749-0117 or visit www.1800accountant.com to learn more.

Benefits of Incorporating a Small Business

When it comes to business structure, a simple sole proprietorship works well for some small business owners. However, the incorporation of a business comes with many benefits that can simplify your life and make your business more attractive to potential partners, investors, or employees. Here are a few basic reasons to consider when thinking about incorporating a small business.

– Protection

A major advantage to incorporation is the protection it offers to your personal assets. Corporations have the ability to separate and protect the personal assets of those who own them so that they are not attached to a business as they are in a sole proprietorship. Most people want to ensure that their personal vehicles, homes, and bank accounts or investments will be safe, just in case a legal issue arises within a small business. This is why establishing a corporation is an effective way of putting up a wall between your personal and professional activities. Plus, corporations give small business owners “limited liability” of business debts and other business-related obligations.

– Authority and credibility

Incorporating can give your small business a more authoritative name, in addition to more credibility. While sole proprietorships may act as formal businesses, corporations with “Inc.” or “LLC” included in their names tend to stand out when it comes to potential customers or business partners. With a sole proprietorship, outsiders may not be familiar with the person involved in the business and what he or she can truly offer to them. Incorporating also offers the option for name protection, which prevents others from utilizing the name of a business that you want to use. In addition, corporations can maintain an ongoing existence, no matter if an owner leaves the organization or dies

– Tax benefits

As far as taxes go, corporations and LLCs come with a little more flexibility than their sole proprietorship/partnership counterparts. A corporation can avoid double taxation on any profits or dividends by electing to use the filing status known as Subchapter S. As for LLCs, their owners can choose to have their businesses taxed as corporations instead of utilizing the traditional pass-through tax structure of an LLC in which taxes incurred by the business are passed through to a business owner’s personal tax requirements. Along with this flexibility, businesses that are incorporated often face lower tax rates and additional deduction opportunities than those that are more informal.
1800Accountant is a national tax and business development firm. If you plan to start a business, or you’re looking to incorporate one you already own, contact 1800Accountant today for assistance. Call 1-888-749-0117 or check out www.1800accountant.com.

Why Problem-Solving is So Important in a Small Business

If “problem-solving” is one of the skills listed on your résumé, prospective employers will likely be eager to interview you for a job. The same thinking is applicable to small business owners who have this skill when resolving issues within their companies. 1800Accountant explains why problem-solving is very important in any business.

A great benefit to being able to solve problems related to customers or clients is that these individuals will appreciate your business even more. Some people don’t want to put in the effort that’s involved in taking care of brain-twisting situations. They simply choose to set aside these issues. This is why small business owners who provide top-notch customer service will retain more clients, gain more respect as a trustworthy individual, and be more profitable in the end.

Solving problems that involve employees or contractors can lead to better working relationships between yourself and those with whom you work. Anything from a simple argument about something to a more large-scale dispute regarding the way a business operates could present itself at any time. Acting cool under pressure and designing a workable solution to these problems is a highly desired ability for small business owners in all industries. Plus, problem-solving will reflect the image of a business in the eyes of potential customers.

Finding the Right Solution

Resolving any other issues that arise is beneficial as well. Unfortunately, some uncomfortable circumstances pop up over time that are out of our control, so you have to be prepared for them by keeping a plan of action in mind. These could include disaster situations related to weather. Instead of freezing up and not knowing how to evacuate your employees or how to protect your office, you should definitely think of potential hurdles that could affect your small business in the future.

Ultimately, patience is an integral part of problem-solving. If you are a patient small business owner who is willing to spend additional time working through a problem, you will enjoy more success. By having that passion to do the right thing whenever possible, others will view you as an individual and your small business in a very positive light.

For all of your small business support and accounting needs, work with the experts at 1800Accountant. Call 1-888-749-0117 or visit www.1800accountant.com for further information.

Tips on Setting Your Rates/Prices for Your Small Business

Creating price tags for a small business takes a great deal of thought.

Lots of consideration must go into deciding what the prices or rates are for a small business before designing price tags.

When potential customers look into what a small business offers, one of the most common questions on their minds is how much the products or services will cost them. According to 1800Accountant, there are a few simple things to ponder when determining if “the price is right” during and beyond the small business development process.

In terms of pricing products, the phrase “parts and labor” should be top-of-mind. Whether you physically create tangible items yourself or outsource this process to an outside manufacturer, the materials needed to make them and the work it takes for the actual production are keys to setting prices for these products. Add up these two costs to get a baseline price. This amount is how much you’ll pay to make them yourself or have them made. Then determine an amount to add to this sum in order to make your products worth selling. If it doesn’t cost much to make something, you probably won’t be able to tack on a significant dollar amount to the price. When selling items by mail or online, shipping costs may have to be factored in to the prices, as well as state and local sales taxes that may apply. These separate costs are out of your control under certain circumstances.

Setting the rates for services that a company offers is often more challenging. This is because a service is not a tangible item that takes parts and labor to design. However, items are generally used in some form to provide services. For example, a consultant may have to use a computer, a phone, or Internet access to disperse his or her advice to a client, even if physical materials are not being offered to the client. Take time and travel into account since your time and effort you have to make to meet your clients in-person is valuable. When adding up these expenses, make a reasonable judgment about how much your services are worth and what people would likely pay for them to come up with a price.

Along with setting specific prices, it’s important to consider offering discounts, specials, rebates, and free giveaways once in a while to offer some variety to your customer base. This mixes things up and gives customers a reason to return to your small business in the future. It’s also wise to give things away in the early stages as a promotional strategy to attract first-timers to your company. In fact, this may be a requirement in the startup phase. It might be a financial loss at first, but it could be well worth it later on.

Striking The Right Balance

In the big picture, small business prices should be profitable yet competitive. Make sure you are charging enough to turn a profit, but don’t overcharge to the point that potential customers will choose another company over yours because a competitor has much lower rates. Research is perhaps the biggest priority to make yourself aware of what others out there are doing so you can effectively position your company in the marketplace.

Get all of the business development assistance you need to ensure your small business is running as smoothly as possible by working with 1800Accountant. Call 1-888-749-0117 or click over to www.1800accountant.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: The photograph of the price tag included in this article is used with permission via the Creative Commons license through Flickr.