Why it’s important to have the proper small business tools

In a toolbox, you will likely find a variety of tools designed for specific purposes. In the small business environment, having the right tools available is a must to open and maintain a company that can grow. 1800Accountant suggests having these tools:

– The actual supplies or equipment to do everything

Even though each small business may be totally unique, there are normally some types of equipment or supplies a company may need to operate. These items may include computers, furniture, vehicles, or even prototypes of products. Make sure you purchase or rent exactly what you need for your specific set of circumstances. Although some of these items could run high price-wise, you should always consider every option, and you may not necessarily need to buy new things right away.

– Resources at your disposal

Having all the proper resources at your fingertips can lift your business sky-high. Resources range from online websites to contacts in your professional network to services you may use for business support. Be sure to do lots of research on resources in your particular industry. You may be surprised at how many free ones are out there. Plus, dig deep into your network of current and previous colleagues for possible support down the road. The bottom line is to have a full array of resources that you can easily access for any questions or concerns that may arise while managing your business.

– A viable amount of money available

While money is not necessarily a tool, it is an extremely powerful resource to have, especially for startup business owners who are often financially strapped. It is a must to have enough finances available prior to even getting a business rolling. It is also important to have funding available throughout the startup phase and ongoing thereafter. While you may not have all this cash in your personal bank account, consider looking into loans, angel investors, or crowdfunding to get some much-needed capital. The main reason startups fail is due to a lack of funding, so take the bull by the horns and be confident in your finances from the get-go.

– Business tax and accounting support

IRS business taxes are much different from personal taxes as they come with additional forms, deductions, tax-filing deadlines, and other obligations. With that said, having the right accounting assistance for your business is extremely valuable. By having the right accountants on your team, you can ensure a smooth experience with the IRS. You may be able to keep more of the hard-earned income you make as well through deductions, credits, and other lesser-known strategies for businesses. A knowledgeable accountant specializing in business taxes is the key to a successfully financial small business.

1800Accountant can guide you on what tools you need for your small business, especially those related to accounting, IRS taxes, bookkeeping, and payroll. To learn more, contact CTN today at 1-888-749-0117 or visit www.1800accountant.com.

4 Benefits of Hiring Interns to Work in Your Small Business

Displaying an "interns wanted" sign or advertising internships online can lead to big benefits to both a small business and the intern.

Displaying an “interns wanted” sign or advertising internships online can lead to big benefits to both a small business and the intern. (Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons)

Internship programs are quite prevalent these days college students and others wanting to gain real-world professional experience. In terms of running a small business, there are definitely a few big benefits to hiring interns to lend a helping hand. 1800Accountant, the nation’s leading small business accounting and consulting firm, explains some of these advantages to bringing on interns:

1. It’s often free or very inexpensive to employ an intern.

Internships can vary greatly as far as compensation is concerned, but many of them are unpaid or pay a minimal amount like a stipend. This means you don’t have to pay an intern nearly as much money as you would to a full-time employee or independent contractor. For financially-strapped small business owners, this itself is a fantastic benefit. Internships also tend to be part-time or temporary positions, so any compensation you feel should be given to an intern would be much less of a financial commitment. Because of this, benefits like health insurance or paid vacations are rarely even part of the picture.

2. Interns may be able to get college credit by working for you.

While many internship opportunities are not paid positions, lots of businesses out there offer college credit for them. College students enrolled in various academic programs can often receive credit for an internship in place of taking a certain class (or multiple classes, based on the length of the internship). College credits in the form of tuition are expensive, so if a student can get real-world work experience in a small business, they would likely find it very worthwhile and advantageous to them. Additionally, working at a company is much different than sitting in a classroom, which makes these opportunities very intriguing to students.

3. Real-world workplace experience is a valuable skill for interns.

In the eyes of hiring managers and those in HR, experience is high up on the list of traits they look for on resumes and job applications. That is why an intern who gets experience working for a small business can have an edge over others applying for similar jobs. There is nothing like working in a corporate office or out in the field, and this experience certainly cannot be mimicked in a traditional college classroom. Interns can also bring unique perspectives to a company’s inner-workings and goals. This is why it can be mutually beneficial for the intern and the employer from an experience standpoint. Plus, small business owners can give interns some of their more basic tasks to help free up their schedules. While these jobs may not be top priorities, they can still give interns some much-desired experience.

4. A top-notch intern could turn into a future employee.

It is not always easy to get dedicated employees through the hiring process. Having interns can make this a little easier, though. If an intern proves to work out well for your small business, you could hire this person for future employment. Having a track record with a company can build a good amount of trust between interns and small business owners, and you could look internally at hiring these motivated individuals rather than starting with someone brand new who you don’t know anything about. Offering such a program is also quite appealing by promising future employment if an intern meets certain requirements.

1800Accountant can assist you with any small business accounting and development needs to put your company on a track to future prosperity. To learn more, call 1-888-749-0117 or visit www.1800accountant.com.

5 Tips on Learning Small Business Sales Strategies

Even though lots of small business owners can come up with a jaw-dropping idea for a product or service, a problem they often encounter in making money lies in how to sell. While everyone uses their own methods, there are some basic things to keep in mind when convincing customers to buy what you sell. 1800Accountant offers some tips on learning and improving upon your sales approach to boost your profit potential:

1. Conduct In-Depth Research.

A big key to improving a small business owner’s sales skills is to see what others are doing to successfully sell their products/services. This could be done by either looking at specific businesses and what strategies they use or by reading up on general methods that can be used across the board in most industries. There are numerous resources and services out there that can help you find the winning formula that will convert a significant percentage of leads into sales for you. To find it, you have to be patient and willing to step outside your comfort zone to implement the best tactics to sell whatever it is that you offer.

2. Use Different Sales Tactics/Techniques.

It is critical to implement some variety in the sales techniques for a small business in any field. This may involve testing different approaches on how to sell something. For example, change the wording of how a product can benefit a customer on your website, offer something free with a purchase, or reduce some of your prices slightly to see if people are more willing to buy less expensive things. Just don’t go too overboard in mixing things up to the point where customers will be confused about what you’re selling.

3. Determine Why What You Offer is Appealing to Others.

Ask yourself, “Why is this product/service appealing to me?” Write down a list of all the reasons why you would purchase what your small business offers. Ask family members, friends, employees, and colleagues to do the same for you. Once you have a good handle on the specific benefits of something and what makes it unique, you’ll be able to use these reasons as selling points. This information could also help you perfect what you sell, such as adding a certain part to a cooking tool to make it easier to use or removing an aspect of a counseling service that just isn’t appealing to clients.

4. Take a Microscope to Focus on Your Target Customer Base & Market.

Since customers are those who support a small business by purchasing things from it, improving your strategies should lie in the hands of them. Every customer is unique, but a target market generally covers a group of individuals who have some common interest in your company. Hone in on this group to determine exactly what they like. Then use this information to work on how you communicate with these individuals.

5. Beef up Your Persuasive Communication Skills.

Most entrepreneurs are creative thinkers, but many still struggle with persuasion. But it isn’t terribly difficult if you know the keys behind the art of persuasion. With that said, be forceful yet respectful when trying to sell something. Focus on how an item or a service could benefit and improve a person’s life. Why would it make them happier? Why would it make them get more satisfaction out of life? Positivity is a large part of this process. If you can demonstrate the positive aspects of something, potential buyers will become customers sooner than you think.

1800Accountant can assist with all of your small business accounting and development needs, including guidance on ways to make more money with your business. To get more details, visit www.1800accountant.com or call 1-888-749-01171-888-749-0117 today.

What kinds of paperwork are involved in a small business?

Small business paperwork can be overwhelming at times.

Small business paperwork can be overwhelming at times. (Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons)

Certain processes often require completing lots of paperwork for various reasons. Even though most of us aren’t fond of filling out forms and flipping through papers, it’s simply a requirement in many aspects of life. Setting up a brand new business is certainly one of these processes. 1800Accountant explains what types of paperwork are part of operating a company and helpful hints on handling this paperwork:

1) Business registration paperwork

When opening up a new business under a formal entity like a corporation or an LLC, you will have to get and complete the appropriate paperwork to officially register your company with the state in which you’ll be conducting business. Each state has one or more filing offices that are often headquartered in your state’s capital city, such as Tallahassee for Florida. Contact this office, get your required paperwork, complete it properly, and submit it to the state. Some of these documents may be available online.

2) IRS and State Tax Paperwork

Because filing business taxes can be a more complicated task than filing personal taxes, it is imperative to properly maintain and file all relevant tax-related documents with the IRS or your state. This paperwork may include specific tax returns (such as Form 1099) and receipts that document your business expenses. To claim certain business tax deductions/credits, you must have relevant documentation that proves to all tax collection agencies that you’re eligible for them. Not having certain paperwork could be the difference between getting back no money vs. getting back thousands of dollars in tax refund money.

3) Financial records/documents

Bookkeeping is a significant part of running a smooth business operation. While bookkeeping tends to be done electronically these days, it’s still a priority to have the paperwork as both hard copies and in digital form that shows your financial data. How much money did you spend on new equipment last month? How much income have you brought in over the past 6 months? There are countless facts and figures to document, and maintaining this information in an organized fashion is a must.

4) Agreements/contracts with other individuals or organizations

The process of managing a small business comes with lots of little odds and ends that may not always be top-of-mind. You’ll likely have contracts with suppliers, vendors, employees, or independent contractors. You’ll probably have some types of legal agreements that others will have to sign in order to agree to the terms of an activity. Keeping copies of all records under these categories is essential. The last thing you want to have happen is to get caught red-handed by the government for failing to follow a specific regulation required for businesses.

1800Accountant can take every last aspect of your small business paperwork off your plate and handle it to the point where all you have to do is sign it. To find out how to get started on this, call 1-888-749-01171-888-749-0117 or visit www.1800accountant.com.