Current customers are your best business asset!

good_customer_service-marketingWhen companies start looking at marketing strategies one thing they often don’t realize is that the best marketing asset they have is right underneath their nose.  Their current customers are their best assets in the community to provide referrals, recommendations, and reviews to other potential customers.  Most people conduct some research before hiring someone to work with them so incorporating that into your marketing plan is important.  Nowadays the world is reliant on the internet so spreading the word has become easier than it ever was before.  But the trick is you may have to ask your customers for these referrals, reviews, or recommendations.  If your customers are happy then most of the time they would be happy to do so!  Here are a few tips about how to get these ideas into action!

  • Referrals – How often do you hear people asking friends or family members for a referral to a type of business? I know I get requests all the time about if I know a good hair stylist or a nice place to eat.  Referrals can come in many shapes and sizes.  Start by asking your customers if they would be interested in sharing your service with people they may know.  Then try asking friends and family members to share your business as well.  Finally, there are always places online popping up to request referrals.  One that I recently came across is a local neighborhood site called NextDoor.  Depending on your business, NextDoor could be a huge asset to gain customers or to have current customers refer you to others!
  • Recommendations – There are several ways to receive a recommendation from your customers. Two of the most common ways that I have seen recently are using LinkedIn or Alignable.  Both of these social media websites have the capability to recommend one business to others.  Try reaching out to some of your connections and ask them to recommend you to others.  A small business owner is more likely to be interested in the service you are providing if they hear about it from another small business owner.  If you would like more detailed instructions about how to use the recommendation feature on either of these sites just reach out to me and I would be happy to share.
  • Reviews – These are huge! I am constantly on the hunt for companies’ reviews before I use their service.  Just recently I was searching for a plumber and the one I hired was because they had amazing reviews about their service.  I was pleased with their service and the next day I gave a referral to someone who needed a plumber on Facebook.  You never know when having reviews will help you to build clients without having to spend a lot money on marketing.  If you have some customers that you have been working with for quite some time and they are very happy with your service, ask them if they would mind writing up a review and posting it on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, or other common websites.  The more reviews you get the more likely your business will start taking off even more!

These are just a few ideas that have been successful for my business.  What works well for you?  We’d love to hear feedback about how to incorporate your customers into your marketing plan.

And, as always if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

robert.pipas@eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

www.eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

Should you let your spouse or family member keep your books for your small business?

When a small desktop-computer-typingbusiness owner first starts out they are often looking for ways to reduce expenses to get going.  One of the bigger expenses can be setting up and maintaining your books.  Often times business owners will look to a family member to keep their books for them not realizing the pros and cons that go along with this decision.

I’m sure you’re thinking why wouldn’t I let my spouse do my books, they’re free which is important when there isn’t any income in the business yet and I can trust them because they are working towards the same goals that I am.  But there are some serious concerns to take into consideration before allowing a spouse or family member maintain your bookkeeping for your small business.

Things to consider:

  1. Industry knowledge – Most bookkeepers specialize in a niche and are able to answer industry specific questions. If your spouse or family member has never worked in the industry they may not know some of the issues that can come up and how to handle them appropriately.  Each industry has specific bookkeeping metrics to look at that will help them to make better business decisions.  Having a bookkeeper that is knowledgeable about those metrics will help your business succeed!
  2. Accounting experience – Many family members don’t have any professional accounting experience and this can be a huge barrier to producing a quality set of books each month. This can often cause unnecessary stress as well when they aren’t sure exactly what they are doing.  Using your financial statements to make better business decisions is essential for moving forward with your business.  Be sure to check with your family member and ensure they have a solid understanding of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to ensure your books are handled correctly.
  3. Business decisions – Many business decisions are made based on issues identified in your books. A simple data entry error could end up causing your business hundreds or thousands of dollars.  For a new business this could be make or break.  This data entry error could just be from lack of knowledge about how the accounting system works.  Having a professional bookkeeper who knows the ins and outs of the bookkeeping software is important because they will be able to catch these errors easier since they know what they are looking at.

Saving a few dollars in the beginning by hiring a family member may not make the most sense moving forward with your business.  Consider reaching out to a few bookkeepers and learn about their services before deciding on a family member.

For more information do not hesitate to ask.

robert.pipas@eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

www.eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

Tracking Stocks

Just like in business, when trading stocks, you need to track your performance in order to know if your strategy is working.  I had a request to develop a spreadsheet to track stocks. I developed this spreadsheet with the fact that the person had multiple brokerage accounts. Here is a screen shot of the column and there headers. I’ll explain what each column is and what it is for. Stock Spreadshee

The first column is the date the stock was brought. The second column is the stock name or symbol. Followed by the name of the account. In this example, the person has three brokerage accounts. One is their “main” account, one is a self managed IRA account and the last account is an accounting that they have with “Robinhood” (Brokerage App) Filters were added so that they can click the filter and filter by only the account that they need to look at. For example filter for only the taxable accounts.

The “Buy” column is where you enter price that the stock was brought at. The “Share” column is where you enter the number of shares brought. The next column is a calculation of cost. It’s simply the Buy price times the number of shares plus the commission (if any). The buy date can be filtered by year and by month so that you can see what stocks you brought by what time frame.

The next set of column are the Sell Date, Sell Price per share, #Shares and Proceeds. The Proceeds column is the only calculation with the rest of them simple data entry. And just like the buy date the sell date can be filtered by time frame as well. The calculation of the proceeds is just like the Cost. It is the number shares times the sell price plus any commission.

The next column is for any dividends that you received, This will factor into the Profit calculation that we will do at the end.  The adjust column for any miscellaneous adjustments that you may have.

The Profit $ column is a calculation of Proceeds – Cost + Dividends + adjustments. This column gives you the dollar amount of the profit or loss for that particular stock. The last column is the profit or loss % for that stock. It is the Cost divided by the profit or loss $ amount.

If you would like a copy of this spreadsheet feel free to send me an email. robert.pipas@eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

www.eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

 

 

Debt /Equity Ratio

GrowthUsing your financial statements to measure your business is one way to make sure that you and your business is moving in the right direction. In order to accomplish this you need a few things.

 

  • Financial Statements (both accurate and timely)
  • Consistency – In order to track the direction of the business, consistency is key. Knowing your ratios only once in a while will not show a true and accurate picture of your business and can lead to bad business decisions.
  • Picking the right KPI’s (Key performance Indicators) or ratios. Some ratios are a better fit for some businesses more so than others.

The Debt to Equity Ratio is a good ratio to track the businesses financial leverage. It shows as a percent how well the business is at managing it’s debt to make a profit.

The higher the ratio the more reliant the business is on debt to turn a profit.

Example: Company A – Total Liabilities $80,000, Total Equity $120,000

$80,000 / $120,000 = .6666 or 66.66%

Company B – Total Liabilities $150,000, Total Equity $80,000

$150,000 / $80,000 =  1.875 or 187.5%

Company B is higher in debt and more reliant on external loans to make a profit. However, only showing this at one point in time does not show which direction the company is going in. Company A could have a lower ratio right now but shown over time could be increasing and Company B shown over time could be decreasing. Calculating this ratio over time shows the true nature of the ratio and shows if it is improving or not.

For more information do not hesitate to ask.

robert.pipas@eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

www.eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

 

 

 

7 Best Business Practices

3D-Book-Template 7 best practicesSeven best business practices for small businesses. Are you following them? Click here to Download Free Book and request your copy today!

  • Contents
  • Business & Personal – 1
  • Budget – 2
  • Financial Statements Reviewed – 3
  • Systems & Procedures – 4
  • Tracking Expenses – 5
  • Security System – Duel Control 6
  • Payroll –
  • Contact Information – 8
  • Eagle Eye Bookkeeping Services, LLC. – 8

For more information visit www.eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

Personal Financial Plan

Financial planYour business needs a budget, yes, but do you have one for you? Having a personal financial plan is just as important as having a business financial plan. This is for a few reasons. One is if you, as the business owner, is having financial troubles it will show through in your business. It will add stress to the workplace environment. It will cloud business decisions and lead to making bad business decisions.

Steps to help create a budget for you personally:

  1. Take a look at each area of your spending. Use your current spending patterns as an initial budget. I say this within reason. If your spending $3k a month on recreational activities you may want to take a look up front and see if you should cut back.
  2. Know your debt and come up with a plan to reduce and eliminate.  Try starting with your smallest debt and get that one paid off first.  Sometimes a victory is just the motivation you need to get pumped to get rid of excess debt!
  3. Build and maintain an emergency fund.  Having at least 3 months living expenses in a savings account reduces anxiety should a major expense come your way.
  4. Open or start contributing to an IRA. Whether or not it’s a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.
  5. If you have a child start contributing to a Section 529 plan to help prepare for future educational costs.
  6. Have a set of funds that you can invest. Make sure you keep track of the ROI on this. If you have a low ROI or a negative ROI readjust.

Take the time to look at not only your businesses financial plan but your personal one too.

And, as always if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask. www.eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com

Forecasting for Growth

GrowthTo be effective with a strategic business plan and project forward for growth starts with strategic thinking. In order to project forward business owners need to analyze several areas of their business and think of how each area could affect one another.

A miss judgement in any one area could result in the all too common “growing pains” expanding businesses find themselves in. The following areas are great starting points when planning and preparing for growth. Human Resources, Marketing, Accounting, Operations, IT and Customer Service.

Human Resources – Want to roll out a new product or take on more clients? How many additional staff do you need to do that? How will you train them? How much will you pay them?

Marketing – What venues or channels do you plan on using to get your marketing material out there? Calculating a ROI on marketing can be difficult but is necessary none the less.

Accounting – Putting a quantitative figure on all business activities will help you keep in line. Meaning that it will help you from over spending and help you know if you are being successful in your efforts or not.

Operations – If you are rolling out a new product do you have the machinery to make it or do you have the sourcing connections to import it? This area also connects with the other areas because you may have to hire and train direct labor and use accounting to figure out profits margins.

IT – Do you need different technology to pull off what you are trying to accomplish? Often times technology is not compatible with different or other pieces of technology.

Customer Service – Asking yourself if what you are doing will improve customer service or hurt it is sometimes over looked. But if you expand, get busy, and start experiencing growing pains then customer service is often one of the first areas that get affected.

So before you try to take on the world and expand. Ask yourself are you ready? And come up with a strategic game plan to get you there.

Questions?  Do not hesitate to ask.

www.eagleeyebookkeepingservicesllc.com