Prepping for the New Year

4 Things Small Businesses Should Review Now!

Hello 2020! Time for us all to join the gym, go on a diet, and make all kinds of wonderful promises to ourselves that most of us will never keep. However, in business and life there are a few tasks we should perform every year or every few years in order to save time, money, and yet even grow our business. What a pain in the butt, you think. I know … the following requires time and effort and you may think that it’s not worth it. Think again!

Number One

Pesky Service Providers

Are you a small business owner or an assistant to one? Do you have phone, internet, and or tv at home? Do you have car insurance? Haha Of course you do! I recommend service provider reviews and comparisons as often as you can. Once every two to three years is a great rule of thumb.  Recently, I saved a client over $300 a month in internet and mobile expenses, and even increased the number of cell phones they currently utilize. By taking the time (and trust me, it can take a lot of time) to research current contracts or subscriptions and inquiring about business discounts, senior discounts or current offers, you can usually reduce your monthly expenses significantly. I worked with Spectrum to cut $100 a month for business internet and land line and that only took me 5 minutes! The cost savings were immediate.  All it took was a phone call to customer service to ask for better pricing. If that doesn’t work, keep reading.

If you aren’t happy with the pricing options you receive from your current provider, then researching a new provider, can mean big savings. You probably received a great deal on your current mobile or TV provider initially. After a while, the bill steadily increases. They typically will not reach out to you when there is a special deal unless it benefits them. Sad but true!  In order to save money, you must be vigilant! How many times have you asked yourself why new customers get such a great deal, but loyal customers seem to pay the most? It really is worth the time and effort to check your options. I was unable to secure a better rate with my client’s current mobile provider, so I researched other options to obtain a better deal. Once I found the best deal and was satisfied with service options and plans, they were able to save over $200 a month! Don’t forget to ask friends or co-workers for referrals and/or read online reviews for the providers you are researching. You certainly don’t want to save a bunch of money only to be completely dissatisfied. And yes, all of the above applies to car insurance. Check with your current provider for savings options first, and, if that doesn’t help, check other companies. And btw, I’m your girl if you’d rather not mess with it! I’m always up for a challenge.

Number Two

Be Travel Savvy

Did you know that Sundays are the best days to book a flight? The consensus seems to be that while it’s more expensive to fly on the weekends, it’s cheaper to at least purchase the tickets on Sundays (Saturday can be pricier). And departing on a Thursday or Friday can be the best time to fly.  Stay more than just a few days for your best price. And now experts are realizing that booking 3 weeks out, instead of 2 weeks, is a much better bet. We all know there are deals out there and it always depends on when and where you are going. But if you plan-ahead and do your research, you can save money and get great flight times. You probably thought you needed to fly with at least 1 stop to save you big money on that ticket. That isn’t always the case. Ensure you check all your flight options for price and convenience. Now days, flying non-stop isn’t always the most expensive. And, keep in mind, you are already slammed. If you are just clicking to book without researching, you could be spending hundreds more on every trip. Consulting with a travel agent, or hiring someone to do the research, can save you time and money. Are you thinking to yourself that it’s just too expensive to hire someone? Hire someone for maybe $30-$40 an hour and two hours later (are you doing the math?), you’ve saved $300 on your entire trip. Multiply that by the number of trips you take each year!!!  Frequent travelers could save thousands of dollars!  It’s okay if you needed a calculator for that.  😊   

Number Three

Are You Organized?

It might sound simple…old-fashioned and down-right silly. But, are you really organized? Asking yourself this question, and truly assessing the subject can be oh so beneficial!  Do you have a to-do list?  Do you write things down randomly on anything you can find?  A bill, an advertisement, or a post it?  Do you think you have everything in your head, but then completely forget important tasks?  Let’s face it – most of us are too busy to be truly organized. Creating an online document that you utilize daily can make your life more manageable in every facet.  Outlook, Google, and Word offer calendar options. Try searching “online to-do list” and see what comes up. There are so many options and let’s face it, you cannot afford to pay bills late, miss an important client meeting, or skip your tax appointment! 

Number Four

Do You Need an Accountant?

Did you know that you can rent space for monthly staff meetings and deduct the cost from your taxes each year? Did you blindly hire a firm like H&R Block to help with your taxes in previous years, even though they know nothing about your business goals or expenses?  There are so many ways an accountant can assist you.

If you are a small business owner, you are more than likely using Quickbooks or something of the sort to help manage your expenses.  Thank goodness you are being proactive and mindful. That trusty spreadsheet you created is lifesaving. But, is it?

A great accountant is absolutely worth the money in my opinion. By the time you have endured payroll or contactors, figuring out what business expenses you can and can’t claim, and how much you’re actually profiting or losing, you probably still aren’t sure if you are getting it right.  And oh my, then there is the IRS and tax time. Yikes!

What if you found a full-service accountant that does everything for you and gets you more bang for your buck. You may think you have it all under control, but I can tell you that from speaking with many clients, utilizing a good accountant has changed their lives by saving them time, money, and stress.  The guesswork is gone. Yes, they can be somewhat expensive, but if you have more time to focus on your clients and products and services then you are keeping everyone satisfied and maybe even getting more rest at night. Oh the joy of a great night’s sleep. More money in your pocket at the end of the year??? Come on, man!  It’s a no brainer! Give it some thought. Ask for referrals and do the research. Check reviews and ratings and make an appointment. Most even offer free consultations. Listen to their pitch and decide if it’s right for you. DO spend the time to find the right one!!! 

Know someone who might benefit from this blog … feel free to share. Or, if you need immediate help, feel free to schedule a FREE consultation by calling 937-546-0507, book an appointment using this link: https://bit.ly/2lGnFdH, or shoot me an email at Jenae.shank@tlcmediadesign.com.

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