MONEY SPENT IN YOUR HEAD PT. 2

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Making the change/transition from personal to business is never easy.  It takes a complete transformation of the mind.  It would benefit all of us to view our personal lives, especially the financial portion of our life in a business sense, setting up systems for receiving and distribution of funds; planning and implementing plans for growth, pursuit and securing the desires of life.   That method is much great than our current one of moving forward and figuring it out later.   Not everyone has the desire to move from their job to entrepreneurship and still the benefits of taking a ‘business’ approach to handling their personal finances cannot be denied.  It would decrease the age-old and ineffective process of buying what we want and begging for what we need.

For those who do take the plunge or even have the desire into entrepreneurship, one of the most difficult things to do is to change the way he or she handles money.  “Adding a business,” to your schedule, your life means just that; “adding, in addition to.”  So, your regular schedule will require adjusting and it means alleviating unnecessary portions of your life out.  It would also require one to change his or her financial approach.  If spending your money in your head was proven ineffective personally, can you imagine the epic failure one would feel trying this method in business.

Systems implemented is forethought for receiving more than a small amount of funds.  You can ‘get by’ or ‘fake’ managing small amounts of money but to manage large amounts requires a system, thoughts and a process for both the receiving and the distribution of funds.  There is a time to bill customers and then there must be a consistent method for the customers to pay as well as a timeframe.  All of which require strategic planning and implementation.

Money is both a seed of opportunity and when used correctly can become the wealth of harvest.  However, a change in mindset is crucial.  You cannot spend, evaluate or use money in the manner you’ve been accustomed.   Exposure to better, capacity to acquire knowledge, wisdom to gleam from the knowledge and courage to do better are all required to grow and for your money to grow as well.

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5 QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER ANSWER AS A POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE & EMPLOYERS SHOULDN’T ASK

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Finding the right employees is really scary and tough.  I’ve worked with many small businesses as a consultant and more of them as an employee.  One of the things I’ve been able to do is understand the relationship, fears, concerns, ideas and thoughts from both sides of the coin which allows me to be an effective consultant.  Employers want to be protected.  Employees depending upon the position being filled are able to see, hear and gather sensitive information about the company specifically financial information, vendors that the employer uses, banking information and more.  The initial impression of a company can be tainted hearing certain sensitive information, not to mention that once an employee hears something he or she can and will discuss the company’s business not realizing that doing so places their job in jeopardy.
 
Employees are just as vulnerable but in a different way.  Accepting a position with a smaller company gives one access to information, some information you want, other information you may prefer to not know!  Hearing sensitive information can make one skeptical about the company and its ability to be their livelihood.
 
Bringing the two parties together isn’t easy and most employers are better at doing the business that makes them money than Human Resources and recruiting.  That fear will make employers do desperate things, ask the wrong questions to prevent turnovers which are costly to the company in terms of dollars as well as reputation.
            Here are 5 questions as an employer you shouldn’t ask and employees you shouldn’t answer.  

1) HOW OLD ARE YOU?  Most employers know better and will not ask the question directly but will subtly allude to age by asking questions like “when did you graduate from high school?”  The Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 protects workers over the age of 40.  Employers want quality but worry about age in this new world of technology and just how well older people can compete.  There are a multiplicity of ways that you can check skills without breaking the law.  Skills testing in the area of employment will help you as the employer evaluate just how productive the potential employee can be in the office.  As an Employee, advert the question, by saying something witty like “old enough to work for your company and young enough to get the job done.”  

2) DO YOU HAVE KIDS AND ARE YOU PLANNING TO?  A huge NO NO! Of course, the Employer is concerned about giving an employee time off for maternity leave.  The other assumption is that a person with children will want time off and is not able to keep regular hours.  Although this question is illegal, a recent study shows that over 75% of women (of course) interviewed are asked this question.  As an employer, it sends the wrong message.  It’s negative. Automatically, you’re thinking about what or how their life affects YOUR business.  Now while your business is the reason for the opportunity, it’s not a person’s whole life.  Employees spend more time at work than home but to ask this question is intrusive, rude and yes illegal. As an employer, the worse thing you can do is to not plan for an employee to have time off.  EVERYONE needs a break.  Always allow for PTO.  Not doing so is unrealistic pressure.  Whether a person has children or not, their hours of working is the same hours during which any personal business that they must conduct would take place.  Making an employee feel like his or her personal things don’t count is not a good feeling and an employee who feels worthless will not be a good employee for you and your company.  Also, PSA, EMPLOYERS, PARENTS ARE GREAT AT MULTI-TASKING, you cannot be a good one without it.  They tend to prioritize better, respond instead of react and are accustomed to making decisions quickly and under pressure.  These facts tend to work against the misconceptions employers have about hiring parents or potential parents.  EMPLOYEES OR POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES, never answer this question.  Just say something like, “that’s not an issue” (no explanation, no yes or no).
 
3) ARE YOU MARRIED?  Sometimes used as way to get to know you but at worse case, potential employees this question can be used to discriminate against your sexual orientation.  Employers, these line of questions leave you vulnerable to potential lawsuits.  Again the idea for employers is to determine one’s commitment to the job, but never answer this question.  It’s illegal and unnecessary.
 
4) WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOUR PARENTS FROM? Irrelevant and again very inappropriate. Fear is most likely the source of this question and this line of questioning can be very uncomfortable for both the interviewer and the interviewed.  In short, this serves no purpose at all.
 
5) WHAT WAS YOUR SALARY AT YOUR LAST JOB? In some states, this question isn’t legal.  Even if it is legal in your state, potential employees you gain nothing by answering that question.  Also, while it may not be illegal for them to ask, it is against the law for the potential employer to verify your answer.  As an Employer and Employee, educate yourself on salaries for positions according to experience.  Employers complain about quality employees and then refuse to pay employees what they are worth but always want the most for the least! NO! That’s a poor method of hiring and/or retaining quality employees that can build your business and take it to the next level.
 
Potential employees, instead of answering that question, ask the employer “what is the budget for this position?” Follow up question, “what is the level of expectation for this position?”  Follow up question, “what is the system for reviews and raises?”  Too often employees are degraded for focusing on salary but the employers do the same.  Many gain a sense of just how low they can pay and yet demand the greatest work from.  Again, this mindset works against ‘turnovers.’
 
Employers, Small Business Owners, should employ the assistance of professionals for their recruiting process.  It ensures that the company and its’ interests are protected and when done effectively, it allows for an excellent work environment for the employees as well.
 
Human Resources is by far one of the greatest resources for any business.  Fear of the unknown will prevent a company from growing to its full potential.  Outsource these services to professional companies.  Elite Expert Business Solutions is but one of those.
 

CHOICES & CONSEQUENCES, IT’S A MONEY $$$ THING

If it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make sense!  Sounds superficial?  Well it’s not.  The Bible says, and I quote:  I Timothy 6:10, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”.  That verse is often interpreted for too many, that money itself is evil and forget the phrase “the love of money”, not money alone.  Money is an object, a medium of exchange.  It is the way people obtain the goods and services needed to survive.  It alone does nothing.

There is nothing wrong with wanting money or more of it and nothing wrong with making lots of money.  You do not have to be poor to be humble, you do not have to be poor to have a good heart or be a Christian.  In fact, it is harder to make a difference when you do not have money because having money gives people options.  It provides options to the one making the money as well as options to those he or she desires to bless as well.  It allows one to do, have and become when the money is allocated appropriately.

I do not pretend to be an expert but I am knowledgeable and what I have and do learn, I’m always a vessel for knowledge to flow.  What I have learned over the years is that why we understand choices and consequences for everyday issues of life, we seem to ignore or do not employ the same knowledge with money matters.  As people, we tend to remain in the mindset of money problems being out of our control and that the only solution is more of it.  I must admit I lived in that world for too long.  Looking back, that type of thinking is absurd but when say anything to yourself long enough you begin to believe it (faith cometh by hearing).  * Every choice made with your money will directly affect your future flow of funds.  Once you begin to think in this manner, it will hopefully add better perspective to how you treat the money in your possession.

Myth #1 – Things just come up. That’s what we say, what we really mean is.  I knew it could happen but I spent the money hoping it wouldn’t happen.  Truth?  Yes, it is.  I had a flat tire, unexpected bill, or getting sick are all viable things that occur to people every day.  These things are pretty normal.  The other thing which is normal is that most people spend and live on and up to the money he or she makes.  It’s not the “things that pop-up” which cause inhibit, hurt or place the finances in a crunch, it’s the lack of planning and saving for those things.  In reality the tires usually get flat because we buy a car, get a note that leaves little to no room for maintenance.  The bill is unexpected in most cases because the arrangement you thought you could make, you can’t and now it’s an emergency because you spent the money elsewhere.  In theory, lack of planning, budgeting helps us remain in poverty.   The choice is made to spend money on other things while the consequence is the things needed go lacking.

Myth #2 – I can afford it, so I buy it   Truthfully speaking most people do not know what they can or cannot afford.  They don’t know what it takes to run their home each month, how much to break even and if they ever have a profit from month to month.  Most people pay bills, heads down and when they get fed up, they spend or over spend and deal with the consequences later.  Too often their method includes placing a drain on someone else’s finances.  Not cool.  Yet this is reality for too many.  Budgeting isn’t so much a limitation or a denial of goods or services, it’s a planning tool to help one meet all the demands against his or her finances timely and appropriately.  It’s a tool of prioritizing.  Budgets separate the “needs” from the “wants”, the “right now” from the “it can wait.”  Budgets tell people what they really can afford.

Most often when people say that they can afford it, it means I can buy it right now so I will get it and they never add up the cost later of missed bills, borrowing because they forgot about something else or the cost incurred from lack of planning for the purchase.  The choice is I want it, I am buying it or bought it.  Consequence now my purchase is added to my bills and becomes another burden rather than the gift.

Myth#3 I deserve it, I owe it to myself.  How can a person love his or herself and buy something or make financial decisions that bring them more grief than joy? That’s not love, that’s trying to impress someone else.  You have to be careful when it comes to money because people will judge you by what you do or what you have to determine whether you are successful or not.  If that’s important to you, you will find yourself making purchases and acquiring things to look prosperous when you can take time, sacrifice for a season, build wealth and become prosperous.   Treating yourself is very personable and when a person really does it, he or she never have to speak a word.  What you really owe to yourself is to plan for what you want, buy it and not feel guilty because you can and never allow others to dictate or determine what gifts you give yourself.  The choice to impress and the consequence is long-term stress to pay for what was supposed to be a blessing.

Financial situations are never out of our hands, not nearly the way we stress or deem them to be.  The power of financial freedom or economic empowerment lies in our choices and being able to think through them for better consequences tomorrow.

ACCOUNTING/ BOOKKEEPING BASICS

Business is a Strategic Process of making the right moves at the right time!

A LARGE part of the process is having the right people on your team.

INTRODUCTION

“While good business ideas are plentiful, many entrepreneurs struggle to understand payroll taxes, health care and other thorny issues… In other words, they don’t have the financial literacy to scale their businesses and attract investors.”   This quote spoken directly from Shark Tank Entrepreneur, Daymond John and Founder of FUBU, titled the Number 1 thing Entrepreneurs need.  I couldn’t agree more.   I explain it this way as I advertise my business and to potential clients during consultations:  “You went into business to put your gifts and talents to work for you, to make money.  Elite Expert (which is my company) can provide the financial systems and services required to keep your business in business successfully.”  My advertisement continues by teaching in another section that having a CPA is good but receiving numbers on an annual basis isn’t sufficient enough to maintain a thriving business.  Revenue and expenses must be monitored in consistent increments for review, to make adjustments and to remain profitable.

Many are the entrepreneurs in business earning a living but never growing.  They have become self-employed employees and not really business owners.  What begins as the start of a new legacy for their family becomes a burden that isn’t growing, keeping one above the ground financially only.  Insufficient business structure guarantees that the business will end with the operator or at best make it two generations removed before it is sold or closed.   The vision of an entrepreneur is always big, bold and never able to be accomplished alone, however, experience, life, the subtle remarks of disbelief, financial demands and other distractions often leave entrepreneurs feeling limited and forfeiting their original vision for one that he or she feels can be accomplished solo.  Solo is never good.  Not one successful corporation grows alone.  Thinking you can have a successful business solo is the mindset that turns the entrepreneurial pursuit turns into a job, barely satisfying the financial needs and completing ignoring the other needs (social and emotional) ones that a regular job would work to fill.

Accounting/Bookkeeping is more than data entry, although for some entrepreneurs that skill alone is worth thousands, as it does provide an accurate recount of funds spent and received; however professional accounting/bookkeeping is analytical, informative and an excellent foundation for making business decisions.  Having a CPA is great and for those entrepreneurs who make regular visits to their CPA that include monthly, quarterly as well as annual reporting, are ahead of the competition.  Truth is most of entrepreneurs cannot afford a CPA but once a year and even then the money isn’t readily available.  The entrepreneur will pay for a tax return and have annual statements that he or she doesn’t understand or know how to use.

After working in a CPA’s office (as an Accountant/Bookkeeper) for over two years and attending a conference full of CPA’s that had the same problems, I knew that this business was crucial.  I watched several entrepreneurs walk in and out of the CPA’s office carrying a folder of information and not understanding a word that was printed on the financials or that was said to them.  Many of the clients stopped by my office asking questions because the terminology didn’t make sense to them and they wanted more information about how to use the numbers they had received from the CPA.  They didn’t understand the results and often felt as if the financial picture received didn’t tell the complete story of their business.  Further developmental delay involved the issue of time.  For most entrepreneurs the information was gathered late (annually) and by the time they pay for the results and tax preparation, he or she has already begun a year of bad record keeping, doing it solo and leaving out details, co-mingling of funds (paying for personal expenses out of the business), still not structured properly and not understanding why the structure matters.   Most never grow to employ anyone else and instead of feeling independent become a slave to their business.

Professional bookkeeping begins with data entry and ends with someone either speaking to you over the phone or in person discussing details about your spending, revenues received, areas of improvement, areas of concern and so forth.  It involves checks and balances, financial structure, a system of distributing funds versus wasteful spending, taking the level of business to the next level while maintaining financial stability on the current level.

This book isn’t a full picture or even an “how to” or “DIY” on starting a business, it is not a complete manual for “what to do” or “what not to do”; this brief  book or manual intent is to 1) provide information, 2) develop a level of expectancy for having an accountant and 3) to hopefully answer some questions about why you would want and need an accountant/bookkeeper and how beneficial it can be for you and your business.

Better begins with better books, which begins with bookkeeping services. Elite Expert is that beginning.

To get the rest of this amazing book go to the website:  www.expertbookkeepingservices.com; complete the contact page and I will send it to you for free.

Bookkeeping Basics: The difference between being in Business and being Successful  4 REASONS YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS A BOOKKEEPER!

There are certain things that separate those in business from those who are successful in business. It’s the supportive function of accounting and accounting departments. It’s the group of people that manage the funds, the timing of bill payments, make sure funds are received on time, invoices sent and so forth. Many are those who begin businesses and determined that they will do the bookkeeping function personally and unfortunately too often realize late that they are unable to find time performing the function and then to perform it accurately. There are four reasons why every small business owner, every entrepreneur must and should have a professional bookkeeper.
1) Improve and Maintain Cash Flow – Timing is EVERYTHING in business. A bookkeeper will ensure that bills are paid on time but also make sure that a minimum balance is maintained. Invoices are billed and payment received regularly as well. Depleting cash is never good and is a quick way to ensure a business goes bankrupt. The other factor is missed opportunities for growth that can and will occur for a business when the cash flow is depleted or unknown.
2) Benefit from Real Numbers – Waiting until a tax season to see how or if you made a profit or not, is never the way to run a successful business. Really a whole year has passed and any numbers gained are too little too late to make a difference in the way one conducts business. Professional bookkeeping provides real numbers on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis so that the business owner can review his or her numbers and make good business decisions. Better Business begins with Better Books!
3) Growth of the Business – To grow or expand one must know what he or she is doing in terms of dollars and sales, basically back to #2. You cannot grow, gain more capital or build from a state of blind state meaning a state of “not knowing.” Not knowing means no growing.
4) DO BUSINESS BETTER – Everything begins small but staying small isn’t ever the goal. Doing business better means growing, adding to the economy the ability to employ others and to gain more market share. None of that can be accomplished when one is operating in the red, day in and day out or operating in the blind.
Bookkeeping is a basic necessity for any business. Large Corporation maintain full Accounting Departments for this reason, as a Small Business Owner the right bookkeeping professional or company will be that for you!

TIME IS MONEY! Time Management has escaped this new technology generation.

Time is money!  Yes we have all heard it, quoted it and know it!  I fear some quote it and really do not understand it completely but it’s true.  Opportunities are presented and like anything else they don’t like forever!  They are for a limited TIME!  You see a pair of shoes you love, ladies.  The urgency in obtaining them likes in the knowledge that you know that shoe will not be in the store forever.  Time is always moving, occurring and with each new minute comes new things, people, ideas and concepts.  Missing an opportunity cost.  Sometimes the price is minimal but too often the price is beyond calculating. Doing the right thing at the right time is priceless and can literally change a person’s financial state of affairs for generations!

Time management is an art!  Seriously! As the economy changes, evolves and recovers from the recent depression, many companies are offering ‘work from home’ options.  However the inability to management one’s own time leaves this option unavailable for too many!  That’s a sad state.  The assumption is that in this new generation with the access to technology that and having everything at your finger tips, time wouldn’t be an issue but it is.

Too often people plan to arrive right on time, right on the dot which corporately means you’re late anyway and provides no room for incidental things that can or could occur on the way to any location.  You know the things that are totally beyond one’s control.  No one likes to be left waiting!  No one!  From waiting to be picked up or waiting on a ride, waiting anywhere is not enjoyable however sometimes leaving one waiting cost!  People lose job opportunities because they were late for the interview, deals are passed on, promotions are denied all because a person cannot or does not understand the discipline of time!

The disciple of managing time is an art.  It’s one of many disciplines that must be conquered for one to grow.  With the increase in distractions via technology remaining focus and living in the minute have become increasingly difficult.  Multi-tasking is required but before one can multi-task, he or she must learn to commit to a single task and complete it.  Time management means being on time, governing one’s time for successful completion of any goal.

Being in one place physically is not the same as being there mentally, emotionally and socially.  You can be in a place and still not be there! Time management involves moving from one thing to the next effectively and efficiently.   Trying to increase your economic status, wanting to grow and move from where you are to the next level; manage your time better and YOUR MONEY WILL FOLLOW!

SOMETHING’S BETTER THAN NOTHING, SETTLING?

I HAVE ALWAYS HATED THAT STATEMENT!  UUGH AND STILL DO!  That statement alone implies settling for less than what one desires.  It says that ‘I can have what I want so I will settle for this.’  That line of thinking is against EVERYTHING I believe.  I am always amazed, disappointed or even surprised when a phrase, idea or concept that I, at one time didn’t like or agree with becomes something that I use at some point and agree.

Recently, I have found myself saying this statement lately quite a bit.  Although this new generation has so many opportunities, so many more opportunities; their survival skills are low.  Survival is an instinct.  It’s the ability of one to sustain during the in-between times.  Trust there will always be an in-between time.  You gain jobs and lose jobs, especially recently with companies laying off and transferring business overseas, etc… There could and may be a time when one is fired from a job, it happens.  Regardless of the situation, survival instinct is designed for one when; he or she finds his or herself “in-between.” 

My job in Human Resources and Payroll allows me to come into contact with many, young and old.  I find myself discussing survival instincts with several especially after a job loss.  One of the things I share most is “Unemployment Filing.”  Everyone would prefer to work and not depend on the government for anything.  I get it.  However when your job is lost unexpectedly, it’s not just survival but wisdom to apply for that benefit.  Too often, I have heard the line, “I will just get another job.”  True he or she will and do find other jobs; however in the midst of searching, looking for a job cost!   If you have a place of your own, rent will not wait, utilities must be paid, one must eat, grooming must and should remain intact and transportation to and from interviews requires money.  Unemployment isn’t a way of life but it is a method of survival for a season until one can get on his or her feet.

I have watched sooooooooooo many, received calls of distress (after rejecting the advice) because the job market was or isn’t as lucrative as the person once believed; people on the verge of losing and many lost housing(apartments and houses), cars all because of a refusal to accept or apply for a temporary benefit.   When I suggested the benefit in the beginning to those, the complaints ranged from prideful, of not wanting a handout, to ignorance; I don’t know how much I will receive so why bother?  Most of who were living from check-to-check anyway would rather ask or place the burden on those around them instead of having their own money.   Some even stated two contradictory reasons for not obtaining the benefit; 1) it will not pay enough to cover my bills and 2) it will make me lazy?  What’s the point?  Unemployment will never be enough to make one comfortable but receiving a temporary benefit can make job transitions smoother.  Losing an income is hard enough.  When done or handled appropriately one doesn’t have to lose other things particularly his or her dignity having to ask for the simplest things.  Having survival instincts aren’t common but necessary and for those who will listen to others and utilize them, it is the difference from merely surviving to just surviving again and moving into a position to thrive.