Book keeping tips for small business owners What is book keeping anyway?If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’ve heard of bookkeeping. It can seem like another one of those things entrepreneurs have to deal with but don’t really know what it is. To put it simply, bookkeeping is the process of recording, storing and retrieving financial information related to your small business. Your books include all of the documents that make up your financial history: receipts, invoices and statements from suppliers, bank statements and more. If you’ve been operating for a while you may be wondering why bother? Is it even worth my time?Bookkeeping is important because accurate record-keeping ensures your business complies with tax laws and meets its legal requirements. You need good records to prepare your financial statements so that you can analyse your business performance, keep track of how much money is going out versus coming in, get a handle on cash flow, identify the strengths and weaknesses in your operations — the list goes on. If you don’t have all the details about how much money you owe or who owes you money – bookkeeping will help you get this straightened out quickly. Beyond these benefits there’s also an emotional side to being organized; no more worry when CRA calls or when an auditor shows up at your door!Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper.If you are not a numbers person and the idea of trying to manage all of this on your own is giving you serious anxiety, hiring an accountant or bookkeeper might be an excellent choice for you. This can save you significant amounts of time, money and stress over your business’s lifetime.A great way to get recommendations for accountants or bookkeepers is by asking other business owners in your industry who they work with.Find trust worthy accounting software.To get started, you should use accounting software that can integrate with your other business tools. Look for an option that integrates with your email and CRM tools, so you never have to waste time importing data from one source to another. You should also find a system that supports multiple currencies.Once you’ve found the best software for your needs, you’ll need to add all of your transactions. Automate as many entries as possible using bank feeds or importing data files. After everything’s added, run reports to check for errors and make adjustments where necessary.What records should I keep on hand?There are many records that you should keep on hand. From receipts to income and expenses, there is a lot of information that needs to be recorded and organised. You need to ensure that you have the following documents:Every receipt for purchases made by your business should be kept in a filing system so you can produce them when required. You need to keep them for at least five years in case they are needed by the tax office.It is advisable to keep copies of all invoices sent out as well as paid bills from suppliers, including any cancelled cheques.Keep a log of all business related transactions (including cash sales) so if you ever need visit the tax office for an audit, you can provide a list of sales made during a specific period of time and this will help with calculating how much GST has been collected from customers and paid over to the ATO.Take stock of your money chores.When you are a small business owner, keeping your financial house in order should be one of your top priorities. As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”The first step to setting yourself up for success is taking stock of what you are currently doing with money. This process begins by asking yourself some key questions: Where does my money come from? How much do I earn each month? Where does my money go? How much do I save each month? How much do I spend each month on bills and other expenses like food, clothing and entertainment? How much do I owe, both in loans and credit cards payments?It may sound simple enough but getting it all down on paper is easier said than done. For many people, just thinking about how they spend their money can be overwhelming – especially when trying to keep track of everything manually through pen and paper or a spreadsheet. Thankfully there are several tools available that can help make the process as easy as possible including online calculators, spreadsheets templates and mobile apps.Establish a time limit.To keep track of your business’s finances and make sure that you get everything done, it’s important to set aside time to work on tasks like bookkeeping. This time should depend on the size of your business—for a small business owner, it may mean setting aside an hour or two a week for activities like reconciling your accounts, creating invoices and paying bills.If you’re wondering when the best time is for you to set aside for bookkeeping, consider your personality type and habits. For example, are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you prefer to focus on one task at a time or do you love multitasking? Based on these factors, decide whether it makes more sense to do bookkeeping in the morning or in the evening—it really doesn’t matter as long as it gets done!It’s also important to figure out what types of documents and records need to be kept. In general, receipts that can be tied directly to a specific expense (and are less than $75) don’t need to be saved – they can simply be thrown out after being recorded. However, social security numbers should never be thrown away; instead shred them so that they don’t get into the wrong hands!Book keeping is what builds a small businessBookkeeping is an important foundation for any small business. It’s the process of recording all the financial transactions in your business, and it will help you get a firm grasp on where your money is coming from and where it’s going, which will allow you to grow and scale your business properly.There are several different types of bookkeeping methods that use different formats, but the two main types are single-entry bookkeeping (with just one entry per transaction) and double-entry bookkeeping (with multiple entries per transaction). If you’re running a small operation with no employees, then single-entry bookkeeping may be sufficient. However, if you’re running a larger operation or have multiple employees with access to your accounts, then double-entry bookkeeping is recommended because it provides more security and oversight.
What is a personal brand?What Is a Personal Brand?A personal brand is the perception of you that you create and have control over. A personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. In other words, it’s your reputation. It’s how people describe you to their friends, family and coworkers. When someone refers to your personal brand, they are talking about how personable or professional you are and how much value you bring to the table. Your personal brand is even more important than your resume because your resume only shows what actions you’ve taken in the past whereas your personal brand speaks to what kind of person (i.e., CEO, mentor) and employee (i.e., hard-working, creative) others can expect from you going forward.Market yourselfBuilding a strong personal brand is vital if you want to stand out and get noticed by hiring managers.A good headshot is a must-have for your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and even your personal website. Not only does it give people an idea of what you look like, but more importantly it gives them a sense of who you are. A headshot should reflect your personality and brand—it can be fun, professional or somewhere in between!Proofread your resume for typos and grammatical errors, which can negatively impact the way others perceive you. This is especially important if you’re applying for jobs in the PR industry where attention to detail is key or any other position where written communication skills are required. You should also consider proofreading all of the written content on your website and social media accounts before posting to make sure there are no mistakes that could hurt your credibility.Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow anyone to showcase their talents in front of millions of people every day. Use social media as an opportunity to show off what makes you unique. Share interesting articles that relate to your business or industry, post photos that highlight past projects or events you have attended and connect with like-minded professionals on LinkedIn who can help increase visibility for your personal brand. Some hiring managers will search for job applicants online before scheduling an interview so it’s critical that all of the content associated with your name portrays you in a positive light!Volunteering not only helps others but also boosts your own career prospects by helping establish new connections within the industry while gaining valuable experience at the same time. If possible try looking for opportunities that allow volunteers to take on leadership roles such as organizing fundraisers providing them with experience managing budgets planning events etc without having any prior work experience beforehand! This will help set yourself apart from other candidates when applying for jobs because employers want someone who has shown initiative within their community instead just going through motions when doing tasks givenShow up where you want to be seenBe visible where you want to be seen. If you love writing, start a blog. If you’re an expert in a certain field, start answering questions on Quora. If you work for a nonprofit and want to build a career in philanthropy, get on the board of another charity and show up at events like the Global Philanthropy Forum. Whatever the medium, find ways to put yourself out there where people can see your ideas and message.Show up at events where you want to be seen. There is so much power in getting down to business at an event—having meaningful conversations and meeting people who align with your goals. However, there’s also value in simply being visible at these events as well; when people see you around often enough, they start associating your name with something very specific: that thing that you represent or are known for doing best (e.g., “Oh yeah! You’re that girl who founded that nonprofit coffee company!”). Be sure to do both: Get down to business while networking (make meaningful connections), but also consider the importance of being present just so other people know what it is that you do well and associate it with your name or brand identity!Be consistent with your personal branding efforts (e/g/, show up at those same events every year). It doesn’t matter if some of those events are small and might not have any real impact on your brand right now—it matters more that there are other people who saw you there last year who will remember seeing you again this year, too! They may not even know why they recognize your face (or name) yet, but they will connect it with something soon enough if they keep running into “you” everywhere they turn—it could even just be from seeing “you” throughout social media channels over time as well…the point here is consistency counts!Get help from mentors or advisorsBe consistent and confidentTIP 1: BE CONSISTENTConsistency is the building block of trust. Being consistent makes you predictable; people will understand and recognize your brand just by seeing your logo or reading a single sentence. If you’re not consistent, your brand will feel disjointed or erratic, which can confuse people and discourage them from working with you.In order to be consistent, focus on fewer things and do them well. Don’t focus on being “great at everything.” It’s better to have one great strength than five mediocre ones.Personal branding is not as complicated as it sounds, but it can take some timePersonal branding is not as complicated as it sounds, but it does take some time. To get started, you need to research your industry and define what you want to be known for. Once you’ve figured out your personal brand, be confident in it and show up in places where your brand will be seen. You also need to stay consistent with your brand and market yourself so that people know about it.You can build a strong personal brand using these five steps:Research your industry and competitorsDefine who you are and what you want to be known forBe confident in who you are (and don’t waver)Show up everywhere (online and offline)Market yourself through storytelling
Ask for a counter proposal
- Ask for a counter proposal
If you’re not getting the results you want, it’s time to ask for a counter proposal. A counter proposal is simply an alternative offer that gives the other party some of what they wanted and asks them to give you some of what you wanted. It’s incredibly effective when both parties have something to gain from negotiating.
The request can be delivered in any number of ways: “What would it take for us to get this deal done today?” or “I need to improve my margins here, how do we make this work?” or “What if I gave you X and asked for Y in return?” or “We both know there’s room to move on this price, let’s figure out where we can meet in the middle.”
Ask for more
#7 – Ask for more than you think you can get.
It’s common to hear people say, “I’m not going to ask for what I really want because they’ll say no and I’ll be stuck with nothing!”
But that’s a mistake!
If you don’t ask for what you want, your negotiation partner has likely been trained to ask why they should give it to you.
You’ve made their life easier by suggesting a low number so they can stop negotiating and accept the deal, without giving anything up in return. And if they offer less than your opening request in an attempt to keep the conversation going, then that’s just fine too! You’ve got them comfortable enough now to start discussing potential trade-offs.
So go ahead, make yourself feel uncomfortable by asking for more than you think is possible—you might be surprised by how much you can get!
Stay away from the hypothetical
Avoid hypotheticals. Instead, either request examples of real situations that have occurred in the past or ask for a specific instance. For example: “Tell me about a situation when you’ve handled a problem like this before and how it was resolved.” Or: “Can you give me an example of what would happen if…?” The more familiar your contact is with the material, the more likely they are to be able to respond accurately. Hypothetical questions also invite your contact to imagine something happening (which may not be realistic) instead of telling you how they actually handle such issues.
Come prepared to everything you could negotiate about
#8. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Many of us feel awkward negotiating and would rather just agree to whatever the other person is proposing. If that sounds like you, it’s time to change. Negotiating can result in more money and better benefits for you. It might mean a promotion or a better position within the company. It can also help you avoid being taken advantage of by someone who assumes you don’t know any better or are willing to accept less than what you deserve. So, become comfortable with negotiating so that it doesn’t feel awkward anymore, and keep these points in mind:
- Come prepared with a list of everything you want to negotiate about as well as what your walk away point is (how little are you willing to accept?).
- Do your research beforehand so that you have good supporting data for your requests and understand what’s reasonable so that negotiations don’t break down due to misaligned expectations on either side.
- Look for opportunities everywhere—including when buying a car, shopping at big box stores, during professional negotiations like when getting a raise or accepting an offer, etc.—and bring up anything that’s important to you even if it seems frivolous because small concessions add up over time if they’re repeated often enough!
Make money the last thing you discuss
It’s pretty straightforward: talk about everything else before you talk about money. That way, when you get to the end of the negotiation, the other party will feel like they’ve already gotten their needs met so they’re more likely to give you what you want since they won’t feel like it’s a zero-sum game.
For example, suppose you’d like a raise. In that case, I would probably say something along these lines:
“I’m excited about my future here and I love being part of this team. So it makes me sad when I think about how I’m making $10 less per hour than people who are doing similar work as me and have been here for far less time. But in addition to that, there are a few other things I’d love your help with.”
Talk about what success looks like
Tip #2: Talk about what success looks like.
In every negotiation, it’s essential to talk about what success looks like for each party involved. This includes discussing their needs and concerns, the scope of the negotiation, and how to measure success. The ultimate goal is to find an outcome in which both sides feel they have achieved something important to them. Remember that everyone at the table wants a deal—they just haven’t agreed on what it will look like yet. It makes sense then that you should begin by asking everyone to spend a few minutes talking about their goals for this negotiation and why they are important to them.
Use comparison shopping to your advantage
One of the most important things you can do before a negotiation is to know what the competition offers. You need to know what your competitors are charging for similar products, as well as what non-competing companies are charging for comparable products or services. For example, if you’re selling designer fashion handbags and your competitor is selling them for $50, but another company sells similar bags in another industry for $30, use that information to make your case. This will give you an advantage in the negotiation:
If I were preparing to negotiate with the head of a design school where I wanted to set up shop to sell my handbags, I would research what other companies that sell similar products charge at their locations (like local retail stores), and then use that information to make my case. If I had evidence that other companies were charging less than my competitor was charging at this particular location, it would strengthen my position during negotiations.
If another company was selling quality handbags at $30 and we were offering our product at $50, then we could easily justify lowering our price by using this information as leverage during negotiations.
Remember that everything is negotiable
One of my favorite things to say is “everything is negotiable.” And it is true: you can negotiate anything. I’ve negotiated everything from a higher salary, to a bigger apartment, to more vacation time, to better service at a restaurant.
Negotiation doesn’t always have to be a win-lose situation where one person wins and the other loses. In many cases, negotiation can be win-win: both parties end up feeling like they got what they wanted out of the interaction.
It’s also important to understand that negotiation itself takes many forms. Negotiation isn’t strictly about money (though money does often come into play); it’s about getting what you want out of an interaction with someone else. So any time you interact with someone in any way—whether that means through email or over the phone or face-to-face—you’re negotiating something with that person.
Think about this as you move forward in your career and learn how to negotiate more effectively!
Negotiating doesn’t always have to be adversarial
Negotiation doesn’t always have to be adversarial. At its core, negotiation is a process that can happen at every stage of any interaction with another person: exchanging information and finding a common ground. In this context, negotiation is not limited to the often-stressful salary review or the contract talks between labor unions and management. It can also be the cordial exchanges you have before your son’s baseball game starts or the flirty banter you exchange with a barista at your local coffee shop.
Negotiation is a process that can happen at every stage of any interaction with another person. (There is no conclusion)
Negotiation is a process that can happen at every stage of any interaction with another person. When you’re trying to get your way, it can be easy to forget that the other person wants something, too—and in some cases, that’s exactly what you need to remember. While it’s true that negotiation doesn’t always have to be adversarial and isn’t always about money (as we’ll see below), the first step toward mastering the art is understanding what negotiating
How to Sound Confident and Professional
- Speak up. Confident people are also loud people, and for good reason: it’s much easier to be heard, and therefore to be respected, when you speak loudly and clearly enough for everyone to hear. The same holds true for your words’ pace and cadence: enunciate clearly, but don’t go overboard; speak at a natural pace that reflects your confident demeanor.
- Use your hands. For emphasis! Many of our best speakers use their hands as an extension of their speech—think Mark Zuckerberg or Martin Luther King Junior—and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. Hand gestures should feel organic; practice in front of a mirror if you need to ensure they’re enhancing (not distracting from) what you’re saying.
- Practice in different settings. Speaking with confidence is like being an actor—it takes practice! In addition to practicing in front of a mirror (and asking a friend or two for feedback if possible), try speaking in front of the video camera on your laptop or phone so that you can see yourself presenting while keeping tabs on how confident you appear (hint: say “like” way less than usual). Once you’ve got this part down, take it one step further by practicing public speaking situations with small groups of friends who will offer constructive criticism about how well you spoke up for yourself in the moment—this will help get rid off any lingering jitters as soon as possible. Before long, speaking confidently will come naturally!
Keep your posture open and upright.
Open, upright posture can help you appear and sound confident. Your body sends messages to your brain, so if you stand up tall and project your voice, it will signal to your brain that you are feeling confident. You will feel more comfortable speaking in front of a group or having a difficult conversation with a coworker.
If you’re in an important meeting or an interview where you want to appear confident, try practicing the following tips:
- Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back; this will provide for better breathing by opening up your lungs. Practicing good posture can have many benefits including helping with digestion and circulation.
- Avoid crossing your arms or legs, which can make for extra-tight muscles and stiffness.
- Make sure that your feet are planted firmly on the ground; this position allows for maximum balance as well as voice projection.
If you know that there are going to be a lot of distractions at a meeting, find a way to take notes or record on your computer or phone.
If you know that there are going to be a lot of distractions at a meeting, find a way to take notes or record on your computer or phone. Make sure to ask the speaker if they mind being recorded first! You can also use apps or programs like Evernote, which is pretty cool because it lets you search for any specific terms in the recording and find them easily later.
It’s super important not to make people feel bad about taking notes—receiving feedback is hard for most people, so don’t add insult to injury by acting like their presentation wasn’t worthy of your attention! Also make sure to keep a copy of what you write down since usually class presentations don’t have an official transcript.
Smile and make eye contact with people when you’re talking to them.
Smile and make eye contact with people when you’re talking to them. “You want to project confidence and interest,” says DiSalvo. “It’s like a fake it ’til you make it situation.” He suggests making direct eye contact with the person you’re talking to, while scanning the room every fifteen or twenty seconds. Eye contact is essential for effective communication and conveys that you are focused on who’s speaking, signal attention and interest, show respect, build trust, and exude confidence.
If your eyes get tired from staring at someone all day, look into their eyes more than their pupils. You can try looking at the sides of their faces too! DiSalvo also suggests smiling with your eyes in addition to your mouth – this makes people feel more comfortable around you because they know that you’re friendly.
You can sound confident by speaking up and keeping your posture open.
- You can sound confident by speaking up and keeping your posture open.
How you stand, sit or walk is important for making a good impression. If you want people to think of you as self-assured and confident, stand tall and keep your shoulders back. Good posture helps you project the image of being in control, more authoritative and more competent. The same is true if you’re sitting down: Use good posture, sit up straight and don’t cross your arms across your chest as it’ll make you appear defensive or unsure of yourself.
- You can sound confident by looking people in the eye when talking to them.
Eye contact is an important part of how we communicate with one another, especially when we’re trying to get our message across in a professional way. Looking someone directly in the eye gives them confidence that what you’re saying is honest and true — after all, no one wants to deal with lying liars who lie! In addition to giving others confidence in what you have to say, looking someone else in the eye also conveys that you are confident about what’s coming out of your mouth.
Winning Every day.
As with any other aspect of your life, the best way to ensure success is by setting goals. You should set goals for each area of your life: career, health, relationships, finances. A good goal will be SMAR: Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Realistic.
A SPECIFIC goal will help you focus on a particular aspect (e.g., “I want to increase my sales by 20% in the next six months.”) as opposed to one that is too general (e.g., “I want to become a better salesman.”)
A MEASURABLE goal will help you track your progress (e.g., I want to run 3 miles in 20 minutes.) instead of something vague like “I want to get fit.”
To make sure your goal is ACHIEVABLE and REALISTIC, ask yourself whether it’s something you can actually achieve (e.g., I want to get a promotion at work) rather than something that will always be out of reach (e.g., I want my boss’s job.)
Make a plan.
As a result, you must make the time to plan. It is not easy, but it is the only way to begin winning every day. You will not succeed if you do not plan. No one has ever succeeded without planning. And the most successful people have all planned their success. How? They planned for it!
To make a plan, start by writing down your daily goals in your planner or on a note pad (electronic or otherwise). If you are the type of person who likes structure and thoroughness, then write down how many times you want to accomplish each task each day—and don’t stray from your idealized schedule! But do not let this zeal become obsessive habit—have some flexibility in your plans so that when life happens and things shift around on you, it won’t cause too much disruption.
Move forward with passion and confidence.
- Be bold. Know that whatever path you choose, there are going to be challenges and roadblocks.
- Don’t be afraid of failure. As we often say, success is the unfinished business of failure! You can learn more from your failures than you do your successes.
- Don’t be afraid of the unknown. There are things that scare us all in life, but it’s important to face those fears and move forward with confidence. I promise that if you jump in with both feet, you’ll succeed!
- Don’t be afraid of people around you or your job security or anything else like this. This fear will hold you back from being who God created you to be—and that’s not good for anyone!
Expect to fail at first.
At first, you will fail. This is inevitable. If you did not fail, it would mean that you had reached your utmost potential and there was nothing else to learn. You would already know everything there possibly was to know in the world. It wouldn’t matter whether or not you dreamed big and took risks; the limits of human knowledge mean we can never achieve this state of full understanding and perfection (although I suppose if you don’t believe in free will or choice, then it is possible that every single event that has ever happened was predestined). However, if one believes in free will or even just chaos theory, then one must accept that failure is inevitable; how else are we supposed to learn?
You will face adversity, get hurt and be knocked down.
You will not win every day. You may face adversity and you may be knocked down. You may get hurt, physically or emotionally, and feel like you can’t take it anymore.
The good news is that the human spirit has a wonderful ability to heal and grow stronger from these experiences. When you learn to expect the unexpected, it’s easier to cope with difficult situations and bounce back even stronger than before. As Jocko Willink says, “Discipline leads to freedom.”
You can win if you can get up again.
The hardest part is getting back up.
But you can get back up again and again until that day arrives when you’re in a position to win.
To keep winning every day, focus on the next step, not the end goal. Forget about how far-away your goals are, and don’t compare yourself to others. The only way to win is to keep getting back up.