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Category Archives: Virtual Assistant

The Importance of Accounting for Small Businesses

The Importance of Accounting for Small Businesses

Accounting is one of the least-loved aspects of any small business. However, it is one of the most important parts of running a successful company. The Write Hand is here to help, throughout all your bookkeeping and accounting woes.

The Importance of Accounting for Small Businesses

Bookkeeping is necessary in any business. As a small business owner, it’s important to recognize that the best practices used by Fortune 500 companies also apply to you. Following basic accounting principles is essential for success in any size business; savvy record-keeping and financial analysis is key to not only monitoring your expenses, but to discovering new avenues of growth. In addition, it ensures you stay responsible for tax obligations to the government and to your employees.

small business accounting

Accounting entails more than just managing credits and debits, and it comes into play more often in everyday business decisions than you may realize. A few examples include:

  • Closely monitoring your accounts receivable to illustrate trends or behaviors in your customer base. It can also cut down on the costs you incur by pursuing late payers.
  • Establishing a detailed budget to help discover inefficiencies within your operations.
  • Sudden changes in vendor costs or sales revenues can alert you to important industry changes.
  • Understanding your financial position in order to spot problem areas that could interfere with loans earmarked for expansion.

As you consider your accounting strategy, review your company’s financial goals. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or you employ a staff, your survival hinges on clearly stated financial objectives. You may be in business to reap as much profit as you can, or you may be interested in sharing a product or service that you believe in. Either way, experts agree that one of the most common reasons small business fail is because cash flow runs dry. To prevent this disaster, your business should implement policies for efficient record-keeping and a sound financial strategy.

Taxes are unavoidable. Depending where you operate and the nature of your business, the IRS has very specific requirements about the documentation you’re required to file. Submitting improper or inaccurate documentation can get you into trouble, and it can be extremely costly in terms of fees and penalties. Preparing the required tax documentation has its benefits though, and it can give you vital information about the health of your business. Monthly or quarterly financial statements, cash flow statements, and asset and income statements can provide a clearer picture of your business than your bank balance. Understanding IRS requirements and how you can make them work for you can give you a deeper understanding of your company’s financial health.

small business accounting

What information should I be tracking?

If you haven’t had formal training in accounting or are more interested in other aspects of your business, keeping meticulous records of financial data can be a chore. Furthermore, understanding precisely what information you should be tracking can be overwhelming and confusing. Most small businesses should track the following categories of data:

How should I track these metrics?

Though it’s quite common for small business owners to have a spouse or family friend “do the books,” effectively managing your small business’s finances goes beyond bookkeeping. Properly strategizing for your company’s future, as well as meeting your legal requirements, is best achieved with professional accounting methods. This is particularly true if you’re too busy or too uninterested in the nitty-gritty details to analyze the numbers. At this stage, successful small businesses consider either outsourcing their accounting needs or investing in accounting software. Each option has its pros and cons.

For many startup companies, funds are tight and it may be tempting to pursue the cheapest method. Because your legal requirements are only due once per year, you may choose to ignore it all until tax time every spring. Remember, if you choose this option, you’re essentially opting out of receiving crucial data that can encourage success. The short-term solution may not be the best one, and it pays to do your due diligence when making this critical decision.

Read more about accounting and bookkeeping resources here.

Find more accounting and virtual assistance help from The Write Hand LLC.

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What Do 65% of the Most Powerful Women Have In Common? Sports

What Do 65% of the Most Powerful Women Have In Common? Sports

Women in entrepreneurship is in constant growth. There is a well-known link between women in leadership and sport participation. As The Write Hand is a women-owned company and Virtual Assistant, we love hearing about women business owners and entrepreneurs. Did you play sports in childhood, high school or college?

What Do 65% of the Most Powerful Women Have In Common? Sportshttp://thewritehand.com/

The link between female leadership and competitive sports has been well-documented. A 2015 study of 400 female C-suite executives conducted by espnW and EY found an undeniable correlation between athletic and business success: more than half (52%) of the c-level execs surveyed played sport at the university level, compared to 39% of women at other management levels. That same study reports that 80% of female Fortune 500 executives played competitive sports at one point in their lives.

The women on the 2017 Fortune list of Most Powerful Women are no exception. Of the 31 MPWs who responded to Fortune‘s query, 20 (65%) played sports competitively in either high school or college; sometimes both. The most popular sport was a three-way tie between swimming, basketball, and tennis (five women each).

The swimmers on our list include are HPE CEO Meg WhitmanGoogle (she’s still at it! See this Fortune profile of the CEO for more), CFO Ruth Porat, YouTube CEO Susan WojcickiMicrosoft CFO Amy Hood, and Fidelity Investments personal investing president Kathleen Murphy. PG&E CEO Geisha Williams</a> and J&J group worldwide chair Sandi Peterson were both tennis players.http://thewritehand.com/

Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert, KPMG CEO Lynne Doughtie, and CVS Health EVP Helena Foulkes played both basketball and tennis, among other sports; P&G group president of North America Carolyn Tastad and Murphy also shot hoops.

Four women made their presence heard from the sidelines. Campbell’s Soup CEO Denise Morrison was a member of her alma mater Boston College’s majorette squad, performing for the New York Jets and the Boston Patriots during the football teams’ half-time shows. Apple retail SVP Angela Ahrendts was a cheerleader for her school, Ball State University. NBCUniversal chairman Bonnie Hammer and Wells Fargo senior EVP and head of community banking Mary Mack were both on their respective high school cheer squads.

Other sports played by MPWs include softball, track, gymnastics, lacrosse, and field hockey.

Read more here!

Do you own a company and need help?  Contact The Write Hand today!

 

Is Your Website Content Helping Or Hurting Your Online Marketing Campaign?

Content within your website is the most basic form of marketing for your business.  Throughout my time as a Virtual Assistant at The Write Hand, I have seen websites make or break a company.  Let me help you with your website, content, social media and marketing to take your companies online presence to the next step.

Content marketing has become more popular than ever since its rise to prominence after Google’s “Panda” update back in 2011. Website content can be highly valuable, and crucial for many independent online marketing strategies, but some people have come to see content as purely a good thing.

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In reality, the effectiveness and value of your content depends heavily on the type of content you’re creating, and how you’re implementing it. And the scale doesn’t start from zero, either; in fact, bad content can actually do more damage to your campaign than doing nothing at all.

So how can you tell if your website content is helping or hurting your campaign?

Read full article here.

Why Content Matters

Let’s start by analyzing why content matters in the first place, and the different ways you can gain value from it:

  • SEO fodder. First, content is necessary for a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. SEO is all about making your website as visible as possible in search engines, which means creating lots of pages that can be indexed and maximizing the value of those pages. Adding new content gives search engine crawlers more material to index, and can make your website more relevant for specific search queries.
  • Reputation building. Content is also valuable for building your brand reputation and proving your expertise to new and recurring visitors; it’s your opportunity to impress people. High-quality content will make people appreciate, respect, or trust your brand, and the best content has the potential to go viral, attracting even more traffic to your site and earning links that boost your domain authority.
  • Conversion attraction. Content is also an opportunity to convert your audience, or get them to take a desired action. If you’re writing about how to choose a bicycle to buy, for example, you can end your article with a link to your most popular bicycles. In this context, content serves as a traffic director that helps turn your visitors into paying customers.

Three Key Traps

In all three of these applications, content can be valuable, but people tend to fall into three major traps of thinking that prevent them from using content properly. These traps are influenced by biases and inexperienced understanding, and can cause you to unknowingly execute a content campaign that not only doesn’t help you; it actively works against you:

  1. Quantity matters more than quality. Because content has many benefits, some marketers unjustly assume that more content is always better, and then spend their efforts making as much content as possible—rather than making the best content possible. This “quantity over quality” mindset is counterproductive, since even one piece of bad content can damage your reputation.
  2. Content is a means to an end. Some marketers see content as a means to an end, viewing it solely as a vessel to get people to convert. They treat it like an advertising opportunity, rather than an opportunity to provide value or benefit to their audience. Doing so may betray your audience’s trust.
  3. Strategic mimicry achieves similar results. Other marketers see similar brands that have been successful with content marketing and attempt to duplicate their strategies. While in theory, this seems like a sound approach, in reality, it cheapens the content you produce because it means your content lacks originality—and it’s rare to capture the essence that made the original strategy successful in the first place.

How Content Can Hurt

So how can content actively hurt your campaign, rather than improving it or letting it simmer?

  • Thin content and reputation. “Thin” content is content that doesn’t have value for readers; it might be devoid of details or meaningful information, it might be woefully short, or it might be surface-level, repetitive, or a derivative of other works. If a reader encounters this content on your website, they might leave thinking less of your brand, or seeing you as amateurs, rather than experts.
  • Thin content and SEO rankings. Thin content is also bad for your SEO rankings. Google’s algorithm detects the qualitative value of content based on many different factors (which aren’t publicly available), and if it determines that one of your pages is low-quality, you could suffer a mild penalty throughout your entire site.
  • Marketing spam and distrust. If readers think your content has been contrived for the sole purpose of attracting more visitors, or for earning more conversions, they’ll come to see you as a spammer, and may distrust any content you publish in the future. Remember, your primary goal in content marketing is to provide value for your audience.
  • Improperly targeted content and alienation. If your content isn’t targeted to the right audience, you could end up attracting the wrong types of people—and pushing away the readers you need the most. You might see decent traffic figures, but your conversion rates and profitability will be way off from where they could be.
 

10 Marketing Questions

10 Marketing Questions

10 Marketing Questions

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Every business should be in-tune with their unique marketing needs. This article was shared privately so there’s no link, but I sure hope you enjoy the content. And remember if you need help with your marketing, your online presence, accounting, or other services; keep our Online Business Management and Virtual Assistant Network in mind. At The Write Hand, LLC we strive to be your one-stop for all your business needs.

10 Marketing Questions

Here are 10 questions to consider before writing a marketing plan. Even if you have a marketing plan it is a good idea to review these questions on a regular basis. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make time to at least consider the questions, or better yet write the answers down. This week engage your employees and others (not necessarily customers) who know your business well. Take particular note of differences of others’ responses to your own.

We’ll take a look at 10 more questions next week.

1. Describe your business in 30 words or less.
Listen for: Other adjectives that you didn’t think of and specific skills/abilities that may make you unique.

2. SWOT Analysis – Outline your business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Listen for: Contradictions or misconceptions from your own perspective. An outsider’s view can be very helpful.

3. What is your mission statement/vision?
Listen for: Your employees to either mimic or say the opposite of your vision. This is an opportunity to get the staff on the same page.

4. Where was the business 10 years ago and where do you envision it 5, 10 and 20 years from now?
Listen for: No one can predict the future. What are your managers and personal contacts thinking?

5. Who is your clientele?
Listen for: Again, another point of view. Maybe your counter staff sees your typical customer very differently than you do.

6. What was is the best thing you have heard a customer say about your business?
Listen for: Something you’ve never heard before.

7. How about the worst thing you have heard?
Listen for: The thing you don’t want to hear.

8. How have you obtained most of your business?
Listen for: The unexpected. Unless you have been proactive in tracking new customers, you may be surprised.

9. How frequently do you communicate with your current customers and how?
Listen for: The comment that you don’t communicate enough and through the right channels.

10. Who are your competitors?
Listen for: Another surprise. It may not be the drycleaner down the street. It may be that there are consumers out there that don’t understand the benefit of using a professional clothing care specialist.

 

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Oversubscribed and Unrated… Virtual Assistant tricks

Oversubscribed and Unrated… Virtual Assistant tricks

Oversubscribed and Unrated… Virtual Assistant tricks ~ Too much junk mail / Unsubscribe to Save your Inbox

Have you ever looked at your INBOX and just shook your head at all the newsletters, sales ads, and other email marketing. It’s so easy to just swipe and delete on the smartphones, when what we really should be doing is subscribing to the stuff we truly are NOT INTERESTED in. Many reasons:

  • Your sanity from not having to see these things and swiping your little heart out.
  • Accurate and beneficial email marketing results.

    • WHAT DO I MEAN BY THAT?? Well, I’m right now in the process of setting up Google AdWords campaigns for two clients. This is what drew my attention to this particle email piece I receive regularly but usually delete. ~ Go Figure ~ The Irony! That said,
    •  As a consumer searching the WWW for information, interests, goods, and services; you want the best results / most suited to YOUR needs.
    • As a business owner you want the right customers finding YOU.
    • So in the email marketing campaign, by not unsubscribing our marketing dollars and targets are being blown far away from our MARKETING GOALS.

It just takes to long to open every one of those emails and unsubscribe…

Well that’s where we come in handy ~ The Write Hand, LLC

Reliable and timely management of your emails, calendars, contacts, and so much more!!!

  • Build / Re-Build / Manage Websites
  • e-Blasts / Newsletters
  • LinkedIn Profiles and Affiliate Connections / Social Media Marketing
  • QuickBooks Online
  • Resume Writing
  • Transcription of written or image documents – meeting notes, punchlists, manuscripts, letters, etc…

GoDaddy Reseller – Purchase your DIY products cheaper through The Write Hand, LLC