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I’ll get to that…tomorrow…maybe

“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” – Victor Kiam

“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” – Christopher Parker

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy” – Wayne Gretzky

We are all guilty of putting things off. A lack of resources or time makes us reassess why we even have to do something, let alone do it on time.

But let’s face it: as the quotes above have said, procrastinating is as much an adversary to your business as a lack of cash flow or your biggest competitor. You need to face up to this challenger as you would any crisis you encounter in your business.

So, what if I put things off? Or miss a deadline? So what?  Well, procrastination is bad for your business because it can:

  • Cause you to miss opportunities.
  • Ruin customer relationships.
  • Damage your reputation.
  • Harm your health.
  • Keep you from reaching your goals.

From a financial perspective, putting things off—like paying taxes or doing payroll or collecting past due invoices – has a very real impact to your company’s bottom line. You can combat procrastination by:

  • Writing down your goals then doing them.
  • Knowing your priorities.
  • Maintaining a strong focus.

For more on how to get things done now and not put them off any longer, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Magnet.me and Brett Jordan. photographers)

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Goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are simple things, really.  Looking ahead for the future of your business.

Sounds dry and boring, right?

Nope! You have to look at setting goals for your business with the same enthusiasm as that soccer (futbol) announcer from a few years back:

GGGOOOAAALLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Setting goals for yourself and your company is a joyful thing. Really.  Think of it as charting the course for your child, your baby—it’s exciting to know what you have in store from them as the mission unfolds.  Think about it as a way to help navigate around the unknown—if you begin with the end in mind, it becomes simpler to avoid disaster.

What makes a goal a goal?

  • Specificity—it is clear what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Quantifiable—how much or how big?
  • Measurable—this helps give it shape and a reality.
  • A timeframe—give yourself a deadline to accomplish your goa.

As for how many, that’s up to you.  By examining your company and yourself you know what you are capable of you by when.

What kind of goals should you set?

  • Financial
  • Operational
  • Marketing
  • Sales

While those other areas are important, that first one, financial, is why we are here. Setting financial goals are really important, but they shouldn’t be conceived in isolation.  That is, you can’t set a financial goal without knowing the condition and goals of your operation. By the same token, you can’t set serious financial goals without knowing the direction your sales and marketing people are going.

Are we ready to set some goals?

For more on how to set goals for your business, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (photographers Catherine Hughes and Berge Maelum); video courtesy of YouTube and Joel Leistmann

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Is Your Company Suffering from Many Hat Syndrome?

In small business, many times employees have to wear many hats and do multiple jobs.  Sometimes things that weren’t in their original job descriptions.

Oh, the old “and-other-duties-as-assigned” schtick.  I see.

What happens, however, when you ask your administrative assistant to answer the phones, do payroll and accounting AND human resources is that something gets dropped in all that juggling. Usually a professional who has been trained in those disciplines follows a process they’ve been taught and is universal.

Process, you say?

You know, the steps that outline how things get done in your company? A company implements processes (or controls or procedures) to ensure that work gets done consistently by your employees regardless of who does the work.  The areas in a company that can benefit from having processes in place:

  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Operations
  • Sales and marketing

Hmmm…that just about describes the organization of most, if not all, businesses.  Must make sense, then, to most business owners. It might make the difference between getting paid and not getting paid if, say, you can’t find an invoice that is overdue.  So, let’s start with finance and accounting.  Here are some of the basic processes that could make your life better from a finance perspective:

  • Budgets
  • Payroll
  • Accounts receivable (AR)
  • Accounts payable (AP)
  • Taxes

Recently, we encountered a small company that had assigned accounting and collections to the boss’ administrative assistant.  Collections became difficult when she couldn’t find purchase order numbers associated with invoices.  A simple process and communication between sales and accounting would have made it easier for her to make those calls and successfully et the payment.

For more on how to organize your business processes, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Joshua Coleman and Henny Stander, photographers)

 

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What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Mine

OPM. Other people’s money.

In the world of investments that’s usually how an enterprise gets funded.  The days of banks being the leading (or only) source for loans and funds for investing have been waning for quite some time.

Have you taken advantage of using funds from private investors to fund and grow your company? If you have, you know that it can be an adventure, but it can also be a positive way to grow and expand.  But if you take this road, what should be considered in handling other people’s money?

Here’s a list of considerations:

  • Involve a third party, like an attorney or money manager, to accept, handle and return money.
  • Set up separate accounts just for the private lending cash; also consider not co-mingling the cash from multiple investors.
  • Consider assigning each loan a specific role—i.e., operational improvements or warehouse expansion.
  • Be sure and follow your state’s regulations on reporting and filing any reports.
  • Repay your investors promptly and to the plan agreed to. Continue to pay interest until their portion of the investment is paid off.

Whatever you do, start with a clear plan and then stick to it.  As the saying goes, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

For more on how to work with investment groups and individuals and handling investor’s money, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Allef Vinicius and Sharon MCutcheon, photographers)

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Welcome to the Hotel Cali-Texas…

Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Used to be, the boss could call an all-hands meeting in the company cafeteria and look everyone in the eye and interact.

Well, in the age of COVID, having off-site employees might mean they are out of sight, but they really aren’t out of mind. And when it comes to payroll and other basics of human resource management, they really should be top of mind.

They might be in California when HQ is in Texas.

Having a remote workforce, particularly one that that spans multiple cities and states—and maybe even countries—is more the norm than it has ever been.  However, when it comes to payroll and other things that impact them, things change dramatically if they are in L.A. and you are in Dallas.

Here’s a list of considerations:

  • Payroll
  • Income and other taxes
  • Hiring rules
  • Wage and hour requirements
  • Immigration rules

Just because someone works for your company doesn’t mean the rules of your corporate home state (or even city and county) apply.  The fact is they reside some place else.  This means the rules where they are doing the work apply.  If an employee works for a Dallas company remotely in Atlanta, then payroll and income taxes for Georgia apply to them and must be paid to the state of Georgia.  Ditto the rules on the conditions of their employment and how their work hours are governed.

For more on how to manage your people, payroll and other important assets, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Chris Montgomery, Keem Ibarra and Jamie Lopes, photographers)

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Demystifying that Five-Letter Word: “Audit”

The very utterance of the word makes even seasoned businesspeople cringe and cower in fear.

“Audit? Why do we need to do an audit?”

OK, before you go into hiding and crawl into the fetal position in a corner, let’s stop and realize just what an audit is, the kinds of audits there are and that an audit can actually be a good thing.

“Really? Oh, pray tell, please continue,” she said.

Actually, there are nine different types of audit.  And they all play a role in the success—or failure—of your business:

  • Internal
  • External
  • IRS tax (the one we all think of)
  • Financial
  • Operational
  • Compliance
  • Information system
  • Payroll
  • Pay

Audits are a way to objectively examine and assess a company’s performance—operational, financial, and other aspects of the company—to ensure things are working and where there might be room for improvement.  They all involve:

  • A review
  • Assessment of findings
  • Recommendations

In many cases, audits are a legal requirement.  But in the end, they all are about measuring performance and compliance with some entity’s rules. While having the IRS look at your books is daunting at the very least, if you are complaint and have kept up with your books, it will be a valuable exercise and worthy of lessons learned.

For more on how to manage your finances and use audit to your full advantage, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash (Stephen Dawson, Markus Winkler and Mwangi Gatheca, photographers)

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