By financen | November 8, 2019 - 3:42 am - Posted in Business, Tax

Most small businesses wait until the last day to ready their books for the tax season. Getting an early start, whether you do it yourself or use tax companies, will reduce your tax burden and minimize the struggles you go through at the end of the year. It could even increase your tax deductions. Here are three tips on preparing your business for the tax season.

Update Employee and Independent Contractor Details

Do not wait for the end of the year to collect your employee and contractor details. If your business works with independent contractors and not employees, you will be required to submit 1099 form – this is a form that reports any payments over $600 made to contractors. Before submitting the details, call contractors to ensure you have up-to-date information.

If you do not have a W-9 form on file, submit one to the contractors and ask for contact details and business tax identification number. By January 31, every employee should receive a W-2 form to ensure you have the correct contact details.

Maximize Deductions

As the end of year approaches, you need to take advantage of tax deductions to pay as little tax as possible. To start with, buy new office equipment or furniture towards the tax season to qualify for tax deductions. You can also contribute in-cash or in-kind to a charitable organization. Instead of disposing of your old equipment and furniture, give them to a qualifying charitable organization, and you could reduce your tax burden by a large percentage.

Another way to reduce your tax burden is to give end-year bonuses to your employees before December. Bonuses given before the start of the tax period qualify your business for tax deductions. Still on employees, and end year party (that is limited to all employees and not you and your family) may qualify for up to 100 percent tax deductions as established by IRS.

Gather All Documents in Time

Receipts, invoices, and any other documents needed to file your tax returns must be ready by the start of the tax period. Organize all your tax documents in an easy-to-access folder. Keep in mind that some of the materials need to be prepared way ahead of time. 

By financen | November 4, 2019 - 7:14 pm - Posted in Business
Business

Gateshead is a town that is located in the county of Tyne and Wear. This town is located opposite the New Castle and has 7 bridges that connect it to New Castle across the River Tyne. They have a population of around 120,000 and the people living in this area are called Geordies.

This town is famous for its exquisite architecture. One of the most famous landmarks in this area is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge which is a cyclist and pedestrian bridge that crosses the Tyne River towards New Castle. This bridge has a minimalist design and compliments the modern architecture that you can find all over the city.

Gateshead is a very beautiful town and is very conducive for living and even building a family. Not just because of its beauty, but it is a town built centered on the people living in it which makes this area a good place to live in. The temperature is also relatively cool with an average high of 20 degrees Celsius and an average low of 3 degrees Celsius. It is never too cold nor too hot in Gateshead.

If you want to expand your office space, Gateshead is the perfect place for you because this area is very accommodating and is close to New Castle where businesses are expected to root up and grow.

Choosing the right office is very important as it can affect you, your employees and your company. The location, the size, and the price of your office will affect your success. So it is better to choose your workplace wisely.

Here are some things to consider in choosing your workplace:

Business Type

If you are in the retail business, then it is imperative that you choose a storefront in the town centers or the malls. It should be someplace where there is heavy foot traffic so that people can see what you are selling.

If you choose a place in the city center, then as much as possible, it should be on the ground floor. One of the best ways for you to market your products is to allow people walking by to window shop to entice them to buy your products. Click here for more tips in choosing a space for retail.

If you own a restaurant, then it should be the same and be where people can see your restaurant easily. You can even set up tables out on the street so that when people order and sit outside; passersby can see and even smell the food that you sell.

If you have large amounts of goods getting in and out of your business, then it should be close to a loading area but if you are a wholesale supplier, then it would be wise to choose a place where there are warehouses to make it more convenient for your business.

Proximity

The next thing you should consider is how close you are to your target customers. Most business targets a certain demographic group. Being close to your target group will prove to be an advantage for you as it will be easier for your target to find you and get to you. The farther you are, the less the chance that your customers will go to you.

This also applies not just to your customers but also your employees. You have to make sure that your workplace is close or at least accessible to your workers. If your workplace is difficult to access then you will have a hard time keeping and finding employees. You might have to provide transportation for them to get to you. If you are starting a business in a new place, it would also be wise to hire locals so that your workers will not have a hard time getting to work.

Competitors

You need to be aware of where your competitors are located. One of the best ways to do business is to cluster. This means to open your office or shop in a location close to your competition. This is to allow you to get a share of the market in that area. However, your prices need to be competitive and never higher than your competition if you do such a thing.

Ambiance

How your office looks matter a lot more than you think. People judge based on appearance and this includes your clients, employees and even yourself. The appearance of your office will matter to your clients because this will show if you are credible and serious. This will affect both you and your employees also because you will be working there almost every day. Moreover, how it looks will affect your mood and the mood of your employees too.

Large Office

Lastly, you need to consider your budget first. It is wonderful to have the best office and all but the most important part of choosing is your budget. Make sure that you can shoulder the costs and that it will not pull your business down.

By financen | September 28, 2019 - 11:23 am - Posted in Business, Business consultation

In the ever-competitive world of business, only businesses that can maximize their resources both material and otherwise stay profitable. This is the simple reason why some companies manage to stay in business no matter how though or unfavorable the market might seem. Of course, many of them also employ the services of an NYC business consulting firm to help offer solutions to some of the biggest problems they face in organizing and managing their business. 

Business consultants are professionals that help businesses tackle their difficult situations and challenges. However, that’s not to say they are only useful during hard times. In fact, a good business consultant will help keep your company from falling upon hard times entirely by providing creative, forward-thinking ideas to help achieve your goals and objectives as a business. They bring new ideas to the table, thus invigorating your business and place you on the path to achieving business success. 

Business consultants come in various forms and offer a wide range of services. You may already be familiar with big names like KPMG or PricewaterhouseCoopers. If you do, then you probably have an idea of what business consulting firms do already. Below are some of the services you can expect from a business consultant whether you are hiring an individual or a firm. 

1. Business advisory: business consulting firms may offer advisory services to support the strengths and minimize weaknesses in identified areas within an organization. They do this by going over your firm’s business plan, financial statement and analyzing the overall structure of your business. Based on these pieces information, experience and specialized knowledge of your industry and market, they will be able to formulate new strategies and review old ones to boost the performance of your company on so many fronts.

 Read here https://www.themuse.com/advice/good-to-know-why-companies-really-hire-consultants for some of the top reasons why companies hire business consultants.

2. Outsourced accounting: this is another area where a business consultant can provide valuable assistance to your company. By outsourcing the accounting duties in your organization, you simply transfer this service to an external service provider which in this case is your business consultant. Outsourcing may be necessary if your firm lacks a well-structured or competent accounting department or if you are looking to expand your portfolio and your current accounting team will not be able to handle day to day financial transactions conveniently like in the case of a new branch opening, a new business model, etc. Outsourcing accounting to a business consultant means they will handle the responsibilities of your accounting department for the period of the contract. In some cases, however, you only need the consultant to oversee, manage or even train your team.

accounting

3. Digital asset advisory: your digital assets includes electronic accounts, website, company databases, and even emails and several other information and data stored in digital formats. A digital asset advisor for business will assist in the process of coordinating or offering advisory services in how your digital assets are documented and stored. They also ensure that your firm complies with necessary rules and risk management practices as far as digital assets are concerned. 

4. Technological advisory: while business consulting firms might seem like they handle the business aspect of running your organization, some consultant can also look into the IT components of your business, too. Business consultants can help you integrate new IT system or improve on old ones. They will help come up with new IT strategies that will help boost your business capabilities and improve the overall effectiveness of processes. 

5. Human resources: this is one area where the services of business consultants become valuable. Business consulting firms can handle your human resources need and help you boost the job satisfaction level of your employees. They will also help in the process of recruiting new talents while identifying and retaining top performers in your organization. Consulting firms can also advise you on the best compensation strategies or training plans that will boost the performance of your team across all levels of your organization. 

Conclusion 

There are numerous consulting firms to choose from all offering various services in different aspects of a business. Who you hire depends largely on your business needs and how much you are willing to spend on hiring a consultant. Most NYC business consultant offers the services above and a lot more. If you ever feel the need to hire one, you can read this guide on choosing the right business consultant for your company. 

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By financen | September 9, 2019 - 7:32 pm - Posted in Business, Business Loans

Are you a business person from rural America and worried about fund crunch arising out of the working capital gap to run your business smoothly? You are at the right place that can help you deal with the matter. Here you will know how the Department of Agriculture of the US Government ensures commercial loans to individuals, profit and non-profit organizations, and companies whose registered office is located in the rural areas.

Purposes for Which USDA Caters Loans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guarantees the lender a part of the loan disbursed to encourage the rural youth and alongside provides a sustainable backup to the lenders to promote rural employment. The goal is to promote job creation amongst the rural unemployed communities. Here are the purposes for which the loans are processed and disbursed:

  • Purchasing, developing and improving commercial real estate
  • Integrated agricultural processing facilities
  • Business development, modernization, gross repair of machinery or equipment
  • ?       Purchase of new machinery or equipment
  • Purchase of inventories
  • Working capital requirement
  • Debt refinancing to improve cash flow which capacitates creation or saving jobs
  • Acquisition of business if fresh borrowing promotes fresh job opportunities or saves existing jobs

The eligible candidates can avail a wide range of commercial loans with interest rate competitive to the market and flexibility in endues of the fund.

Eligibility Criteria for Getting USDA Business Loan

USDA B&I (Business and Industry) loan is applicable to both fresh and existing business persons. USDA has set a minimum requirement for eligibility criteria though the lending bank or firm may impose additional criteria for their own. However, USDA designed minimum requirements are stated below:

  • Business registered office should be located in a rural area that has a population of less than 50,000.
  • Applicant must be a permanent US citizen, and the permanent citizen must have at least a 51% share of the business.
  • The applicant of loan must be an eligible person by the guidelines prescribed by the USDA. It means that the borrower should be a profit or non-profit organization, company, public body, listed tribe, and an individual within the scope and definition of USDA guidelines for eligibility criteria.

Loan Amount, Interest Rates, and Terms

You can negotiate about the loan amount and other terms and conditions of loan with the lending authority. However, USDA has set the following specification on loan amount and other terms and conditions:

Loan Amount

There is no minimum bar for the loan, but USDA B&I loan has set a maximum general limit not exceeding $10 million with an exception to go up to $25 million or more in some special cases. However, most of the business loans disbursed in general remain between $200,000 and $5 million. Loan amount to be disbursed is assessed based on loan-to-value ratio, and the down payment that needs to be paid. The loan-to-value ratio and down payment are different for different category of loan as prescribed in USDA norm.

Other Terms and Conditions

The maximum permissible loan repayment term for real estate may extend up to 30 years. The maximum period of repayment for purchase of machinery and equipment may be allowed up to the life of the machinery and equipment, or 15 years, whichever is less. The maximum period allowed for a working capital loan may be up to 7 years. The loan amount is amortized over the entire period allowed. It means monthly loan payment is fixed throughout the whole period of repayment, and no lump sum payment is allowed in between. The lender fixes interest rates for commercial loans and generally stays between 6% and 9%.

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By financen | August 2, 2019 - 3:09 pm - Posted in Business

Reading this post confirms that you’re interested in growing your business and being successful because it’s only in a business where, when both the employer and employees are comfortable that productivity can be maximized, and growth can take place.

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning. It’s a complete system that ensures your business is being carried out in a comfortable and ambient environment.

If you’re wondering which HVAC system is more fitting for your office space in San Francisco, for instance, here are four basic types that you can consider for your business.

1.  The Split HVAC system

This system is found in most homes and small offices. Basically, it features an indoor unit that contains the evaporator coil, blower, and an outdoor unit that contains the compressor and condenser.

This system is thus, ‘split’ into indoor and outdoor units. In some office space San Francisco

designs, the indoor unit can be connected to a heat pump or a furnace.

Among the various components, it also has a thermostat that controls the function of the system and regulates the required temperature, which makes use of ducts for the transfer of air.

Other available accessories include air purifiers, scrubbers, and UV lamp humidifiers.

2.  The Hybrid Heat Pump System

This is an interesting system where the same appliance can either heat or cool the office. Apart from the conventional air-conditioning system, the heat pump is used with a furnace where fuel oil, propane, or natural gas is burned to create heat, and the air is transferred through ducts.

It’s quite possible for an office space has limited size or permission cannot be easily obtained for extra installations. Why have two burly machines when one can do the job?

3.  The Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump System

This system does not use the duct mechanism, and is, therefore, the preferred choice in offices where ducts are not compatible. Alternatively, it can also be used to complement a ducted system. The ductless system is usually installed directly in the areas of the office that require cooling and heating.

Each outdoor unit supports up to four air-handling indoor units, and the components include wires, thermostat, and other accessories.

4.  The Packaged Heating & Air Conditioning System

As the name implies, this system comes in a complete package, housing the heat pump, condenser, compressor, and evaporator coils, amidst other components in the same unit. It’s usually placed on the roof or the ground. It’s considered to be the best option for offices with limited space for installing separate units.

In choosing the most suitable HVAC system for your business, you should go for energy-efficient brands with good Energy Star Ratings. It helps to look for a less noisy operation, programmable options, and durable parts, which is why you should seek expert advice from qualified personnel to make a better choice.

Apart from your budget, your choice could be limited by the original design and preferences of the property owner, which is usually covered in special clauses in the lease agreement regarding structural alterations that you need to abide by.

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Every company can experience cash flow problems from time to time. However, these problems more pronounced in industries that provide products instead of services, like retail, wholesale, or food. For this reason, entrepreneurs are compelled to take out loans, specifically inventory financing

An inventory loan, much like equipment loan, is a type of short-term loan that is granted to small business owners to help them stock up on inventory. In order to qualify, you must be in the industry long enough to secure a positive history of inventory purchase orders. Once you’ve secured the loan, the financial institutions would use your inventory as collateral in case you fail to pay your dues in time.

Small businesses can benefit from small business financing in the following ways:

1.    Provides Additional Liquid Cash

Businesses are often challenged with meeting the day to day expenses. Most times, a gap can come between the amount needed for expenses and daily sales. Inventory financing helps entrepreneurs maintain positive cash flow in their company. They can use their inventory as leverage and turn it into assets which can help in obtaining short period loans. 

2.    Product Improvement

With the intensifying competition of certain business types, creating a unique product that stands out is vital. Entrepreneurs need to keep up with the latest trends to prevent missing out on increasing sales and attracting new customers. Applying for inventory financing can help you get the capital you need for producing the new products.

3.    Keep Up With Seasonal Demands

A lot of seasonal businesses experience a decline in their product sales during a specific time of the year. For instance, a retail store that sells winter clothes could experience a slow time during the summer. But as the winter seasons draws close, they also need to stock up for inventory in preparation for their busiest time of the year. Inventory loans can help in financing when buying products ahead of time.

4.    Helps with the Sales to Make Business Grow

If your business is in retail, you know how expensive it is to buy a product in large quantities. With inventory financing, you won’t have to worry about this problem since you’ll be equipped with the right funds. With your shelves stocked up at all times, your business will be able to meet the high demands of the customers. You may even get your products at a discount if you buy in bulk.

5.    Prevents Cutting Costs on Some Areas

Businesses experiencing a slow time could cut up costs on some areas and focus purchasing inventory to meet the demands. As a result, some systems within the business could experience disruption. Inventory financing helps you stock up on products while allowing you to operate your business as usual.      

Inventory Financing For Your Business

Inventory financing can be a great alternative to bank loans. With careful considerations, it can provide the answers you need to keep your businesses running. If you’re looking to apply for an inventory financing, SMB Compass might be able to help. With our years of experience, we want nothing more than to provide our clients with the best terms possible. Learn more about us today. Call us at (888) 853-8922 or email us at info@smbcompass.com.

Helpful article: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/inventory-financing.asp

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By financen | May 9, 2019 - 5:41 pm - Posted in Business, Company

In the beginning, most entrepreneurs have no idea how (or if) their company is going to grow. They merely have an idea, a motivation to see their plan come to fruition, and an inkling that it can turn into something more.

As there are so many moving parts when it comes to starting a business — and generally only one or two people to manage those moving parts — there are some elements that get overlooked and pushed to the bottom of the mighty “to-do” list. This can be problematic when it relates to something as crucial as keeping your firm protected.

To help out all the entrepreneurs, even if you are just starting, here are three crucial steps to ensure you are protecting your company on all fronts.

1. Hire corporate lawyers.

First things first: From the get-go, you need to have some kind of legal representation. Too many entrepreneurs and small business owners overlook the fact that there are so many parts of their company that could potentially lead to legal trouble. Obviously, you don’t want this to happen, but it is still best to ensure that you are covered in case it does. Should you find yourself in legal hot water, you will thank yourself for having this foresight.

Even when setting up your company, there are common scenarios in which it is best to have professional legal advice. These scenarios include when you are choosing a designated legal entity, writing up an agreement among founders, signing contracts and leases, and raising capital.

Generally, when it comes to hiring legal help, prevention is better than cure. This means that it is highly recommended that you reach out to top law firms in Dubai (or wherever you reside) as soon as possible so that you can get accustomed to them, and vice-versa.

2. Protect your intellectual property.

Another aspect of your business that you want to protect from the get-go is your intellectual property; otherwise, you won’t have anything that differentiates your company from your competitors. After all, your intellectual property is what makes you unique and is at the very core of what makes your products or services innovative and different. So why would you not do everything in your power to ensure it remained your own?

Generally, there are three types of intellectual property protection (trademarks, copyrights, patents) which are each applied to different aspects of your intellectual property.

Trademarks cover logos, company names, phrases, and symbols. Copyrights safeguard original works. Patents protect manufacturing or design processes.

Whether your company requires one of these protections or all three, the critical matter is that you take the steps necessary to protect them. As these protections don’t necessarily extend around the globe, when you are going through the process, make sure to think about which areas of the world you plan on selling your goods and services to, so that you can be proactive in filing for those locales, as well as with a GCC patent or something similar.

3. Guard your data.

In 2019, you need to be on high alert when it comes to protecting your firm’s data. Cybercrime is a significant threat to all kinds of businesses, and it is up to you to make your data as secure as possible.

Start by using an email encryption and security solution that ensures the intended recipients can only read your messages.

Additionally, work on crafting and establishing a security policy so that everyone involved in the company (even if it is just a couple of people) is clear on how to correctly handle company data.

Furthermore, within this policy, do regular due diligence with the firms that store your data. Ask them about their security standards and procedures and ensure that they line up with yours.

Finally, make sure you are continually updating your systems and software so that they are running the most up-to-date versions. Also, regularly back-up crucial information and data so that you will still have access to it should your computers or emails become compromised.

What steps are you taking this year to protect your business? Is there anything you wish you had done sooner? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

AUTHOR BIO

Sharon Danso-Missah is the Head of Marketing at Al Tamimi & Company, the largest law firm in the Middle East, with 17 offices across nine countries. Established in 1989, they are a full service commercial firm combining knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure all clients have access to the best legal solutions that are commercially sound and cost effective.

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