November 19, 2019

Keys To Starting A New Business

In today’s economy, more people than ever are interested in starting their own businesses. It may be a desire to finally take their concept to the next level, or out of necessity due to loss of employment or other income, and the need to protect themselves and/or to achieve financial independence through such opportunities. The purpose of this article is to summarize various elements for entrepreneurial-minded people to consider.

 

One of the most important elements in creating a business is that it is a feasible business idea with a real prospect of success. You must undertake extensive research to ensure that your idea really makes sense. Do extensive demographics research (there are many free Internet demographic resources available, such aszsjreedemographics.com), to ensure adequate numbers in terms of your target market and area. The question to consider should therefore be along the lines of, “What is your target market, i.e., who will buy the product/service?” If your research reveals numbers that you believe are adequate to warrant moving forward, you should then assess and answer each of the following questions:

  • Will your business sell a product or service?
  • If your business involves products, decide if it will be wholesale/retail, hands-on or web-based?
  • If your business involves services, will third parties be involved?
  • Should any licensing or similar issues be considered?
  • What is your competition in the marketplace?
  • What are the profit prospects; how do you go about preparing a budget; will you need to hire financial professionals to assist you in this process?
  • What will the initial start-up costs be?
  • Will you need to seek outside capital?
  • How long will it likely be before your business begins to turn a profit? What will you do during the interim?
  • What type of corporate entity is appropriate?
  • Will you need to seek the advice of legal counsel?
  • Will you need to hire employees to get things off the ground?
  • Will your business be regional, national or international?
  • What laws/regulations will be applicable? Again, you may need legal counsel.

By assessing and answering these questions, you have undertaken a type of “feasibility study”. If the “study” results indicate that the business seems “sound”, and you decide to move forward, you will need to tackle various tasks, preferably with the assistance of appropriate professionals.

A crucial step in terms of “getting the party started” is to develop a comprehensive Business Plan, including budgets and forecasts.

The Business Plan will be a key element to your ultimate success.


Simple Ways To Cut Hidden Costs In Your Business

There was a recent statistic which mentioned that businesses all over the world were losing millions of dollars a year in bad financial planning and internal money management.

How could this be avoided?

Here are some ways to cut costs for your business and save yourself from this situation:

  • Review phone bills (land lines and cell phones).  Are you getting the best rates out there?  When was the last time you called your carrier or even reviewed your monthly bill for excess fees and mistakes?
  • Do you have the right kind of insurance?  Have you reviewed the premiums and the coverage on your policies?  Has your business changed in the last year and your insurance needs with it?
  • Who orders or buys your office supplies?  Do your employees just buy supplies whenever they need or worse want something?  Are you getting the best price or buying unneeded supplies?  Purchasing needs to be centralized and controlled.
  • Advertising.  Who is making the advertising decisions?  Are your advertising dollars being spent in the right areas?  How are they being tracked to evaluate their effectiveness?  When was the last time you made an advertising plan?
  • Are you with the right bank?  Are you paying hidden fees or not getting the service you deserve?
    Does your bank help you grow and run your business?  Do they refer business to you?

Efficient accounting is the key! Not many people know that with efficient accounting, hidden costs and unnecessary spending can be rooted out and removed completely from your company. Some companies who finally turn to using professional accounting services have found that they could have saved up to $25, 000 a year on useless expenditures. Don’t you be one of them!

 

10 Tip-offs You’re Heading for a Debt Disaster

Like most of life’s major problems, a debt disaster doesn’t happen overnight. There are clear warning signs that crushing debt could grow out of control.

Here are 10 Tip-Offs that you’re heading for a debt disaster.  See how you score.

 


1. Your bank account is consistently overdrawn.


If you keep getting those thin envelopes in the mail from your bank telling you that your checking account is overdrawn, it’s time to regroup and find out why you’re not keeping up.


Tip:
First, stop the bleeding. Ask your bank for overdraft protection for your checking account. But don’t stop there: Track your expenses and find out why you’ve got bigger withdrawals than deposits.


2. Your credit card balances are rising.


Compare the balances on your credit cards from six months ago with your balances today.  Are they bigger now? If so, why?


Tip:
While periodic fluctuations in your loan balances are normal, if they’re consistently rising, you’ve got to stop, examine your spending and find out why.


3. You’re only making minimum payments on your credit cards.


You’ll never get ahead by borrowing money at 15% on your credit cards every month and taking years – even decades – to pay them off. Paying interest on purchases translates into paying more for the things you buy. That new jacket you bought for $80 will end up costing up to $240. Do that long enough and you’ll end up broke.


Tip:
ALWAYS pay more than the minimum. If you can’t, you’re likely already heading toward a debt disaster. Talk to a credit counselor.


4. You and your partner are arguing about money.


Money is an emotional issue. It sometimes causes a power struggle between partners who have different ideas on how money should be handled. If you and your spouse or partner are haggling over bills more than usual, it’s probably because your bills are higher than usual.

Tip:
Agree on a budget and a spending allowance, if necessary. Then stick to it. And if money is an issue, communicate about it more often, not less often.


5. Your savings account is busted.

Money experts agree that a savings reserve equal to half your annual salary is mandatory to ride out rough economic times, like the loss of a job or a serious illness. If you don’t have any money at all in your savings account, it’s time to re-examine your budget and see where your money is going every month.


Tip:
When you get paid, pay yourself first. Use automatic withdrawal to take 10% of your check and stash it in a savings or money market account.


6. You’re juggling your monthly bill payments.

If you’re applying selective reasoning to your monthly bill payments (“Hmmm-we’ll pay the phone bill this month, but skip the cable bill”) then you’re in over your head financially.


Tip:
Lose the cable and any other luxury item on your “to pay” list. In tough times, stick to the staples: home, car, groceries and utilities. You might not think about it, but 20 years ago, nobody had an Internet bill or a cell phone bill. Cut out everything until your income is greater than your out-go.


7. You don’t know how much you owe.

You undoubtedly know how much you make. Not knowing how much you owe-especially not wanting to-is a sign that you’re burying your head in the sand.


Tip:
Pay as much attention to what you owe as what you make. Don’t keep your debt out of sight-or out of mind.

8. You’re keeping secrets.


If you’re unwilling to share your spending with your spouse, that’s a sure sign you’re afraid of trouble ahead.

Tip:
Come clean. Keeping debt a secret won’t improve your situation. But it will keep you up at night.


9. You’ve got a credit card collection.


There’s only one reason to keep a full deck of credit cards in your wallet-because one or two isn’t enough.


Tip:
Even allowing for specialty and cash-back cards, you don’t need more than three. Pay off the rest and close the accounts. And when you close an account, do it right.


10. You’re near the limit on your credit cards.

Credit cards should be for convenience only, not as the source of a continual high-interest loan. If you’re using more than 30% of the available balance, you could be hurting your credit score and heading for a problem.


We hope you’re not experiencing too many of these disaster signs. If you are, however, now’s the time to take control. First, step? Sit down and look at exactly what you have, what you owe and where your money’s going. Then map out a written plan to reduce your debt.


If you’re in over your head, call me to schedule a financial checkup. 


Which Financial Records Should You Keep?

You’ve probably heard it before. Good financial records are very important…..especially at tax time.  But you just can’t keep every snippet of paper forever, or you’ll need to put an addition onto your house!

 

It’s time for a review. Let’s do some maintenance and get rid of the paperwork that’s cluttering your life.

 

Before we talk about what you can throw out, let’s look at papers you should stash away in your permanent file.


Keep the following documents forever:

  • Records that relate to your home (mortgage, deeds, capital improvements. etc.)
  • Documents showing non-deductible and deductible IRA contributions.
  • Tax returns and checks used to pay taxes or to substantiate deductions.Once those papers are safely filed and tucked away, grab your trash bag because here we go! 

    TYPE OF RECORD THROW OUT AFTER

    Accident reports/claims 7 years

    Back-up tax paperwork 10 years

    Bank reconciliations 1 year rolling

    Bank statements 3 years

    Brokerage statements Year end only

    Contracts,notes and leases (expired) 7 years

    Credit card statements 1 year rolling

    Insurance policies (expired) 3 years

    Mutual fund statements (after sold) 3 years

    Paycheck stubs: normal 1 year

     

    Now maybe your home will be big enough for you, your family andyour financial records!


    Please contact us for a financial consultation by calling

    (954) 682-0200 or by email info@jksbusinesssolutions.com

 

Recession Depression

Start Your Own Re(fund).

Start Your Own(Re)Fund
Tax season is coming to an end. Did you get the refund you were looking for? Or did you have to write a check? Since the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009 (also known as “The Stimulus”), the many tax laws, rate cuts and withholding changes left more than just a few of us scratching our heads. What’s your strategy for the coming year?

Some people prefer to write a check to the IRS each year, holding on to the majority of their money until early April so they can maximize their interest. Others plan to get their “taxes due” as close to zero as possible. Finally, some prefer to over-withhold to receive a large refund. (This is a trap! The government earns–and keeps–interest on your prepaid taxes. That’s interest you could be earning.)


Here is a simple saving plan for 2011:

1) Know What You Owe.Many laws have changed, so the first step is to review your W-4. Visit www.irs.gov and search for “withholding calculator.” After entering some information from last year’s tax return and your current paycheck, you will see a good estimate of your 2010 taxes and a recommendation for changing the allowances on your W-4. Check with your accountant to make sure you calculated everything correctly.

 


2) Commit to Saving. Depending on your situation, your new withholding could net you several hundred dollars per paycheck. Don’t spend it! Immediately move this money into a high interest-earning account, such as a Money Market or CD. Automatic deposits are a convenient savings tool and are strongly recommended.

 


3) Find Something “Interest”-ing to Do.Congratulations! Your money is working for you. Yes, you may end up writing a check next April, but you were smart. You, not the government, have earned interest on your money all year long and your “refund” is already in the bank. How will you spend it? New big screen TV or family vacation? Or continue to save for a major purchase, like college tuition or retirement.


Success Through The Recession

Are you anxious about the success of your business through the current recession? There are positive things you can do to grow during this down economy.

Power up your customer service! If you are not treating your customers like gold already, now is the time to start.  Not just your current customers, but also those who may be undecided or have scaled back.  Every person you meet or come in contact with should be treated like your best friend, because they have the potential to be one.  You don’t really know their financial situation and you don’t know who they will speak with in their lives.  It doesn’t cost a thing to be friendly and respectful to everyone.

It is my mission to educate both new and existing business owners to the importance of keeping accurate and up to date books.

A good full charge bookkeeper is the main ingredient a business needs, but it is often set aside.  I bring my years of experience, education and knowledge to you, the business owner, so that you may reach your goal of not only survival, but growth in this down economy.