Tag Archives: business planning

Keeping The Edge

As with any game in sports, it’s rare that a good offense wins without a good defense to back it up. Your finances are no different.

So how often should You analyze your “game” to determine any weaknesses and reposition resources as necessary? Once a month is the best practice, subject to the unexpected, a flag that could put Your income at risk and elevate expenses.

Having an “A” game in place is good, and having a plan “B” is also recommended for reasons noted above. Here are a few tactics on how to fortify Your game plan:

  • Are there other possible revenue streams You could implement
  • Ideally you already have and are using a budget, and make sure You include Owner Draws in the budget
  • Document all cash purchases to capture any deductible personal or business expenses
  • Save consistently for rainy day and/or the emergency funds
  • Be as debt free as possible, pay off credit cards regularly if possible
  • Rotating credit cards and paying them off affects credit scores in a positive way

Accountancy is all about the numbers, achieving offensive/defensive balance, and being able to quickly adjust to change.

MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions will work the sidelines to assist You in creating a clearer economic path, so that You can spend your effort and time on what is important.  Call, Email, or Make an appointment for Your No Obligation Consultation Today.

Classifying transactions

Pinpointing Your Niche: Classes…QuickBooks Style

September has arrived and many are sharpening pencils as well as skills. If you are managing multiple revenue streams and looking for a good way to assess what is working  and what is not, grab your favorite note taking device and explore the ABC’s of “Classes”, and how it might provide you a clearer economic path.

Maybe you need to track product and service lines in detail. QuickBooks Classes differentiate transactions by departments, locations, product line, service type or other defining category relevant to your business or personal finance preference. QuickBooks keeps it easy and clean using the same chart of accounts across all Classes. Run a report and you will quickly see the line of business metrics.

When setting up Class Tracking think about

  • How do you want to see your business segmented on your financial reports? Classes will capture not only income and expense, but also assets, liabilities, and equity transactions.
  • Be consistent in how you enter class information on registers to be sure that your financial reports are accurate.
  • Need additional specifics? Set up “Sub-Classes” under the main Class.

Once you have mapped out your system you will have the ability to analyze your business finances from different perspectives…using built in reports “by class”.

When you might use Classes

  • A business with two or more locations – like a grocery store – could use to analyze the profitability of each location.
  • A contracting business with both maintenance and installation services may want to track the return on investment of each service separately. Or, perhaps need to track by a single family, commercial, or renovate and sell investment property.
  • A Non-Profit will track income and expenses by grant, event or project.
  • A Property Management Company might track by tenant within a single location, or for each property location.
  • A service business may be interested in tracking the location of current clients, in order to increase marketing in an untapped area.

You want to know if you are getting paid for your hard work – where, how much and when your money is coming and going, and most importantly what’s left for you.  Class tracking is a great tool to do this.

If you have questions about classes or other accounting questions, please contact me or make an appointment now, to ensure that you are focusing your hard work, passion and commitment for creating value in the right direction.

Weathering the Possibilities

Do you pay attention to the bright and sunny days and the cold, dark storm clouds brewing? Do you risk going out without checking? Do you do that with your business?

You probably heard it when you first thought about starting your business, “the lack of planning and control of financial resources is the top reason for the failure of many small businesses.” You owe it to yourself to develop a barometer to measure the potential success of your business.

The words planning, budgeting, and forecasting, or their derivatives, ought to be staples in your business vocabulary.

Financial reports, the Profit and Loss (Income Statement), Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement that are best created monthly, are indispensable for finance managers to produce budgets and forecasts. An added benefit, they are the radar that finds and isolates trends both good and not so good, allowing you to respond quicker and make mid-course corrections to your business’s advantage, to weather the times.

Our purpose and passion are genuine. We believe in You. Contact us, or go ahead and make an appointment today to a clearer economic path.

Your Art is Your Business: Making Time for the Business to Keep Making Art

There are three things that work against artists making a living from making and selling their work: the (seemingly) fickle nature of people’s taste, the fickleness of the market, and (sometimes) the artists themselves.

Movies and television have fed us that trope for years: the temperamental artisté who isn’t good at “real life.” The writer who won’t use a computer. The painter who hates cell phones. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with liking typewriters or hating cell phones. But if you are counting on being discovered, lauded for your eccentricities, and left alone to create while other people handle your money for you, you might be waiting a really long time.

If you’re not interested in making a living with your art, that’s one thing. You working a day job and you make the time to create. But if you want to make a living with your art, you can’t afford embrace that faux artistic temperament and ignore the practicalities of running a business.

If you’re going to make a business of making art, you need to be able to approach it, in part, as a business. It helps to start doing that from the very beginning. That means creating a workable business plan.

What you need to know about creating a business plan

The Mission and Vision Statements

Every business plan, and every business, begins with mission and vision statements. Naturally you know why you’re an artist. You understand the drive it requires. But there’s something about putting it down in writing, codifying and clarifying it so that as you move forward, they are more than words on a screen. They are the foundation of your future success.

Goals

Yes, you want to create art and sell it. That’s the larger goal. Establishing some benchmark goals, however, will help you plan the steps you need to take in order to make that a reality. Where do you want to be in three months? Six months? Nine months? A year? You want your goals to be ambitious, but they should also be reasonable. You want to be able to march forward, but you also want to make sure that your goals aren’t so abstract that you grind to a halt when you hit a stumbling block. (And you will.)

Identify your customer

No, it’s not about making art to satisfy a customer. It’s about focusing your marketing and social media strategies to create the best possible outcome. The thing about being an artist is that while it may sometimes feel like no one notices what you do, it’s important to remember that there is an audience – and a customer – for everything. The hard part is knowing how to focus your marketing so that you’re working smarter, not harder.

 

That’s really the entire trick to giving the business enough time so that you can keep making art. Work smarter, not harder. It means more than just being comfortable wearing multiple hats and working on multiple levels. It means that, on some level, you thrive on it.

Starting and running your own business is always a risk, regardless of the kind of business it is. Turning your art into your business is a unique kind of risk, though, because you’re risking more than just the very important tangibles of time and money. You are also risking that intangible part of you that drives your art and makes you who you are.  The bravery required to put your passion on the line is necessary. But you need to protect that passion as much as you can.

However, if you forged ahead without a business plan, that doesn’t mean you can’t sit down and write one out. There’s never a wrong time to sit down and rethink how you’re doing things, and creating a business plan is a good way to re-evaluate and reorganize your business so you can focus on your art. There’s plenty of information out there to help you, too. Remember, part of working smarter, not harder means making use of available resources. Check out the Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Development Center, and SCORE a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses in your state.

Cash or Accrual – What’s the Difference?

The Cash method is like a checkbook. You record the income when you receive it, and record the expense when you write the check. It is easy to maintain, and good way to start for new businesses figuring out where they are going. It does not include the Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable so may misrepresent your true income and expenses. As your business becomes more complex, you may decide you need the detail of Accrual accounting.

The Accrual method records the income when the sale is made, whether you have been paid or not, and records the expense when incurred, even though it has not been paid. It is a more intricate system to learn, however, more accurately tracks your finances. Preferred by Accountants and CPA’s for management purposes.

If you have questions about which is best for you, Contact MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions now.

Find hidden profits

  1. Review Balance Sheet and Income Statements (P &) at least quarterly if not more.
  2. Reconcile Bank accounts monthly.
  3. Bank at more than one financial institution to develop a relationship that may help you when you need a loan.
  4. Hire a Bookkeeper to help you part time so you can focus on growing your business.

MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions assists businesses and individuals with their accounting needs. Services include but are not limited to installation, setting up chart of accounts, training, and troubleshooting problems. We understand the challenges of owning a business, and are ready to connect you to the answer for all your business questions.

Contact us at 805-764-1MJB or 502-309-9MJB,  follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook.

Essential Financial Reports for Any Business

Whether you are a new start-up, or an existing business, there are (3) important financial analysis reports you should create  on a regular basis, especially if you are seeking funding for the business:

  • Profit and Loss Statement – This report shows you your income, your operating expenses, and the Net Income or Profit from all your hard work.  Analyzing this report regularly will show where you may be spending too much. 
  • Balance Sheet – This report shows your Assets such as  cash, accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, furniture, building, and land; your Liabilities such as short/long term notes, accounts payable,  taxes, and interest;  and your Equity in terms of invested capital, and retained earnings.
  • Cash Flow Statement  This report shows how your cash position changed over a period of time. It shows the amount of cash earned from profit, where you received additional cash, and where your cash was spent in terms of operating, investing and financing activities.

 Two documents that are particularly helpful for New Businesses are are the Start-Up Costs worksheet where you will estimate the capital you will need to open your doors,  and the Break-Even Analysis which will show the exact point where you will start making profit after covering all of your operating expenses.

You have many choices when selecting a bookkeeping service.  What sets us apart is our tenure of professionalism, passion for accountancy, believing in the value you provide the world, working with you to help you measure your business’ success.  We serve a broad range of business client types and sizes, with expertise in various accounting software platforms. Contact  MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions today.

Is your Business bugged by seasonal illness?

This is a new economy, and the landscape of “traditional” staff resources is changing. Your work hard, passion and commitment go into creating value for your customers.  You want to know if you are getting paid for your hard work – where, how much and when your money is coming and going, and most importantly what’s left for you.  Accountancy is all about the numbers – your business’ numbers.  It’s that simple.

You have many choices when selecting a bookkeeping service.  What sets MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions apart is our tenure of professionalism, passion for accountancy, believing in the value you provide the world, working with you to help you measure your business’ success, serving a broad range of business client types and sizes, and expertise in various accounting software platforms.

Top 9 Reasons For Not Using a Bookkeeper

  1. You have all the Clients you need.
  2. You like multi-tasking.
  3. There is no need to grow your business.
  4. Your account has never been overdrawn
  5. You keep your budget in your head.
  6. You don’t have the office space.
  7. You don’t want to pay employee taxes.
  8. You pay your CPA to reconcile 12 months of receipts and statements.
  9. The IRS will never audit your Business.

MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions will partner with you to keep your CPA happy.  Contact Us Today.