Skip to main content

Accounting – Great Reasons Why You Should Hire an Accountant

It’s time to be honest now, who actually enjoys the accounting side of running a business?  It’s true that it can be a real pain in the neck, unless you are a maths whizzkid or just love dealing with money numbers and figures.  Staying on top of your business’s finances is a tricky job and therefore there are good reasons why you should consider hiring an accountant to do all the complicated calculations and other associated tasks for you.

Besides freeing up your time to enable you to concentrate more on what you are good at – running the business/producing products or providing services for clients and customers, we will also look at several other great reasons for hiring an account to handle your business finances in the following article.

Advice for Your Business Plan

If you need to write a business plan, an accountant can give you helpful advice and tips.  Hiring an accountant for this purpose alone can be a great help as they can use financial and accounting software they are familiar with to add financial reports and projections to help you understand the numbers better.  This in turn can help you produce a professional and realistic business plan that is more likely to be successful.

Advice about Your Business’s Legal Structure

Depending on the size and industry they are operating within, all businesses have different legal structures.  An accountant will help you understand the legal structure that is right for you, whether you are operating as a partnership, limited company or sole trader/.

Help You with Your Business Finances

If you have always done your accounting by yourself, things could get more complicated and complex as time goes on.  If you feel that you are losing control of your many creditors and debtors or feel that your own understanding of your financial situation is limited; hiring an accountant will help you understand your business financial situation and get back on track.

Help Dealing With Government and Taxman Requirements

As your business expands there is a lot of regulatory and tax related paperwork that you need to fill out and dealing with the government and taxman can require a lot of technical knowhow, which can be overwhelming if you are not a trained accountant trying to do it all by yourself.  It’s important to remember that an accountant will not only help you will your annual tax returns and day to day bookkeeping, but will also help you to stay on top of compliance and regulatory requirements related to your business.

Help When Your Business is Audited

If you are fortunate enough to see your business grow and become a success, there will come a point when you reach a certain level of turnover or size that your business may have to be audited.  This can be a very expensive, time consuming and stressful process and is the perfect situation to avail your business of an accountant’s expertise.  Not only will they help you understand the auditing process better, but they will help to ensure that you and your business comply with audit and tax laws.

As you can see, it may feel good to try and do everything yourself, but we hope the above article shows that there are many good reasons to employ the services of an accountant for your business.

9 Good Reasons to Work from Home

There seems to be a lot of negative aspects out there with regards to people who work from home.  Perhaps you have come across some yourself?  Do people you know, maybe friends and family, think you are lazy and that working from home is just an excuse to sit around and do nothing?  Don’t be disheartened if they do, because as long as you are making productive use of your time; working from home is often a more effective way of running a business.

In the following post we will look at 9 great reasons why you should continue, or start working from home.

It’s Inexpensive

If you use your home as the base for your business, you save a lot of money by not needing to rent office space.  That money that you save can then be put to better use and invested in marketing, technology and anything else that will help your business to grow.

No Commuting

You’ll be amazed how different you will feel at the beginning of a working day if your daily commute involves walking a few feet into your home office setup – and that’s if you even have one!  Not having to get up early to catch that train or bus at 7 in the morning or driving through the busy rush hour traffic can allow you to work for short or longer hours as you see fit.

It’s Convenient

If you feel that you are more capable of working at odd, out of office times, or are a creative type who works more on feeling and impulse; working from home is a great option because of the convenience.  If you want to work, you can work.

Easier and Less Expensive Childcare Options

Although it can be something of a double edged sword, working from home if you are a parent, makes dealing with and arranging childcare a lot easier and less expensive.  It also means that you are able to fit in sports days and school open days around your work, rather than having to apologise to your children or their teachers because you can’t make it.

Coffee Shops

If you work from home you may not want to hold a business meeting there, instead you can arrange meetings at a local and convenient coffee shop.  Modern coffee shops are great for those who work from home and need to attend meetings or need time away from the four walls of their home, because they normally have a wireless broadband connection that enables you to stay connected.

Easier To Deal with Domestic Problems

Life is full of problems and issues and it is not always easy to deal with these when you are away from home at work.  Working at home therefore makes it a lot easier to deal with these, even if it’s just by being at home so the plumber can fix a tap.

More Comfortable

While it is obviously important to have some kind of work-like environment, you can dress as comfortably as you like.

Tailor Your Working Environment to Your Needs

When you work from home you are able to say goodbye to no having a choice of what you listen to, whether the windows are open or closed and so much more.  When you work from home you are fret to tailor your working environment to your own needs and wants.

Colds

Working from home is a lot healthier too as you avoid the inevitable colds that get passed round.

How To Excite Customers With Your Branded Shipping Box

Small businesses, even home-based businesses, can use customized shipping boxes to leverage their marketing in a big way. Branding boxes is an often overlooked but powerful way of increasing advertising in a cost-effective way.

To illustrate this point, imagine the following scenario:

You come home from a hard-day of work. You are tired, cold, and grumpy from driving through streets of snow or black ice. Then, you notice a box in your driveway. You recognize it at once. It has a smile illustrated on it. You recognize your order from Amazon.com has arrived. As soon as you get it into the house, you tear it open and pull out your much anticipated video game.

So what just happened?

Amazon made you feel special, like you were receiving a Christmas present, because you immediately recognized who it was from. They grabbed your attention and lifted up your mood by the way they branded their box. It elicited memories of the excitement you had when ordering the video game and then it created a sense of satisfaction when you recognized that what you had desired had finally arrived.

Now imagine the same scenario without the clever brand name and branding strategy. Imagine a plain box with a boring label. You would not have had that sense of glee. At the most, you may have experienced a mild sense of satisfaction when you finally figured out why a box was lying in your driveway.

A box that is enticingly customized looks much more interesting than the same merchandise delivered in a drab way. The magic is all in the wrapping. That same magic is responsible for customer loyalty. Customers buy more from merchants who make them feel good. A simple lesson in psychology, perhaps, but it works.

Although Amazon was one of the first eCommerce merchants to distinguish themselves with the speed, quality, and presentation of their drop shipped services, the idea is not difficult to model. In fact, many businesses, including home-based or small businesses, have adopted this idea of using something as unassuming as a cardboard box to create emotion-arousing brand identity. People like to know what’s waiting for them on their front doorstep. They view anonymous boxes with suspicion. Then when they discover that the box is something they ordered, they have a feeling of relief. Smart online retailers, sophisticated subscription service companies, and other marketing-savvy merchants who deliver packages to homes or offices recognize that shipping box stylesare good for their business.

What about the Cost?

Online retailers who resist the idea of using custom shipped boxes in a way that delight their customers often fret over the petty notion that the cost of using custom shipped boxes may not be cost-effective. After all, they argue, one way to improve the bottom line is by simply trimming operating expenses. In actual fact, the cost of printing only has a small impact on the cost. This applies to boxes of any size. Costs are affordable because a flexographic process prints on the cardboard before the box is made. This method does not affect pricing factors like stock or size.

7 Branding Tips to Wow Customers

There are at least 7 ways that you can improve how you brand your boxes:

  1. Choose a nifty design. It can be something simple, but it will help you distinguish your company as a cut above the competition. Customers will view your company as chic and upscale.
  2. Select only a few box sizes for your merchandise. This makes it easier for the shipper to fulfill your order, simpler for the customer to recognize it, and easier, possibly even cheaper, for you to figure out and deploy your branding strategy.
  3. If you are already shipping out custom-sized boxes, then it is only a small leap to add some evocative branding elements.
  4. As a merchant, your job is not to deliver something that someone has ordered from you. Your job is to provide your customers with a delightful experience. This is a subtle, but important distinction to bear in mind when thinking about how to go about branding your box.
  5. Besides attention-getting printing, boxes can be further branded by doing some other simple things. For instance, the side or back of the box could have a QR code. When customers check it out with their smartphone, it leads to a contest that you are hosting on your website. If you are offering a subscription service, it could be a clue to a game you have running on your website that will result in a big prize.
  6. When customers open their box, you could have a welcome note. It could be instructions on how to use the merchandise or a list of benefits of using the product.
  7. Another idea is to have a letter in the box that asks customers to share photos or videos of themselves before they used the product and after they used it. You could offer a prize for online winners who shared the most interesting picture, video, or results.

Summary

You’re already selling an excellent product. Why not add to the excitement by adding branding elements to your packaging?