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Online Marketing and Advertising is the Need of the Hour of the Bookkeeper C2online
In the current digital age, asking yourself if your bookkeeping or accounting practice has or wants to have an online presence is redundant. There is no option anymore - all companies must have an online presence to survive in competitive global markets.Online advertising - which includes social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing - is a must and most small to mid-sized companies are wise enough to outsource online advertising to external agencies.


The Internet is not used only for advertising anymore; in fact, as a result of cloud computing, mobile applications, and improved communication networks, most bookkeepers and accountants are now allowing employees to work over the Internet and are even conducting business meetings via online conferences. Despite Marissa Mayer famously banning working from home at Yahoo!, many employees value the option of working from home.  Debate about the pros and cons aside (we’ll not dive into that debate here), the trend is alive. Folks are using the ‘net to collaborate in ways that were not possible a few short years ago.

We also know physical meetings and actual face-to-face interaction can be vital (a driving force behind Marissa’s decision). Yet, 100% of the 100 Best Companies to Work for offer telecommuting options and 32% of employees are regular telecommuters, so the trend towards online collaboration grows.  There’s clearly no right answer; just the right solution for each individual business. Temper your need for employee flexibility and the need for face-to-face interactions.  Travelling to offsite company strategy meetings can be an effective way to bring people together, especially to discuss your online marketing and advertising strategy.

 

Benefits of online advertising and having a strong online presence

Firstly, all bookkeepers and accountants must maintain a website that is attractive and can support latest technologies. Do company websites need to be better monitored for maintenance? The answer is ‘yes’. You need to have a dedicated web team to manage websites and update them regularly so that company blogs and websites have minimum downtimes and issues.

With online advertising, companies can direct your messages to your ideal or target audience. No time or money is spent on advertising to the wrong audience or waiting for the right people to spot your campaigns. Do you doubt if your company budget and strategy for advertising takes into account the overall business plan and client types that the campaigns need to serve? With online advertising, this is very easy to do as you can maintain a constant brand image and easily target different types of clients with different campaigns and content. 

Online advertising also allows you as a bookkeeper or accountant to develop better relationships with your customers, and is a great way to retain existing customers. Most importantly, with online advertisements, you can customize the advertising campaigns for every customer or groups of customers. Additionally, online advertising is much cheaper than traditional print-radio-television advertising, and your campaigns will be active 24/7. The campaigns also have a worldwide reach, so even a small business can attract customers on a global scale.

Another advantage of having a strong presence online is that customers and other internet users will view your company as an expert source of information in the industry, which not only gives you an edge over competitors but also improves brand image and awareness. Have you asked yourself if your company provides free consultation in the community or in the office? This can be easily done if the company has a formidable online presence. Blog posts, newsletters, articles, guest blogs, etc. are all forms of free consultation, as the company is offering valuable information for free to anyone who wants it.

 

Want to explore media advertising through radio, television or online social media?

Are you wondering which media channel is the best for advertising? Actually, there is no one perfect advertising channel. Companies are advised to consider all – radio, television, and social media channels if the budget allows this. However, social media cannot be ignored and the company should either outsource social media marketing management to an external agency or build a team dedicated to managing the social media presence of the company. Social media platforms allow potential customers to get unbiased information from existing customers about the company, so monitoring social media channels and campaigns is a necessity for companies.

Are you exploring newspaper coverage for sale ads or information type ads? If yes, then this is a good move but it must be coupled with similar ads on social media platforms. This is because people can view your ads anytime and from anywhere on their mobile devices if you post them on social media platforms. Also, your print campaigns must look similar to your social media campaigns. Companies need to figure out how to improve the print material they have and develop them further to match their social media campaigns.


5 Tips for Social Media Success for your Bookkeeping, Accounting or Small Business C2online

We operate in a relationship economy, making it more important than ever for bookkeepers, accountants and small business owners to use social media to reach out to clients and to grow their businesses. As a beginner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options. Should you write a blog, build a Facebook page, create a Twitter account, or set up a LinkedIn account? And the list goes on.

To break it down, follow some of the same steps you would for marketing your business.

Related: 5 Steps for Setting Yourself Up for Success - Marketing Your Freelance Bookkeeping Business

1.   Who is your target group?

Understand your audience. If your existing client base or potential clients are not likely to follow you on Twitter, there’s no point in starting to tweet. But if you know they are likely to read your blog posts or follow you on Facebook, those are the tools you should stick with. People join social networks for different reasons. When you know who they are and what they want, you can better serve your online community and help your business grow.

2.   What’s the competition doing?

Do your homework and research similar businesses. Search out the ones you know to be successful and review what they’re doing. If one of your competitors has a Facebook page, connect to it and start reading their posts. You can save time by seeing what appears to be working and what not to do.

3.   Develop a Strategy

Based on the research you’ve done in Steps #1 and 2, you’ve decided which social media networks make sense for your business. As with anything in your business, don’t approach social media without creating a strategy. You’re better off with a strategic and limited social media presence than being everywhere without a plan in place.

If one of your goals is to build and grow your Facebook community, then begin creating content, promotions and posts that will attract your target group. If part of your strategy is to post an ongoing blog, begin researching and creating a library of topics.

4.    Content is key

Related: Stand Out as a Bookkeeper/Accountant/Business Owner with your Communication Skills

We’re all overloaded with information these days. Ensure the content you’re broadcasting is relevant and makes sense to your community, just as you would when presenting financial information to clients or approaching them about a new product or service. If you’re crunched for time, share quality content that’s already out there or hire or approach an expert to create relevant quality content for you. Broadcasting anything just to appear active on social media is likely to lose you followers, not gain their thanks.

Create content that makes your business stand out because it’s helpful and of value to them. If you want to share your thoughts on topics of interest to your audience, such as new tax laws or ways to increase revenue, LinkedIn is a professional network that provides a great avenue to do this. Again, take the time to research and post what is best suited to the social networking tool you’ve chosen.

5.   It’s NOT all about you!

Just as in real life, talking about yourself on social media is not likely to gain you friends. The point of social media participation is to foster conversation and make it easy for your community and your clients to share content. You’ve done the research – continue to listen and observe what is important to them. Yes, you can tell them about your new product or service, but don’t do it all the time.

If you think the time is right for your bookkeeping, accounting or small business to create a social media presence, give it a try. Take it one step at a time—you can always expand at a later date. Follow the steps above and you won’t feel as overwhelmed.

Photo Credit: "smarnad" at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


How to End Your Relationship with a Difficult Client C2online

Let’s face it, not every client was sent from heaven. While some clients are great to work with, others can really test your mettle. If you have a difficult client, you may need to evaluate whether or not the toll this relationship takes is worth the money you’re earning.

We all have to contend with unreasonable or unpleasant clients at some point in our careers. Here are some examples of situations that can cause tension between you and a client.

 

• Invoices are not paid in a reasonable amount of time. This situation can be awkward; no one likes to chase people for money. There may be a number of reasons why payment is late. The client may be too busy to deal with their finances, the project you are working on for them may not be at the top of their priority list or they may be experiencing a cash crunch.

• Extremely high expectations and demands. For example, they may insist you call them ASAP or call you at unreasonable hours. E-mails are sent expecting an immediate answer. If you find them breathing down your neck almost every single hour of the day, it may cause damage to other excellent client relationships, taking up your valuable time..
• You and the client simply do not mesh well.

 

One choice is to grin and bear it. Another option is to change the relationship. And, the final last option is to disengage. Regardless of the cause, working with a difficult client may not be worth the effort.

One choice is to grin and bear it. Here are some tips to ease the transition:

Changing the situation:

1. Picture how you would like the relationship to work. Write down what you would like to say and practice it.

2. Discuss the situation
Talk to your client. Explain your concerns. Talk to them by phone or in person if that’s possible. Be polite and keep your explanation short. Make the conversation as pleasant as possible. Work towards a solution.

 

If you’ve decided to terminate the relationship:
1. Complete tasks
If you still have some tasks that need to be finished, like deliverables your client is expecting from you, make sure you deliver them and finish your commitments. You may have reasons to let a client go but avoid reneging on your promises. Besides, doing so would only give him/her a reason to say negative things about you and keeping your reputation intact should be one of your main objectives.

2. Replacement
If this is an option, try to find a potential replacement to finish the project. Be sure to give a reasonable explanation to your replacement about why you are making the change.

Hopefully you are never in a situation where you are required to terminate a relationship with a client but if you are, we hope these few tips will be helpful.


Photo Credit: CELALTEBER


Don't Overestimate Your Emailing Skills - Time to Brush Up On Your Email Etiquette C2online

We've talked about how important communication is in bookkeeping in one of our previous blogs, Stand Out as a Bookkeeper: 10 Tips for Superior Communication Skills. If you're operating your bookkeeping business out of the house (or anywhere, really) email is most likely your most common form of communication with your clients. 

Email is like an old and faithful friend; it certainly hasn't gone anywhere and doesn't seem to be fading away. But because it's been a common tool for so long now, have we forgotten our etiquette? Are we so focused on tweeting that email has fallen to the back burner? We thought a refresher on email etiquette wouldn't hurt - especially if it's your dominant communication medium.

Your Professional Email Address

It all starts here since there isn't much emailing without it. Your email address is like a first impression so it should be professional; a branded email account linked to your business. Something like, imaproudsoccermom_97@hotmail.ca, won't do you any favours so keep the cutesy stuff for your personal account. If you have a website with your own domain, use that for your email. If not, you may want to consider paying for domain name registration and hosting. Or use Google Apps for Business which allows you to use an email address with a domain, as well as other business tools.

To, Cc, Bcc - Who Goes Where

'To' is the direct recipient(s). Seems simple enough but there are still some tips to keep in mind. If you're sending to a group, don't put your entire address book into one email. It's an eye sore to have an endless string of email addresses in your message. As well, if you're sending out to a group who don't know each other, they may not want their email being shared with the masses. Consider sending separate emails or use bcc.

Cc is carbon copy for recipients who are involved yet the email is not directed towards them. Consider who is being cc'd and if they need to be included in the email. 

Bcc is blind carbon copy. The direct recipient won't see the bcc so it's a bit sneaky. Basically, this is used to keep someone in the loop. They're not involved in the conversation and it's not necessary for the recipient (for whom the email is directed to) to know.

Subject - A Strategically Chosen Few Words

This needs some good content so don't leave it at "Hi." For business purposes, ensure the subject is meaningful and reflects the content of the message. A lot of people rely on the subject line to look for past emails and for filing them.

The Crux of it All: The Message

Various aspects of the message to be aware of:

  • Tone. First, consider who the recipient is. Do you know them well? Is this a new client? This will set the tone of your email which is hard to do since this can get lost in an email. For example, if your message is too short. If you're too much to the point and don't take any time for salutations or closing, you can come across as terse. And then there's the all caps. STOP YELLING AT ME! All caps implies yelling and most times, is not well perceived by your reader. Best to avoid it.
  • Length. If it's too long, you'll appear as rambling on. Your reader may lose interest and your message will get lost in the rambling. You want to get your point across but not be terse (it's a fine line…).
  • Spelling & Grammar. Your professionalism shows in your writing. Use proper sentence structure and correct spelling. Email is not a tweet. Or a text. Avoid slang, abbreviations and acronyms that look unprofessional. Anything beyond FYI may lose your reader.
  • Formatting. This will help you get your message across. It will make it easy to read by laying it out properly with paragraphs, bullet points, etc. An organized message will also make emailing more efficient: if the recipient understands you, it pre-empts further questions and eliminates unnecessary back and forth emails.

Email Tag Alongs: Attachments

Ensure that whatever you're attaching to your email is relevant and useful. Try to limit the number of attachments by collating them, if possible. Check the file size and compress it before sending - nobody wants a 7MB incoming email bogging down their inbox and freezing up their system. And don't forget the attachment(s) when you send your email… this is where proof-reading will help you.

Following Up With Email Replies

All the same rules apply as above. When replying to an email, check that you've answered all of the questions in the original email. Don't give your client the impression that you're not interested in them or giving them the time they deserve. In their minds, if you're brushing over their emails, what else are you brushing over?

Reply All. Use this carefully and think about who needs to see your reply. Just because you were sent a message with other recipients doesn't mean everyone needs to see a reply from you. And—very important—do not hit 'reply all' when you've intended to hit 'reply.' You can accidentally send something that shouldn't be seen by someone and could get you into a lot of trouble. Always check before you hit send.

Brushing up on your email etiquette will help you maintain a good email relationship with your clients. So don't overestimate your emailing skills and underestimate the importance of good communication. 



Stand Out as a Bookkeeper: 10 Tips for Superior Communication Skills C2online

As a bookkeeper, you're providing essential bookkeeping services for a variety of businesses. But did you realize that you're also providing a communication service?

Many of the frustrations experienced between business owners and bookkeepers comes down to poor communication. Because bookkeeping is a critical part of any business, good communication skills are vital in this area. Important financial information needs to be presented properly to clients so that it makes sense, is useful and meaningful, they understand what is going on with their business, and allows them to make good decisions.

This could be your advantage. Your superior communication skills could make you stand out among your competition. This is an essential trait that potential clients are looking for and there's no doubt that referrals and word-of-mouth will bring more business your way.

Practice these 10 tips and let them be your competitive advantage:

1. A positive and respectful attitude.

Set the tone of your conversation. If you're having a bad day, if there's any negativity associated with the conversation, all of this should be put aside. For best communication, try to keep the emotions out of the way. When a negative confrontation is necessary, mix the negative news with positive news; start and end the conversation on a positive note. Do not speak when angry. When emotions are running high, it is best to postpone important conversations if possible.

2. Get to know your clients.

Find out what is important to them; this can help you improve your level of work and guide you in the services you provide. Give them the service they want and they will be satisfied.

3. Determine the preferred means of communication and when.

Some like email, some prefer a phone conversation. When you can, use their preferred method. If your client calls you, call them back. If they send you an email, reply to their email. Don't mix up the method of communication. Also, be respectful of sensitive information and decide the best method to maintain privacy. Finally, determine when to communicate. Are there certain times of the day that the client doesn't want to be disturbed? A restaurant owner won’t appreciate a phone call in the middle of their lunch rush. Equally, you have your own set work hours. Discuss contact times that work best ahead of time.

4. Sound professional.

How a person communicates impacts how others perceive that person professionally and personally. If you sound professional, your clients will see you and your work as professional. This applies to both verbal and nonverbal communication.

Verbal Communication:

  • Speak clearly. If people are asking you to repeat yourself, try to do a better job of articulating yourself in a better manner.
  • Avoid raising your voice. Some tend to yell when they are especially passionate about an issue or trying to get a point across.
  • Pronounce your words correctly. People will judge your competency through your vocabulary. If you aren’t sure of how to say a word, don’t use it.
  • Use the right words. If you’re not sure of the meaning of a word, don’t use it. Avoid slang words.
  • Slow your speech down. People will perceive you as nervous and unsure of yourself if you talk too fast.

Nonverbal Communication:

This applies to all written words, such as emails, spreadsheets or reports. When structuring your written forms of communication, keep these in mind:

  • Decide what type of written correspondence is the best for the situation and decide who your audience is. This will determine the message, structure and tone.
  • Be aware that the tone of a conversation can often get lost in an email.
  • Break up your text so that it is easy to read. You want your recipient to be able to pick out the key information by just scanning the document. 
  • Brush up on your spelling and grammar skills. By providing your clients with proofed, error-free writing, they will see your professionalism in the project.
  • Proof-read and ensure the information that you are sending out is organized and mistake-free. 

5. Don't waste time.

Plan ahead and organize your message so it's clear and concise. Try to collate and deal with communications in one go, rather than making multiple requests with multiple conversations. Don't waste their time - or yours.

6. Show an interest.

Don't be distracted, show boredom or a lack of interest in the conversation. Do not constantly think about what will be said next or focus on other activities; make sure there is no competition for your attention like other people talking nearby. The client should feel as though they have your undivided attention. And do not interrupt when they are speaking. If you must say something, make a mental or quick written note and speak when they have finished speaking.

7. Listen. But really listen.

Active, effective listening is harder than you think. When you listen, you're understanding the message. And if you're not sure, ask and clarify. Clear your mind of all other thoughts and concerns and listen intently when others are speaking. 

8. Confirm the message.

If you were listening, you may think you have a thorough understanding of the message that was being presented. But to be on the safe side, paraphrase and repeat what the client has said to ensure understanding. They will have confidence in you if they know that you are understanding them and their needs. Show them that they and their business are at the top of your priority list.

9. Be accessible and responsive. Maintain regular contact.

Make it easy to communicate. Regular communication keeps you connected with your clients and lets them know you are on the job for them. Be sure to let them know when you have questions, and keep them informed. Respond to your clients soon as possible. If you can’t respond to requests within a reasonable time frame, then at least acknowledge the request. Let them know that you received their message, you're busy at the moment but will get back to them by a certain time. Don't leave them hanging with an unanswered message.

10. Be honest and build trust.

Mistrust can impede communication. Always tell the truth in your business dealings. Not only will it be easier when the truth is told, it improves the relationship with your clients. Establishing trust in business is an important aspect of being successful.

Your entire service is based on communication whether it's face-to-face, via email, over the phone, online, or through email. Let these tips guide you to become a highly respected, in demand, professional bookkeeper.

 


You’re Not Just a Bookkeeper: Branding Yourself and Giving Your Business an Identity C2online

Have you thought about your brand? Sure, you’re not selling a tangible product in a store, you might be a small business working out of your home, but don’t believe that your brand isn’t just as important. Whether you’re just starting your business or if you already have an established business with some branding in place, it’s never too late to think about building on your brand. But first, let’s talk about what branding is.

 

What is branding?

We took several definitions of branding and combined them to create our own: Creating a unique image for a product or service in consumers’ minds. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains customers.

Branding is so much more than a logo and business name. It is everything you do in your business; it is the message that you are sending out about your services. It is the look (your logo, name, colours, fonts, etc.) as well as the voice of your business (communicating who you are and what you do).

I came across this presentation on SlideShare that gives an overview of branding:


OK, so how do you define your brand? Let’s start with the basics because you can’t do too much if you don’t have brand identity. Here are some first steps to get you there:

1. What are you selling?

The first, easy answer is bookkeeping services. But think beyond that now. Why do customers need you; what problems do you solve for your customers? A twist on this, as described in an article by inc.com: 8 Easy Ways to Increase Sales, think about what your customers are buying from you. When you focus on selling more of what your clients want, your brand will come much more sharply into focus as well.

2. What is your expertise? Build on your best and own it.

What do you know you’re really good at? This will differentiate you and give you a niche in the industry. Market this in-demand expertise and make it part of your brand.

3. Identify personal interests. Be authentic.

What motives and interests you? What is important to you? Let these answers define your place in the industry. Being authentic means you know who you are and helps you define how customers see you. When you’re authentic, your brand is authentic and when your brand is authentic, it is true to its mission and purpose.

4. The Customer Experience.

Your brand is also the way your clients feel when they experience your services. How do you want them to feel? Ensure your brand promise meets the offering and customer experience.

Bring all of your answers together into a few sentences that describe the essence of your brand. This may take some revisiting and numerous revisions to get it right, but once you have the done the work, you will have a well-defined brand.

You can now further establish this brand by building the look and voice of your business. Think of this as your first impression. And be consistent across all aspects of your business and marketing. Consistency builds recognition which will help you stand out and be memorable.


Bookkeeping and Pinterest: Yes, it can be done. And yes, you should be doing it. C2online



We did it. We just couldn’t resist the 3rd largest social media platform—we’re on Pinterest. Check it out at pinterest.com/c2online.

But many may wonder how a bookkeeping software company has a use for Pinterest. It’s not a visually-rich industry and—if you’re one of the 10.5 million users, you already know—Pinterest is all about pictures.

First, let’s talk about why you should consider Pinterest for your business:

  • Pinterest is retaining and engaging users 2-3 times better than Twitter was at a similar time in Twitter’s company history (thesocialskinny)
  • Pinterest accounts for about 3.6% of referral traffic, compared to 3.61% for Twitter (thesocialskinny)
  • Pinterest drives more sales and more new customers than Facebook (boticca.com)

But what can a bookkeeper pin about? Here are our suggestions on what to pin if you’re in the bookkeeping or accounting world:

Your Own Blogs, Guides and Helpful Documents
This is the perfect way to drive traffic to your website. If you write a blog (and you should), pin it! Pin an image that reflects your written content to your Pinterest page, add a captivating title and description, and link this image to your blog on your website. This allows pinners to encounter your content and visit your pages in just one click. You can also do this with informative documents, ebooks, guides, etc. Use the document cover or an attractive image to pin. Having good content with links back to your website is a subtle way to promote yourself.

Industry-Related Blogs and Documents
Share good information with others – even if it comes from a source other than you. If you provide good content, people will continue to visit your profile.

Use Infographics & Data Charts
Infographics are visual representations of information and there are infographics for almost anything you can think of. Yes, even accounting-related infographics. Utilize these because they are visual and informative. Better yet, create your own infographic or pin your own data charts. Use a clear headline and link back to your website.

Logos and Images Directly Related to your Business
Absolutely, pin your logo and some good information about your business on a board; followers  need to know what it is you do. It’s OK to have some boards dedicated to this but your entire Pinterest profile should be more than that. Don’t turn people away with self-promotion.

Industry-Related Images
Pin pictures related to bookkeeping – use your imagination! Are there any products that you use in your business? Pin them.  Office supplies you couldn’t live without? Pin those too. There are no real rules and people are looking for your own spin and interpretation.

Pictures You Already Have
Make a board that showcase’s your company’s culture.  Also include a photo and a bio for each person.

Video Gallery
You can pin videos too. Find videos that are informative within your industry and create a board. If you do your own videos, get those on Pinterest too!

General Interest
Show some personality and create boards that are of interest to you. Don’t make it all about business and promoting yourself. You want to engage people and give a variety of content. Pin any type of volunteer work, community involvement, activities you do, and so on. This will show people who you are.

As you build your Pinterest page and increase your followers, you’ll want to start engaging with people. When people make comments on your pins, reply and build relationships with them. Ask questions to entice those comments. Follow other people of interest, re-pin their pins and comment on them.

There are a lot of options for pinning for your business. Overall you want to position yourself as an information source within your industry, share your knowledge, drive traffic to your website, show some personality, and make it fun. But be careful, you may just become a pinning addict!


Quick Tips - Protocols for Communicating with Social Feeds Lisa Patrick

Quick Tips – Protocol for Communicating with Social Feeds

I am not a social media expert.  I am a professional business owner struggling to find my way for using the social media. I have no time to sift through pages of articles to find quick tips that I can apply instantly.   So this is short and straight to the point… so I hope it helps you!

Use a code of ethical conduct when communicating to anyone on the internet.

Linked In - Discussions and Groups: INFORMATION SHARING

1.   Posting self promotion or listing commercials in the ‘start’ discussion header of linked in is not allowed. 

2.   You wrote an article or blog and you know it can help the group – ask the moderator of the group to post it for you OR create the discussion around the focal point of the article – share the information within and pose a question to the audience; Linked-In is about creating discussions around the topic and sharing the information to others.

3.   In the feed of another discussion add information and expertise and their you can add links to other valuable pertinent information for sharing on the internet.

Linked In – Request a Connection
Learn about the person you are asking to connect with – and when you request to connect – tell the future connection something relevant in the connect as to why you are asking to connect. 

1. find familiar ground
2. find blogs and articles about them READ them and comment to them
3. research their business
4. tell them why you think you should connect – the reason should never be just so you can grow the # of connections you have

Nothing worse then someone out of the blue comes forward as your friend, using the generic “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” and no other comments …. Bad Etiquette.

Twitter – Use it as your business communication tool! No it is not just about telling them ‘you just flushed the toilet..’
I started to think of it as my own personal newspaper and the worlds Rolodex of business cards – if that makes it easier for you.

1. Follow those you would like to be in business with – easy access to them IMMEDIATELY!
2. Post questions for quick answers and answer others’ questions to establish your credibility and expertise
3. Keep up on the buzz in your industry
4. Use it as your press release for your business
5. Network with like-minded people
6. Provide tips to help those who are following you – establish expertise
7. use acronyms because you only have a limited # of characters.

Twitter –you see these acronyms and have no idea what they mean…
RT – retweet
TMB – tweet me back
PRT – please retweet
TY – thank you
YW – your welcome
BTW – by the way
BR – best regards
FTF – face to face
FWD – forward
HTH – hope that helps
IMO – in my opinion

Twitter Etiquette:

1. Always say thank you when someone follows

2. Watch what you tweet - Everyone can see what you tweet, including your boss, work colleagues, family and friends. Be careful about what you post or you could lose friends, fall out with your family and maybe lose your job.

3. Have something interesting to say, how can you expect people to notice you.

4. Tweet safe – ensure that you exclude stuff like time, date, address – everyone can see – PUBLIC.

5. keep your tweets relevant and don't tweet all day long every second – you turn people away and stop following because your name dominates their twitter homepage

Hope this very straight to the point article helps you.


Cash is King, Build your pile of Cash! Lisa Patrick

“Cash is King”, how many times as an Entrepreneur have you heard that?  It is true, when you run out of cash - you are out of business.

You can make sure that your business survives by strategizing to ensure you are maximizing on all the corporate income tax deductions available and ensuring that you are aggressively monitoring and allocating your cash flow appropriately to grow that pile.

Many sole proprietors and partnerships use the strategy to incorporate their businesses because of the tax advantages that an incorporation will provide when their business has grown large enough for the incorporation to be worthwhile. The best known of these tax advantages is the Small Business Tax Deduction.  Income of a Canadian corporation is taxed at a special “reduced” rate.  The small business Corporate net tax rate is 11%.  Other types of corporations that don’t qualify for the small business rate are taxed at 19.5%.

When is it worthwhile to incorporate? When you have a significant income that offsets the costs or expenses of the corporation, BUT you need to leave enough cash/revenue of your earnings to benefit from the corporate tax deferral.

Secondly, in order for businesses to strategize and ensure that they have all their tax advantages available to them - below are some opportunities to maximize on deductions for consideration:

Home based businesses can utilize the business use of home deduction and deduct a portion of many home related expenses, your property and your mortgage interest by comparing the time you spend in your home as an office and the amount of space that you utilize in that time.

Collect ALL your receipts that you spend money on – this includes the parking meter, the bag of coffee, the 10 pencils you bought, all those little things will add up at the end of the year.  Account for ALL the money you spend on purchases that are business related.   Ensure that you have the appropriate receipts to record and file to maximize on your business income tax deductions.

Your vehicle is viable to your business. Without vehicles you and your employees would have a hard time getting to work and your business might not be able to function. By planning ahead and preparing a strategy for your vehicles you will ensure that you are maximizing on the deduction and ensuring you increase your pile of cash.  Remember to record your receipts and your kilometers so your bookkeeper & your accountant have all the information they require.

A convention provides you the opportunity to work on your business in an environment where you are not caught in the day-to-day life of managing your business.  Critical aspects of your business are overlooked and you could be missing out on tax-deductible savings you could be enjoying.  In fact, if you don't take the time to analyze your business you could be missing out on thousands of dollars in business tax deductions and the opportunity to increase that pile of cash. 

Revenue Canada states that you can attend 2 conventions a year.  What if I don’t have the opportunity to attend an organized convention?  Now you can.   Your intent must be business and you need to create an itinerary based on the needs of your business. Follow your itinerary; use pre-designed convention agendas for the different departments and needs of your business.  Analyze, strategize and problem solve those areas of your business and you will ensure that you are not missing out on thousands of dollars in business tax deductions while you create a new perspective and strategy for your business.

Bookkeeping is often overlooked as an opportunity to maximize on business tax deductions. Why? Bookkeeping management of finances is more than merely harmonizing the bank accounting.  The objective of any small business owner is to achieve success in both the marketplace as well at a financial level. However as easy as it may sound, it isn’t a task each one of you may be competent to accomplish.  Your bookkeeper must ask the right questions from you, be able to communicate to you and your tax accountant, and understand their job description to ensure they are providing tax compliant bookkeeping.

For more information and tools to analyze your business, ensure proper bookkeeping and maximize on your business deductions to ensure your pile of cash keeps growing and you are the King, contact us today.


Tips for speaking in front of an Audience Lisa Patrick

I remember the first time I spoke in front of a group of people, I was scarred to death.  I had been a stay home mom for the last 4 years and I was more comfortable speaking to 4 year olds' than a whole room of business professionals...SO this is what I did..

Checked out the room:

 I provided myself a comfortable cushion by:

Standing at the podium to get a real  feel for the room!

Used the microphone, turned the projector on and off – made sure that everything is working and you know how to work them.  There is nothing worse than having a room full of people and your fumbling with the equipment and distracted.  By the way that day I came 45 minutes early and nothing worked it took us an hour at the hotel to get their system to work.  I bought my own equipment after that!

I made sure my notes were in order!

Time to speak:

Don’t stand in one spot behind the podium the entire time – walk about a 3 foot area if your equipment allows you to.  That podium acts like a Barrier between you and your audience.

Oh and for god’s sake don’t lean on it!

DON’T READ YOUR SPEECH!!

After the speech always try to have some kind of handout about your key points.  Advise the audience at the beginning of the speech you have a handout.  This will stop your audience from frantically writing and will just listen to what you have to say.

I still get the butterflies every time I speak and my heart races like crazy, but a few minutes and it all goes away cause I know I have something worth saying and they are listening.


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