If you own a business, you know that no task is outside your purvue. But you also know that in order to be successful, you have to delegate some tasks to others who may be more savvy, and therefore more efficient. Here are the five things you should do now in order to get organized, get a handle on your business, and focus on the things you're really good at.
- Have a contact management system to keep track of customers and clients. Isn't it great when a professional you hire greets you, and asks about your family by name? It's almost disarming, but it's extremely effective because she makes you feel important. Keep a few notes about your customers, and use them to make sure your customers feel like they're an important part of your business.
- Get software to keep track of your books. You should know what's happening with your business on a monthly basis, and more often if necessary. Most software, such as QuickBooks Online, can connect with your business checking account to automatically download transactions into it. This eliminates the tedious task of inputting all of your bank transactions, and reconciliations become a breeze!
- Plan your year end before the year ends. If your business is cyclical, and you do most of your work in the spring, summer and fall, you'll want to make sure that your tax situation is not going to be a huge surprise. Many business owners are so happy they're busy, that they don't take the time to assess their profit or loss as compared to the prior year. If this is you, contact an accountant to keep you on track all year long, so no tax surprises are waiting for you on April 15.
- Hire a team of professionals to do what they do best. I'm not talking about putting everyone on payroll. I am talking about getting your financial house in order by having dedicated professionals you can call for the following needs: Insurance, including professional liability, bonding, disability, health and life; Financial Planner, so that he/she can get you set up with a SEP or Simple IRA as your business grows; and an attorney to handle potential business issues. In a perfect world, have all of your professionals talking to each other so they can best decide what's right for you.
- Finally, be open to suggestions. Bad news on the tax front usually always means that your business is profitable. It's counterintuitive to think that a successful business is a bad thing. It can mean a large tax bill at year end, but it doesn't have to. Planning makes all the difference in the world. All of my colleagues will agree that we love to meet with our clients before year end to strategize ideas to legally reduce their tax bill.
Reach out to your tax or accounting professional for these and other ideas to help you run your business successfully!