The fifth part in our series based on David Durick of Paychex’s workshop at the Small Business Expo 2016, examines step seven and eight of the ten critical steps to building and protecting your business. If you are not sure which administrative tasks apply to you, please join Traklight here and take the free Business Risk Assessment. The Risk Chart on your dashboard will help by linking to Paychex partners who can minimize your risks and increase your chances of successfully launching your business. You can save time and money on some of these tasks by downloading and reviewing your Strategy Report located on your dashboard as indicated below.
Step 7: Collect Payments and Get Paid!
Cash is the lifeblood of all businesses. We are lucky to now have many ways of accepting payments. As the owner, your goal is to make it as seamless as possible for your customers to pay. Checks are disappearing in favor of online payments using a web-based custom shopping cart; accepting ACH payments; or integrating one of the plug and play options, such as Stripe or PayPal. Paychex offers solutions and some accounting systems allow for invoicing and e-billing. Offline, Square and mobile applications have made carrying cash obsolete.
Accepting credit cards is critical because people want to earn reward miles in the many airline loyalty programs. The fees are part of the cost of doing business online and should be built into your pricing. Remember cash is king and your cash comes from customers!
Step 8: Keep track of financials
In Part II we talked about the importance of creating a separate entity to protect your assets. Before choosing an accounting system, make sure that you open a separate bank account for your business and do not mix up your personal and company funds.
Accounting systems are a must for all small businesses, and like some of the other administrative business tasks, unless you are an accountant and have the time, hire help. There are bookkeepers who operate completely online.
Create an annual budget and also understand the monthly cash requirements for your business. Again, there are many online seminars on using Excel and business forecasting. Either learn or pay someone to do this for your company.
Filing taxes is non-negotiable and you certainly wish to be on the right side of the authorities for payroll and income taxes.
At this point, the number of tasks is becoming overwhelming. We strongly encourage you to take the Free Business Risk Assessment in order to list and prioritize these tasks before you get to the next step of identifying and protecting your intellectual property (IP).