How to Build a Strategic Plan and Engage Employees for Business Success

Saturday, February 29th, 2020

Building success requires both a plan and engaged participants — like your employees and staff. Crafting a success plan begins with a few fundamentals in business that foster success and encourage unity among those under your leadership.

Make Prudent Investments

Consider your time and energy to be your most valuable commodity; don’t invest your time just anyplace. Look for important and meaningful outlets toward your business goals that are worth your efforts. Prioritization is key in making prudent investments of your own time at work.

Become a Delegator

Learn to delegate effectively and, as a leader, hand-off tasks that are high effort and low benefit to the team’s goals, overall. While you may not be able to skip these tasks altogether, don’t waste your time on them. Give these projects to team members that are industrious and looking for additional challenges during the workday. Delegating also sends the message to the team that you trust them and need them, which can improve morale and overall success, subsequently.

Start the Day with a Plan

Make a tactile plan each-and-every day. Start the day by reviewing the list, that you have started the day before. Break larger jobs down into manageable tasks and give yourself some of these chores daily to work toward getting the larger project accomplished. Be realistic though about time restrictions and your busy schedule.

Foster Focus

If you want to make progress toward your priorities and goals, eliminate the din and distractions that can waste valuable time throughout the day. Give yourself uninterrupted time to work on these projects and review the team’s progress toward goals by setting a timer and avoiding calls and online detours during the exercise. This can be tough but setting 30-minute time periods can result in a lot of progress toward outlined goals by the end of the week, month, and year. Without the added energy of multi-tasking, you will fly through tasks and activities.

Take Your Time

Always take the time to review and evaluate the progress that you and your team are making toward goals. Never be too busy to reflect and revisit instances that may be vital to meeting certain milestones or markers. Provide positive affirmation and honest feedback to your team so that individuals may find ways to improve performance, while also making their own job easier in many instances.

Give Yourself Room to Improve 

Nobody is perfect and even the best-laid plans can sometimes falter. A good leader understands that there is always room to improve and it pays to continually come up with fresh strategies for success, whether this is new marketing campaigns, inventive incentive programs, or innovative tactics to find talent for the company. Give yourself measurable goals including priorities and accomplishments on a daily calendar or planner.

When it comes to small business accounting, rely on the industry experts at BMH Accounting, with multiple locations in South Florida. The team of qualified accounting professionals at BMH provide monthly accounting, bookkeeping, tax planning, and payroll services for businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs in the area. Call to learn more today.

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Know Your Tax Obligations to Ensure Your Business Remains in Good Standing

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

Every business, no matter how small, has several tax obligations that it must meet. This includes taxes at the federal, state, and sometimes local level along with payroll taxes. At BMH Accounting, we understand that keeping track of so many obligations can be challenging. However, doing so is essential to avoid fines and possibly other sanctions from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and your state or local governments.

In terms of withholding from employee paychecks, you must deduct federal tax, state tax if applicable, social security, and Medicare. Below we outline how to determine your tax obligation at both the federal and state levels. Before you arrange to pay any taxes, however, you must first choose your tax year.

How to Choose the Tax Year Most Appropriate for Your Business

Choosing a tax year to coincide with the 12-month calendar year is the most common among business owners. This typically works well for companies without special accounting situations that would require the business owner to choose another alternative. If your accounting cycle doesn’t end on December 31, using a fiscal year instead of a calendar year will work better for you. If you have a special situation such as operating your business only part of the year due to starting or stopping it, you should select a short tax year for your filing status.

Federal Taxes

The type of structure you choose for your business determines the categories of taxes you pay and how much you pay for them. You may be subject to one or more of the following types of federal taxes:

  • Employer tax: This covers specific payments you must make such as contributing to the workers’ compensation and federal unemployment programs.
  • Estimated tax: As a self-employed business owner, you must make estimated quarterly tax payments to the IRS.
  • Excise tax: The IRS only charges this on specific services or goods such as alcohol and tobacco.
  • Income tax: This is the amount of federal tax withheld from employee paychecks based on their income and number of exemptions.
  • Self-employment tax: People who employ themselves are subject to the full amount of social security and Medicare, currently 12.4 and 2.9 percent.

State Taxes

Each state creates and enforces its own rules regarding employment taxes. If your state collects these taxes, the types and amounts you pay will depend on your business structure and physical location. If you’re a sole proprietor, for example, you will pay state taxes via estimated payments and include your income and expenses on your personal tax form. Corporations, on the other hand, pay taxes as a separate entity from the people who own the business.

Get Help with Proactive Tax Planning and Meeting Your Tax Obligation

BMH Accounting is available now to assist your small business with strategy to reduce your tax burden and gain a better understanding of the tax obligations you face. Please contact us today to request your initial consultation.

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Proactive Tax Planning is Key to Avoiding Tax Liabilities

Friday, November 15th, 2019

When it comes to Tax Planning, being proactive pays. Being vigilant and precise with your tax reporting and expenses can minimize your tax liabilities- and save you money at year’s end.  Tax prep and documentation should not be something that only occurs at tax-time; proactive tax planning is something that happens year-round to avoid nasty penalties and maximize deductions.

Some tax planning tips include:

Provide Proof

Prepare to be vigilant about keeping track of business expenses- which can be a bear! A good rule of thumb is that if you plan to deduct an expense, you will need some sort of proof of the purchase, like a receipt, invoice, or canceled check. You can also use bank records, if needed, to document purchases related to business that you do not have an actual receipt for when it comes time to complete or file your taxes and reports.

Document Diligently

Always save invoices or receipts for all your business-related purchases. It helps to write and attach a note explaining the purchase for documenting later, when you may have forgotten the specifics surrounding the expense.

Segregate Accounts

Make sure to keep personal accounts separate from business accounts whenever possible. It can make accurate record-keeping nearly impossible and you could suffer by missing out on certain business deductions this way.

Classify Carefully

Don’t misclassify your workers as the income-tax withholding and employment taxes are quite different. While you do withhold federal income tax and FICA taxes from your employees, you also are responsible for unemployment taxes and your own share of FICA. When you are dealing with staff that are actually independent contractors, you are not required to withhold taxes, making the individual responsible for their own self-employment tax liability. This also eliminates the need to pay separate FICA or unemployment taxes.  Talk to your accounting professional to learn more.

Pay Promptly

Pay the employment taxes that you collect from the wages of your employees and staff for federal income tax and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes promptly. The IRS is not tolerant of delayed payment and noncompliance penalties can be severe.

Industry experts offer tax tips for small businesses, including that you need to be careful and cautious when making tax deductions. This may look suspicious and trigger an audit, further reinforcing the need for organized documentation. The IRS frequently assesses business tax deductions, like vehicle use and travel expenses, to ensure you are sticking to their guidelines and limits.

Consider Hiring Help

Take the worry out of your business taxes with some professional help from BMH Accounting. If you own or operate a company or brand, outsourcing your financials and tax reports to a certified accountant makes good business sense. Don’t risk penalties and fines by going it alone; hire a tax professional today.

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5 Key Mistakes That Could Lead to a Small Business Failure

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

A small business failure can be surprising in terms of what led to the demise and how it may have been avoided. There are some common errors that many small business owners and entrepreneurs make that lead to problems that cannot be overcome. Subsequently, it is these errors that often lead to the end of the company or business.

Avoid these 5 key mistakes that lead to a small business failure:

 

Money Issues  

Probably the biggest reason for small business failure is money; aim to keep your overhead as low as possible and track all your expenses. Be frugal, even when you don’t need to be and be on the lookout for ways to monetize and further improve your bottom-line. Always have a goal of streamlining your operations in efforts of curbing costs and improving revenues to succeed.

Too Big, Too Fast  

Another reason small companies don’t succeed is that they try to take on too much, too fast. Start small, such as a pop-up shop or an event like a festival or fair to learn the market. Some businesses assume there is a market for something only to discover that there simply is not; know the market before investing.

No Back-up Plan  

Have you heard the expression, ‘prepare for the worst but hope for the best’? That should be your mantra when it comes to your small business. Always have a back-up plan and anticipate, even expect, things to occasionally go wrong or askew. That is simply part of doing business. Make sure that you are fully covered in areas like insurance, staffing, and that you have a slush fund ready for a rainy day.

Lack of Business or Industry Experience  

Are you sure that you fully understand the market that you are taking part in? Surprisingly, many businesses fail due to a lack of understanding of their market. For example, some restauranteurs may not understand the time, commitment, and money that it takes to open a restaurant in a specific area.  Many successful companies encourage entrepreneurs to go with what they know.

Underestimate the Undertaking  

Speaking of underestimation, make sure that you are well-aware of the effort and time that go into making a business successful. Remember that you will have a wide range of obligations, from marketing and human resources to serving clients and keeping facilities clean.  Make sure that you never minimize the work that it will take to make your endeavor a success.

These common issues are not always a result of the business owner making rash or compulsive decisions, but rather may be related to the industry, current market, or other unforeseeable circumstances that impact revenues and force closure.

For help keeping your business matters precise and timely, reach out to BMH Accounting, Don’t let mismanagement be the reason your business fails to thrive and succeed; get the accounting assistance that you need.

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Income Statement and Balance Sheet: Integral to a Successful Business

Friday, August 30th, 2019

If you want your company to succeed, you must maintain detailed financial records related to the operating of your business. Gaining a grasp on the more complicated aspects of accounting can help you garner a better understanding of your company’s finances, though hiring a professional accountant may be the most practical approach. Whether you learn as you go or hire a pro, two of the fundamental elements of business bookkeeping are your income statements and balance sheets.

Income Statements

When you want to track and analyze revenues and expenses over a period of time, an income statement offers the best glimpse. Usually, these reports are made monthly or quarterly and then integrated for yearly reports. An income statement gives a good look at a company’s performance and if you are a publicly-traded company, it is directly reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Income statements cover the basics: revenues, expenses, gains, and losses. From this tracking, periodic reports will show both short and long term growth, health, and future predictors for success. This information helps mold financial decisions for the next fiscal season, quarter, or year.

Balance Sheets

As important as the income statement reports is your balance sheet. Balance sheets aim to track the three fundamental areas of your business financials: assets, liabilities, and shareholder equity. Balance sheets don’t cover a range of time but rather a specific moment, which offers insight into shareholder equity at the drop of a dime. Balance sheets offer a quick view of the company assets, what is owed to other parties, and how much your shareholders have invested in you.

A balance sheet works with a formula that is used to track what your company has at any given point in time. That formulaic equation used by a balance sheet is Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder/Owner Equity.

Merging the Two

The two together- income statements and balance sheets- provide the perfect tool for gaining a look at the financial health of your business. Don’t wait for tax time or quarterly reports to run some numbers; generate reports anytime to gain perspective and see where you are going. If your company is big enough to employ analysts, they would use both reports, the income statement and balance sheet, to give you an overview of your company’s finances and offer predictions based on these reports.

Maintaining the income statement balance sheet is integral to the smooth operation- and subsequent success- of your business. Don’t have time to track your assets and liabilities? Call the professionals at BMH Accounting; they can provide you with a snapshot of your company’s financials and help you analyze data to improve daily function and overall operation.

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