7 Ways to Get Your Company Out of Debt

Debt can be tricky to navigate, especially if your business has been in the red and struggling to get into the black for quite some time. Thankfully, there are many ways to get your business out of debt and increase your long-term financial health as you do so. Below, Universal Accounting offers seven ways to tackle your debts and get back on track with your finances.

1. Put Yourself in Control

Step one is to identify where you are in terms of debt. How much do you owe and to whom? Start by separating your business and personal accounts. Then, get your financial house in order. What are your net earnings? What’s left over after paying bills, rent or mortgage, credit cards, and other liabilities? How much money can you afford to put toward debt repayment every month?

2. Have an Effective Invoicing Process

Timely payments are essential to your success. That’s why upgrading your invoicing software is an important step in ensuring that your business gets paid on time. By investing in a quality invoicing system, you can save yourself the hassle of chasing down late payments and worrying about cash flow. In addition, a good invoicing system can help you keep track of your spending, budget more effectively, and make it easier to keep close track of your overall financial health.

3. Create a Budget

One of the first steps in any debt-reduction plan is creating a budget. Think of it as a spending plan that includes what you need to spend and how much you can afford. Creating a budget helps show where your money goes every month and helps identify areas where you can cut back or save more money.

4. Reduce Expenses

It’s common for small businesses to operate on a thin margin. But if your business is in constant survival mode with little room to breathe or plan, you may want to examine your expenses and look for ways to trim them where possible. Doing so can set your business up for long-term financial health.  This is one of many simple steps you can follow from the Universal Turnaround Model.

5. Increase Revenue

Take a look at your current product offering or service mix, and think of ways you can pivot to produce more revenue. Perhaps your customers can benefit from an add-on service to use your product in more situations. Or maybe there’s another customer base you can tap into with a different kind of product that costs less to produce than what you currently offer.

6. Consolidating Debt

As you begin working off your debt, consider consolidating all your various debts in one place. Consolidating can simplify your financial life significantly and make it easier to manage multiple payments.

7. Improve Your Financial Standing

To enhance your financial situation, form an LLC. Due to the tax benefits, you may owe less come tax season. Various states have different rules for forming an LLC, so check the details in your state before proceeding. If you don’t want to do the groundwork yourself, a formation service can save you money on lawyer fees.

Healthily Growing Your Business

Getting out of debt isn’t an easy process, but it can be done with time and effort — as long as you’re serious about your goals. Focus on getting paid, sticking to a budget, cutting expenses and finding ways to increase your revenue as part of your main goals, but don’t let mistakes and slip-ups derail you. Instead, use them as learning experiences, get back on track, and focus on what matters most — healthily growing your business.

Learn more how you can address cash flow concerns with “Red to Black  – a turnaround guide for accounting professionals” when you work with business owners as their Profit & Growth Expert.

Providing Excellent Accounting Services

If you’re like most accounting professionals, you want to provide excellent accounting services to every client. If you don’t, you probably won’t be in business for long.

I once heard a speech by a man who I greatly admire. His name is Dallin H. Oaks and his talk was entitled “Good, Better, Best”. Although he was speaking of choosing the best activities when considering how to use our time, I feel the principle is appropriate here. Are you just a “good” accountant, a “better” accountant, or the “best” accountant for your clients?

Most people will answer, “I want to be the best accountant, but I only have so much time.” Certainly, time is important when evaluating what to do for a client. Yet, what if you could go from being a “good” accountant, to the “best” accountant in only ten minutes? Would it be worth it?

The key to providing excellent accounting services is to look forward, not just backward, with each client. When we do accounting, we are entering historical data to determine where our client’s been and what their present situation is. Most good accountants consider this their primary purpose and are satisfied simply handing over the financial statements and calling it finished.

Nevertheless, the most important thing we can do is assess where the client’s going, and warn of concerns, and share ideas for improvement even when the client’s business is doing well.

You can save time by limiting your assessment to the top three sources of income, and the top five expense categories. Run trend reports on each of these eight accounts for the past six accounting periods, and project those trends into the next two accounting periods to determine where they will be.

For the flat or dropping income accounts, consider geometric marketing ideas (see “In the Black”, Chapter 3) that will improve revenues. For any growing expense accounts, evaluate vendors and prices to make suggestions for decreasing expenses.

You will amaze yourself how easy and possible it is to go from good to your clients’ BEST accountant, in fact a Profit & Growth Expert.

A Successful Business Website

8 Tips in Turning Your Site into a Marketing Force

If you don’t already have a website, you should get one. Progressive businesses have an internet presence; it speaks volumes of their professionalism and ability to keep up with current trends. A good website will represent you well and increase your clientele. It will also work 24/7 as a virtual receptionist, getting the word out about your business while you spend your time doing what you do best: tax preparation. And if well developed, your business website can act as an inexpensive marketing tool and a good point of contact. It can also help to further brand your business.As you consider building a new website or enhancing a current one, refer to the following 8 tips in turning your site into a marketing force:

1. Clearly state who you are and what you do.

While most visitors will probably land on your website because you gave them your URL or they performed an internet search on tax preparers, there will be some who will immediately want to know who you are and what you do. This information should be easy to access from your homepage. Also be sure to include easy-to-find contact information. Your website’s ultimate objective is to enable people to retain your services. They can’t do that unless they know who you are and how to contact you.

2. Ensure your website is easily accessible.

You want your target market to be able to access your website with ease. This means you must design it in such a way that your typical visitor would be able to download your site without expending too much time or energy. And no matter what you do, test your site to ensure others can access it without any problems. This will require you to test the site on different computers using different browsers, but it will be well worth your time.

3. Use a clean, professional design.

How do you respond to Power Point Presentations with neon text, flashing graphics, and nifty rollover effects? It may be hypnotic at first, but can quickly become distracting. While you want your site to be visually appealing, you need to remember that your content is on display, not the clever programming.

Your navigation should also be clear. The internet is all about quick and easy access to data. If your navigation slows users down, chances are they won’t hang around to find the information they’re looking for; they’ll go to a website that’s more transparent.

4. Include valuable content.

Visitors will continually return if they find valuable content on your website. If you provide valuable tax tips for the small business owner, you’ll find they use your site as a reference and perhaps even bookmark it. And when they need professional tax help who do you think they’ll go to? You, of course!

5. Update regularly.

Nothing is more frustrating to users than an out-of-date website that lists old promotions and dated information. While this may take some time, it will totally pay off in internet traffic.

6. Ensure all the links, etc. work properly.

This tip is closely related to number five. Broken links, missing graphics, and malfunctioning navigation communicate a sloppy regard for your internet visitors. And even though it’s unintended, it will reflect poorly on your tax preparation skills as well.

7. Include exclusive website promotions.

Reward your internet visitors by offering special promotions. Consider providing them with a free tax consultation that will afford you the opportunity to further promote your value as a tax professional.

8. Distribute your URL.

A website will do you no good unless you promote it. There are inexpensive ways to get your website out there. Here are just a few:

  • Put the URL on your business cards
  • Include the URL with your email signature
  • Issue a press release in your local paper
  • Whenever possible, get other websites to link to your site
  • Submit your site to directory listings
  • Include the URL in your Yellow-page listing
  • Include the URL on your stationary

Universal Accounting Center Can Help You Create a Custom Website for Your Practice

Imagine how difficult it would be to create your own website with all the above features without spending much of your own time managing the process. Now imagine that UAC can manage that process for you, enabling you to create a strong web presence without expending much energy. Universal Accounting Center (UAC) has recently released an expanded and improved Accountweb website development tool, available exclusively for accounting, tax, and bookkeeping professionals. Within a number of business days you can create a personalized website for your practice, enabling potential clients to access your business even after your office closes.To see a sample of a website developed from the Universal Accountweb platform, go to www.universalaccountingservices.com.Whether you run a full-time practice or do taxes on the side, you need a website that tells potential clients about your business even when you are unable to. If you haven’t yet developed a website for your business, today is the day! Order your subscription now-your website will be up and running by the following business week. And if you are a Universal Accounting student you will receive a free six-month trial!