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Understanding accounting, the language of finance and business, is crucial knowledge for all business owners and entrepreneurs. When starting a business, learning how to read financial statements is as important as managing other tasks in business. It is more important to understand statements rather than to continue investing money blindly.

With the passage of time the business will expand and transactions with other businesses, tax authorities and people will have to be made. Business bookkeeping needs to be counted and rechecked. These transactions of business and records are maintained using various financial statements and accounting terms.

First of all, the following three are the most important financial statements in business bookkeeping.

1. INCOME STATEMENT

The Income statement is divided into Sales and Expenses.

Sales include:  The selling of goods and services to the customers and getting monetary payments in return.

Expense include: The purchases made on behalf of the business, employee salaries, bank loans that were received  for investment or other purposes, and tax expenses that were paid as income taxes, etc..

2. BALANCE SHEET

The balance sheet is a collective form of the statement that is made on the basis of all transactions made in the past. It categorizes the assets and liabilities.

Assets can be fixed assets as well as cash in the bank. It also includes the raw materials, work in progress that will yield profit, finished goods and also the value-added tax. Value-added tax is the amount of money that a tax authority owes you.

Liabilities comprise the payments that have to be paid by the company/ business. It includes the gross amount of money that has to be paid to suppliers. Value added tax liability is money paid to tax authorities for the sales that were done. Debt is the amount of money that has to be paid by the company to banks or other sources.

A balance sheet needs a balance.

3. CASH FLOW STATEMENT

A cash flow statement shows the cash (money) that flows in and the money that flows out.

A cash flow sheet includes the investing and the financing cash flow. Investing cash flow is the invested cash in the fixed assets in the business. The Financing cash flow describes the money in cash from that which was either received from the investors or paid to the investors.

A third but very important form of cash flow is “Operating cash flow”. It explains the money flowed-in and flowed-out to the running business.

These 3 cash flows are added and it shows the change in the amount of cash.

Conclusion:

The above three financial statements are interrelated. As the incomes and expenses statement increase, the assets and liabilities on in the balance sheet will increase. The assets and liabilities will decrease as per the cash flows from the cash flow statement.

Knowledge regarding financial statements interpretation is essential for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs need to know the important information in the credit analysis of their business. It is very crucial for investors/entrepreneurs to understand fully how accounting is done in businesses. Accounting is the language of business. But, learning the meaning of a few terms used in accounting is not enough. Entrepreneurs must understand the parts of the above described financial statements. This will help the entrepreneurs determine the values of assets. They will be able to calculate profitability and also estimate the risks of the assets of the company. They can understand the company’s financing sources. Entrepreneurs must understand the investment, credit analysis, and profitability.

Business owners/entrepreneurs can determine the debt and equity with accounting knowledge in business financing. The ability of entrepreneurs to identify debt and equity shows insight into the value of a company. Understanding an accounting statement is important for running a successful business.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

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.

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No one instinctively knows how to build a business. They either throw themselves into the role as a first-time leader or they begin inside a classroom at the growing number of colleges and universities now catering to entrepreneurs’ needs. 

Listed below are 36 of the best business books for entrepreneurs and professionals:

1.    Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss.

2.    Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.

3.    Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.

4.    The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage by Daymond John.

5.    Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg.

6.    Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek.

7.    The Lean Startup: How today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.

8.    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.

9.    The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz.

10.   The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business By Charles Duhigg.

11.   So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport.

12.   Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins.

13.   Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and TahlRaz.

14.   Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters.

15.    The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

16.   Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

17.   Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by NirEyal.

18.   Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by NirEyal.

19.   How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

20.   The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman.

21.   Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher.

22.   Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.

23.   Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.

24.   Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki.

25.   What If It Does Work Out?: Turn your passion into cash, make an impact in the world and live the life you were born to by Susie Moore.

26.   Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath.

27.   Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job by Sean Wise and Brad Feld.

28.   Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury.

29.   Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.

30.   Virtuous Leadership by Alexandre Havard.

31.   The Secret to Success: When You Want to Succeed as Bad as You Want to Breathe by Eric Thomas.

32.   The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs by Kevin D. Johnson.

33.   The Ten-Day MBA 4th Ed.: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Skills Taught In America’s Top Business Schools by Steven A. Silbiger.

34.   Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant.

35.   What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World by Tina Seelig.

36.   The Social History of the Machine Gun by John Ellis.

Conclusion:

Every entrepreneur needs an active reading list. After all, books are one of the most valuable knowledge resources. The challenge, however, is sifting through and finding the right material. Find something that will not only resonate with you and inspire you to aim higher but will also guide you through that process as well.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

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.

 

 

Businesswoman check data in smartphone and tablet
Compliance means adherence to or obeying a certain set of laws and regulations. Compliance in a corporate sector or business means that the company is obeying all legal regulations and laws required to manage the business, consumers, and employees. Compliance is an indicator of how responsible a company is.

Compliance regulations are categorized into two types:

  • Internal compliance regulations are imposed by government on certain entities.
  • External compliance requirements are imposed by state authorities.

Internal compliance requires that records of business dealings, transactions, sales, profits, inventory, loans, investors and lenders are well maintained, transparent, and updated.

External compliance requirements include annual reports and franchise tax.

Importance of compliance in a business:

  • The compliance of a business depicts that it is corruption free and well integrated.
  • Legal problems and penalties are prevented.
  • Operations and processes are improved.
  • Better image and public relations.
  • Less employee turnover.

Compliance and QuickBooks:

Following are the few important and significant compliance regulations required that can be perfectly managed by using QuickBooks.

Payroll taxes:

Regarding payroll, there are a few legal requirements.  The first is withholding payroll taxes from employees’ paychecks. Second, is that the business owner must pay half of the FICA taxes of employees. Third, and lastly, is severance pay which is also included in taxable FICA wages according to recent affirmations of the supreme court.

With a paycheck calculator paycheck withholdings can be estimated with great ease and in a simple way using QuickBooks.

Employee classification:

Classification of employees is one of the most important compliance regulations.  In July 2015, the Department of Labor issued an interpretation of an administrator. In this interpretation, it was explained that most workers are categorized as employees and should not be considered as independent contractors.

The high degree of adherence, compliance, and regulations is required for employees. Withholding of taxes from employee paychecks are needed.  And, they are entitled to benefits.

In contrast, contractors are not entitled to any kind of employee benefits. No withholding from their paychecks is required. Less regulation is implemented on them.

QuickBooks an easy and perfect solution to classify paycheck withholders by using W-2S, while using 1099 Wizard for use with contractors.

Wrong classification of employees can result in steep fines, but QuickBook is the perfect remedy.

Credit card Fraud:

The complete guide to EMW regulations of QuickBooks are used to replace old structures with new ones, i.e. EMW. EMW chips are implemented to impose more responsibility on business owners for fraud prevention. This EMW chip system is implemented by the authorities who issue credit cards and process payments. If equipment is not upgraded to scan EMW chips, then your liability to prevent fraud on credit cards is increased. QuickBooks is perfectly equipped with this innovation.

State regulations:

Regulations of every state are different. Every business owner must be well aware of their particular state’s regulations so that fines and penalties can be avoided. Few examples of regulations are:

  • Many states have increased minimum employee wages.
  • Paid sick leave is granted in some states.
  • Few states require to file employee paperwork early. This paper work should match federal regulations and requirements.

QuickBooks is a great tool to handle these accounting regulations.

Overtime regulations:

QuickBooks helps in compliance with overtime regulations. Overtime regulations differ with each state. Just enter information on the QuickBooks app and calculate employee overtime and also track working hours of employees.

Stay tax ready:

Various types of taxes are required to be paid by the business owners. All expenses are categorized in QuickBooks and easily converted to taxable sheets. Just take pictures of receipts or scan them and attached with expenses via the QuickBooks mobile app. By using QuickBooks, your data is well organized and well prepared to file for taxes. Tax savings can be increased due to better compliance.

Affordable care Act:

Affordable care act states that a business with more than fifty full time workers is required to grant health benefits. A full time employee is one who works thirty or more hours in a week. QuickBooks is used to track the working hours of an employee. By accurate calculation of working hours, you can follow government regulations effectively.

Conclusion:

QuickBooks has apps and software which are used to calculate and maintain the data required for perfect compliance.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Rear view of a businesswoman looking at large business planning sketch on a chalkboard.

Poor Management Team – A common start-up error

An unfathomably common issue that is faced in the start-up of any business is a frail management team. Feeble management groups commit errors in various areas:

  • They frequently fail in building a correct strategy. Making a product that no one needs to purchase is a sign that the management neglected to do the necessary work to gather and refine ideas before and during development.
  • They are normally poor at execution which causes issues with the products not being produced accurately or on time. Furthermore, the go-to-market execution will be inadequately actualized.
  • They will assemble powerless groups beneath them. There is a well-demonstrated saying: A players employ A players and B players just get the chance to enlist C players (as B players would prefer not to work for other B players). So whatever is left of the organization will be fizzled out in a matter of months.

 

Running out of Cash – A key start-up consideration

A significant reason that new companies fail to identify in the start-up phase is that they lack in finance. A key component for the CEO to consider is to see how much money is left once the start-up is launched and whether that will take the organization to a breakthrough that can prompt effective financing with a positive cash flow or not. An efficient bookkeeping system is a must to ensure this.

 

Breakthroughs for Raising Cash

The valuations of a startup don’t change abruptly over time. Because you are in the second year of business since its inception does not imply that you are presently worth more cash. To achieve an expansion in valuation, an organization must accomplish certain key turning points. In the case of a software organization, these might look like something as follows (these are not hard and fast standards):

  • Progress from seed round valuation: the objective is to eliminate some real components of risk. That could employ a key member of a team demonstrating that some specialized deterrent can be overcome or constructing a prototype and getting a positive client response.
  • Product in beta test and client validation. If the product is completed but there isn’t yet any client approval, valuation won’t likely build much. The client approval part is significantly more vital.
  • The product is already in its delivery stage and clients have not only made prepayments for it but are also giving positive feedback.
  • Product/Market fit issues that are typical with a first release (a few highlights are missing that were most required in many sales situations etc.) have generally been wiped out. These are early signs reflecting that the business is beginning to decline.
  • The business model is recognized and endorsed. It is now known how to procure clients and it has been demonstrated that this procedure can be scaled. The cost of gaining clients is acceptably low and unmistakably the business can be productive, as an adaptation from every client surpasses this cost.
  • Business has scaled well, yet needs extra finance to additionally quicken development. This capital can be extended globally, to accelerate development in a highly dynamic market condition, or to support working capital needs as the business develops. Efficient bookkeeping strategies are needed to sustain such financing issues.

 

What goes wrong?

What often goes wrong in the start-up, causes an organization to come up short on money, and unfit to raise more is that management neglected to accomplish the coming milestones before the money ran out. Commonly it is possible to raise finance by debt-servicing methods. However, the risks would be too large in the long-run. Not placing due emphasis on bookkeeping methods can lead to such an outcome.

 

When to hit the Accelerator Pedal

One of the CEO’s most imperative jobs is knowing how to manage the accelerator pedal. In the beginning phase of the business while the product is being created and the strategy refined, the pedal should be set softly to save money. There is no point in enlisting numerous marketing individuals if the organization is still in the phase of completing the product to the point where it truly meets the market requirements. This is a highly common error and will simply bring about a quick failure and loads of frustration.

 

Product Problems

Another reason that organizations fail is on account of neglecting to build up a product that meets the market requirement. This can either be because of basic execution or, on the other hand, it can be a much evident strategic issue which is an inability to accomplish Product/Market fit.

More often than not, the first product that a startup brings to market will most likely not meet market requirements. In the best cases, it will take a couple of modifications to get the product/market fit right. In the most undesirable scenarios, the item will be off the track and an entire reexamination would be required. On the off chance that this happens, it is a reasonable sign of a group that didn’t take the necessary steps to get out and have their ideas validated with clients some time during, and before, development.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
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.

Successful team leader (manager, CEO, market leader) and another business leading concepts. Standing out from the crowd.
Entrepreneurship refers to the planning, pitching and running of a freshly built startup which complies to flourish into the business cloud. Various strategies are adopted by the entrepreneurs in order to lead a successful business. For instance: an experienced management team, fully- equipped infrastructure, efficient accounting strategies, etc. All departments equally contribute to the success of a business, but this article has entirely focused upon the accounting strategies which are adopted to run a successful entrepreneurship. The following are certain strategies which can be adopted in order to achieve successful entrepreneurship by an entrepreneur:

  • To keep an eye on your company’s financial health:

Financial health of a business corporation refers to the financial state of a business which illustrates the well-being of its operations. Financial health itself is known to be an indicator of substantial importance in an establishment which determines the profit margins of a company. Profit margins of a company depict the phenomenon where profits exceeds the cost in a revenue generated by a business. However, financial health of a business is necessary for the smooth as well as successful running of a business which ensures its well-fare both in terms of market status as well as higher returns at minimum costs. Various techniques are available to talk about the financial health of a business such as quick ratio, current ratio, days scale outstanding, days inventory outstanding, debt/equity ratio etc. A sound financial state is the indicator of how successful an entrepreneur is running a business.

  • Budgeting your regular finances:

Budgeting refers to the allocation of entire resources and funds available in an office to all departments available in order to create harmony among them for the effective running of all operations of an office. Therefore, regular financing of an office helps out in creating a friendly environment in terms of financial stability ensuring the well-being of a business association’s operations. Several bookkeeping softwares are available in the market to promote healthy, error-free budgeting to generate accurate results where one can identify the limitations, weaknesses, as well as strengths.

  • Conservation of cash at any cost:

Political, social, as well as environmental conditions of a country tend to drive business markets. In case of any of these instabilities, stocks are adversely affected resulting into dark periods for businesses where they ultimately require higher amounts to overcome the shortages. Therefore, in order to avoid haphazard during these times and to ignore long procedures of debts, one must keep a particular amount of cash at reserve to overcome crises or crucial conditions if caused. Moreover, in case of higher manufacturing orders, a company might require financial assistance in terms of a loan. Instead of looking for loans from other companies or individuals, one must keep its own finances at reserve for emergency situations. This would help out in overcoming statuses which tend to hinder the smooth working of a business. Business efficiency is however promoted through effective techniques such as budgeting which also determines the profit margins of a company determining a particular and feasible amount for future crisis.

Final Note

Financial health of a company is the indicator for its marginal profits which ensures the economic and financial well-being of a company so that it can easily go for future investments as well as repaying of debts. Therefore, it plays a significant role in promoting a business in optimistic terms by giving it sustenance through hard times.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


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.

Business woman standing in front of a blackboard with a financial chart

When creating a solid business plan, the funding of your business is a critical step. The first thought is to apply for a loan or borrow money from a relative. These methods come with restraining a valuable asset or time. The finest place to find the best funding solution is your house. With enough savings, managing finances for business from your house over time, it is quite easy.

Bootstrapping is known as “self-funding”. It is a variety of different methods used by entrepreneurs for financing their startups other than a small business loan. The phrase, “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps,” means doing business without help from an outsider i.e. doing business without financial support from the outside.

Advantages of bootstrapping a business are that it is simple in nature, has little operating cost, is flexible and requires minimal time.

Here are ways to make funding a business from a house possible:

Source #1: Household savings

Savings are used as a business investment by many entrepreneurs. This is an ideal source. How much profit will be earned is in your control. No justifications to other investors need to be given.  It can be operated as you perceive best.

You need to be determined and sacrifice your luxuries to start saving so that you can obtain enough to launch a startup.

Source #2: Credit

Use of credit cards and a house equity loan is used as the source of funding but it can be risky. By utilizing these resources, your credit or home is at risk, so these should be used carefully.

Source #3: Family members and friends

Family and friends can invest in your business, however, if anything goes wrong, your relationship with them can be affected. Moreover personal and business relationships should be kept separate and investors should be treated professionally.

Source #4: Customers and suppliers

Prepayment by customers can be utilized as a business fund but, keep in mind, that customers will prepay only if exceptional services are provided by you and they are really interested in your products.

Managing finance for your business from supplier credit is another source. 30-60 days are given by suppliers to get payment after delivery. This credit can be an interest-free source of leasing. Getting credit form suppliers needs little effort but are a great funding source.

Source #5: Small Business Administration

The SBA offers Microloans to small business owners. Its range can be up to $50,000 and it can be easy to get. Training is provided to beginners.

Source #6: Peer-to-peer lenders

This personal loan is given to entrepreneurs by investors for startups. It is small (ranging up to $35,000 or more) in peer to peer lending personal credit which matters a lot for startups.

Source #7: Factoring companies

The credit of clients can be utilized as funding sources because most clients agree on 30-60 days to pay the invoice.

Source #8: Leasing

The equipment needed by a small business can be leased from a finance company on a month to month rent. After accomplishment of the lease period, equipment can be purchased.

Source #9: Crowd funding

Crowd funding is a unique way to manage finances for businesses. It requires pre-selling of products by you and pre-purchasing by customers. If sufficient consumers pre-purchase merchandise and the transaction clears, you can move onward and forward.

Source #10: The bank

Banks offer loan against assets, especially for commercial credit. These assets should qualify with the strict criteria of the bank.

Source #12: Government grants

Many loan schemes are started by the government to provide small business loans. This is the least reliable method.

Source #13: ACH Loans and merchant advances

ACH loans/merchant cash advances permit you to fund future trades. ACH loans are used to finance commercial sales whereas merchant cash advances are used to finance credit card sales. You pay back the lender by giving them a portion of your monthly credit card sales or by allowing them to debit your bank account through the ACH system (direct debit).

Conclusion:

A reasonable amount of savings every month from the household and monthly income will give you greater and better funding for your business. All these methods are useful when your business planning is well organized.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

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.

Young lady with computer and boxes

Not only am I a successful start-up entrepreneur, my expertise lies in the area of helping small businesses across the nation to succeed in their business endeavors by keeping an eye on their financial performance from the top line to the bottom line.

Young entrepreneurs may be tempted to use their own credit to cover expenses when starting a business. You need to be very careful and understand the risk involved in that decision! Most businesses are not successful, and especially your first few ventures will have a low possibility of long term success. But the impact on your credit will stay with you for a very long time. Keep your credit for the business you start that outlasts the initial ‘proof of concept’ stage and is at least producing revenue. Until then, bootstrap it or find like-minded people to invest in you.

Don’t buy a bunch of inventory. Inventory intensive businesses carry a lot of risk. You have to spend to purchase the inventory, the less you order the more it costs per unit, and you have to consider the cost of lost opportunities because your precious capital is sitting around in the form of inventory gathering dust. Even though your margins may be lower, it is recommended that you produce as ordered or limit your inventory purchases to current orders on hand plus 100%. That way, at a 100% markup, if you never get another order, you won’t be out-of-pocket once you sell that inventory – unless it never sells and you have to discount it or give it to charity.

Reinvest in your business. A start-up business is like a baby; you have to feed it, nurture it, stay up all night, give it your all and you hope it grows up and takes very good care of you. If you take all of your profits and spend them on fancy things, you run the risk of starving the baby! Protect your capital and spend it in ways that will generate more capital. Use your entrepreneurial negotiating skills to convince your producers to lower their prices to you in anticipation of your future growth. Don’t hire staff members that cannot help you generate more revenue or save on costs. Don’t rent an office unless you absolutely must – keep it virtual. Rely on associate relationships and interns to do your evangelizing. Use free or low cost platforms for website, CRM, social media, and other tech and marketing needs. The rule of thumb is – don’t spend money unless it will make you money.

Keep an eye on the numbers. When you first start a business it is difficult to predict what your revenue and costs will be, but it is still important to make a forecast and cross reference your budgeted numbers with actual performance. Don’t fib to yourself about the potential, create forecasting that is reasonable and achievable so you can use it for goal setting. As soon as you have reached a revenue phase, you should begin measuring critical KPIs (key performance indicators) so you can learn the percentages and flow that represent your businesses cycle. A few important things to know about your business are: margins, cost of client acquisition, attrition rate, debt to income ratio, revenue growth rate month over month, and monthly overhead total.

The entrepreneurial spirit is one of persistence and confidence. Stay true to the vision and carry it out. If the vision is getting blurry, stop and recalibrate. Decisions made out of desperation lack good judgement. If you can’t get to proof of concept, scratch it. Your experience will serve you in a later endeavor. Be smart, listen to your instincts, and know when to fold.

Success is right around the corner!
Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, 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, critical financial documents and back office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooks™️ ProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay services. 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.

Avocado toast with poached eggs
I believe that one of the most valuable things I can do for my entrepreneurial mind is get an excellent night’s sleep. Sometimes I stay up late with a brainstorm and my head doesn’t even touch a pillow until after  mid-night. If I can help it, I will leave my alarm off and sleep until my body awakens naturally.

Fresh out of bed, I seek out my dog and hug him – this isn’t a quick hug, it’s a heartfelt bonding hug that refreshes me and leaves his tail wagging. Having done my first good deed for the day, I get my coffee, make my bed and go outside to hear the birds and enjoy God’s world.

Now it’s time to check my private emails. I am very strict about giving my friends and family my private email address and NOT my business email address. That way they get my undivided attention first – and that includes knowing whose birthday it is and whether I have personal appointments that day. I do this because I know that my business is going to captivate me the moment I crack open the first email. My business fuels my passion and drives me, so I have to be disciplined to address everything else before it.

Sometimes the day is so beautiful that I cannot bring myself to go inside. That’s what my laptop is for. I pull it out and start working right there on my front porch. If I must go inside, my office awaits. It is a separate area with a door. I think that’s important to keep out the noise and bustle of the home while I focus in on the needs of my business. My favorite days are those when the rain pours down and the pups sleep on the floor of my office. I can work for hours without the tug of sunshine or a body of water calling to me from outside.

At heart I am an outdoors girl and it’s hard to keep me down for long. That’s why I have been careful to add all relevant email addresses and apps to my phone. Yes, that decision ensures that I am always informed and almost always working, but it also gives me the freedom to move about the planet while I do so.
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