Importance of Protecting A Small Business

A small business entity is multifaceted. It is important and should be protected in all possible ways due to the uncertain nature of life. 1800Accountant recommends a few basic methods of how to protect your small business and why having protection for it is an absolute must.

Small business protection covers a broad spectrum of areas. One of the more easily graspable ways to protect a business is by ensuring your material items associated with the business are safe. This means protecting an office complex, computers, phones, equipment, and other tangible things that cost a lot of money. You may want to get insurance for some of these higher-valued items. In addition, you should have a fireproof safe for important documents, along with backups of records that can be scanned and saved digitally or stored on external hard drives and USB ports. Computer files are a large part of various industries today, so make sure you protect them in case of a potential issue. The last thing you want to have happen is to lose some important legal documents or customer records because you failed to plan ahead.

Protecting yourself and any employees involved in your small business is also key. This can be done by getting disability insurance for individuals in case someone gets hurt on the job. There is lots of pressure put on small business owners who operates a actual locations with employees. Do yourself a huge favor by getting appropriate insurance coverage to protect the wise minds with whom you work. Don’t forget about having insurance for yourself, either. Along with this coverage, it’s worth noting that keeping a clean and organized environment for your business is an inexpensive way of preventing possible problems from arising.

Perhaps one of the most effective ways of protecting a small business is opting to open up a corporation or an LLC. If you operate as a sole proprietor, meaning you don’t actually have an official business entity that is registered in your state, you are open to potential liabilities that could affect your personal assets. When operating a corporation or other business structure, however, these can offer protection to you. They essentially put up a wall between your personal assets and your business assets. In addition to protecting your business, establishing a formal entity gives small business owners more credibility.

In general, protecting your small business gives you the peace of mind that in the event of an unexpected issue, everything will be safe and recoverable. Owning a business is like owning a very expensive home or vehicle, so try your best to treat it that way.

Be sure to work with the accounting and small business experts at 1800Accountant if you’re looking to start a new company or have one in place and need tax or consulting services. Call 1800Accountant today at 1-888-749-0117. Or check out www.1800accountant.com.

How to handle complaints in a small business

Customer sruveys are a great way to find out about any small business complaints.

Not all feedback on customer surveys is positive like this one. 1800Accountant offers tips on how to handle small business customer complaints. (Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons)

We have all heard the phrase “the customer is always right.” It’s usually never the intention of small business owners to do something that may negatively affect a customer, but as human beings, we are not perfect. According to 1800Accountant, here are a few simple suggestions on how to handle and resolve complaints from customers who buy products or services from a small business:

How complaints are communicated

Complaints can be communicated in a variety of forms. A customer could call your business, e-mail you, visit your store or office, or even post something on your company’s Facebook page. Some customers are respectful enough to be level-headed about their complaints, while others can be extremely rude in how they handle the situation. Regardless of how a complaint is brought to your attention, you should treat each one cautiously and professionally.

The initial steps to take

The initial step for small business owners to take is to find out why exactly someone is upset with a product, service, or other aspect of a business. Listen intently to what someone has to say by making them feel like they matter. Identifying the problem will give you clues about what caused it. This makes it easier to come up with a workable solution. Some issues take minimal time to resolve. Others, however, can be more complex and take patience and a willingness to make them better, no matter what’s involved.

The next steps and being open-minded

You should also be open-minded with all of your customers. Put yourself in the shoes of someone in the same boat. What would you do? How would you feel? What would your expectations be of the business you’re dealing with? If you can get a glimpse into this mindset, it will help in your decision-making when it comes to handling complaints. Also, you should be open-minded about offering free or discounted options to anyone with a valid objection. On the other hand, not all complaints are legitimate or appropriate, so discuss these issues with others whenever possible.

Resolving issues as soon as possible

The key ingredient to solid customer service involves swiftly accounting for and then resolving a problem and making sure the customer is satisfied. Sometimes you’ll have to put everything else on hold to ensure you do what the customer expects, as long as these requests are reasonable. The longer you wait, the more likely a customer will end up going elsewhere – and they might tell others about their bad experience with your small business, even if you intended to take care of the situation.

For all of your small business development and accounting needs, consider working with the tax professionals at 1800Accountant. Call 1-888-749-0117 or check out www.1800accountant.com.

Tips on how to learn more about a specific industry

We’ve all heard the saying that people learn something new every day, no matter how young or old we are. This logic can also be applied to small business owners who work in various industries, such as consulting, medicine, or retail. According to 1800Accountant, here are a few basic tips on how to gain a better understanding of a certain industry, regardless of whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or run a full-fledged, established small business already.

#1 – Conduct online research.

The “information superhighway” has become a tremendous resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. If used properly, the Internet can give you a broad overview of the industry you’re interested in. It also lets you dig deeper into more specific aspects. Check out the websites of businesses, organizations, and even encyclopedia-type sites. More businesses are going digital than ever these days, so take advantage of the convenience of online research to discover almost everything you can imagine about specific industries, including the latest news regarding them.

#2 – Use some of the more traditional research methods.

Even though the web encompasses a huge supply of valuable information, it doesn’t have everything on it. Consider doing some traditional research, like reading books about an industry or picking up a newspaper or magazine to discover the latest news related to it. A quick trip to your local library can give you access to lots of published materials on specific business-related topics. These books may offer some unique insight into the history of a particular industry, which has likely played a role in how the industry functions today. Some relevant TV shows or documentaries may be beneficial to watch as well. In addition, you could get in your car and simply go to business locations to collect free brochures and other info on them.

#3 – Network with other small business owners.

Meeting individuals who work in your industry is an excellent way of finding out more about it. Everyone has different perspectives on things, and by sharing your ideas with others and learning their ideas, your perspective may expand to help you become a more knowledgeable business professional. Look into networking events, meetings, or even online groups through social networking sites. Doing your own research is one thing, but actually communicating with others in a certain field offers a real-world, current-day view on it that’s tough to get from printed materials.

#4 – Research specific corporations/small businesses that are successful.

To survey the industrial field, consider doing research on specific businesses within an industry. Try focusing on companies that have a proven track record, specifically those that have been around for some time. These kinds of businesses have likely made changes over time to keep up with the constantly evolving business world. On the flipside, if there aren’t very many successful companies in a field, or if there used to be and aren’t anymore, this could be an indicator about the current state of a field, as well as its future.

For further assistance with small business development and business accounting, contact 1800Accountant today at 1-888-749-0117 or at www.1800accountant.com.

How a successful small business owner’s schedule may appear

There are some basic steps small business owners can take to create a successful schedule.

There are some basic factors that play a role in how a successful small business owner’s schedule is laid out. (Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons)

Each and every small business is unique in some way. This means each small business owner’s schedule is different in various ways as well. However, there are a few common threads with basic tasks that can make a daily operation run more efficiently. 1800Accountant suggests the following general schedule for a business owner who has traditional daylight-based working hours:

Morning hours

You may want to begin your workday at a slower pace by easing into the challenges that will arise.
First off, get your coffee brewing and respond to any phone calls or e-mails that need immediate attention. Tie up any loose ends from the previous day. After getting these done, embark on that particular day’s to-do list. Prioritize what you will get done sooner and what you can hold off on until later. The AM hours are when many small business owners get more work done because their minds are fresh at that time of day.

Midday/lunchtime hours

When the time arrives to refuel for the rest of the workday, take a break for a nutritious meal that will keep your mind fresh for another several hours that afternoon. It’s also a good time to take a breather by stepping away from your business if you can. It’s often hard to find free time when wearing multiple hats, so do your best to take some time for yourself when the opportunities present themselves during the course of a day.

Afternoon hours

The afternoon hours each day can be jam-packed with some of the more important happenings within a small business. You may be out on the road, meeting with clients at your office, responding to various types of communication, or conducting business in other ways. In general, any priorities that need to be handled before the day is over should be wrapped up in the afternoon. If you aren’t a morning person, the afternoon is your time to shine.

Evening hours

Many successful small business owners set their professional responsibilities aside when the evening rolls around. It’s important to have some time for yourself to relax and unwind from the pressures of being a business owner. However, it’s impossible to simply drop everything at night due to the nature of operating a thriving company. Take a little time to prepare for the next day so you can rest at ease and have an idea of what to expect. Surprises are surely going to pop up at times, but you can minimize your chances of being caught off-guard by looking ahead at your upcoming schedule.

Schedules can vary from one small business owner to another

While this daily routine works well for many small business owners, it is certainly not for everyone. Since all businesses vary as far as how they are managed, the days and times that those who own them actually do their work can be quite diverse. Additionally, the startup phase of a small business may require lots of extra hours spent working on it. Just keep this in mind when mapping out the most effective and efficient schedule for yourself.

1800Accountant offers top-notch business development and accounting support. If you run a small business or plan to open one, contact 1800Accountant for assistance today by calling 1-888-749-0117 or by visiting www.1800accountant.com.