Is Incorporation a Good Idea for Your Small Business?

Is Incorporation a Good Idea for Your Small Business?

Are you a small business owner wondering if you should incorporate? Are you worried about costs and what will change about your business?

For most businesses, it’s actually not a question of “if,” but “when” to incorporate.

Incorporating a small business offers many potential advantages, as well as a few disadvantages. Whether the pros outweigh the cons depends a lot on your business’ individual situation.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating a small business so you can determine what is right for you.

The Advantages of Incorporation

Limited Liability

Most people decide to incorporate their small business because it offers the advantage of limited liability. If you run a sole proprietorship, then you as the business owner must assume all the liability of the company. This means that as a sole proprietor, your personal assets, like your house and your car, can be seized to pay off any business debts.

However, if you incorporate your business, then you become a shareholder in the corporation. As an individual shareholder, your liability is limited to the amount you have invested in the company.

Furthermore, as a shareholder in a corporation, you can’t be held responsible for the debts of the corporation unless you’ve signed a personal guarantee.

Corporations Have Unlimited Lifespans

Did you know that even if the shareholders die or quit the business, or if the ownership of the business changes, the corporation will continue to exist? This is not the case when it comes to running a sole proprietorship. Thus, many people see this “immortality” as another advantage of incorporating.

It’s also easier to sell a corporation than it is to sell a sole proprietorship.

It Helps with Taxes

Once your small business becomes a corporation, you can figure out when and how you receive income from the company, which is a real perk come tax time.

If you’re incorporated, rather than taking a salary from the business as soon as it begins to generate income, you’re allowed to take your income at a time when you’ll pay less in taxes. You can also earn income from a corporation in the form of dividends rather than a salary, which can also lower your tax bill.

Lastly, if your business is incorporated, it may qualify for the federal small business deduction (SBD). The SBD is calculated at the rate of 10.5% on the first $500,000 of taxable income, which could lower your net corporate business tax to a much lower tax rate than what is applied to your personal income.

It’s Easier to Raise Money

There are more ways for corporations to raise money, which could help your small business grow and scale faster. Like a sole proprietorship, corporations can borrow and incur debt, but they can also raise money through equity financing. This means selling shares in the corporation to angel investors or venture capitalists.

Equity financing is a nice benefit in that equity capital typically doesn’t have to be repaid, and there is no interest on it. (However, you must remember that by issuing shares, you are reducing your percentage of ownership in your business.)

The Disadvantages of Incorporation

Added Paperwork

Once your small business is incorporated, you’ll have to file two tax returns every year, one for your personal income and one for the corporation, which means increased accounting fees.

Plus, corporate losses can’t be deducted from the personal income of the owner, as they can in a sole proprietorship or partnership.

It’s also mandatory for corporations to keep a minute book composed of the corporate bylaws and minutes from corporate meetings, the register of directors, the share register, and the transfer register. These are all corporate documents that must be kept up to date at all times.

It’s Not Always a Tax Advantage

Unfortunately, corporations aren’t eligible for personal tax credits. That means every dollar a corporation earns is taxed, whereas, if you run a sole proprietorship, you may be able to claim tax credits that you can’t claim as a corporation.

Less Flexibility in Handling Business Losses

If your business suffers operating losses as a sole proprietor, you can use the loss to lower your other types of personal income for that year. However, if you run a corporation, these losses can only be carried forward or back to lower the corporation’s income from other years.

Limited Liability Depends on Credit

While the main advantage of incorporating is limited liability, it can be undermined by personal guarantees and/or credit agreements. If a lending institution doesn’t feel that your corporation has sufficient assets to secure debt financing, they usually insist on personal guarantees from the business owner(s).

In this case, even though the corporation technically has limited liability, the owner still winds up being personally liable if the corporation fails to meet their repayment obligations.

It’s Expensive to Register a Corporation

Another disadvantage of incorporating is that it costs more to set up a corporation.

Why?

Because a corporation is a more complicated legal structure than a sole proprietorship or partnership, so it’s more costly to create. This includes the previously stated maintenance and related fees and increased accounting costs.

It’s Harder to Close a Corporation

Closing a corporation in Canada means you need to pass a resolution to dissolve the corporation, settle all payroll accounts, and send a copy of the Certificate of Dissolution to the Canada Revenue Agency. Then you must file your final tax returns for the corporation.

So Should I Incorporate My Small Business?

The answer is, well, maybe!

Now that you’ve read about the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation, it’s time to discuss your personal situation with your accountant and lawyer before making your final decision.

Here at The Number Works, we can help give you a much more exact picture of how incorporation might work to benefit your business and if all the trouble and cost of incorporation is worth it for you.

So don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and let us get behind your success!

How to Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot with Your Accounting

How to Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot with Your Accounting

With the new year is upon us, it’s the perfect time for us to make resolutions to better our health, finances, or social situations.

But did you know that as a business owner, New Year’s resolutions offer you a fantastic opportunity to make some positive changes that will contribute to your future success? Especially when it comes to your finances and accounting!

So, if you’re looking to start the year right, here are some essential accounting tips that will help you tackle the daily accounting challenges of your business and get you on track for success!

Plan Ahead

As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”

As a business owner, planning your fixed expenses for the whole year, rather than a monthly basis, will help you start 2019 off on the right foot. Don’t forget to take seasonality and other potential downturns into account so you can be sure that your minimum expenses are always covered.

During your business’ peak sales months, plan to set more money aside. This will help you cover your expenses if harder times come later in the year. By getting a firm grasp on your company’s fixed expenses, you will have a clear view of your business’s future and how to plan for taxes appropriately.

You should also take this opportunity to plan for emergencies. Determine how much money you can set aside for any significant, unexpected expenses, such as losing a major client, economic downturns, or other crises. The amount of money that needs to be in your emergency fund depends on the minimum expenses necessary for your company’s survival. A good rule of thumb is to set aside at least six months worth of expenses.

But what if you can’t afford to save that extra money right now? In that case, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a line of credit set up with your bank so that if something unexpected takes place, you can use that money (with an affordable interest rate) to keep your business afloat.

Take Time to Review Your Business

Set aside some time to reflect on 2018 and determine how your revenue and profits compared to the previous year. Determine if your sales numbers are trending upwards or downwards. And ask yourself some critical questions such as, how much money did you have to spend in 2018?

Did you make a list of goals for 2018? If so, did you meet those goals? Taking the time to review 2018 should help you figure out how your company has changed over the past year. If your business hasn’t improved, analyze the figures to find out why and what you can do to see more growth in the new year.

Leverage Technology

It’s 2019, which means the days of tracking your expenses manually are over! If your business isn’t using computer software to help keep track of your finances, then it’s time to make the leap!

The good news is multiple technologies allow you to track all your expenses quickly and efficiently, so you can choose the one that will be a perfect fit for you and your company. By leveraging accounting software and cloud-based technology, you’ll be more informed about your business’ finances, saving you both time and money!

Switching to computer software or cloud-based technology will also help provide a near real-time idea of how your money is being spent, as well as the records to prove it.

Get a Head Start on Taxes

Not unlike how you should set aside money for emergencies, you should also set aside money to cover your taxes. I highly recommend meeting with your accountant at least twice a year – once in May and once in October. This way, you can get a sense of what your business’s taxes will look like in the coming year. Plus, understanding how your financial picture is evolving can help you keep up with how your business is growing and how much you’ll need to cover what you’ll owe.

By seeking professional tax planning advice, you’ll not only feel confident that your business is complying with federal and provincial tax regulations, but you’ll also ensure you’re getting all the deductions and credits your company might qualify for.

Hire a Professional Accountant

Every tip and trick I mentioned above will be made that much easier by hiring a professional accountant. Although it may seem like an added expense, hiring a professional accountant will actually save you money in the long run, plus your accounting fees are tax-deductible!

So, if you’re looking to make 2019 your best year yet, outsource your bookkeeping and accounting needs to The Number Works! You’ll receive all of the benefits of competent financial reporting without the headache of needing to onboard, train, and pay a full-time employee.

The Number Works is your one-stop shop for the best accounting in Hamilton and the surrounding Southern Ontario area. In fact, no matter where you are in Ontario, I can help your business seamlessly using virtual technology.

I offer a range of professional services including cloud-based bookkeeping, full cycle accounting, financial statement analysis, strategic planning, and taxes. Combine this with my passion for process, efficiency, simplicity, and helping small businesses succeed, and you’ve got the winning formula to help start the new year off on the right foot with your accounting.

So don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Number Works today and meet all of your business’s New year’s resolutions!

Why Hamilton, Ontario is a Great Place to Start a New Business

Why Hamilton, Ontario is a Great Place to Start a New Business

Did you know that Hamilton is southern Ontario’s most populated and economically active region?

Over 1 million* educated and skilled workers live within a 30-minute drive from the city. Meaning that if you live in the Greater Toronto Area and you’re thinking about starting a new business, you might want to shoot Hamilton to the top of your list!

Here’s why…

You’ll Find the Support You Need

It’s easier to start a small business when you have the necessary support and information nearby. The Hamilton Small Business Enterprise Centre offers every budding entrepreneur the tools and support they need to grow their business. The Centre is a one-stop shop for business information, guidance, and professional advice on how to start and run a thriving business.

The Hamilton Small Business Enterprise Centre offers free consultations on:

  • How to prepare a business plan
  • How to identify the rules and regulations that could affect your business
  • How to determine which government and private sector programs could be useful for your business
  • How to get help during the critical start-up and growth phases of your business

You can also sign up to take part in four different workshops covering the following topics:

  • 10 Steps to Starting a Business
  • Business Planning
  • Marketing Strategies and Social Media
  • Bookkeeping and Taxation Basics

But what if you have more in-depth business questions? Maybe you need to know about zoning, how long it would take, or how much it costs to set up or expand?

The One Stop for Business part of The Centre is available to help answer all these questions, in addition to having all of the applications you need to complete and if you need a licence or not.

What it really comes down to is that Hamilton has a very strong sense of community, a great #shoplocal spirit and pride, and part of that it the support network for startups. With all this support in one easy to access place, it’s really a no-brainer! Hamilton is an ideal place to start a new business.

You’ll Attract Employees

Of course, there’s so much more to Hamilton, Ontario than just the Small Business Enterprise Centre.

For example, Hamilton is home to McMaster University and Mohawk College. These institutions are excellent resources when it comes to research and innovation/apprentice training.

Moreover, the graduates of these fine institutions, along with their relative proximity to other towns and cities in the area, offer a pool of over one million skilled workers available to you. Now that’s a lot of talent to pull from to help your business grow and succeed!

But what about if you were hoping to bring some talent with you when you relocate? Well, the cost of living in Hamilton is far cheaper than in a big city like Toronto. Hamilton also has some of most comprehensive quality medical care in the province, including six hospitals and a cancer care centre.

As a city, Hamilton doesn’t only concern itself with big business and industry; it also has a focus on the neighbourly things that matter, such as parks and playgrounds. This makes it not only the ideal place to start a business, but also a family!

You’ll Find All the Necessary Infrastructure

Did you know Hamilton is a transportation hub of Ontario?

This city boasts the Port of Hamilton, is in close proximity to railway links, and it has the 400-series highways. What’s more, the John C. Munro International Airport acts as a large courier/cargo hub, perfect for any international shipping and receiving your business might need.

Another bonus to starting a new business in Hamilton is that it has a lot of available land for industrial development at a fraction of the prices in and around the GTA.Plus, the Hamilton agricultural sector is exploding, to the tune of $1.26 billion annually. So, if your business is related to this sector, you don’t want to think twice. Hamilton is the perfect spot for your entrepreneurial initiatives!

You’ll Have Access to the Best Accountants

Here’s a professional tip: one of the best ways to grow your Hamilton-based business is to partner with a professional accountant that you can really trust. The Number Works Professional Corporation is located right here in Hamilton. We’re a virtual bookkeeping, accounting, and financial coaching firm that’s here to help any entrepreneurs in Hamilton and the surrounding Southern Ontario area.

We’d love to help you get started with your new Hamilton business, or help get your existing business on the right track. Your business will benefit from many of our financial services, including cloud-based bookkeeping, full-cycle accounting, financial statement analysis, strategic planning, and taxes!

By outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting to us, you get all the benefits of competent financial reporting without any headaches from onboarding, training, or paying a full-time employee. The Number Works is your one-stop shop for all your accounting needs.

So, if you’re looking for an accountant who has a real passion for helping your business succeed, let’s connect! Together we can make sure your new business in Hamilton, Ontario is a wild success!

 

*https://www.hamilton.ca/moving-hamilton/economic-development/doing-business-in-hamilton

How to Get Your Accounting in Order Before the End of the Year

How to Get Your Accounting in Order Before the End of the Year

Time flies when you’re having fun, but it might fly even faster when you’re running your own small business.

The new year is fast approaching, signifying a time to set personal goals, make improvements to your life, and focus on the future. But the new year is also a time when you want to look ahead at where your business will be going and the goals you wish to achieve in the new year.

And what’s the best way to set goals for your business and make improvements with a focus on the future?

By getting your accounting in order, of course!

Proper accounting is the foundation of any successful business, so whether you work with a CPA, a bookkeeper, or DIY, this year-end checklist will help you get your accounting in order so you will be all set for the next twelve months!

1. Review Your Profit & Loss Statements

Number one on your list of things to do before the end of the year is to review your profit and loss statement.

Why? Because it’s a helpful reminder about how your company is spending money. Doing a check now will also ensure that all your expenses are categorized, making it much easier to reference them in the new year.

It’s also a good idea to go back over your Profit and Loss Statement one more time after you reconcile your bank accounts, receipts, and other potential concerns.

Pro Tip: Accounting software such as QuickBooks will sync directly with your bank account or credit card statement to help you categorize your expenses.

2. Balance Your Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Another critical accounting tip for the year-end is to ensure that your financial statements match up with your bank and credit card accounts, as well as your year-end statements.

If you’re using online accounting software, make sure that your ledger balance matches too.

3. Get Your Shoebox Organized

Are you the type of person who keeps your business receipts in a glove box, shoe box, or drawer? If so, it’s definitely time to upgrade your organizational system!

To keep on top of things in the new year, you should separate all your expense receipts into categories, then tally each category. By organizing your piles of receipts as you go instead of keeping them in a big jumbled mess, both you and your accountant will be much happier around tax time.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Even the best organizational system can break down, every now and then. Whether you use cloud-based accounting software or stubbornly cling to the shoebox system, if you find yourself with unrecorded transactions by the end of the year, then now is the time to get organized.

Bonus Tip: Be sure to copy down your thermal receipts as they tend to fade over time.

4. Get on Top of Your Accounts Receivable

Did you know CB Insights found that up to 29 percent of startups fail due to cash crises? That’s why, before the year is over, you should try to close out all outstanding receivables.

You should aim to collect all unpaid invoices and reissue or void checks as necessary by the end of the year. By cleaning up reconciliation issues and collecting as much as possible, you’ll be able to maintain better control of your company’s cash flow. Expediting payments before taxes are due will also be a big help.

5. Take Physical Inventory

If you’re running a service-based business, you probably don’t need to take physical inventory. But for those who run a product-based business, it’s crucial to get an accurate account of your inventory before the year ends.  

Make sure to match your inventory with your end-of-year balance sheet. Knowing how much you’ve spent on inventory throughout the year and its current value will also greatly help your bookkeeper.

6. Asses Your Accounting Practices

The start of a new year is the perfect time to reconsider whether the accounting system you’ve been using all year has done the job.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I been able to input all the financial data I need to track?
  • Have I gotten the financial information I need to make informed decisions and fulfill all tax and government requirements?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then it’s time to implement some changes to your accounting system.

You may need to consider hiring more staff to handle data entry, or maybe it’s time to try a different accounting software solution.

No matter what the issue is, if you take the time to resolve it now, you’ll ensure that your business continues to grow and succeed in the year to come.

7. Take Time to Look Back and Plan Forward

The end of November is a great time to review the past year’s performance and stack the results up against your preset goals and milestones.  You can then use this information to help you judge the viability of your upcoming year’s objectives.

Pull out your original business plan, objectives, and/or action plans, then start to revise them by setting new goals and action plans for the future. Making visual and tangible financial goals at year’s end can be a useful guide for where you want your business’ books to go over the next 12 months. If you do this now instead of waiting until December 31st, you’ll have a jumpstart on your new plans as soon as the New Year begins. This will help make your next fiscal year even more profitable.

 

Every emerging company wants to grow, but many don’t establish the procedures that are required to make growth happen. So, take action before the end of the year and tick these procedures off your checklist. Not only will this help your business scale, but you’ll also be better prepared when tax time rolls around.

We Can Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to get your business ready for the holidays and New Years, don’t worry! An accountant can really help!

If you find that you don’t have the time, need a second pair of eyes, or would like a more detailed review of what all the numbers mean, we’d be more than happy to work with you!

Get in touch with us today! We’ll help review your financial position and make sure your business is prepared for the end of the year.

Is your Business Prepared for the Holiday Season?

Is your Business Prepared for the Holiday Season?

Did your business have a good summer? Hope so, because winter is fast on its way!

As the cold weather starts to set in, we’re reminded that the holidays are just around the corner. And although it’s not quite December yet, as a business owner, the festive season can take up a considerable chunk of your time – and your money! So it’s important to start preparing for the holiday season well in advance.

Maybe you’ve already begun stocking your shelves full of candy canes and tinsel, in preparation for the holiday cheer. Or perhaps you’ve noticed the need for extra inventory to get ready for your sales, discounts, and promotions. Whatever your usual holiday prep, here are five tips to make sure your business is more than prepared for this year’s holiday season!

1. Keep on Top of Your Cash Flow

It’s no surprise that the financial health of a company is one of its most vital aspects for any small business owner or entrepreneur. By understanding your business’ cash-flow, you’ll be able to properly budget for your added holiday inventory, as well as forecast for the new year.

It’s amazing how quickly the last six weeks of the calendar year can slip away from busy business owners. Even if you’re busy preparing for the upcoming festive season, it’s important to take the time now to go through your accounting ledgers and see where your business stands.

This is where an accountant can really help! If you’re too busy, need a second pair of eyes, or would like a more detailed understanding of what the numbers mean, give us a call! We’d be happy to help review your financial position to ensure that your business is adequately prepared for the holidays.

2. Stay Organized

Getting ready for the holiday season means organizing your books! Be sure to have all of your receipts and expenses filed neatly in preparation for the upcoming tax season. You may also wish to do some winter organizing in your filing cabinet or digital filing system.

Trust us. If you take the time to do this now, you’ll be stress-free in a few months when you need to budget and forecast for the new year. It will also free up time to focus on a strategy for your holiday inventory (more on that in tips #3 and #4.)

Most importantly, now is the time to double- and triple-check that all your invoices have been paid and anyone who owes you money is paying up! You’ll want to catch any clients with overdue invoices before they go on their Christmas break.

3. Strategize Your Sales

Now is the perfect time to do some research on your customer’s preferences so that, when the holiday season arrives, you’ll be stocked up on precisely what your target audience wants to buy.

Carve out some time to engage more meaningfully with your customers by asking them what they like—or dislike—about your business’ current products or services.

Collect customer feedback by going through the comments and criticisms left on your website or social media channels, being sure to track and log this feedback in your company’s CRM or customer database. To gain additional data, you could even conduct an online survey with a holiday incentive for completing it!

4. Expand Your Offerings

The holidays are a perfect time to introduce a new product or service! Don’t underestimate the power of innovation. As a small business owner, you know that taking risks by offering new products or services can often be rewarded with increased sales and customer growth. Wouldn’t that a great gift for the holidays?

So, take some time now to strategically think about how you can expand your company’s offerings. Use tip #3 and consult your customers to find out what additional products they would like your business to offer throughout the holiday season and into the new year.

5. Budget for Discounts and Promotions

The holidays aren’t only synonymous with gift-giving; they’re also closely associated with discounts, promotions, and sales! By offering special holiday promotions, you’re sure to increase sales and attract more customers. However, if you don’t start preparing now, putting on these sales could end up putting you in the red. Yikes!

If you followed tip #1 and took the time to meet with an accountant, you should have a good idea of the types of discounts you can afford to offer. Whether it be 40% off the regular price, a “Buy One, Get One Free” special, or merely adding a small bonus like a free sticker with purchase of $20 or more, make sure that your business will be taking advantage of this holiday period to increase sales. Really, just let your customers know that you care by giving them a little extra!

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget about your hardworking staff!

Ask your accountant to review your financials so you can budget for a little holiday bonus or a sweet holiday office party! Remember, your business is only as good as the team who helps run it. So don’t forget to show your team how much you appreciate them during this time of love and sharing.

Now that you’ve begun to prepare your business well in advance of the holiday season, you shouldn’t feel stressed or overwhelmed. But if you still need a little help, that’s more than ok! I’d be happy to be your one-stop-shop for all your accounting needs. Let’s connect and get started making this upcoming holiday season your best one yet!

So You’re Looking for the Best Accountant in Hamilton?

Are you looking to grow your Hamilton-based small business?

Well, here’s a little secret… One of the best ways to build your Hamilton, Ontario business and super-charge its growth is to partner with a professional accountant that you can really count on.

No matter what size your business, it’s imperative that you have the ability to accurately track and report all money flowing in and out of your accounts that concern sales, expenses, and salaries. Properly managing your books is not only Ontario and federal law, but it’s also the only way to fully understand how your business operates. This is the information that you need to make informed financial decisions and help your small business succeed. In fact, a lack of proper accounting is one of the most common reasons why a business fails.

And guess what? It’s completely avoidable!

So, how do you choose the right accountant for your Hamilton-based small business?

What’s the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

First, it’s important to understand the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper. Simply put, a bookkeeper is responsible for keeping all financial transactions organized and systematic, while the job of an accountant is to analyze this financial data and interpret it so that it can be compiled it into a detailed report.

Generally, a bookkeeper works year-round to ensure that all of your financial data is accurate and organized. Then, once tax time rolls around, an accountant uses the bookkeeping information to prepare and file your business’ taxes.

No matter what the size of your Hamilton-based business, chances are that you could benefit from hiring both a bookkeeper and accountant. But why hire two separate people when you can find everything you’re looking for in one firm? Here at The Number Works, I can help you with both.

Finding the Best Accountant in Hamilton, Ontario

To pick the perfect Hamilton accountant and bookkeeper, you’ll need to ask yourself, “What really makes for a great accountant?” Is it their years of experience that matters most? Or is it more than that?

By knowing how to recognize proper credentials, you’ll be able to make better decisions about the kind of accountant you want to partner with. This will allow you to better set specific expectations for the working relationship.

1. They’re On Top of Current Trends in Technology

Today, the accounting world has primarily moved into the digital realm. Cloud-based accounting software is increasingly becoming more and more important for managing your books. No matter which bookkeeping software your business chooses, it’s vital that your bookkeeper knows how to properly use all software functions including bank reconciliations, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.

Here at The Number Works, I’m tech savvy and I’m even a Quickbooks Gold Proadvisor. I know how to set up a perfect workflow that will make your accounting processes as smooth, painless, and informative as possible.

2. They’re Detail Oriented with an Analytical mind

As someone who works with data all day, it’s vital for your bookkeeper to be thorough and pay attention to detail. For instance, when you make a sale, your accountant should accurately track who the customer is and the exact terms of the sale.

An excellent accountant should also be able to analyze your financial transactions and accurately record them in financial statements and reports using generally accepted accounting principles. They should be able to use these numbers to analyze your business in a way that will help you make important decisions and, ultimately, grow your business.

At The Number Works, I pride myself on my eagle eyes! Where it might just look like a maze of numbers to you, I find it so satisfying to dive into the puzzle of your numbers and to leave no stone unturned to balance your books.

3. They Have a Good Knowledge of Ontario Tax Laws

The great thing about working with an accountant who also takes care of your bookkeeping is that they aren’t just familiar with the daily transactions of your business, they’re also expects in Ontario taxes. They know the importance of keeping your books in order throughout the year because they’ll also be the one to sort out the nitty gritty when it comes to your year-end tax filing.

At The Number Works, not only am I a bookkeeper and accountant, but I’m also a profit advisor, and a CPA, CMA. I know Ontario tax laws inside and out and I’ll ensure that your business never misses a potential tax credit.

4. They’re Client-Focused

Beyond a good head for numbers, a great accountant should care about you as their client. They should also understand the industry, sector, and their clients in detail. Your accountant should have an excellent understanding of your business’ goals and requirements so that they know which accounting rules or economic measures will best meet your business’ needs.

My goal is to put you first, taking care of your business numbers to eliminate the the pain from bookkeeping and provide unlimited support to you so you can focus on your passions. This is so important to me and I promise to treat your business with attention, care, and integrity.

5. They Have Impeccable Communication Skills

It’s important that your accountant knows how to clearly translate complicated accounting concepts into crucial insights. After all, if your Hamilton accountant can’t accurately explain their insights to you, then why would you want to hire them? Always look for an accountant who can communicate their ideas in simple, easy to understand language so you can work together to improve your business.

At The Number Works, I promise to take the jargon out of your accounting! I’ll make your accounting smooth and easy to understand and communicate with you every step of the way so there are no surprises or unknowns.

Why The Number Works is Your Best Choice for Both Bookkeeping and Accounting in Hamilton, Ontario

The Number Works Professional Corporation is a virtual bookkeeping, accounting, and financial coaching firm that helps creative entrepreneurs, like yourself, tell their financial story. Services offered range from cloud-based bookkeeping, full cycle accounting, financial statement analysis, strategic planning, and taxes.

I can be your one-stop shop for the best accounting in Hamilton and the surrounding Southern Ontario area. In fact, I can help you no matter where you are in Ontario, working with your business seamlessly with virtual technology.

By outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting needs to The Number Works, you get all the benefits of competent financial reporting without the hassle of needing to onboard, train, and pay a full-time employee. I have a passion for process, efficiency, simplicity, and helping small businesses succeed.

If you’re looking for an accountant in Hamilton, let’s connect! I’d be happy to have a conversation with you to get to know your business and to see if we’re the right fit to partner with one another to help your business succeed.

Getting Your Business Ready Well *Before* Tax Season

Getting Your Business Ready Well *Before* Tax Season

Did you know that a survey conducted by The National Small Business Association (NSBA) discovered that 33 percent of small business owners spend over 80 hours on federal taxes? That adds up to two full weeks!

Although getting your papers in order so you can file your taxes isn’t very exciting, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your business. Believe it or not, tax time doesn’t have to be a burden so long as you start to prepare well in advance.

So here are four things you need to know to get your business ready and help ease the stress of filing your taxes come April:

What Will My Accountant Need Come Tax Time?

As a business owner, there are no shortage of important forms and records that your accountant will need to properly file your taxes. Pulling all of these documents together can be one of the most time-consuming parts of their job if you aren’t already properly organized. And, as you know, accountants are usually paid by the hour. So if you want to cut down on accounting fees for your business, preparing well in advance of tax season can make a big difference on how many hours you’re paying for – and, trust us, your accountant will love you for being so organized.

Here’s a list of common business records you’ll need to give your accountant for tax season:

  • All of your business’ financial statements, such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  • If your business has employees, your accountant will need your payroll information.
  • Your accountant will need the receipts from your travel expenses, advertising expenses, rent, utilities, office supplies, maintenance, telecommunications, internet costs, raw materials, shipping, etc.
  • If you have a company car, you’ll need motor vehicle expense information, such as your business’ use of the vehicle, operating expenses, vehicle driving log with business kilometres driven, etc. 
  • Having asset additions or disposals during the year, including land, buildings, vehicles, machinery, etc. is also crucial.

Lastly, your tax accountant will require your tax records including:

  • Last year’s Notice of Assessment
  • Amounts paid by instalments
  • A copy of your income tax return filed in 2017 (if you’re a new client)

Phew! So now you see why it’s important to get your business ready for tax time before you end up in a time crunch!

By preparing well in advance, you won’t feel the stress of having to gather all this information at the last minute. If you have any questions about these forms or receipts, your accountant will have ample time to answer them before they’re drowning in a mountain of paperwork come March.

How Can I Legally Deduct My Business Expenses?

This is where preparing well ahead of tax season can really benefit you and your business.

In order to maximize your deductions, you must have all your business-related receipts. In fact, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that all of your business expenses be backed up by receipts, and you actually need to keep these receipts for at least six years, as the CRA can ask to see them again if needed.  

To prepare your business for tax season early, you should get in the habit of asking for a receipt after every transaction, no matter how small. Train yourself to look at your receipts when you first get them to ensure they clearly show what the purchase was for and that they include a legible vendor’s name and date.

As our experts here at The Number Works know, illegible or incomplete receipts are a hassle when it comes to accurate record-keeping, especially if you or your bookkeeper are trying to record what an incomplete receipt was for months later.

Creating a habit of checking all your receipts as you get them is a crucial first step to maximizing your business income tax deductions.

What Else Should I Do Right Now to Prepare My Business?

Get organized! Being as organized as possible will ensure a stress-free tax filing for both you and your accountant.

If you’re looking for a place to start, try creating a system where you clip groups of receipts together by type, using post-it-notes to show each category of receipt on the top. If your accountant isn’t wasting their time trying to figure out what the receipts are for, you’ll actually be saving money!

It’s essential that all your records are accurately summarized and tallied. Cheques, invoices, and business expenses should all be categorized and totalled. If you have a system where you sort all your information slips by type, you’re bound to save more time come tax season and, therefore, more money!

Ask your accountant what will make their job easier. Trust us, they will have lots of ideas! Together, you can find ways to better organize your records and documents based on the type of business you run. By figuring out potential problems with your accountant in advance, you’re sure to have their full attention and work out any kinks in the system well before it’s too late.  

Remember, your accountant is here to help by giving you tax planning advice such as how to maximize your credits or deductions or ways of restructuring your business finances to reduce your tax exposure. So don’t be shy to pick up the phone!

What Kind of Income Tax Return Does My Business Need to File?

It’s important to determine which form you’ll be filling out well in advance because the paperwork you will need can change based on how your business is structured. For example, if your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, you must report your business income on your T1 personal income tax form because, in this case, your business is you. For a sole proprietorship or partnership, you’ll want the T1 income tax return package, which includes Form T2125 (Statement of Business or Professional Activities), for you to report your business income.

What if your business is incorporated? In that case, you will report your business income on a T2 corporate income tax return. By law, your incorporated small business is a separate entity, thus it needs to complete and file its own Canadian income tax return. However, don’t forget to file your own separate T1 personal income tax return. If your business is incorporated, then you as a person are a separate legal entity, and that’s why you’ll need to fill out both the T1 and T2 forms.

If your business needs to file a T1 return, your tax accountant will also need your relevant personal information slips and tax-related documents in addition to the business ones.

Some of these forms may include:

  • T4 slips (if you have employment as well as business income)
  • T4A commissions & self-employed
  • T5013 Partnership Income
  • T3 Income from Trusts
  • T5 Investment Income
  • RRSP contribution slips
  • Charitable donations
  • Medical and dental receipts
  • Child care information

How Can I Save Even More on Accounting Fees?

Another great way to prepare your business well before tax season is to start using cloud-based accounting software (if you haven’t already).

With current cloud-based accounting packages, you can have all of your accounting information in one easy to access place, and your accountant can even access it online at any time.

Not only will cloud-based accounting software keep track of your expenses and revenue, it can even do payroll and time and billing, as well as generate income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets as needed.

By switching over to a cloud-based system now, you’ll have ample time to get used to the new system and test out all its features long before tax season, making tax time even easier!  

The Bottom Line

So, what are you waiting for? If you want to make sure that all of your tax documents will be in order with every form filed on time, don’t hesitate to contact us today! Here at The Number Works, we’re more than happy to answer any and all of your tax-related questions to help you get your business ready well before tax time.

Analyzing the Profitability of your Business with Financial Ratios

Analyzing the Profitability of your Business with Financial Ratios

Wouldn’t it be nice to convert the raw data from your financial statements into meaningful information that can help you manage your business?

Financial ratios are the answer! They’re a powerful and widely-used tool for analyzing the financial health of your company. Although the name “financial ratios” may sound scary or complicated, and some of the specific names of these ratios may be unfamiliar (“efficiency ratios”, “liquidity ratios”, etc.), none of the information we’ll be sharing in this post is actually very difficult to calculate or very complicated to use. Best of all, the payoff of understanding these numbers can be enormous!

By analyzing the profitability of your business using financial ratios you’ll be able to look at how your company is doing compared to earlier periods of time, and how its performance compares to other companies in your industry. Once you get comfortable with these tools you’ll be able to turn the raw numbers in your company’s financial statements into information that will help you better manage your business. And who doesn’t want that?

So here are three main ratios that will help you analyze the profitability of your business, which can help with many business tasks like an expansion project, low cash reserves, a jump in expenses, or, for example, if a customer wants to place a large order and is asking for longer-than-normal credit terms.

Liquidity Ratios

These ratios measure the amount of liquidity (cash and easily converted assets) that you have to cover your debts. They also give your business a broad overview of it’s financial health.

The current ratio, also known as the working capital ratio, measures your company’s ability to generate cash to meet your short-term financial commitments. It’s calculated by dividing your current assets like cash, inventory and receivables by your current liabilities, including your line of credit balance, payables, and current portion of long-term debts. Basically: What You Have divided by What You Owe. Simple, right?

The quick ratio measures your business’ ability to access cash fast when you need it. This is a calculation that will help you to understand how well you’re equipped to support immediate demands. This is also called the acid test. The quick ratio divides current assets (excluding inventory) by current liabilities (excluding current portion of long-term debts). How do you know if you’ve got a good rating? A ratio of 1.0 or more is usually acceptable, but this can change depending on your industry.

But… If you find that your ratio calculation comes out comparatively low then your business could have trouble meeting obligations and may not be able to take advantage of opportunities that need quick cash. Uh oh!

So what can you do to fix this?

Paying off your liabilities is a great place to start and can help improve this ratio. How? It’s a good idea to try to delay non-critical purchases. You might also consider long-term borrowing to repay short-term debt. Another good option is to review your credit policies with clients and adjust them if needed so you can collect receivables faster.

So what if my ratio calculation is comparatively high?

Well, a higher ratio could mean that your working capital is not being used properly. If you come out with a high ratio, it’s a good idea to invest more of your cash in projects that drive growth like innovation, product or service development, research and development, or international marketing. Spending money can be fun and productive at the right times!

But don’t forget that what makes up a healthy ratio differs from industry to industry. For instance, a clothing store’s goods typically lose value quickly due to changing fashion trends. But, these goods are easily liquidated and have high a turnover rate. This means that small amounts of money are continuously coming in and going out so in a worst-case scenario liquidation is actually not too hard. Thus, a clothing company could easily function with a current ratio that is close to 1.0.

But a different industry like an airplane manufacturer would need a much higher liquidity ratio because they have high-value, non-perishable assets including work-in-progress inventory and extended receivable terms. These types of businesses necessitate carefully planned payment terms with customers so the current ratio should be much higher to enable coverage of short-term liabilities.

Efficiency Ratios

These ratios are usually measured over a 3- to 5-year period and provide extra insight into areas of your business like collections, cash flow, and operational results.

If you’re an inventory-reliant business then this ratio can really be a make-or-break factor for your business’ success. Inventory turnover examines how long it takes for inventory to be sold and replaced during the year. It’s calculated by dividing total purchases by average inventory in a given period. Of course, the longer the inventory sits on your shelves, the more it costs you. It’s important to analyze your inventory turnover seeing as gross profit is earned each time turnover takes place. This ratio can allow you to see where you might improve your buying practices and inventory management. Ch-ching!

By using this ratio calculation you could assess your purchasing patterns and your clients to figure out ways to minimize the amount of inventory that stays on your shelves. Perhaps it’ll be a good idea to turn some of your obsolete inventory into cash by selling it off at a discount to certain clients. This ratio can also help you see if your levels are too low which means you’d be missing out on sales opportunities. Yikes!

Another helpful ratio is the inventory to net working capital ratio because it can ascertain if you have too much of your working capital tied up in inventory. It’s calculated by dividing inventory by total current assets. Typically, the lower the ratio, the better. If you improve this ratio it will allow you to invest more working capital in growth-driven projects like export development, research and development, and marketing—so you see why it’s important!

Once again, this ratio depends a great deal on your industry and the quality of your inventory.

An important questions to ask yourself when calculating this ratio is:

Are your goods seasonal (like pool equipment) either perishable (like food or some cosmetics) or prone to becoming obsolete (like fashion or tech)?

Based on the answer, these ratios will differ a great deal. But, regardless of the industry, inventory ratios can you help you improve your business efficiency and that’s what counts!

Another key ratio is the average collection period. It examines the average number of days customers take to pay for your products or services. It’s calculated by dividing receivables by total sales and multiplying by 365. To collect payments more efficiently, it can be helpful to establish clearer credit policies and set collection procedures. For example, to prompt your clients to pay on time, you can give them incentives or discounts and you should also compare your policies to those of your industry to make sure you’re being competitive.

Profitability Ratios

This is one of the most frequently used tools when it comes to financial ratio analysis. Profitability ratios are used to figure out the company’s bottom line and its return to its investors. Profitability measures are important to both company managers and you, the owner, because profitability ratios portray a company’s overall efficiency and performance.

Profitability ratios are divided into two types: margins and returns. Ratios that demonstrate the margins represent your business’s ability to translate sales dollars into profits at different stages of measurement. While ratios that show returns represent your business’ ability to measure the overall efficiency of your business when it comes to producing returns for your shareholders.

Net profit margin measures how much a company earns (usually after taxes) relative to its sales. A business with a higher profit margin than its competitor is often more efficient, flexible, and better equipped to take on new opportunities. Nice!

Operating profit margin, which can also be called coverage ratio, measures earnings before interest and taxes. The results can differ quite a bit from the net profit margin as a result of the impact of interest and tax expenses. By determining this margin, you can better assess your ability to expand your business through additional debt or other investments.

Return on assets (ROA) ratio is used to figure out how well management is employing the company’s various resources (assets). It’s calculated by dividing net profit (before taxes) by total assets. The number will change widely across different industries. For example, a capital-intensive industry like the railway industry will yield a low return on assets because they need expensive infrastructure to conduct business. But, service-based operations like a consulting firm will have a high ROA since they require minimal hard assets to function.

Return on equity (ROE) measures how well the business is doing in relation to the investment made by its shareholders. It tells the shareholders how much the company is earning for each of their invested dollars. It’s calculated by dividing a company’s earnings after taxes (EAT) by the total shareholders’ equity and multiplying the result by 100%.

An important part of ratio analysis when it comes to profitability ratios is cross-sectional analysis. This compares ratios of several companies from the same industry. Let’s say your business experienced a downturn in its net profit margin of 10% over the last 3 years. You might he thinking that’s bad news! However, if your competitors have experienced an average downturn of 21%, well then your business is actually performing quite well! However, in this case it would still be important to analyze the underlying data as a way to figure out the cause of the downturn and create solutions to improve.

The Sum and Substance

As you can see there are so many financial ratios! From liquidity ratios, to debt or financial leverage ratios, to efficiency or asset management ratios, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs and business owners can get caught up in the numbers and have trouble seeing the big picture.

Of course, a great accountant can help you to figure all this out. (Hi!) There’s also a method that business owners can use to summarize all of the ratios; it’s called the Dupont Model. The Dupont Model can show you where the component parts of the Return of Assets (or Return on Investment ratio) comes from as well as the Return on Equity ratio and this model can be very helpful in determining if financial adjustments need to be made. There are also a variety of online ratio calculators, which can help make ratio calculation fast and efficient.

However, it’s important to remember that ratios are not the only way to figure out your business’s financial performance. This is something that I can help you with as your accountant by looking at all of the key factors. Not only is the industry you’re in important, but location can also play a role and so can regional differences in factors like labour or shipping costs. In order to make a solid financial analysis you need to closely examine the data used to establish the ratios in addition to assessing the circumstances that produced those results.

Here at the Number Works, we understand that as a small business owner you might not have the time or the expertise to conduct a thorough analysis of your business using financial ratios—and that’s ok! We’re always excited to crunch numbers and get behind your business’s success. With our numbers know-how and your savvy entrepreneurial skills, your business is sure to thrive! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Hiring Bookkeeper

The Benefits of Hiring a Bookkeeper for Your Small Business

Did you know that hiring a bookkeeper for your small business could actually save you money? Making mistakes add up, especially if those mistakes result in an audit or even bankruptcy. Plus, 30 percent of small businesses fail within two years and it’s because their expenses outweigh their profits. Yikes! So it’s clearly important to keep an accurate book—and what better way to do that than by hiring a professional bookkeeper?

There are so many benefits to hiring a bookkeeper for your small business. We’ve listed the top 8 reasons here:

1. Dedicate Your Time To Your Core Business Needs

As the founder of your small business, it’s best to stick with what you’re good at. Unless you’ve founded a small accounting business, chances are your strengths lie in other areas… And those other areas need your full attention.

There’s no better way to free up your time so that you can focus on what you’re best at than by leaving the financials in the hands of a capable bookkeeper. With the time that you aren’t spending floundering on your books, you’ll have time to devote to strategy, marketing, funding, and other key areas that require your focus. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your books are accurate and real reports to show you your profit and loss and other key reports to help you grow your business.

2. Improve Your Work-Life Balance

As a solopreneur or founder of a small business you’re busy, busy, busy! There’s so much to do and while being a hands-on business owner is crucial to any business’ success, you still need some time at the end of the day or week for yourself and your loved ones. No matter how great of a multitasker you may be, every person needs balance in order to stay healthy and not burn out.

Burn out is a serious risk for entrepreneurs and as much as you may think that you can do it all, at some point the stress will catch up with you and your business will suffer. So if you want to see your business grow, don’t forget to make some “me time” Letting a bookkeeper handle the finances will take a huge load off your shoulders!

3. Two Heads are Better Than One

Of course, you’ve got a handle on your business—you rock and we don’t doubt it! But it never hurts to have a second set of eyes to help catch mistakes, catch things that the first set of eyes might have missed, or to give a fresh perspective on the state of your business.

A bookkeeper won’t just put the financials in order; they’ll also run reports that show how you’re really doing each month, where the funds are going, and how your efforts are paying off. By having a professional crunch those numbers, you’ll be able to get the big picture and ensure the growth of your business.

4. Avoid the Monotony

We’re sure that your business lights a fire in your soul that motivates you every day, but it’s still hard to imagine that the financial aspects of your business are what get you out of bed in the morning. You likely have no passionate feelings about excel spreadsheets full of numbers or keeping track of payroll. That’s ok! Because your bookkeeper actually enjoys those tasks!

It makes sense to hand over your financials to someone who really does get excited about numbers. Not only will you benefit from not being dragged down by a task you don’t like and haven’t been particularly trained for, but you’ll also be able to pump twice as much enthusiasm into your business; your own, uninterrupted enthusiasm plus the energy from your passionate numbers person. It’s definitely win:win.

5. Get Everything Paid on Time

Did you know that if you miss a bill or forget to pay something important, it will significantly impact your business credit? Uh oh! Between meetings with clients,  troubleshooting daily issues, and focusing on the future of your startup, it’s quite likely that things fall through the cracks along the way.

Often bills that need to get paid are forgotten. Avoid the stress of late bills by putting a bookkeeper in charge! And what about collections? You don’t want to forget to collect your money, do you? Your business can’t afford to let money matters slip. With the help of a reliable bookkeeper, you can rest assured that everything is paid on time and you can get back to doing what you love—running your small business.

6. Take the Hassle Out of Tax Time

Even if you’ve finally figured out payroll and you’ve got a system down for outstanding invoices, when it comes to filing your business taxes you definitely don’t want to make a mistake. Based on the type of business structure you’ve created for your startup, you’ll have many tax requirements, HST payments, and other filings. This can be a major point of stress for many business owners!

The first great thing about working with a bookkeeper throughout the year is that when it comes to tax season, everything will already be organized. This is HUGE in terms of stress management! Your bookkeeper will have already won most of the battle by keeping your books in tip top order.

Secondly, as for your final tax details, a bookkeeper is a pro; they’ll know what tax credits are available to you and how to optimize your tax filing for the best possible results. It’s ideal to find a bookkeeper who can handle your taxes in addition to payroll and other financial issues for full peace of mind and no headaches.

7. Keep Your Cash Flowing

Late payments are a problem for many small businesses, and that’s true for your own clients who owe you money. This can put a serious damper on your cash flow. Often your clients will have outstanding invoices and these can start to really drag your business down.

Seeing as you’re so busy, you may not realize that there are late payments infringing upon the cash flow you need to keep your startup running smoothly. But having a bookkeeper working for you will help you stay on top of these issues.

Your bookkeeper can send out reminders to make sure your cash flow remains optimal and, bonus, this will look good if you ever decide to seek out funding because you can show a positive cash flow that you might not have been able to show without that financial help.

8. Keep Costs Down

Although it may seem logical to do everything yourself to save money, that’s not actually the truth of most small business dealings. In fact, a professional bookkeeper actually saves you money because there’s a reduced level of risk from human error, lack of knowledge, missed payments, tax obligation due dates, and delayed accounts receivable.

As we’ve all heard before; time is money. You need to be smart about how you choose to use your time. The time you spend on your books could be used instead towards bringing in more clients, delivering excellent customer service, and bringing in the revenue to see the growth you want.

Plus, there are many options for hiring a bookkeeper and rather than bringing someone on payroll full- or part-time, a freelance bookkeeper can be very cost effective. When you outsource your bookkeeping to a professional who is themselves a business owner, you don’t have to pay payroll taxes, sick leave, vacation, etc. that you would have to pay when hiring an in-house employee keeping your costs down even more!

 

Outsourcing your bookkeeping is quite possibly the smartest step that a small business owner can take towards their overall business success. From saving time and money, to focusing on your expertise, and increasing cash flow, a bookkeeper makes good business sense for your startup. Here at the Number Works we’re always excited to help out small business owners. We would love to get behind your success. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

5 Spring Cleaning Tips to Rock Your Business

We know you’re a badass boss running a successful business. You rock! But even the most successful businesses can benefit from a good and thorough spring cleaning every year. Spring is the perfect time to change those tired old habits that could be messing with your bottom line. (Yep, you might be strangling your profitability and not even know it—yikes!)

Learn how to take a good, hard look at your operations and reorganize your efforts for strategic, long-term growth with these five tips:

Tip #1: It’s Time to Make More Time

Taking the time to step back and figure out where your time is going is essential to a successful business. Many businesses don’t measure how their time is spent, and how it’s possibly being wasted. And time is money, right? So, it’s a good idea to use this spring cleaning period to map out your workflow from start to finish, in order to find what’s possibly slowing your company down.

Once you understand what tasks you need to focus on yourself, you can delegate or outsource the smaller things to others. When you make time to be creative, come up with new initiatives, strategize, or do other important growth-oriented tasks, you’ll see your business flourish.

Tip #2: Clear Out the Clutter

Have any of your products or services outlived the market demand? Do any of your business activities no longer add value to your organization? We know it can be difficult, but if you eliminate these things and focus on what will be hot in the coming quarters, you’ll be sure to rock what’s to come!
And that’s not all—clearing out the clutter can apply to emotional baggage at work, too. Spring is the perfect time to refresh as a team. If mistakes have been made or goals haven’t been met, one of the best ways to address these issues is to have a candid discussion with your employees, come up with a working plan to reduce or eliminate the issues in question, and then let the past be the past so there won’t be any more distractions. Clear the clutter, and clear the air!

Tips #3: Makeover Your Brand

When it comes to spring cleaning our homes, we’re quick to buy a cute throw pillow, update our furniture, or even slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls. But how often do you apply this sort of thinking to your business? No, we don’t mean painting the walls of your office (unless you want to), but it’s a good idea to take some time to consider if your brand is up-to-date and still appealing to customers or potential clients.
The colours, shapes, logos, and language you use to market your business represent your company’s value proposition. These elements also set the expectations customers have when they do business with you. Thus, it’s important to make sure your brand is still aligned with the products or services you offer and is still relevant to your target audience.

We know a rebrand can be a massive undertaking, and possibly very costly as well, depending on how it’s being done and who is doing it. But perhaps all your brand needs to stay up-to-date is a few tweaks here and there, and maybe you have the resources to do these small adjustments in-house, saving you some money. In any case, if your brand is no longer resonating with people, it will be less costly to fix the problem now than to never address it and risk your bottom line.

Tip #4: Try New Things

We’re sure you have a tried and true way of attracting customers, and that’s great! But branching out and trying things you’ve never done before is always a good idea, and what better time to do it than spring?

Have you leveraged the power of social media for your business yet? If your business is not on social media, it should be! Once it’s there, you could try connecting with potential clients and customers on the various social networks. Or perhaps your business could benefit from more traditional methods of reaching new people, e.g.: joining a business networking group, hosting an in-person event, or attending a tradeshow. If you’re a smaller business that sells a physical product, why not consider a pop-up shop every once in a while? Get creative!

While some of these things aren’t exactly brand new ideas, they could be new for you, and giving them a spin could give you access to a previously untapped market for your business. You might even get a leg up on your competitors who haven’t thought about using these techniques!

Tip #5: Don’t Go At It Alone

When it comes to spring cleaning your home and yard, it’s not unusual to hire housekeepers, window cleaners, landscapers, or other professionals. Sometimes there is just so much to do, and you don’t have the time (or possibly the skills) necessary to do the work yourself. So why not apply this same logic to your business? We understand that as an entrepreneur it takes a certain level of tunnel vision to stay on top of things in your business. However, that intense, targeted focus can make it hard to take a step back and spot potential problematic areas that could use improvements.
Whether it’s bookkeeping chores, fulfilling orders, or dealing with customer support, getting an outsider into your business and talking them through a task can be highly beneficial. By simply explaining your common processes out loud, you’re guaranteed to spot weak points in execution. Not only that, the external feedback you’ll get will identify easy solutions you might never have thought of alone.
Every business can benefit from an annual review of its operations, and what better time to do it than spring? Think of spring cleaning and all the benefits that come with it as your reward for getting through another long winter. It’s the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your processes so you can continue to rock your business all year long!
We’d love to know which spring cleaning tips you’re going to try and which ones we may have missed, so drop us a comment below.