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How Small Business Owners Can Protect Themselves

Owning and operating a business sounds like a dream come true, but that’s only one possible outcome. In truth, there are many potential points of failure for the complex machine that is a business. Protecting yourself against these possible pitfalls is an essential part of surviving your first year of operation to even stand a chance of long term, mainstream success. Here’s what you need to know.

Legal Matters

Love it or hate it, government regulations are a core component of running a business. To protect consumers and workers, the federal government and individual industries have a variety of regulations businesses have to adhere to, the penalty for ignoring which can be major fines or worse. Methods for protecting yourself are many, however. For example, simply knowing these rules and regulations is an essential first step. On the other hand, legal professionals, such as an expert witness finance professional or a lawyer, can help protect you from your own oversights.

Finances

Finance is a particularly important aspect of doing business. Not only is the end goal of any commercial endeavor to generate a profit, but bankruptcy is also the fate that awaits unsuccessful businesses and sinks many small businesses in particular within under a year. Protecting yourself against losses and promoting gains is imperative. For starters, hiring an accountant to give you a complete overview of the state of things is crucial, because it not only informs your upcoming strategies, but also protects you from the aforementioned legal problems that can come from inaccurate financial reporting. Businesses must file income taxes, much like a private citizen, and they must report their quarterly earnings. On the other hand, accountants can help businesses take full advantage of tax deductions on business expenses to help them save money and ensure greater cash flow with which to finance expenses.…

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3 Keys To Excellent Business Communication

 

Just like in your personal life, it is essential to be a good communicator in the workplace, whether it’s verbally or in writing. When you need to distill down potentially complex topics like accounting & finance, it is even more important to make sense and be understood. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult if you simply follow a few basic tips.

1. Avoid Industry Jargon

You might be talking to someone that has worked in your career field for years or it might be someone that’s brand new to it, or even to the workforce in general. Use language that can be easily understood either way. If you must use a very specific term, make sure to ask if you should define it before moving on to the next topic. That will help to not confuse the context of the conversation.

2. Make Time To Listen

It’s important that you convey your message, but it may be more vital you are hearing the feedback the others in the room or on the call have for you. What are their questions? Do they have thoughts about how to move forward with a particular project? Be an active listener, not only to verbal cues but also to body language including facial expressions and stance.

3. Follow Up

Take good notes during business interactions. Repeat what you think you’ve heard to make sure it’s what the other person intended to convey. Make a list of action items and ask for help with completing them from the appropriate parties. If there are items that are not resolved after a certain amount of time, make sure to circle back.

In many ways, business communication is common sense. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Work with honesty and transparency. Look for shared goals and move towards them as a team. That vision will lead to success.…