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6 Book Recommendations to Learn Small Business Bookkeeping Basics

 

Small business owners do it all. Keeping track of business expenses is just one of the many tasks. If you are not a numbers person, this may be difficult. Small businesses often close their doors during their startup years. Bookkeeping is necessary to keep your business running by making sure that everything behind the scenes is moving smoothly. Here are 6 book recommendations to learn small business bookkeeping basics.

To get you started, bookkeeping is primarily broken down into 4 components: 

  • Accounts receivable

  • Accounts payable

  • Bank reconciliation

  • Payroll 

 

Here is our expert opinion on book recommendations to learn bookkeeping basics for your small business

 

bookkeeping

Deducting The Right Way: Untangling Small Business Accounting & Taxes

The authors of this book work with small businesses, so they have learned a lot over the years. This book has information on taxes, bookkeeping, business management, and so much more. Tax deductions can get confusing. Find out why deducting the right way helps you operate a more profitable business venture.

 

Quickbooks: A Beginner’s Guide to Bookkeeping and Accounting for Small Businesses

Quickbooks has many benefits for small businesses. Learn about how to set up your Quickbooks account, whether it is old or new. Streamline your business and develop efficiency. You will become a more competitive business using the information discovered in this book. 

 

Full Charge Bookkeeping, HOME STUDY COURSE EDITION: For the Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Bookkeeper

This book is written by a CPA that worked his way up through bookkeeping positions. It is a good reading source for bookkeeping at any level. The glossary in the back makes it easy to find anything that you are looking for. 

 

Small Time Operator: How to Start Your Own Business, Keep Your Books, Pay Your Taxes, and Stay Out of Trouble

This startup-guide covers everything you need to know about being self-employed. There is information that you might not of known about licensing and permits. Taxes and avoiding the IRS are other topics that are talked about.

 

Accounting Principles: The Ultimate Guide to Basic Accounting Principles, GAAP, Accrual Accounting, Financial Statements, Double Entry Bookkeeping and More

Managing your business finances correctly and efficiently can mean the difference between business success and failure. This book discusses accounting methods, budgeting to make it big, payroll accounting, and much more.

 

Bookkeeping Basics for Entrepreneurs: Taking the Mystery Out of Your Company’s Financials

If you are feeling overwhelmed about bookkeeping for your small business, this is the right book for you. There are quick and easy steps that will help you simplify your bookkeeping. All the accounting terms are straightforward and uncomplicated. 

 

Small Business Bookkeeping Basics

Laws related to bookkeeping are always changing. It is best to ask a professional if you are unsure or cannot find the answer yourself. 

 

PL Consulting is not your everyday bookkeeping firm; it is a tailored answer to all of your bookkeeping needs. We believe in customizing your experience with specialized and professional services, while also offering support for future planning and productivity. 

 

If you would like to set up an appointment, call us at 410-764-3731 or book a time with us at https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

Do Not Make These Mistakes on Your Taxes Next Year

 

Tax day is always April 15th – besides this previous year, of course! Even though that date seems far away, it is never too early to be ready for the time of the year that everyone dreads. 

 

Prepare yourself and your small business for next year’s tax season so it runs smoothly. Do not make these mistakes on your taxes next year.

 

dont make these mistakes

Income Reports

Inaccurate income reports are a big mistake that is often made in small businesses. Do not fail to report income or accidentally over-report your income. The IRS has access to the information that you are trying to withhold. Throughout the rest of 2020, make sure that all income reports are correct by double-checking them. 

 

Small Business Tax Deductions

Small businesses have the opportunity to claim tax deductions. By writing off certain expenses, your small business should owe less in taxes. 

 

The IRS says that business expenses must be ordinary (common in your industry or trade) and necessary (needed to run the business). Expenses must be for business, not for personal use. Below are a few tax deductions that small business owners should keep track of.

 

  • Car and truck expenses
  • Salaries, wages, and contract labor
  • Supplies
  • Depreciation
  • Business rent
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Repairs

 

This article goes in-depth about expenses that can be considered a tax deduction

 

Personal vs. Business Finances

Small business owners commonly mix up their personal and business expenses. Although it may seem easier to keep everything in your personal account, it causes problems during tax time. This might cause you to overlook a small business deduction. Avoid mixing these expenses by opening up separate accounts.

 

File On Time

This might seem like an easy decision, but make sure to file your taxes on time. Steer clear of problems caused by late taxes by asking for a filing extension. 

 

PL Consulting Will Prepare You For Tax Season

We want to help small businesses in any way that we can. We hope that you can take these suggestions and implement them in your business as soon as possible. 

 

We are experienced in all facets of tax preparation. We ensure that you consider all of your legal deductions so you realize your full tax benefit. Our comprehensive interview techniques and computerized return preparation process assure that your return is complete, correct, and presented to you promptly.

 

We help structure transactions to minimize the legitimate amount of tax you pay. Through careful evaluation, we help plan your tax obligations for the entire year so there are not any surprises at tax time. We can explain the tax structure so you know where your money is going. 

 

Along with tax return preparation services, we offer a diverse range of bookkeeping and budgeting services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. Our services are customized to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

If you have questions about tax preparation, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

 

Why is Customer Feedback So Important to Your Small Business?

Small businesses should focus heavily on customer feedback. Small businesses do not have as much brand awareness compared to large corporations and chains. Customer feedback brings new customers to your business. Customers are the most valuable source of information when planning customer experience, products, and services. 

 

Customer Feedback

 

Helps Customers Find You

Potential customers are constantly researching before making a purchase. Customer feedback is a huge part of their research. For example, when looking for a new restaurant, people check out Yelp and Google reviews. E-commerce websites should have an option to leave feedback about purchased products so that new customers have something to help make their decision. 

 

A person is more apt to buy from a business with many reviews over somewhere that barely has any. People typically search through reviews and determine which ones are the most useful. Never delete bad reviews or leave fake reviews. It is easy to spot if your business has done that and the person will be less likely to purchase from your small business. 

 

Aids in Product and Service Changes

Customer feedback is a sizable factor in changing how your business runs. Sometimes a new idea does not work out as planned, and the only way to know this is through feedback. If your construction business gets customer feedback about the quality of work, you can make changes or level up what you are already doing. 

 

How to Get Customer Feedback

High-quality feedback is not always easy to collect. Emails are a great way to follow up with customers. You can send an e-mail shortly after they purchased to see how satisfied they were with the purchasing process and their initial thoughts. Send another follow-up e-mail as more time passes asking if they still enjoy their purchase.

 

Social media is an inexpensive way to gather customer feedback. First, build a following that trusts your small business enough to interact with its account. Then ask questions or post surveys that your audience would like to respond to. If customers comment on posts or leave a review saying that they had an issue with your business, message them or encourage them to call you so you can fix it. 

 

Give customers an incentive to respond to surveys. This could be a percentage off or the opportunity to enter into a drawing. Sometimes these surveys take too long, so encourage the customers with something valuable to them. Send the survey links through e-mail or print them on receipts.

 

PL Consulting is Here for Your Small Business

PL Consulting offers a diverse range of bookkeeping and budgeting services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. Our services are customized to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

If you have questions about receiving customer feedback, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

 

How to Attract New Customers to Your Family-Owned Business

Determining how to attract new customers to your business is a challenging task that changes frequently. Increasing your customer base should be a top priority. These simple tips will help you attract new customers to your family-owned business

 

New Customers

Focus on Current Customers

Your current customers bring in new customers. A customer’s positive experience with your business encourages them to leave reviews online. Potential new customers can see these. If you build a relationship with your current customers, they will be more inclined to talk about your business with friends and family. Set up a process that incentivizes current customers to leave referrals. These referrals are important and beneficial, but an effort still needs to be put in to attract these new customers to your business. 

 

Research, Research, Research

Attracting new customers requires time and research. Secondary research has already been done, so use that to your advantage. If your business has enough budget, develop primary research. Surveys and focus groups will help see what your ideal audience has an interest in. You can also determine their buying behaviors, what types of media they prefer, and information on their demographics. 

 

Run Social Media Campaigns 

Social media campaigns can help your business attract new customers. You can engage and target new audiences with marketing tactics. Use your research to target audiences that use each platform the most. 

 

Another successful way to attract new customers is by running social media giveaways. Have each person tag a few friends to enter, which encourages new people to check out your page. Do not be afraid to get creative with these giveaways, but make sure they align with your ideal customer base.

 

Utilize Your Website

Keep your website updated so that new visitors have all the right information. Show any promotions on the website that will incentivize them to make a purchase or schedule your services. Answer questions with an FAQ page, chatbot, or provide contact information for them to call. 

 

Get Involved in the Community

Find any local events or fairs that are happening soon. Consider setting up a table, passing out promotional products, or sponsoring the event. This will get your name out to people surrounding your business. Another way to get involved with your community is to support local schools and charities. 

 

Grow Your Customer Base

Growing your business and customer base takes time. Find what works best to attract new people to your business. Show new customers that your family-owned business will be important in their lives. Attracting new customers may take trial and error, but you will eventually find the right process. 

 

PL Consulting offers a diverse range of bookkeeping and budgeting services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. Our services are customized to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

If you have questions about attracting new clients, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

 

4 Ways to Promote Accessibility in Your Small Business

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 30 years ago. It protects anyone with a physical or mental impairment. This includes more than just people that are deaf, blind, and in a wheelchair. Physical conditions like diabetes and mental conditions like bipolar disorder are also covered by the ADA. 

4 Ways to Promote Accessibility in Your Small Business

There have been huge steps towards change in accessibility and inclusivity in businesses, but there is still more work to be done. Your business must be ADA compliant if it has 15 or more employees. If your business has fewer employees, still consider creating an accessible business structure. Here are four ways that your small business can promote accessibility. 

Website

Web accessibility is typically one of the biggest issues for small businesses. If a customer cannot complete their purchase on your website because of their disability, your website is not ADA compliant. Web accessibility includes screen readers, text that is clear and easy to read, hierarchy, and keyboard navigation. This ADA compliance checklist breaks down many ways to have a compliant and accessible website. 

Signage

If your business creates its signage, it must be accessible. If your business outsources signage design, double-check that they comply with ADA standards. This includes text that is big enough to read and easy to understand. The colors that are chosen need to have enough contrast for people that have low visibility or color blindness. 

Business Accessibility

Provide accessible parking at your business. Make sure there is a wide ramp to get into your business if there is a step up. If there are tables or isles in your business, check to see if there is enough maneuverability space for people to get through. Businesses that have an up or downstairs need to have another way for people that are physically impaired to get around. This could be a ramp, elevator, or lift. 

Employees

Ensuring that your business is accessible to your employees is just as important as your customers. The ADA covers employees with disabilities that are qualified for their position. Keep your employees’ medical information confidential. Ask employees if there are any reasonable accommodations that they will need to be successful in their position.

Accessibility in Your Small Business

Making accessibility changes in your small business might cost money and take time, but it comes with added value to your small business. PL Consulting strives for accessibility for everyone, and we encourage your small business to do the same. Do not forget to check the ADA Compliance Guide for Small Businesses for further information.

 

PL Consulting offers a diverse range of bookkeeping and budgeting services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. Our services are customized to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

If you have questions about managing a successful small business, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

 

How to Measure Success in a Small Business

 

 

Running a small business means trying out new strategies to accomplish your goals. Goals should always be measurable whether it is quantitative or qualitative. You should constantly evaluate how your business is doing and thinking of ways to improve it. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to measure the success of your small business.

How to Measure Success in a Small Business

Check Customer Satisfaction

Receiving honest and quality feedback on customer satisfaction is not always the easiest task. Feedback is not typically given unless customers are extremely satisfied or dissatisfied. Checking your customer satisfaction determines what your business is doing right, and what your business can do to improve. This is typically a qualitative result that needs to be analyzed.

 

The other reason that feedback from customers is given is that there is an incentive for them. Types of incentives include a free item, a percentage off, or the opportunity to win something through a drawing. Some ways to check on customer satisfaction is through survey links on receipts, a physical comment box in-store, social media polls, feedback through outside websites/vendors, emails, social media reviews, and in-person comments. 

 

Review Sales and Financial Statements

Focus on how much revenue your business is generating. What are your profits and losses during certain periods? Make sure you are paying close attention to three financial statements: income, balance sheet, and cash flow. Measure sales by repeat business, growth, and overall goals. 

 

Measure Customers

The amount of new and repeat customers is another form of calculating your business’s success. If your number of clients has stayed the same for too long, there may be something that you want to change with your marketing efforts. Measure repeat customers with loyalty programs. There are great customer retention metrics that you can use here

 

Assess Your Expectations

As a business owner, it is important to be happy with how your business is running. Focus on what you want the numbers to be and how you feel with your business. Your happiness is a big part of your business’s success.

 

Create a Successful Business

With these tips, you can start measuring the success of the business strategies that you are implementing by measuring sales, financial statements, customers, and the satisfaction of yourself and customers. Each business favors different measuring tactics depending on their goals and business model. 

 

PL Consulting has many years of experience in business planning, budgeting, profitability enhancement, and other bookkeeping services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have about measuring the success of your small business. We are available via phone at 410-764-3731 or on the website here.

 

 

What To Do When Competition Opens Up In Your Area

 

 

Owning and operating a small business comes with unexpected events. Your company might be one of the few ones to sell a specific product or service in your area. When new competition opens up near you, what should you do? 

 

You might think this can be a disadvantage. Maybe you think that your company will lose money. Competition brings quite the opposite effect on a business, and will most likely create success if your business is already operating well.

What To Do When Competition Opens Up In Your Area

Evaluate Your Business

If the new business is opening up soon, take it as a wake-up call. Make sure you are satisfying your customers and their needs. If your business is doing a good job, your competition will not matter as much.

 

Once the other business is open, find a new advantage that your business has over them. Take notes on their pricing, promotions, and other benchmarks. See if your business can make any changes to increase sales.

 

Stay Friendly

Stay cordial and friendly with the owners of the new business. When speaking to your customers, keep a positive tone about your competition even if you do not feel that way. Bashing others will never lift your business up. Customers want to purchase from a business that stays professional when the unexpected happens. 

 

Grow Your Customer Base

Besides looking after your current customer base, you should be looking for new customers. Consider how you are marketing your business. Is it time to try something new? Place an advertisement in a different place or have a promotion on a product or service that has not been done before. Remember to use any forms of free advertising that you can like social media and encouraging word-of-mouth. 

 

Business Refresh

Appearance is important for businesses, including the brick and mortar location and online presence. This affects customer’s perceptions of your business. Your competitor will most likely be freshly decorated or revamped from an old building. Take the time to do a deep clean of the premises, update some old decor, or touch up with a fresh coat of paint. Update your social media bios and add up-to-date information to your website. Maybe it is time to re-do your branding and logo design as well.

 

Reward Loyalty

If your business does not already utilize a loyalty program, you should consider doing so. Reward programs create an incentive for customers to return back to your business. Your loyalty program can be a simple stamp card if the business has a small budget, or you can find a digital program to keep track of the customer’s loyalty points. Once the customer’s point goals are met, you can offer them a discount or a free product/service to show your appreciation to them.

 

Stay Competitive

Although it can be difficult when another business first opens up, there are many actions you can take to keep your business going strong. It is also important to stay realistic in your expectations. It is uncertain what may happen, especially if the competitor is a large corporation with a massive marketing budget. Take action as soon as possible.

 

PL Consulting can help you with business planning, budgeting, and other bookkeeping services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We are still available via phone and email for anything you may need. You can reach us at 410-764-3731 or on the website here.

 

 

Restarting Your Business After a Pandemic

It is a learning process for everyone to restart their business during and after the pandemic. Tough decisions have been made over savings, payments, employee safety, and how to better serve your customers. This blog post will help you organize your thoughts and plan your actions. Put your business in a position to withstand any future downturns.

after a pandemic

Business Relationships

Evaluate your business’s relationships with its customers. Keep strong relationships with customers that continue to purchase from your business. Research what current and future customers need from your business and find ways that you can help fill those needs. These can change over time because of finances or preferences.

Supply chains were severely impacted by COVID-19. Keep strong relationships with vendors you continued working with, and other vendors that you had to stop working with either temporarily or permanently. Consider what makes your business operate at its best. 

Focus on the community that keeps your business going. Explain and show them exactly how your business is continuing to take precautions to prevent the spread of germs. This transparency should be used in the future. Give back to the community in ways that help them, while fitting your business’s mission. Last, show your appreciation to the surrounding community, vendors, mentors, and workers.

Consider New Techniques and Technology

You might have already changed the way your business operates. Continue brainstorming more efficient techniques or technology that your business can implement during and after the pandemic. Touchless technology or a new process on cash collections are ideas to consider. This will keep your business fresh and up-to-date.

Create an Emergency Plan

The best way to get your business through a tough time is by having a plan set up. If your business did not have to use an emergency plan during the current pandemic, it is a great idea to have one in case of another emergency. Set up a list of tasks that your business needs to better position it. 

Consider adding these to your “task list.”

  • Operational costs that must be covered
  • Where the business can save money
  • How to deliver your business/service to customers
  • Prioritize employees
  • Staying transparent

PL Consulting Is There For You

During the pandemic, changes and tough decisions were made quickly. You and your business must be open and prepared to change with the world around you. 

PL Consulting has assisted many businesses during tough times in applying for the CARES Act, bookkeeping services, and taxes to name a few things. We can help your business get on the right track and stay prepared for any future downturns. 

We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. We understand that each one of your ideas is unique to your business. Our one-on-one interactions are a valuable resource for both your team and ours. 

If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, call us at 410-764-3731 or book a time with us at https://calendly.com/michaelplc.

The Best Ways to Grow Your Construction Business

 

 

Starting a construction business takes hard work and a lot of effort. Your next step is to grow the business into new markets. Make sure you have the time, money, and manpower to grow. Here is how you can take your construction business to the next level.

 

Best Ways to Grow Your Construction Business

Invest in Your Business

You need to spend money to make money. Spending your time working on building your business will result in growth. Focus on your finances and where your money is going. Continue to review your budget constantly so you can invest in what is best for your business.

 

Get the Word Out

One way to get the word out about your business is by using social media. This is essentially a free tool that you can use to talk about the business projects that you offer or have accomplished already. You can use paid advertising to get a broader audience to see promotions you have going on. 

 

Provide Great Customer Service

One of the most effective forms of marketing is word-of-mouth. Studies show that a satisfied customer will tell 2-3 people about their great experience. A dissatisfied customer will tell 8-10 people. Keep your current customers happy because they will continue using your services. New referrals and more work will come from them.

 

Utilize Your Strengths

Find the strengths that your business has over your competitors. Use that strength as an advantage for your company. One way to focus on that strength is to find your business’s niche market. Show that market how you specialize in their needs. 

 

Quality Over Quantity

Focus on the quality of your construction work. If speeding up the process results in a lack of quality in products or craft, reconsider doing so. Quality brings better results and happier customers. Set a standard of quality and stick with it so you have consistency among your projects.

 

Build Your Team

As your business takes on more projects, you will need to expand your team. Hire trustworthy employees that bring new skills to the table. Keep your loyal employees happy by offering them incentives and promotions. 

 

PL Consulting Can Help You Grow

Although summer is a busy season for construction work, you can start implementing these tactics to grow your business right now. Over your slower season, start building a plan of action and focus on getting the word out about your business. 

 

PL Consulting can help you with business planning, budgeting, and other bookkeeping services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We are still available via phone and email for anything you may need. You can reach us at 410-764-3731 or on the website here.

 

6 Tips For Managing a Small Business’s Finances

 

Managing every aspect of a small business is time-consuming and requires tons of research. You may have to go through the trial-and-error process, but you will eventually find a way that works for your business. One major part of running a business is keeping track of finances. Small mistakes can cost the business time and money. These are some of our professional tips for managing your business’s finances.

 

Overestimate Your Expenses

Many of us have recently seen that each month is unpredictable. Identify trends to the best of your ability, even though there is uncertainty. Thus, overestimating your expenses is helpful. Planning to spend extra money will not hurt your company because the unused money can be put right back into next year’s budget.

 

Find a Trusted Mentor

Build a relationship with someone that fits your financing needs. This person should be knowledgeable and experienced. A mentor is important because the internet does not always have all the answers to your questions. If you are having trouble finding a mentor, ask your surrounding network if they know someone that is reliable. 

 

Revise Your Budget

Consistently revise your budget throughout the year. Again, everything is unpredictable and you need to adjust your budget to trends that are occurring. As your business grows, pay attention to your priorities. This helps you make smart financial decisions and allow your business to thrive.

 

Incorporate Time

Time gets overlooked sometimes when planning finances. Include the time and money that is incurred by your employees when they are on the clock. Consider big projects that need to be done, holidays and sales, or other times that your business is usually busy. 

 

Set Goals

Setting small goals will help enforce the right behavior that you need to help with financing. These small goals might not be noticeable at first, but in the long run they will make a major difference in your business. These goals can gradually be increased as you accomplish them.

 

Hire a Bookkeeper

Consider hiring a bookkeeper to take over the mundane financing tasks. A trustworthy bookkeeper will keep things running on the back end of your business. This will open up your availability so you can focus on what you love doing as a business owner. 

 

How PL Consulting Can Help You

Business financing is not always an easy task. PL Consulting hopes that these tips make it easier to understand and manage. 

 

We offer a diverse range of bookkeeping and budgeting services. We are here as your business’s go-to resource when you have questions. We customize our services to each of our clients and their business plans. 

 

If you have questions about managing a successful small business, call us at 410.764.3731 or book an appointment through https://calendly.com/michaelplc.