4 Tips for a Profitable Startup

 

Do you have a business idea that you want to make happen? Remember that a business comes with many working parts. After coming up with your initial idea, find a mentor, conduct research, raise funds, and create a plan of action. Follow these tips when creating your startup company.

 

startup

 

Find a Mentor

Starting your own company is not something that is accomplished alone. If you want to succeed, then you will need to enlist the help of others. This could be a business owner who has created their own startup company, an industry professional, or a consultant.

 

Build a relationship with this person. A mentor is important because the internet does not always have all the answers to your questions. Mentors have experiences in their life that they can share with you to help you prosper. 

 

Conduct Research

One of the most important elements of starting your own company is researching your target market. This ensures that people will want to buy your product or service. Gather information from prospective customers, specifically those that are not your friends or family. You will gain insight into how to market your business and attract new customers.

 

If you are creating a survey, be sure to test it out before sending it to a large group of people. The last thing that you would want is to have an invalid survey because you did not ask the right questions. Include multiple-choice questions and extended response questions where people can give more details. 

 

Set Up a Business Plan

You need to know how your business will run and how it will achieve a profit. Business plans help secure loans and funding. A business plan is extremely detailed. They include an overall idea of your business, where it is located, hours of operation, and how it will generate profit.  

 

The most important element of a business plan is the executive summary. It is a summary of the entire business plan and details how you will stand out from your competitors. This is written last, even though it is the first part of your business plan. 

 

Raise Funds

You might need to take out a loan for a building renovation, new product, or marketing expense. Budgets and business plans are key to raising funds for your startup company. Investors and banks want to see that you are organized and make payments on time. 

 

Questions About Your Startup Company?

Starting your own company takes a lot of knowledge and effort. We encourage you to take note of these business tips to grow your company from the ground up.  

 

PL Consulting has served the Baltimore, Maryland area for many years. We customize our services to each client and their business plans. Your ideas are unique to your business, and we understand that. 

 

Do you want to learn more about budgeting or raising funds? We are here to answer all the financial questions you have for your startup company. If you would like to set up an appointment with us, call 410-764-3731.

 

Big Mistakes That Have Cost Small Businesses Money

 

Business owners learn throughout the years from failures and experiences. Here are 5 mistakes that many small business owners make. Avoid these mistakes so you can grow your business successfully. 

 

Not Having a Business Plan in Place

A business plan sets the parameters for everything related to your business. It gives you structure and premises for how you should run your business operations. It also helps you assess and measure progress. 

 

A common misconception about business plans is that they are only used to persuade investors to help finance your business. However, they help with marketing and business milestones. A business plan helps with past, present, and future storytelling.

 

Not Utilizing a Financial Accountant

You want to have a clear view of finances as they relate to your business, so separate your business account from your personal one. A professional accountant keeps track of your business finances. When hiring a professional accountant for your business, consider these 5 things. 

 

  • Desired services
  • Reviews
  • References
  • Pricing
  • Involvement.

 

Setting Goals Too High

Goals are how your business measures success. Set daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly goals. If you own a startup company, do some research on numbers you want to reach. Avoid being overly optimistic, even though you may be eager to grow your business.

 

Check if you met your goals, and use that as a benchmark for the next goal that you set. If your goals were not met, determine what went wrong. Was it an external factor that your business could not control? Did you or your employees not put in enough effort? If your goals were exceeded, find out what worked well. Are you selling a popular new product? Do you have a lot of engagement on your social media? 

 

Not Maintaining a Budget

A budget maps out each of your business costs. From there, your business can set reasonable prices for products and services to make a profit. The budget prevents you from overspending. If you need loan assistance, your budget shows lenders that you make payments on time and have valuable assets. 

 

Your budget also helps you analyze all the risks that your business has. It is difficult to budget for things that have not happened yet, but putting extra money aside can save your business in an emergency. 

 

mistakes

Having an Unorganized Work Environment

Set yourself up for success by organizing your paperwork and online files. If you feel you have too much going on and are missing deadlines, delegate tasks to someone else. This reduces the amount of clutter in your work environment. Streamline your processes so that you and your employees can easily access files and understand what needs to be done. 

 

Avoid These Common Mistakes in Your Small Business

Do you want to learn more about budgeting, financial accounting, or goal setting? We are here for questions you have as a small business owner. If you would like to set up an appointment, call us at 410-764-3731.

 

Year-End Payroll Processing Tips

 

January is almost here, which means it is time to focus on your business’s year-end payroll processing. Processing payroll is complex and detail-oriented. It requires tax calculations and compensation totals for each one of your employees. 

 

This can be a dreadful time for many business owners, so we are sharing some of our expert tips to make year-end payroll processing run smoothly for you.

 

Update Employee Information

The IRS may penalize you for missing or incorrect employee information on their W2 forms. To avoid these penalties, audit employee information like social security numbers, addresses, and names. If you outsource your payroll or use a payroll service that employees can view online, encourage them to review and edit their information throughout the year.

 

Verify Employee Wages, Benefits, and Deductions

Double-check that each employee has the correct pay-rate on file. Review their benefits and deductions to make sure that everything is listed correctly. Many businesses give bonuses at the end of the year. If these bonuses withhold retirement deductions, do not exceed the annual limit.

 

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Process All Checks

Sometimes you make payments outside of your regular payroll processing system. Be sure to keep track of those checks. Pay the tax liabilities for these checks on time. Report all voided checks as well. 

 

Do not mark uncashed checks as voided checks. Report those checks to the unclaimed property office in your state. For Maryland, you can visit their unclaimed property website for more information.

 

Payroll Processing Software

A streamlined payroll process sets a good foundation for your business. Payroll software organizes all important documents and manages employee pay periods. Select which program best suits your business model by weighing out the pros and cons. This is one of the most important payroll management decisions that you will make. 

 

The software will help you out immensely at the end of the year because of its structure and paperless system. If you don’t already use this software, consider acquiring it next year for a trouble-free process.

 

Stay Up-to-Date

Even though you may have done your business’s year-end payroll last year, rules and regulations always change. Stay up-to-date with how your payroll system works. Continue learning about payroll best-practices and make note of important deadlines that you must meet.

 

Payroll Processing Help

If your business is growing and you find it hard to keep up with payroll processing on your own, consider sending it to an outside contractor. This gives you time to focus on what is more important in your business.

 

PL Consulting is here as your business’s go-to resource for bookkeeping and payroll processing. We focus on small and mid-size companies who desire substantial growth. Our payroll services include:

 

  • Payment of State and Federal taxes
  • Track vacation, leave, and sick time
  • Issue paychecks on paper or via direct deposit
  • The ability for employees to view up-to-date pay info online
  • Generate W-2, W-3, 1099 & 1096 forms

 

We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. Call us at 410.764.3731 or contact us on our website.

 

 

4 Family-Owned Business Tips for Profitable Holidays

 

Your productivity as a small business owner directly impacts your profitability. The holidays are among us and now is the time to increase your annual sales. Make sure you have a return on your investment this holiday season

 

Hit your yearly growth marks by following these profitability tips.

 

Set Holiday Goals

Goals are important when you are determining business profit. If you don’t have goals, there is nothing to base your success off of. Many businesses set annual, quarterly, and even weekly goals. Consider setting holiday sales goals based on last year’s numbers. Your goals will help you understand how your business’s success changed from last year’s holiday season to this year.

 

Attract New Customers

There are so many business options to choose from during the holidays. Consumers are being overloaded with emails and advertisements. Attract new customers by showing them how your business differs from the rest. Explain the importance of shopping small, introduce your team, or show off your competitive advantages. 

 

Do not focus on one-time purchases from these new customers. Loyal customers are the top way to profitability, and they bring in consistent revenue to your business. Consider creating a loyalty program or give them a discount on their second purchase. 

 

holidays

Plan a Budget

Since marketing efforts are typically higher during the holiday season, set a higher monthly budget. You might also want to consider just having a separate holiday-related budget. Without a budget, you may spend way over your limit. Overspending affects your profitability. 

 

If you haven’t ever set up a budget for your small business during the holidays, go back and check on last year’s bookkeeping records. If you didn’t save all your receipts, do so this year so you are prepared for next year’s holiday season. Bookkeeping also helps with your taxes, audits, and accounting.

 

Manage Your Money

If your business takes a long time to collect payments from customers, it could cause you to run out of cash. This is especially a problem when inventory is high during the holidays. Keep extra money saved up in case of an emergency. 

 

For example, buying the wrong stock can heavily affect how much money you currently have. This can put you in a sticky situation during the holidays when your business and your vendors are busy. 

 

A sales forecast can help you determine how to plan your cash flow and give you a financial foundation. After assessing your sales forecast, you’ll be able to create profit-and-loss statements, cash flow, and a balance sheet. Your sales forecast will help you assess what investments are profitable and what is costing you money. You will also see the financial improvements needed to enhance your small business during the holiday season next year. 

 

Have a Profitable Holiday Season!

PL Consulting commits to helping each of our clients during the holidays. We are available for all the questions you have about bookkeeping, budgeting, goal setting, and forecasting. If you would like to set up an appointment, call us at 410-764-3731.