What’s Your Number One Secret Business Weapon?


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Often seen as a necessary evil, bookkeeping often takes hours of time for the owner.

This typically boring and tedious task is the primary reason the majority of small business owners do not keep their finances up to date on a monthly basis.

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Bookkeeping, as mundane as it may appear, is actually the #1 Secret Business Weapon when it comes to business management and growth.

  • Wasting Too Much Tim

Many business owners try to do bookkeeping themselves or do not have the professional help they need.

Although we all know that time is money, many business owners do not put enough VALUE on their time.

How you value your time is extremely important to your business. Leave the tedious and time-consuming task of bookkeeping to the professionals.

A bookkeeper will know what to record, how to record it, and most importantly, the accounting changes that affect a business on an ongoing basis. Besides saving you time, it also frees up more of your time so you can work your business like a business so it will pay like a business.

  • Improper or Poor Record

Keeping Improper or poor receipt and record keeping is common for businesses.

It is easy to lose receipts or forget about those small expenses that seem insignificant. Maintaining accurate records on a monthly basis and with a proper filing system can save you time and money on your income taxes.

It can also provide the necessary documentation in the event that you are audited by the IRS. In case of a potential audit, accurate records of income and expenses could save you thousands of dollars.

  • Improperly Categorizing Expense

If you or someone you have hired does not have the knowledge of formal bookkeeping practices, this can become a problem. Accurately tracking income and expenses in the correct categories ensures proper measurement of profitability. Knowing the different tax treatments of each income and expense category can result in significant tax savings as well.

  • Not Reconciling Bank Account

Not having separate bank accounts for personal and business activities can become an issue. If you are audited, you may need to provide complete records of business related activities that are separate from your personal expenses.

Make sure that your bank statements are properly reconciled every month. This will help to minimize errors and identify potential issues.

  • Not having Back Up

We live in a world dependent on technology. The dreaded hard drive failure is a when not an if. It is important for every business to back up their data to avoid potential losses.

  • Neglecting Sales Tax

With many businesses, not reporting sales tax and not accounting for it is a common error in bookkeeping. Oversight in collection and reporting of sales taxes can result in significant amount of fines and penalties.

Alternatively, incorrect data entry may result in a higher total sales amount and overstated sales taxes due.

  • Not Classifying Employees Correctly

Businesses often have a combination of both employees and independent contractors.

Make sure these are properly classified to avoid misfiling and overpayment of taxes to the government. Employee classification is a hot button audit target. Get competent advice before you assume it is ok to pay someone as a contractor rather than an employee.

  • Bad Petty Cash Management

Business owners often operate with a small amount of petty cash, but have little or no knowledge on how to track it. Be sure to set up a system which allows you to track the cash kept on hand for the business and what it is being used for.

Buying a petty cash lock box from your local office depot and obtaining receipts for all disbursements is a great way to start.

  • Poor or Lack of Communication

It is important to have strong communications between the bookkeeper and employees of the Company. Keep your bookkeeper involved and integrated with what’s going on inside the business. This helps the bookkeeper to create financial statements which reflect the true operational needs of your business.

  • Neglecting to Track Reimbursable Expenses

Many small business owners pay for expenses out of their personal funds.

As time passes, there is increased risk that these expenses get overlooked. Failure to account for these reimbursable expenses can result in lost money as well as lost tax deductions. Create a company policy to make it easy for the Company to easily and consistently track and record reimbursable expenses.

Now that you have read through the 10 Most Common Bookkeeping Mistakes, take a look at your business and determine whether any of these apply to you.

NOW is the time to make some easy changes to upgrade your bookkeeping system and turn this task into your #1 Secret Weapon for Business Management and Success!


About the Author: Rhonda Johnson is Tax Educator extraordinaire! A specialist in home-based business taxes, she captives audiences with her enthusiasm. Rhonda has dedicated over 25 years to the direct selling profession, as a business owner and a national speaker and author. “Help me Rhonda” has trained thousands of direct sellers nationwide. She founded Accountable Solutions more than 20 years ago and based the business on the cornerstone of year round tax service to clients. She is at the forefront of an elite group of forward thinking accounting professionals who specialize in meeting the needs of direct sales, network marketing professionals and home based business owners. Visit her at www.MakingTaxAGame.com

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As leaders, it happens all the time….

A team member calls or emails with a question, problem or situation in which they are asking you for answers or advice.

Certainly, with our experience and training in the industry we are “qualified” to answer questions and give advice, right?

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In many cases, we see solving their problems and dispensing advice as our responsibility.

After all, in most cases, leaders earn overrides, bonuses, and incentives based on our teams sales.  Team building is the most profitable stream of income in a direct selling business so we assume it’s our job or in our best interest to fix whatever needs fixing.  Besides, as experience leaders, we’ve been in that exact situation before and know exactly what to tell them to do!

However, there is a huge difference between the activities that grow and the activities that grow our team members.

The difference is asking questions vs. giving answers.

Coaching Means Ask Questions Rather Than Giving Answers!

Asking questions has the power to make us think, create our own answers, and motivate us to take action on our ideas.   Asking moves us beyond just accepting what others say or tell us to do.

Questions honor those you work with and communicate their value as an equal.

You see, when we consult, advise, or mentor, we are the experts.  When we ask for insight or ideas, we become equal or peers.

Why Ask Coaching Questions?

So, what is the real advantage of asking coaching questions versus telling a team member what they should do?

Here are 5 reasons to ask instead of tell:

  1.  They Know the Situation Best.  No one knows more about the situation and how to solve a problem than they do!  All the information needed to answer a question or solve a dilemma lies within the person being coached.  They have firsthand knowledge of what, when, why, how and where.  Asking questions gets to the root of the problem.
  2. Asking creates buy-in.  In most cases, your team member knows exactly what they need to do.  The key to making lasting change is not in their knowing what to do, it’s being motivated to do it.  In my experience, people are more likely to follow through on an idea or solution if it’s their own idea or solution.  I can hand them an answer or solution but helping them create their own gets better results every time.
  3. Questions are empowering.  Self confidence is huge issue in making change or moving forward.  There is a powerful message in asking questions and in asking someone for their opinion.  Asking questions says: “I believe in you.  You can do this.  You have great input.”  The simple act of asking often empowers people to do/change things or move forward in areas they didn’t think they could prior to being asked about it.  Asking creates clarity and clarity facilitates growth.
  4. Asking develops independence. Asking team members “what” or “how” moves them away from being dependent upon you to provide answers.
  5. Questions build relationships.  There’s no greater relationship between people than that which is built on trust.  The simple act of asking questions and listening to answers allows us to truly “see” one another, going beyond the surface, to dig deep and create transparency. When we create transparency in a relationship, barriers are removed and we trust one another.

Here’s an example:

  • Team member: “I have this problem, what should I do?”
  • You: “Tell me, what solutions have already crossed your mind?”
  • Team member: “Well, I was thinking I could do __________ or _____________.”
  • You: “Great, which one of those solutions do you want to move forward on?”
  • Team member: “I think ____________ is the best way to go about it.”
  • You:  “Okay!  Sounds like you have a plan now.”
  • Team member:  “Thanks so much, I knew you’d know what to do.

It is better to ask than to tell.

Why Ask?  Why not  is the better question.

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Tips For Direct Sales Consultants: Overcoming Shyness


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Are you too shy to try?

Too bashful to make an effort in the direct sales business?

A work at home direct sales business is a great way to earn a good living while being your own boss. However, many people find sales too intimidating.

They may believe that they are far too bashful to enter this great industry.

Being a sales consultant takes courage and confidence.

Remember to focus on what sales REALLY means….

TO SERVE!

Though some people are born with them, courage and confidence can be learned.

These two traits are often missing in timid people.

Overcome shyness

They can however evolve over time through education, practice and mistakes.

People involved with sales spend time and money developing their confidence and courage. They take seminars, buy books and CDs, hire mentor coaches and learn from their life lessons. Being bashful should not be an obstacle to success in the direct sales business.

One thing that all bashful people worry about in sales is rejection.

Rejection is an inevitable part of sales. In fact, rejection is an inevitable part of life.

Most of us have become accustomed to it in life and accept that we must move forward after getting rejected.

It is the same with sales.

If you understand that rejection does not equal failure, and that everyone in the business experiences rejection, you will be able to move forward and overcome your fear of rejection.

The worst thing about shyness in sales and the business world is the opportunities people miss.

Being afraid to jump in the water may mean you miss the opportunity to have a great time. Being afraid to go talk to the woman (or guy) who has been looking at you may mean you miss the opportunity to meet someone special. Being too shy to make a sales call may mean you miss the most lucrative deal of your life.

Shyness and fear prevent us from achieving the most we can achieve.

3 Tips For Overcoming Shyness

  • Confidence sells

It won’t sell every time, but without it, you won’t make any sales.

Make a list of all your good traits and focus on them when you sell. If you are attractive, use your looks. If you have a mellifluous voice, use your voice to sell. If you are extremely knowledge, focus on facts and figures.

  • Focus on the positive

Always focus on what you can do for your customers, what your products can do for them, and how much they will enjoy your product or service. How can your products change lives?

Do not focus on the negative. Don’t ridicule other sales consultants or products. Keep it positive and you will feel more confident.

  • Use social media to break the ice

In the old days, salesmen went door-to-door, selling encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, and other items.

Cold-calling is not necessarily a thing of the past, but you can often avoid physical cold calling in your work at home business by using social media as a first contact system.

By using the Internet and social media sites, your customers can get to know you before you meet them in person. Breaking the ice online is a great help for bashful salespeople.

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone!

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone because by doing so you will overcome your shyness!


About the Author: Deb Bixler is the 2011 DSWA Speaker Of The Year and the DSWA party plan and search engine optimization adviser. Visit her website the CashFlowShow: The largest FREE Direct Sales Party Training center on the web or check out Deb Bixler On Google+ 717-751-2793

Please Note: The MyDSWA content is copyrighted material. You may share it on the web by creating an excerpt and linking back to the page using an active hyperlink. Please do not republish any content in its entirety on the web. You may however, publish any article you find on this site in print offline provided you credit the article to the author and the DSWA and include the website reference. http://www.MyDSWA.org

 
 
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