Stop Overpaying Your Small Business Taxes

The money you make in your business is hard-earned. It’s the reward for all of the sales calls, difficult client deadlines and customer support challenges. So it’s hard to give it up to anyone—least of all the government. Yet, taxes are a part of doing business in almost every country on earth. And we want you to focus on one thing: keeping as much of your money in your pocket as possible by taking advantage of every possible legal method of reducing your year-end tax bill.

Topics: Managing Money

Read More

The Money Tools and Teammates You Can't Afford to Live without

If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. Wearing several hats is part of the art of running any small business, but there are tools you can use and people you can add to your financial team to make all of this possible with minimal resources and maximum efficiency.

Curious? I’m glad. The first principle to recognize is automate, automate, automate. The more you take these valuable—but admittedly time consuming—processes and automate them, the more you will be able to see the value in your data without feeling the pain. In the not-too-distant past, getting any information out of your accounting system was a nightmare. Data input involved long hours of tedious work—or hefty fees paid to bookkeepers to do it for you. But in this web 2.0, cloud-based, app-driven business ecosystem, there’s no reason to keep your accounting records in Excel or tape expense receipts to a piece of paper. And by leveraging these systems to automate financial functions, you’ll use your money and time in a smart way—allowing you to put more time into growing your business.

Topics: Managing Money, Technology

Read More

How Healthy Is Your Small Business?

Perhaps you use Google Analytics to track every visitor to your website, right down to the country they’re visiting from. Maybe you even use wearable technology and a smartphone to measure the steps you take in a day or how much sleep you get at night. But what are you doing to measure the financial health of your business? If your only measure of financial performance is the revenue you generate each month or the balance in your bank account, you’re missing out on a wealth of information about your business.

Financial statements and metrics are more than just numbers that go up or down month after month: they tell a story about your financial health, your ability to grow, and your ability to sustain and weather trying times. This information can help you build an awareness about your business finances. For most small business owners, it makes sense to “check in” at least once a quarter. The reason is that when you look at things at too granular a level, small variances can be distracting. It’s better to let things ebb and flow in a natural way, and to look at the development of your business over three month periods.

Topics: Managing Money

Read More

Not Good with Money? Are You Good with That?

How many times have you heard or said, “I’m just not a money person?” It’s a common expression and an easy escape hatch to fall through when you’re faced with spreadsheets full of numbers and formulas. But it’s a phrase, and an attitude, that you’re going to have to change if you want to grow your business to the next level.

The truth—one that many people wish they could ignore—is that money is the blood that pumps through every part of your business. It fuels your marketing efforts and product initiatives. It keeps the lights on. And, hopefully, it pays the wages that support everyone in the business, including you, with a quality of life you’re proud of.

Topics: Managing Money

Read More

Is Marketing Automation the Silver Bullet You're Looking For?

There are a lot of things marketing automation software can do for you. It can help you increase traffic, educate and inspire potential customers, and give you a microscopic view of what happens at every step of your buyer’s journey.

But like all good things, it’s not quite that simple. It takes a real investment of time, attention and money. It won’t create content for you. And it won’t tell you who your real buyers are. In short, you can get a lot out of it—but only if you put the right things into it first.

Topics: Brand, Marketing, Technology

Read More

Looking for the Perfect Customer? Look No Further.

It’s never been easier to chase after the wrong customers. With the explosion of online marketing tools, you and your team can spend all day (and all night) doing it. Which is why it’s never been more important that you have something—or more specifically, someone—to guide you. The challenge for today’s business owner is to get to know your customer in far deeper ways than you’ve ever done before.

Topics: Brand, Marketing

Read More

What If the Missing Link in Your Marketing Is You?

You’ve got a blog. Maybe an email newsletter. You’re tweeting and linking and trying to figure out the whole social thing. You even set aside time each week to meet with your team to try to come up with new ideas for how to get people interested in your product. It seems like you’re doing all the right things, but somehow you’re still not getting traction. What’s going on?

Topics: Marketing

Read More

How Does Inbound Marketing Work? [Infographic]

Inbound marketing is drastically changing the way we think about customers—down to the very terminology we use.

There are a lot of new things to think about: personas, calls-to action, buyer stages and so much more. It’s about creating remarkable content, understanding who your customers are, what frustrations they’re trying to solve, and showing the value of your service or product in new ways.

This infographic will walk you through the basics of inbound marketing terminology, and start changing the way you think about potential customers as they move through the buyer’s journey. 

Topics: Brand, Marketing, Technology

Read More

If Your Company Culture Could Talk, What Would It Say?

Would you apply for a job at your business? Think about it for a moment. With where you are in your life—with your unique talents and dreams—is it the kind of place that would support you in getting closer to the life you want? Do you think you have any employees who aren’t evaluating their jobs, right this very minute, on that criteria?

Topics: Managing Employees, Brand, Company Culture

Read More

How Can You Keep It Real with a Virtual Team?

There’s no substitute for being in the same place as your employees. And that’s a good thing. Part of the joy of going to work is that you get to spend your day with people you respect, and we hope, enjoy being around. And while there are some good reasons to have people on your team who work remotely, you have to address the very real gap that’s present because they aren’t. As long as you start there, there are many things you can do—best practices and powerful tools—to close it.

Topics: Managing Employees, Company Culture

Read More