5 Quick and Low-tech Tips to Prevent Shoplifting in Your Retail Store

A retail store is an open establishment where you can sell commodities, goods, or products directly to individual customers or families. Retail stores are either managed or operated by the individual retailer(s) or a manufacturing company. Company-operated retail stores are relatively easier to manage and control as inventory management is fairly stress-free. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Prevent shoplifting

Shoplifting is a very popular term used to describe an unnoticed theft of goods, merchandise, or retail products from an open retail establishment such as a departmental or convenience store. It typically involves a person looting an item from shelves into their pockets, undergarments, baby strollers, handbag, etc., and leaving the establishment without paying for it. To prevent this corrupt and unethical activity, retail stores can use different psychological tactics and low-tech tips to establish more command and control over their business.

Retail Industry Dynamics

Managing a brick-and-mortar retail store has become extremely challenging these days. No matter how much brain and technology you use to prevent shoplifting, it continues to happen most bizarrely. People are never short on creative ideas to steal products from retail stores, encouraging them to try their luck repeatedly. This opportunistic behavior has reduced the profit margins of retail stores quite significantly. According to 2017 statistics revealed by an American-based retail firm, shoplifting worldwide has cost retailers about $51 billion worth of inventory.

Business entrepreneurs and retailers use different ways and means to prevent shoplifting without breaking the bank. If they expect to manage their business operations successfully and remain in the retail business for long, they need to develop extraordinary techniques to prevent losses. Small retail store owners need to stay more vigilant and keep a close eye on their customers and their employees. Small retailers usually have a limited budget which means they can’t afford to take high-tech measures for securing their premises from shoplifters or potentially their employees.

Here are some low-tech tips that can help prevent shoplifting and save you from potential threats. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Placement of Mirrors

Mirrors more or less work like high-tech cameras for small retail store owners. They can instantly spot shoplifters, making them the most inexpensive yet effective alternative to surveillance cameras. They help you keep a close eye on your customers and employees alike. However, mirrors’ strategic placement is critically important as you can only notice suspicious activities when they are placed at certain angles visible to the owners. Moreover, acquiring mirrors is quite easy as they are widely available in the market.

Signage

Installing security signs or displaying products in your store with theft prevention in mind is a low-cost tactic to prevent shoplifting and deter shady characters. Anti-theft signs must be placed in certain crucial spots such as the retail store’s entrance, on shelves and walls, fitting rooms, etc. Even if you don’t have cameras in place, you can use surveillance signs to discourage suspicious activity. Using anti-theft signage is one of the best low-tech tips that can make a huge difference.

Keep Your Retail Store Organized

Shoplifters feel safer and encouraged to try their luck in retail stores that are messy and disorganized. It gets pretty hard for even a store manager or owner to determine if something is amiss if a store is not properly organized. By keeping your store organized and products well-placed, you can prevent shoplifting and expect to increase the retail store’s ambiance and aesthetics. Moreover, you need to optimize your retail store’s design, arrangement, and layout for theft prevention. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Train Employees

You need to train your employees to greet shoppers when they enter the retail store and remain watchful throughout their stay. They must also be taught different ways to manage suspicious activities or shady visitors. A secret language or code for reporting shady activity is probably the best way to alert the entire staff or owners. Also, they must be told to look after the entire store, including a customer’s belongings such as a handbag, a baby stroller, and other similar things.

Hire a security guard

To prevent shoplifting, a security guard may work be your best bet in dealing with all of the odds, especially when all other things fail to deliver results. Many small retail stores consider it a mere burden on their shoulders as they can’t afford to hire expensive security guards, but this is probably the best solution to theft prevention. This will make shoplifters think twice before indulging in suspicious or wrongful deeds. Most of the time, it is more of a psychological thing that deters shady characters and keeps them away from the retail store.

Conclusion

All salutations to superior low-tech tips and prevention techniques have largely made the lives of small retailers easy. To prevent shoplifting, many measures can be taken to keep shoplifters away from your retail store.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Information on Women-Owned Business Opportunities & Assistance

A business owned by a woman was an unfamiliar practice in the near past. But in 2016, it was estimated that there were 11.3 million women-owned businesses just in the United States of America. This estimate is a forty-seven percent increase in women-owned businesses since 2007. The scenario can be different in other countries. But the success rate of women-owned businesses in America is because of the policies and grants that the federal government provides to the women-owned business. The rate of turning away women entrepreneurs to get small business loans by the banks has also increased alarmingly. But it is the government with specific policies and grants to give credits and assist in flourishing women-owned businesses nationwide. Women entrepreneurs are having a marvelous impression on the small-business landscape countrywide.

Understanding grants: Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Small business owners want to turn to grants because they think grants are free money, and they will not have to pay them back. But these small business grants come with conditions. First of all, you will have to find a grant for which you are eligible as a small business owner. Then you will have to comply with the guidelines for applying and wait for its approval until you get entitlement for the grant.  After approval, you still are required to report on the use of money afterward, genuinely.

Finding federal and state grants:

Many small business owners think that government grants for small businesses or a woman-owned business are just a click away. But that is not true. Though there are federal grants in medical research, science, education, and technology progress, no such grants are present, especially for women-owned businesses. Some projects empower women, but these projects are to fund non-profit organizations, not-for-profit companies.

If you are searching for a women-owned business grant, then go to the state’s website near your location. Each state website has a business section. From that business section, find grants and funding opportunities for women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses.

Women owned-business opportunities:

When there is more than 51 percent ownership in a business by a woman or woman, then there are individual facilities and assistance present for such companies. Not all female business owners try to go for these options, but many do.

If you register your business as a woman’s business enterprise (WBE), it will lead to several opportunities. Local governments, states, and federal governments have special programs for women-owned businesses. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

The WBE certification process requires the following:

A woman or women hold more than 51% of ownership.

The business has been in the market for the last six months, at least.

The owner must be a U.S. citizen. If ownership is with a woman who has not received U.S. citizenship yet, she must be a legal resident in the U.S.

The proof is compulsory to show that the role of capital from the female business owner is genuine and in ratio to her ownership interest.

The female business owner must direct management and business decisions.

If you try to pose a male-owned business as a female-owned business:

If you are a male-owned business but give your wife 51% of the shares to declare the company as a women-owned business, make sure that you will not be getting the women-owned business benefits. Auditors will check if the male’s office is more significant than the females or if the women are not in direct management, and business decisions are not by women.

Loan options for female-owned business:

Pilot Loan Programs assist prospective debtors in developing loan applications and obtaining loans. A Women’s Business Development Center or a Small Business Development Company are examples of such programs. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Private grants for women:

Here are a few links to private grants for a woman-owned business.

  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program.
  2. FedEx Opportunity Knocks Small Business Grant Contest.
  3. Idea Café Small Business Grant.
  4. Innovate HER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge.
  5. Small Business Innovation Research.
  6. Small Business Technology Transfer Program.
  7. Zions Bank — Smart Women Grants.

 

Conclusion:

The government has particular policies and grants to give loans and assist in flourishing women-owned businesses nationwide. Female entrepreneurs are paving their way and making an impact in the business economy. The company is a woman-owned business when a woman or woman retains more than 51 percent of ownership, and the women are right decision-makers in the business.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

How to Turn your Hobby into a Legitimate Business

Desiring you could quit your day job is the first stage on your way to possessing your own business. Figuring out what kind of business to start comes next. To get new business ideas rolling, ask yourself what you are right and what you like to do.

Exactly how to monetize your hobby

Hobbies that could hypothetically be monetized and turned into businesses include painting, woodworking, baking, web design, dog training, literally anything that delivers value to others. The problem is that many of us are afraid to act, even when we know we have a marketable skill because we are scared of failure. We dread that if we attempt to monetize a hobby and fail, we’ll no longer feel joy or satisfaction from the activity, or others will regard us contrarily. This monetization can be a frightening proposition that may avert many talented individuals from pursuing their dream. Trying to monetize a hobby isn’t easy, but on the other hand, it certainly isn’t rocket science. With a little planning and strategic bookkeeping execution, you can enjoy a positive result. Listed below are a few guidelines: Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Create a plan

To begin monetizing your hobby, you have to develop a game plan. This plan will need adjustments along the way, but it’s valuable to have a strategy in place. This strategy may not be your particular game plan, but you need one of some kind. There’s nothing smart about diving in recklessly and hoping things work out.

Get your first sale

You don’t need to go from hobby to million-dollar business in a matter of days. Your number one objective in the beginning stages is to get your first sale. Whether that means making a $5 sale or signing a $5,000 retainer, your first sale is the most robust and most significant sale you’ll ever make. There are plenty of bookkeeping strategies for really getting your first sale. It all depends on the merchandise you’re selling. If you’re retailing a service, you may want to start by offering a free trial and producing some word of mouth. If it’s a product, proper product placement, and marketing in the right places can lead to a sale. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Maximize your time

For many people, working a full-time job and then spending extra hours pursuing a hobby isn’t practical. Between kids, significant other, friends, and social requirements, you don’t have enough hours. In the preliminary phases, you’ll have to get inventive about how you use your time. Maybe you need to wake up an hour earlier than you’re used to and get some stuff done before your regular job. Alternatively, it could mean including your kids in your hobby to spend time with them while still achieving new things.

Build an online presence

In business today, everyone needs an online presence to produce activity. This activity means creating and maintaining a website, social media profiles, and everything else that imprints yourself as a professional.

Network

A few people will stumble across you online. A lot of business success happens via word of mouth and networking. You have to be ready to be active on this side of self-promotion, as well. Find clubs, conferences, and groups in your specialty that caters to other specialists in the niche. You’ll learn a lot on these occasions and get the chance to socialize with people who are at the same stage as you and preferably a little further. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Treat it like a job

The final piece of advice is to treat your hobby like a job. If you want it to become your primary source of income someday or at least a second stream of income, you have to give it the devotion it deserves. Carve out time to work on your hobby, read about the industry, learn about sales and marketing, and dedicate yourself to steady improvement. This dedication is how to achieve positive results.

Conclusion:

There’s also something to be said for learning through trial and error. If you’re decent at what you do and there’s a market for your hobby, then there’s no reason you can’t monetize it and earn a second stream of revenue. Plunge in and see what happens.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

How to Conquer Your Fear of Starting a Business

Fear, insecurity, and self-doubt are the natural feelings people face when they think about starting something new. It’s a terrifying feeling. Entrepreneurs of all stages and kinds face some inner-resistance.

Such resistance is not limited to new businesses. Anything significant that requires you to break out of a mold confronts inner-resistance. Fear is a natural response to a threat, not limited to humans. Every person experiences some anxiety; that’s how we evolve. Fear creates real change in our minds and body. It can force us to run away, go into hiding, and stop our actions. Fear is not always visible. It often surfaces in the shape of confrontation and, at times, in the form of avoidance or procrastination. It is essential to identify the fear and not mix it with other feelings.

As an entrepreneur, pressures come from fear of the unknown’, but pressure from peers and investors also plays its part. However, the most prominent pull comes from the challenge of proving it to yourself. A good entrepreneur is one who continually proves themself wrong.

Below we have identified some key ways to counter some of the biggest hurdles that come our way when starting something new. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  1. Set Realistic Targets – then Overlook your Hidden Perfectionist

If we look for one thing in common among all of the entrepreneurs who made it to the top, we will find that their ability to set goals sets them apart. Benjamin Franklin states, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Planning comes from setting realistic goals, not that you want to be a millionaire – that’s not a goal; it’s a wish. Start by finding out your business’s ultimate objective. Then, go on dividing it into smaller achievable chunks that can serve as stepping stones. Most entrepreneurs are considered perfectionists; you have to understand that not everything needs to be perfect. Throughout your journey, you will pick up a lot of ideas that will bring you closer to perfection – but for that, you need to start doing. Also, Bookkeeping is a good habit; establish it from day one to effectively measure your progress. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  1. The Constructive Attributes of Fear

Remember, fear allowed us to evolve, so it can’t be all bad. Fear is a survival instinct, and our natural concerns are rudimentary. We fear to fall. We fear deafening sounds. These are deep-rooted responses that prepare us for something dangerous. So, how does fear help in business? Nurture it and use it to identify sensitive points that can put the existence of your business in danger. Once fear points are identified, develop your business plan around it. The key thing here is balance, and that’s not limited to fear only. Everything we do instinctively serves a purpose. Find that purpose and use it for your benefit.

  1. Find your Ideal

Think of someone who you admire in your related field. Once you’ve identified that person that ceaselessly inspires you, you will discover specific examples from their experiences that match your needs. This match will bring much-needed motivation, and we all need motivation. This motive is based on facts and not on soft dialogues.

Look for yourself in other successful entrepreneurs because there is always ‘One’ like you. Learn from their experiences and mistakes. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  1. Where there’s a will, there’s a way

It’s crucial to understand that failure isn’t the end when setting off on a new endeavor. You don’t fail in business. Either you succeed, or you learn. The most successful business owners have failed enterprises in their past, but that fact didn’t dim their success. If anything, it made success a lot sweeter.

Moreover, from our experience, we can tell you with 100% surety that there is no other way to learn than to learn on the job. If you are planning to wait for a perfect moment or when you’re comfortable, you will never start.

Uncomfortable is good. Embrace it, love it, nurture it. It pushes you to be better and flames your inner hunger to learn. If you’re easily content, you will be left behind really quickly. Don’t dread the fear; use it to bring out the best possible version of your business and yourself.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

How to Invest in Rental Properties: Is it a Good Choice as a Real Estate Investor?

Rental properties and real estate investments are all about making smart decisions and thinking outside the box with the available resources. It is an excellent outlay as no beginning is too trivial, and no venture is too large. No matter what the scale of your funds is, the opportunities are limitless. There are many benefits of owning rental property; therefore, don’t let the fear of failure stop you from laying the perfect platform for your future investments. You will make mistakes, of course, but that is how you learn and grow as an investor. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Rental properties and real estate – start with single-family homes

There are many forms of rental estates, which include industrial buildings, multi-purpose homes, office buildings, residential housing, and many others. All of these have different sizes and prices. However, it is better to consider single-family houses as they offer the most rent with the least distress for starting investment options. Also, there are a few basic things that you must consider before buying any property if you want it to be a worthy investment.

Property Type

Before you start buying rental properties, specifically single-family homes, you must consider living in it for a while. This living arrangement means that it is a rental property from the very first day. Most of the property’s documentation will already have completion.

Moreover, many crowdfunding forums have emerged which allow you to invest in any property you desire, with as little as $1000. Whether you want to invest in commercial real estate or residential property, the crowdsourcing forums are a great way to start with minimum risk. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Pick a great location

A great location is key to the growth of any rental property. Any property that is close to major roads, universities, or public transport tends to have higher rental rates than others. Do your research about other rental properties in the area in which you are interested. You will know if the investment is worth it. Many people make the mistake of overestimating the worth of their properties, leading to vacancies. No one would rent a property that is higher than the market value unless you offer some extra perks.

Run the numbers

One of the most significant contemplations for real estate investors is to precisely estimate the rental income and the expenses associated with leasing or buying the property. If you invest in more than one property, it’s essential to treat each one as a separate business. Run the numbers individually for each property and estimate their rate of return.

1% rule

Remember that rental properties should pay you at least 1% of the total investment to bring positive cash flow into the business. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and many commercial properties pay you a higher rate of return than that.

Correctly estimate your expenses as well while running the numbers. Insurance and maintenance are two of the potential costs. Real estate often goes through ups and downs, and vacancies come with the deal. Therefore, you must always allow for losing at least one month of rental income to such unforeseen scenarios. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Don’t spend too much on renovations

Please don’t spend too much on renovations as it will need maintenance anyway. Frankly, the renter will not treat the house as their own, so there is a substantial likelihood of damages and repairs that you will need to make. Set out some minimum standards, and always meet them but don’t go over them. You can also hire maintenance services for rental properties at an annual cost. They offer a warranty and the costs are spread out over the year, saving you the trouble of dealing with high maintenance costs.

General maintenance should be part of the rental agreement; however, significant renovations of condos or townhouses should be a certain fee.

Appreciation market or high rentals

The appreciation is a critical decision you have to make while choosing a real estate demographically. Some locations have a particularly useful appreciation rate for properties, but the rentals are average. Other features pay you high rents but do not appreciate in land value over time. The right decision depends on many factors and your preference and long-term plans for the property.

Choose renters wisely

A final decision is to decide about managing the property. If you choose to manage it yourself, ask yourself whether you are prepared to stay on top of the tenants. With all of the benefits of owning rental properties, a troublesome occupant can make it hard for you to manage it. Also, it would help if you prepare to deal with a variety of customers. Some will pay late, and others will make unnecessary noise. If you are ready to deal with these situations, get into real estate renting.  If not, it may not be for you.

 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

How Much the Average American Makes in Every State

The American passport wields considerable sway, and being an American does have its perks. American society offers greater freedom and versatility, along with a standard of life that is not comparable to other countries. The money an average American makes vary from state to state. However, being American’s earnings from New York differs profoundly from someone living in California. Recent studies have shown that the extent of this earning varies for each state. The contributing factors to see how well Americans are doing in each state are median household income, earnings of each gender, and per capita personal income.

The results can vary significantly from state to state. The results also indicate a significant impact on the achievements depending on the state in which you reside. It does help to live in the right place. What the average American makes can be easily be understood from the details mentioned below. However, the salary, revenues, earnings, assets, etc. all make up the combined success factors in a person’s life. There are other indicators of a person’s lifestyle that foretell their success or failure, such as cars, homes, higher education, etc. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Wyoming

  • Median Household Income: $58,252
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $55,303
  • Median Male Earnings: $51,926
  • Median Female Earnings: $35,652

Wyoming is considered the best state to retire in the US blissfully. Regarding how much the average American makes in this state, the median household income per month is higher than the national median, which stands at $53,482. The household income per capita personal income does make up for its median gender earnings.

Vermont

  • Median Household Income: $54,447
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $47,864
  • Median Male Earnings: $46,911
  • Median Female Earnings: $39,322

With stats above-average, Vermont sits well in regards to median household income. The income of people in Vermont is $1000 lesser than the national media, which is among the 20 best in the country. With a small difference between gender earnings, it’s the best place for equal opportunity employment. The average American makes enough here, regardless of gender. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

District of Columbia (Washington DC)

  • Median Household Income: $69,235
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $71,496
  • Median Male Earnings: $68,932
  • Median Female Earnings: $61,718

Being the capital of the United States of America, the District of Columbia enjoys the best numbers, according to national surveys. The per capita personal income is the highest, which places it at the top of all states. It also has the best gender earnings potentials. The potential to live a reasonably good life standard depends on the income or salary of an individual.

Alaska

  • Median Household Income: $71,829
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $55,940
  • Median Male Earnings: $57,318
  • Median Female Earnings: $46,288

The average American in Alaska, in comparison to other states, makes more money. Alaska’s employment levels, however, are low, which makes living standards harder to improve. Raising a family isn’t easy, given the state of the economy. It’s the third-highest median household, and the per capita personal income is the seventh highest. Gender income median earnings are almost identical.

North Dakota

  • Median Household Income: $55,579
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $54,376
  • Median Male Earnings: $50,624
  • Median Female Earnings: $36,087

In North Dakota, unemployment is an issue like that of Alaska. It ranks well regarding income but has a giant problem with gender earning a difference. The average American makes more here as it’s per capita personal income is the 10th highest while the median household income is currently in the top 25 states. The employment rate is 3.2, but the financial statistics about male and female earnings are discrepant. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

South Dakota

  • Median Household Income: $50,338
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $45,002
  • Median Male Earnings: $42,034
  • Median Female Earnings: $32,048

South Dakota has humble numbers and is average on our scale of earnings of Americans by state. The only contributing factor to its portfolio is employment. The job rates are super low, with unemployment standing at 2.5%. This state is middling when talking about what the average American makes here.

Delaware

  • Median Household Income: $60,231
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $47,662
  • Median Male Earnings: $50,976
  • Median Female Earnings: $41,278

Delaware residents earn more than $6,000 above the national median, which is the 13th highest number of the country. That’s impressive, but the gender pay scale gap doesn’t fit in well. However, it is smaller than others, if compared.

Montana

  • Median Household Income: $46,766
  • Per Capita Personal Income: $41,280
  • Median Male Earnings: $42,679
  • Median Female Earnings: $31,696

Montana, the Big Sky State, doesn’t rank high with incomes, and the household median income rank is low. However, to understand what the average American makes, it has an excellent unemployment rate, which is relatively lower than most states.

 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

8 Tips to Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store

A grocery store sells perishable and non-perishable products to individual customers or the general public in bulk. At a retail store, customers have the freedom to choose their own desired products for household consumption. This freedom means that the power lies in customers’ hands and that whatever they have planned to purchase for the month is at their disposal.

However, store owners use different secret tactics to lift their sales by luring customers towards unwanted products through various discounts or value-added offers. These offers help retail store owners maximize their profits or boost their sales volume and profitability. On the contrary, there are ways in which you can save time and money and help increase foot traffic in the store. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Grocery Store— the Growing Retail Industry in a Single Snapshot!

Groceries are an unavoidable expense! They eat up a large portion of our monthly paycheck, leaving us no money by the end of the month. According to the Bureau of Labor, statistics report that food is the third-largest household expense after house rent and utility bills. Retail or a grocery store business is one of the safest and highly profitable companies in the world. It offers a wide range of opportunities and positive returns to people, which encourages them to step into this industry without overthinking. No matter how sharp retail owners may be in implementing practical tactics to draw visitors and engage them in impulse buying, there are ways to save time and money at the grocery store.

It is a human tendency to fall for attractive and well-displayed products on the shelves. Even the most organized shoppers fall prey to flashy discount offers or distractions in a grocery or retail store. These offers drag them into buying more and more, and they usually leave the store with at least a dozen more items than planned.

8 Tips that can help Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Don’t Shop During Peak Hours

Shopping hours or time play an essential role in your grocery shopping experience. In peak hours, you may be in a rush and end up buying more than planned and vice versa. Shoppers who choose to shop during non-peak hours are more productive than those who shop during peak hours. They have more time searching and sorting the exact product they want without distraction, which will save time and money at the grocery store. So, to remain time and cost-effective, try picking a less popular time for shopping.

Go Alone

According to a study concluded by one of the top marketing science institutes, people end up buying more when accompanied by someone. It further revealed that nearly 70% of shoppers engage in impulse buying when a group influences them. This influence signifies that it is better to go shopping alone so that you are more likely only to buy those truly needed products.

Make a Budget

A monthly grocery budget may be considered a necessary evil. It helps you save a lot of time and money. Different marketing experts have argued and recommended that shoppers not to go shopping without a budget or a plan. With so many items to choose from, without a plan, you will probably end up buying unwanted products, which would ultimately exceed your budget limit. So, to stay within the budget and save time and money at the grocery store, you must strictly follow the list and stick with the allocated budget.

Don’t Shop with Empty Bellies

Don’t forget to eat correctly before indulging in any purchasing because an empty belly often finds everything attractive. Shopping with an empty stomach will encourage you to buy more, which may be hard on your budget.

Shop in Familiar Retail Stores

It’s a better shop in stores with which you are familiar. This familiarity allows you to save a lot of time and energy. You will know every section of the store beforehand, which would enable you to buy products in quick succession. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Be Wary of Cart Size

You may not be aware of it, but, yes, the size of your cart can make you buy more products. Some grocery stores use this secret tactic to manipulate customers and encourage them to buy more. According to a study, nearly 80% of shoppers don’t notice their cart size and end up buying more than planned. If you expect to save time and money at the grocery store, then you should pay attention to the cart size and focus on items that are on your grocery list only.

Don’t Shop at Eye Level

Store owners strategically place products at eye level to draw the attention of shoppers. Usually, the items displayed at eye level along with discounts or value-added offers sell to clear out stock or inventory. You need to stay vigilant and careful throughout your visit to the store.

Get in The Fastest Exit or Checkout Line

To save time and money at the grocery store, you need to get in the fastest checkout line. Checking out is the point where time-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness make a difference. Get in the checkout line that has little or no traffic.

Summary

Making a monthly budget is essential if you expect to save time and money at the grocery store. Moreover, a monthly budget will restrict you from buying unwanted products, which means you will not get distracted and stick with the grocery list. Optimal use of time and resources defines whether or not you are sincere with your monthly paycheck.

 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

7 Strategies for Profitably Pricing Your Retail Products

Young woman is choosing toothbrush in supermarket.
All retailers need a pricing strategy for their retail products, however, for many inexperienced retailers, this can prove to be a tiresome task. After thorough research and trials, you may be able to set an optimum price. High prices will give you higher profit margins but can affect your sales. Similarly, low prices can boost your sales but you may not make enough money to balance it out. So, the dilemma is to find that perfect middle spot for profitably pricing your products.

There is no right or wrong way to pricing and, depending on your business model and type of product, you will need to set a pricing strategy accordingly. The two basic factors that you must incorporate into your pricing are the cost of goods and operating expenses. The cost of goods includes any cost that you bear while acquiring or manufacturing the product plus any additional shipping costs. Operating costs are associated with your payrolls, marketing costs, and other overhead costs.

Strategies to Price your Retail Products

MSRP

The ‘manufacturer suggested retail price’ is exactly what the name suggests. The manufacturer of a product sets a standardized price for multiple retailers. The bargaining power of the manufacturer and exclusivity of the product are the two main factors in setting up the price. Retailers now need not worry about profitably pricing their products as the prices are already set by the manufacturer, saving them a lot of nuisance. However, it is hard to sustain an advantage over your competitors using the MSRP pricing strategy.

Dynamic pricing

A dynamic pricing for your products means that you will need to alter the prices depending on the current market conditions. This type of pricing can be beneficial for you, however, you will need to monitor the market very closely and make accurate predictions constantly. Airlines often opt for a dynamic pricing strategy as it is most optimum for their business model. This allows you to meet real-time customer expectations, however, monitoring the market and correctly predicting it is a tough job and can easily go wrong.

Mark-up pricing

Mark-up pricing is calculated by adding a definitive profit margin to the cost of retail products. Ensure to keep the mark-up high enough to cover any price reductions, discounts, or other scenarios. It is one of the simplest pricing strategies and can be used variably for each product line. This is one of the preferred pricing strategies for retailers as you can set the mark-up at a point that’s optimum for you.

Competitive pricing

Because of the availability of so many options to consumers, they are willing to search the market for the best price. Profitably pricing your products can be challenging in such a competitive market as you have the option to either set your product below or above the competition prevailing in the market.

A below competitor pricing strategy would work best if the retailer is able to negotiate the prices with the manufacturer and is able to reduce the cost. For retail products that are priced above the competition, the retail location must be exclusive and the product quality should be exceptional. Also, the customer service should justify the high pricing and customers should be able to associate a higher value with your products.

Psychological pricing

Have you ever wondered why stores charge $99.90 instead of $100? This is referred to as psychological pricing as consumers are more likely to buy a product in which the price ends with a 9, 7 or even 3. These numbers have proved to appeal the audience as the tendency is to round down the price to $99 instead of rounding it up.

However, psychological pricing does not work well with high-end products as it gives away a cheaper perception. Psychological pricing is a useful way of profitably pricing your products and keeping your customer satisfied at the same time.

Discount pricing

There is no doubt in the fact that everyone loves sales and discounts. Sometimes the situation demands you to opt for a discount pricing strategy. Seasonal discount offers are quite prominent as consumers are able to buy products at a discounted price and retailers are able to offload the inventory. A large number of customers are attracted to the store when you have put the stock on sale. However, sales and discounts should only be used occasionally as it can give away a bad reputation for your business. You can be labeled as a bargain retailer and people would not shop at your store otherwise.

Anchor pricing

This pricing strategy for retail products also tends to be more psychological in nature. Both the original and the sale price of the product are listed together for the customer to make a comparison. The original price serves as an anchor for the sale price and customers perceive to have found a great deal. Another tactic is to place a higher priced item next to a cheaper one to attain customer’s attention.

A higher original price compared to the sale price is more likely to result in a sale, however, if the price seems unrealistic and the customer finds out, there is a probability that the situation can turn bad for you.

Conclusion

There is never one perfect approach to pricing retail products and it is recommended that you revisit your pricing strategy from time to time in order to stay germane.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Questions to ask before a Refinance

Save money for home cost
A home mortgage finance is not always easy to handle especially when it comes to beginner lenders who have strict policies and lengthy approval processes that make it difficult to request a loan.

The founder and CEO of LoanDepot.com, Anthony Hsieh says, “Homeowners today need to be triathletes to qualify for a loan, with great income, great credit and great value in their home.”

Before choosing to refinance your home mortgage, you should ask the following six questions.

Do I have equity in my home?

Homeowners should ideally have 20 percent equity in their home in order to sign up for a loan request without paying private mortgage insurance. This may badly affect the benefit of refinancing and result in making homeowners owe more money than the actual cost of their home. Vice President of Home Savings for W.J. Bradley Mortgage, Roy Meshel, states that going for a refinance without sufficient equity only depreciates the value of a house. Another thing that impacts your ability to qualify for a loan is the borrower’s credit score. For qualifying to get a refinance loan, you need to have a good borrower credit score.

What are my financial goals?

Most homeowners opt for refinancing to reduce their monthly installments. A good mortgage calculator may guide you to decide about your installment plans as well as reduce the interest amounts. Patrick Cunningham, vice president of Home Savings & Trust Mortgage says, “Some people are restructuring their loans to a 20, 15, or 10-year mortgage, which works well for people with plenty of disposable income, but I worry that people are too focused on paying off their mortgage and not integrating this decision with their overall financial plan.”

What are the terms of my current loan?

When going for a refinance on your home, another important question that you need to ask is about the terms and conditions of your current loan. When it comes to terms and conditions, the interest rate and its fluctuation is one of the biggest financial concerns for homeowners. It is advisable for borrowers to stick to fixed rate loans rather than variable rates. Cunningham explains that some borrowers can take advantage by going with the current ARM.

How long do I have to stay in this home?

When asking for a refinance for your home, you should be certain about the tenure you plan to spend in your home. Mortgage professionals, in general, inform borrowers that a refinance may cost them 3 to 6 percent more than the actual cost. Cunningham makes it simpler to understand for borrowers by stating that if the break-even tends to happen at 15 months but you still plan to stay in that house for the next five or more years, it is good to go for refinancing. However, if you plan to move in 2 years, then refinancing is not a good option.

Am I sufficient with my credit score?

Your borrower credit score is an important factor that plays a vital role in getting a good mortgage rate. For any mortgage, it is essential to have a good credit score because, without the score, it becomes troublesome for you to qualify for mortgage. Ideally borrower’s should have a score of 720 or more. Any credit score less than 620 may cause hassles in getting approved for mortgage.

Do I have a second mortgage or line of credit?

Getting a second loan may cause the borrower extra stress. It comes with additional complexity and borrowers might lose track of payment schedules. Cunningham explains this by stating that borrowers have the option of paying off the first loan and then entering into the second loan or they can combine both loans by making them into one large loan. It is better to keep a record of your payment schedules in order to avoid troubles.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

6 Budgeting Steps for Young Families

Father Uses Laptop Whilst Mother Plays With Children At Home
Budgeting is like following a rigid dieting plan: It seems you cannot escape the unbearable feelings of restriction and deprivation, but you manage to do it anyway as you know you are doing a right thing. In either case, finding a perfect formula that fits your unique situation and financial circumstances is somehow a tough job and proves tougher still to stick with it.

In addition, with all of the needs and requirements of running a house, young families often find it hard to spare some time for household budget preparation – especially when the funds left at the end of the month are less than their needs. You must take budgeting seriously as it is the only way to control your finances; or, they will control you.

6 Smart Budgeting Steps for Young Families

1. Know how you spend

Knowing where your earnings are going is one of the most important budgeting steps, without which you cannot even figure out from where to start. Although you may be conscious of your larger transactions like utilities and mortgage payments, you need to estimate what you spend on variable items like clothing and groceries.

To understand your spending patterns, track each of your purchases for the next thirty days. There are plenty of online tools like Mint that can help young families record even their smallest purchases, such as candies or filling the parking meter and, over time, give them a comprehensive idea in the form of charts and graphs.

2. Understand your needs

Analyze how much money you require to live on. Your basic needs include utilities, groceries, rent or mortgage payment, and gas for your vehicle. For most young families, it can also include such things as diapers for a new baby and medicine for their mother. Jot down your needs simply by looking at your past three months’ expenses. Then, add all of these up and figure out where you stand every month. The total amount (which considers your needs only instead of comforts and luxuries as well) may be smaller than what you might have thought, which will help you come up with a more flexible budget. This also ensures that you are living within your means that eventually implies that there are no unnecessary spending habits.

3. Treat your savings as a necessary expense

This is one of the most essential budgeting steps that recommends savings as a vital element of your budget creation. Young families must initiate building an emergency fund (if they do not have one already) and contribute a certain portion of their earnings (typically 10% of their income) into it. Although it seems tough to be consistent with it as you have a social life, it pays off a lot when something unexpected happens like when your toddler breaks your laptop. Also, it tends to ensure that you are always able to afford your basic necessities.

4. Set goals

Setting goals is one of the most important budgeting steps that inspires an individual to work towards achieving them. Young families should consider their financial goals like owning a new car, buying a big home, and their children’s education when preparing their budget. The bigger and more personal the goals you have, the more motivated you are to stick to your budget-map.

5. Create the budget

As budget making takes time and due diligence, you need to set aside a minimum of a few hours. In fact, it is better to wait for the weekend or a day when there are no pressing obligations than to haphazardly scribble a plan that does not work. Once you are aware of your spending habits, have identified your needs and have clarity in your financial goals, then creating your spending, saving, and investment categories for your budgeting will be a relatively simple task. Remember, prioritize all of the categories from most important to least important and allocate your budget accordingly.

6. Monitor your progress

Last but not least, review your budget every month to figure out how well it is working. Whenever you revise or make any changes in your budget plan, go through all other budgeting steps to come up with a precise plan. Making adjustments is a normal aspect of a young family’s budgeting process. Thus, stay motivated by your small successes and persevere towards your goal accomplishments.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.