When should a Startup Hire an Accountant?

The simple answer: the minute you need to do some accounting. That almost smart-ass answer is really pretty profound… because it focuses on something that many harried entrepreneurs fail to grasp: when you need to start looking at accounting data. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are not analytical types, and they don’t like to think about accounting or other backroom activities. As a result, they often crash and burn, because the “backroom” is just like the engine room in a boat: lots of critical stuff goes on there. Let’s put it this way: you start out on a journey to someplace you have never been. The first thing you do is consult a map. What’s the difference when you are starting a business? None. Successful business owners know that the roadmap of how they are doing is their accounting reports. They understand that looking at sales, expenses, assets, and liabilities is essential. It’s the measure of where they are and what they are doing. Sure, you can look at bits and pieces from here and there ( so called flash reports) but those have no proof of integrity. When you have an accounting system, the reports you get have a much greater …

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How Do I Become A Successful Business Person?

That’s a wonderful question, because on one level, all you need to do is just study business in school, get the “trade school” education, get out there and do what your boss says. You will find a successful career if you have a half-wit sense of how to deal with people. You will never rise above a certain level, and you will be stuck in the trenches. You may rise to an assistant manager someplace. On the other hand, do you want to be very successful? Do you want to rise to the top of your profession? Then you better pay attention to a lot more than just B School topics. You must learn a lot about how businesses operate, how they rise and fall, how products are developed, produced and marketed. You must understand the legal environment, the social environment, and the political environment of business. You need to take every business course you can think of. You need to be an expert in communications, marketing, operations, human resources, accounting, finance and management. But with all this education, you will still only rise to a certain staff level. You are book smart, but not completely educated. Your excellent academic …

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What holds back a business from Scaling UP

What prevents most businesses from scaling up? Here are a few things: A personal service business where the owner IS the business. A business which is only successful because it has a unique location A business which has a limited supply of product. A business which can’t overcome the logistics of multiple locations/ increased sales either because there aren’t enough qualified humans or the business processes can’t or shouldn’t be automated. A niche business which serves a limited niche. Inadequate, ill-defined, or unworkable business systems, especially marketing, sales and customer service. Inadequate vision – owners can’t imagine scaling or comprehend what that involves. Inadequate funding Owners who know that being “big” doesn’t mean being better, and in fact being the “right size” is the best success a business owner can achieve.

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What do I Need to Know about Finance and Accounting for my Startup?

Knowing a number of basic finance and accounting concepts is essential to the success of your startup. At the bare minimum, you need to understand basic bookkeeping and preparation of financial statements, even if you are going to hire an accountant (recommended). You also need to understand the basics of finance and financial markets, as they impact the economy. Without this knowledge of finance and accounting you are running your startup blind. So, as a bare minimum, you need to master a beginning accounting and business finance class at the college level. I would suggest a local community college. You should also take a course in basic taxation, because you need to understand that. To be effective in running a business, you need these skills: (1)basic bookkeeping (2) setting up and monitoring internal controls (3) banking and credit including the way credit works, how to balance your checking account, managing cash (4) payroll, and payroll tax compliance (5) Sales, GST and VAT tax compliance (6) the basics of income tax (7) cost accounting, to the degree necessary to figure out what your product/service costs are, your overhead, and your margin under varying circumstances (8) how to read a financial statement, …

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Should I leave my low paying, meaningless job to start a business?

Oh my, some serious issues in this question! Jumping off the current boat to swim with the sharks and try to stay afloat and build a new boat from scratch is incredibly difficult, far more difficult than it looks. Look very, very carefully before you jump. The water is cold, full of sharks and unpredictable big crashing waves. Once you abandon the ship you are on, be prepared for some rough times. You may drown. You cannot start a business until you have sufficient savings, have done intensive research, have networked and made good connections, and have a backup plan. Low pay job: Ok, so make something of it. Do the best job you can, be a superstar. Be a sponge: learn everything you can and more. Prove to your employer that you are worthy of a raise. Then look around for another, better paying job. Work your way up. “Meaningless job” – there is no such thing. The meaning you have in a job is what you put into it. If you are a janitor cleaning toilets, put everything you have into cleaning them the best way anyone could. If you sweep the floors, do it with style and …

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What are the issues most entrepreneurs face?

What are the main struggles and issues most entrepreneurs face? In my experience, there are several: 1. Death by ducks: the tyranny of the immediate. Too many things to do, no one to do them ( or the inability to delegate ) and the resultant constant pressure to be productive in the face of an onslaught of “immediates.” 2. Marketing and sales: the over-riding obsession that most business owners must have to succeed. Nothing happens until something is sold. 3. Back office operations: paperwork, regulatory filings, accounting and the like are constant drains on productivity, but are necessary for survival. 4. Personnel: hiring the right people is incredibly difficult. It’s even harder to keep them, and there is a constant drive to find people that can and want to work. Far too many employees are just marginal. 5. Quality control: things go straight downhill if you don’t watch each element of quality. Pre-sale, production, delivery, and post-sale are all prone to quality control breakdowns, either through benign inattention or indifference. This is especially true in service organizations, where quality may be difficult to accurately measure. 6. Cash flow issues: most small businesses struggle with some form of seasonal cash flow …

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Starting a Business

  In this podcast, we talk with Matt Heintz, founder of Heintzsight, a web development company and talk about what it takes to start a business.

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The Ego Driven Business

Looking at the difference between an ROI Lean Approach and something else entirely…

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