Ways Small Businesses Can Save Money

Brian Catibog finance header 8

Trying to save money as a small business might not always seem easy. You don’t want to cut corners, but it’s still going to be beneficial to be able to keep your costs low. There are a few ways that small businesses can save money that will make life a bit easier. Read on to get more information. 

Avoid Paying for Office Space

Office space is very costly and it might not be an effective way to use your funds. Many small businesses choose to work out of home offices instead of renting commercial spaces. Unless you’re operating a retail-oriented business, this is going to be a good way to save yourself some cash. You can keep the funds that you would be spending on rent and they can be used for other business expenses. 

Buying Secondhand Equipment

You might be able to get away with buying secondhand equipment as well. A brand new printer or fax machine might cost a lot of money, but buying something comparable that is second hand could save you a lot of cash. There might be many pieces of equipment that your business will need that will also be available on the secondhand market. Consider trying to look for a deal rather than going out to buy expensive new pieces of equipment. 

Make Use of Freelancers

Paying employees will be expensive and you might not have the money to maintain a full staff. It can be more cost-effective to hire freelancers to help out when you’re in need. This can save you a lot of money on your payroll while still allowing you to get the help that you need. There are many great freelancing websites that you can sign up for where you can find professionals who are looking for work. 

Spend Marketing Dollars Wisely

If you are going to be marketing your business, then you can spend your dollars wisely to get the most out of your money. You can make use of inexpensive marketing methods such as social media marketing. It’s also helpful to develop a rapport with customers and to rely on your customers to spread the good word about your business. If you can avoid paying for costly ad campaigns, then you should do so. 

Install a Smart Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat will help you to save money on your energy bills. Energy bills can add up to quite a bit of spending each year and being able to cut that bill down substantially will be useful. A smart thermostat keeps you from wasting energy at the office. It’s a cost-effective way to save a bit of money each month. 

The post Ways Small Businesses Can Save Money first appeared on Brian Catibog | Business.

from Brian Catibog | Business http://briancatibog.com/ways-small-businesses-can-save-money/
via IFTTT

Small Business Accounting Mistakes to Avoid

Brian Catibog finance header 3

Running your small business takes a lot of effort. If you’re handling your accounting by yourself, then it’s easy to let little mistakes slip through the cracks. Even so, it’s important to avoid mistakes like these because they can throw things off in severe ways. Take a look at the following small business accounting mistakes to avoid. 

Tracking Business Costs Improperly

If you make mistakes while tracking your business costs, then you are going to put your small business in a bad position. You want to make sure that you are accounting for all of your costs down to the last cent. Keeping accurate records of spending will prove to be imperative. You need to double-check things to make sure that you aren’t inputting things into your spreadsheets improperly. 

Mixing Business and Personal Accounts

As a business owner, you need to make sure that you keep your business and personal accounts separate. If you fail to do so, then things can get messy come tax season. It can complicate things when you are trying to get business loans as well since lenders will need to get a look at your cash flow to determine whether they can lend to you. Make sure that your personal accounts and your business accounts are kept separate. 

Billing Mismanagement

Billing mismanagement can harm your business substantially. Some businesses make mistakes when managing billing and they might wind up sending out invoices late. This can lead to delayed funds and you could wind up being late paying your own bills. A few mistakes with your management of billing could lead to costly repercussions for your small business. 

Not Planning for Taxes Ahead of Time

You need to plan for your taxes ahead of time to avoid being caught off guard. This is why it is highly recommended to simply hire professionals to take care of things. They can inform you of what needs to be done for tax purposes while also managing your books. If you are worried about making mistakes, then calling in professional accountants will alleviate those worries. 

from Brian Catibog | Business http://briancatibog.com/small-business-accounting-mistakes-to-avoid/
via IFTTT

How to Know If Entrepreneurship Is Right for You

Brian Catibog finance header 2

Not everyone is going to be cut out for entrepreneurship. It can be a difficult path and you might not be sure if your business idea is good enough to move forward with. If you want to determine if entrepreneurship is a good path for you, then there are many things to consider. Keep reading to find the answers so that you can figure out if becoming an entrepreneur is a good idea in your situation. 

Does Your Business Idea Solve a Problem or Need?

Your business idea could be a good one, but it needs to solve a problem or a need. If there isn’t a demand for your type of business in your area, then you run the risk of failing even if you’re great at what you do. Make sure that your business idea makes sense and that it is filling some type of need in your area. You should also consider the competition and whether you think you can do things better than your potential competitors. 

Is Your Business Idea Profitable?

Of course, your business idea needs to be profitable for it to truly be able to take off. If you aren’t sure whether your business idea will make money, then it’s not going to be good to move forward. You need to do market research to see how your business will work in today’s market. Be sure of your decision before you start investing money in a new business. 

Why Do You Want to Start a Business?

Why you want to start a business is just as important as whether your business idea has potential. If you are starting a business purely because you want to get rich, then it might not be a good idea. Entrepreneurship can be risky and it also takes a long time to find great success in most situations. Make sure that you’re starting your business for the right reasons and that you have the necessary passion to keep on going when things get tough. 

Are You Prepared to Work Hard?

It’s also imperative to understand that being an entrepreneur takes a lot of effort. You have to work long hours and it can make it difficult to find enough time for your personal life. The first few years of launching a business will be especially busy. If you aren’t willing to put in the hard work and the long hours, then entrepreneurship is likely not for you. 

from Brian Catibog | Business http://briancatibog.com/how-to-know-if-entrepreneurship-is-right-for-you/
via IFTTT

Accounting Tips for SaaS Startups

Brian Catibog finance header 4

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a business model focused on the delivery of software. And like any business, it has needs in accounting to make that business model run efficiently. Knowing where to start with accounting for your SaaS startup can be a difficult thing to wrap your head around.

It doesn’t help that so few states actually have concrete positions on whether or not to tax SaaS or exempt it. Knowing the financials of your SaaS company is essential regardless. There are steps that you can take before calling in the professionals, but this aspect is essential no less.

Scale Your Tax Planning

Tax compliance is one of the most important aspects of any business. Non-compliance is usually a case of shoddy bookkeeping and it can be easily avoided. When growing your business especially, compliance can be an issue. Maybe you are compliant where your business originated, but are not when you expand across state lines.

Having a tax professional in your corner can help guide you towards proper tax planning. This can help you avoid any catastrophes that could seriously set your business back and get you into trouble with Uncle Sam.

Be Aware of Extras

Maybe your company sells complementary services to supplement a core product. In that case, be aware of what fees are being charged outside of that core product. Make certain to allocate revenue based on the estimated selling price of each of those services or a fee on a stand-alone basis. 

While there are many SaaS companies that have recognized the benefits involved with doing this, there are many more that have not. Understand everything that you are charging for when factoring in your revenue for accounting.

Be Aware of Changes

Because SaaS is still uncertain from a tax standpoint, it is imperative to be aware of any changes that may be made to tax codes. Pleading ignorance won’t do you any good; staying on top of regulations and codes will.

Small businesses cannot afford to be negligent with tax codes and developing regulations can help you stay on top of those changes.

from Brian Catibog | Business http://briancatibog.com/accounting-tips-for-saas-startups/
via IFTTT

The Most Important Accounting Reports for Small Businesses

Brian Catibog finance header 10

Keeping detailed records is imperative for any business, let alone small businesses that can live and die on the smallest of factors. What you might not know is that there are many more benefits that small business accounting can bring to the table.

Having the right accounting reports at your disposal can be a huge deal when it comes to improving, growing, and expanding your business. Here are a few of the reports that can help your company stabilize and grow.

Profit and Loss

This is hands down the most important report that any business has. This is the report that shows a business how much money they are making (which is a completely gloss-over explanation). This includes details of where your money is coming from and where you are spending it.

Knowing where your money is coming from and where it is going is an absolute must for any business. This allows for refinements to be made and allows you to cut down on unnecessary spending. Know what is working well for your business and what isn’t so you can make the necessary adjustments. 

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet is right there with your P&L report as one of the most important reports that you need to have. Your balance sheet, to over-simplify, tells you what your company owes and has coming in. This includes basic assets like accounts receivables, bank accounts, and possibly an investment account.

Your balance sheet can also contain assets like computers, equipment, property, and any other physical and intangible property. This is your one-stop-shop for seeing what your business owns, what it owes, and where your liabilities are.

Revenue by Customer

While you should definitely be aware of who owes you money, you should also be aware of who is giving you the most money. Revenue reports are essential to see what you’re bringing in, but they can be even more helpful by letting you know what customer demographics to target.

This is, in essence, focusing on strengths in order to keep your business growing while you work on improving sales in other areas.

from Brian Catibog | Business http://briancatibog.com/the-most-important-accounting-reports-for-small-businesses/
via IFTTT

Tips for Hiring an Accountant

It should go without saying, but every dollar can matter for business owners. Not knowing where your business stands on a monthly basis can be the death knell for your business as a whole. And while it might save you some money to do the bookkeeping yourself, it might also be holding you back.

That is why hiring an accountant may be imperative for your business—someone who can develop an intimate knowledge of your business and help you plan for those financial twists and turns that every company faces.

Here are a few things to look for when looking into a general accounting practice. 

Accounting and Record-Keeping 

These are some of the most basic principles of accounting. Business owners can typically manage their day-to-day records, but an accountant can help you set up your accounting systems and show you how to use them.

Having an efficient system in place allows you to evaluate profitability properly as well as modify pricing. Additionally, you can monitor your expenses, spot trends, track a budget, and reduce accounting fees that are required to produce tax returns and financial statements.

Tax Advice

Speaking of tax returns, having assistance when filing your taxes can make a massive difference for your business. Accountants can generally provide assistance when it comes to tax planning and tax compliance. The compliance aspect means obeying the tax laws while planning refers to reducing your tax burden.

Having a tax professional in your corner can save you some serious money come tax time and help you avoid overpaying or paying too much money in other areas.

Auditing

If you are looking to obtain a loan in the near future, having an auditing service to help you prepare financial statements can be a lifesaver. Not to mention the fact that if you face an actual audit, an accountant can help ensure that your company is as prepared as it can be to face that financial scrutiny.

Having a certified accountant on your side can make a world of difference for your small business.

from Brian Catibog | Business http://briancatibog.com/tips-for-hiring-an-accountant/
via IFTTT

The Benefits of Keeping Updated Accounting Records

Accounting records might seem like a tedious and unnecessary thing, but they are actually essential for your business. Without those detailed records, any decision made regarding your business as a whole will just be a guess.

Guessing is simply not the way to run a business. There is far too much room for error, and when your company is on the small side, there is not much room for mistakes to be made. That is why keeping detailed, updated accounting records is essential for businesses of all sizes.

Refine Products and Services

One of the keys to running an efficient and successful business is to focus on what is going well and either tweak or cut out any underperforming services or products. Think about it: if you have a product or service that just is not working, why would you want to continue dumping money into it with no change?

Having up-to-date accounting records means you can focus on those underperforming aspects of your business. Perhaps there is room for change, or maybe it’s time to cut out that service or product entirely. Without detailed accounting records, you will be guessing at best, and that is something no business should do.

Save at Tax Time

If that wasn’t enough motivation, maybe this is: having messy accounting records can lead to real stresses at tax time. Unlike individuals, who file once per year, businesses have to pay estimated quarterly taxes.

Sure, you could pay based on last year’s tax rates, but if you have updated accounting books, you could possibly get a better estimate than you may have otherwise. Especially when you are a small business, any additional revenue can make all the difference.

If you are not paying attention to your books, you could be throwing away money at tax time that could be put towards growing your business. There are many more reasons why having updated and detailed accounting records are imperative to the health and success of any business, whether big or small.

from Brian Catibog | Business http://briancatibog.com/the-benefits-of-keeping-updated-accounting-records/
via IFTTT

Guarantors for your business finance application

Business Finance, supported with a legal charge over a guarantors property.

A guarantor who offers a legal charge over their property is a potential means of securing business finance when your company is unable to provide security itself or is suffering financial circumstances that may discourage funders.

When someone agrees to act as a secured guarantor for your company , they commit to covering the repayments and liabilities to the funder if your company fails to keep up those payments or honour it’s obligations to the funder.

Sometimes acting as guarantor is a way for parents (or grandparents) to help their children start a business or buy an existing business.

If we fund a business in this way we will expect any guarantor to be a director and/or shareholder or that they will become a director or shareholder in the business to prove that they are connected and have an interest in the business.

Being a secured guarantor means signing a personal guarantee and also a legal charge on their property securing the liabilities of the company to the funder. The guarantor should take his/her own independent legal advice before agreeing to be a guarantor and before singing a legal charge on their property to ensure that they understand the risks involved should the company not pay and as their home may be repossessed if the company defaults and demand is made for payment under the guarantee.

One of the great benefits of a guarantor for young adults is that it lets the people you’re close to help you start in business or expand your business without having to lend you money themselves. That means that instead of dipping into their rainy-day fund or selling something important to them to help you out, your loved ones can agree to become a guarantor and help you borrow the money you need.

When might a business need to provide a secured guarantee from someone else?

  • A business owned by a non-homeowner or someone with very little equity in their property.
  • A business with a low income
  • A business with bad credit
  • Someone looking to buy a business that would ordinarily not have the opportunity to purchase a business as they have no security or collateral.
  • Someone that has a business who’s trading performance is not strong
  • A young person wanting to start in business
  • A start up

Who might be acceptable to a funder as a secured guarantor?

A guarantor generally needs the following:

  • To own their own property
  • To possess enough equity to satisfy the funder

What happens if my company misses a payment?

Missing a payment is never ideal, but with a secured guarantor it’s particularly important to be aware of what might happen if the payments aren’t met.

If your company falls behind on its finance payments, there are several things that could happen:

  • It is given more time to make the payments
  • It is charged a late payment and other contractual fees
  • The funder asks your guarantor to make the payment on behalf of your company.

If you continue to miss your payments and the finance agreement is terminated, further actions could include:

  • Your guarantors house could be repossessed and sold by the funder under the terms of the legal charge.
  • A Receiver might be appointed by the funder to receive any income from the guarantor’s property or exercise the funder’s rights under the legal charge which include taking possession of the property and selling it under the powers within the legal charge

Tips for getting a secured guarantor

  • Be open about your circumstances. Honesty is important in financial situations, so it’s vital to be open with your guarantor, or with the person you are promising to be guarantor for. All possible outcomes should be considered.
  • Use a solicitor. A guarantor is a big commitment and money matters can be complicated. The funder should recommend that you take independent legal advice

At Nationwide Corporate Finance we are excited and are fully supportive of your funding project and will do our very best to help you and approve your funding needs very quickly. However, with all this excitement please do not feel pressured to enter in to an agreement too quickly, take your time and proceed when you are ready especially as you and your friends or relatives will be asked to sign as guarantors and secure the finance against their personal properties so they will ultimately will be liable and those properties may have to be repossessed and sold if your business fails.

from Nationwide Corporate Finance https://www.nationwidefinance.co.uk/blog/2020/03/guarantors-for-your-business-finance-application/
via IFTTT

Business Finance for Emergencies

How to get emergency business finance

When a business is suffering from hard times, or struggling to even keep trading, it shouldn’t mean the end is near — far from it!!!

Cashflow shortage?

Even the savviest of business owners may not know the array of finance options available in the current market, and since high-street lenders have slowed down their lending to SMEs over the last few years, we’ve seen a few alternative finance options appearing to fill this void.

The right option for your business all depends on your business profile and needs. To fully understand where your best solution lies, speak to one of our experts — we’ll guide you through your possibilities whether you are a Sole Trader Ltd company, New Start or well established.

Seasonal trading problems?

When sales are down and costs are high, there are potential problems waiting to arise at any moment. Keep this in mind if your business has unpredictable trading cycles, or if you frequently find you’re struggling for cash at important times. For the more urgent problems like insolvency, there are some relatively unknown emergency solutions.

There are of course certain criteria to satisfy, but if your business stacks up, it’s well worth considering. A simple business loan from banks might do the trick, or maybe it’s worth looking into asset-backed finance for a more individual fit.

In debt or operating at a loss?

We would always suggest taking a look at finance solutions in these cases, as there are options available whatever the need. You might find it’s possible to give your assets as security for funding — the risk being that you could lose your equipment or machinery if you’re unable to adhere to your funding terms.

Are your circumstances beyond control?

Once you’ve exhausted all of your finance options and feel there is nowhere left to go, you’ve reached a hugely important time for your business. This is the point at which you need to decide whether continuing to trade is a viable option for you personally, as well as for the business. The key to this is spotting these difficulties and reacting — the earlier, the better.

Although they come with negative connotations, a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) or a pre-pack administration may well be an option if you think there’s life left in your company. There are plenty of options to weigh up, but if you think the business may continue to incur more debt if it carries on, in the same way, this is when problems can get out of hand.

Understand your options

Many business owners in trouble don’t realize that there’s still some funding options available even if you’ve got bad credit, a ccj, or other signs of trading problems in the past. The best thing you can do is manage any problem head-on, as early as possible.

At Nationwide Corporate Finance we look at all businesses regardless of their situation, and because we physically underwrite all applications we can help by being as flexible as possible. We don’t operate a Tickbox process as everyone is judged on their own merits!!!

Please call 01234 240155 to find out more or visit www.nationwidefinance.co.uk to apply online.

from Nationwide Corporate Finance https://www.nationwidefinance.co.uk/blog/2020/03/business-finance-for-emergencies/
via IFTTT

Financing Start Ups and Established Businesses

Nationwide Corporate Finance can release funds to your business for any you to use for any purpose. Within this guide you’ll find advice on the following types of costs incurred in setting up a business from scratch and also for those regular costs all businesses incur:

  • The definition of start-up costs
  • Fixed business costs – from premises and insurance costs to stock and staffing
  • Variable business costs – from cost of goods to wages and logistics

The definition of start-up costs

Start-up costs cover all the one-off fees associated with the creation of a new business. These outgoings can be grouped into two main types of start-up spending:

  • Investigatory costs
    During the infancy of any start-up business, it’s necessary for entrepreneurs to invest in researching the potential need for the business i.e. market research. Investigatory start-up charges cover analysis of existing comparable products on the market, transportation, labor supply, consultancy fees, and expenses whilst doing deals with potential suppliers and distributors.
  • Pre-launch costs
    Start-ups must also factor in costs incurred once the decision has been officially made to launch and trade, but before it is actually open for business. Such examples of typical pre-launch start-up costs include digital & traditional advertising in readiness for launch, office or studio furnishings & equipment, damage deposits with commercial property landlords, salaries for staff training & installation charges for digital infrastructure e.g. Wi-Fi.
    However, it’s always worth bearing in mind that some of these start-up overheads are likely to roll into when the business is up and running.

Types of business costs

Once your business is up and running there will be two types of start-up costs that you record on the balance sheet – fixed and variable business costs.

Fixed costs relate to outgoings that must be paid regardless of whether the business turns over a profit. Businesses in all types of industry are going to experience different types of fixed business costs. Below, we list the most common fixed business costs which require payment no matter what happens to the business day-to-day.

Examples of fixed business costs

  • Professional fees
  • Insurance
  • Premises costs
  • Staffing and employment
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Stock
  • Sales and marketing
  • Finance
  • Technology costs

Professional Fees

These may include the cost of hiring an accountant, solicitor, lawyer, or other expert professional to deal with the legal aspects of starting a business such as company formation, copyright protection, drafting partnership agreements or other fees you may need to pay to the Government for certificates and inspections for health and safety or food hygiene, for instance.

As an example, it’s possible to register online, by post using form IN01, or by using a third-party agent or software; but registration costs vary. Online applications cost just £12 and are usually registered within 24 hours. Meanwhile, postal applications can take up to 8-10 days and cost around £40. There’s also a same-day registration service which costs around £100 where you have to submit your application to Companies House by 3 pm.

Premises costs

Renting or leasing commercial property will include monthly costs that you should factor into your regular outgoings. Service charges and connection of utilities, followed by utility bills (electricity, gas, water, telephone) will also need to be considered.

The premises may not be exactly to your working requirements, so if a refit is necessary to make sure you have enough funds in the back pocket to decorate and furnish the property to your needs.

Staffing and employment

There are a wealth of staffing options available to business start-ups, from full-time employees to freelance contractors. You will need to decide which options are the best financial fit for your business; is your income already at a level that the business can handle a full-time wage? Would you prefer the flexibility of hiring freelancers as and when you need them? These are some of the questions you will need to ask yourself when the time comes to think about staffing.

In terms of recruitment, there will also be fees payable to agencies if you source new talent through these channels as opposed to fielding direct applications. Advertising job vacancies will also come at a price if advertising externally as well as internally on your own website.

Equipment and supplies

There are many essential first-day purchases for a start-up’s office:

  • Telephony
  • Internet connection
  • Data storage and back-up
  • Computers/laptops
  • Table for meetings/conferences
  • Comfortable computer chairs
  • Stationery
  • Signage
  • First aid supplies
  • Power cables/extension cords
  • Accounting system

Stock

If you’re a retailer that’s going to be reliant on the stock, the first thing you need to do is ascertain the best possible suppliers and manufacturers to establish friendly working relationships with.

In terms of supplier credit, it’s an easy trap for start-ups to fall into attempting to buy too much at once without ultimately knowing what sells most and for the highest margins. Some businesses also get nasty surprises from their wholesalers, particularly if they experience times of financial hardship themselves, resulting in them asking you to pay them back in full much sooner than you had hoped.

Be realistic with your initial orders and allow your business to test the water without too much financial pressure.

Sales and marketing

Marketing and promoting a new business is almost a non-stop task. Digital marketing increasingly forms the basis of many start-up’s efforts to attract and retain customers, through paid advertising that allows you to be visible for related keyword terms within major search engines for a set budget and organic marketing which is a mixture of online PR and content creation about your products and services.

Those with a database of potential customers or existing leads can also invest in email marketing to distribute highly-targeted emails to grow exposure, but this also comes at a cost for distributing emails at high volume.

It’s almost unheard of for businesses today not to have a website; so whether you design your own website or pay a freelancer or an agency to design one for you, you’ll need to factor in time and money to develop an online presence.

Finance for start-ups

Another fixed cost that’s often unavoidable for ambitious businesses is the repayment of business loans or finance. For entrepreneurs without a bottomless pit of money to invest, equity and debt finance options are becoming increasingly popular with New and Growing Companies.

Technology expenses

In addition, there is a growing list of other tech expenses you should be aware of when setting up your business:

  • Software licenses
  • IT support
  • Website hosting
  • Data storage
  • Email accounts
  • Mobile phone contracts
  • Payment gateways
  • Any third-party integrations or services

Examples of variable business costs

The difference between fixed and variable business costs is that the latter change in line with sales or production volume. As production increases, variable business costs rise with it. Variable costs include direct material costs and direct labour costs that are essential to carry out the work required.

  • Individual product cost
  • Delivery
  • Staff wages

Individual product costs

For businesses that must deal with suppliers for their goods, individual product costs can vary on a sliding scale format, largely depending on quantity. Generally, the more you buy a product from a supplier or wholesaler, the less you’ll pay per item.

Those businesses most reliant on raw materials to help create their finished product will have more variable costs than other firms.

Delivery

In terms of packaging and shipping, delivery is another key variable business cost. As a business moves more of a specific product, the costs for its packaging and transport will increase with it. Conversely, during times when fewer products are sold, delivery and packaging costs will consequently diminish.

Staff wages

Wages can be placed in both variable and fixed business costs sections. For instance, if a business hires employees that are only paid if they work billable hours, this is regarded as a variable cost. However, if they are paid fixed monthly salaries no matter how many hours they work, this is a fixed business cost.

Businesses in their infancy should work hard to keep fixed and variable start-up costs to a minimum, simply because you’ll need to earn less to break even. It’s good discipline regardless to avoid overspending and purchasing things your business doesn’t urgently need. With a low-cost base, your chances of long-term success as a New and Growing Company are that much greater.

Nationwide Corporate Finance can help you raise funds for all your business needs whether they are fixed or variable costs. Also, if you are already up and running but need a hand with cash flow, expansion or perhaps some unexpected bills we can help!

We have greater flexibility and control over how we work with businesses and understand every application is different. An underwriter looks at every application and we do not use computers to auto underwrite!

Please call us on 01234 240155 to find out more or apply online

from Nationwide Corporate Finance https://www.nationwidefinance.co.uk/blog/2020/02/financing-start-ups-and-established-businesses/
via IFTTT

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started