Small Business Success Tips

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      Starting a small business can be difficult. There are some things you can do to make your life easier and your business more successful from the outset. These include writing a business plan, budgeting for expenses, sales forecasting, keeping great financial records, and hiring professionals. If you are in a service industry, make sure your company has a commitment to customer satisfaction that is communicated throughout your organization.

     Successful businesses start by writing a business plan. This document serves as a resource for those who might help with financing your business. The business plan essentially tells about you and your product or service. It outlines your qualifications to start this business and plans your actions, including financial projections, for three years into the future. This document is a valuable resource for the business owner as well, since it can be used to plan and guide business action. Accountants are often key in helping to prepare the business plan as they can help with financial projections, profit and loss reports, and balance sheet preparation.

Your business should have a budget. You should know what your fixed expenses are, such as rent, equipment, leases, and the like. In addition, you should be able to estimate your variable expenses such as supplies and utilities based on previous month’s budgets. A budget should be done on at least a monthly basis. A small business accountant can help you to set up and design a budget you can follow the format of in the future.

You should keep detailed financial records of all your expenditures and revenues. Any business expense receipts should be kept. You should have a separate business account so that personal expenses and business expenses do not get mixed together. Keep a log of all business mileage. If you travel for business, keep records of that as well. All of your financial records will be useful when it comes time to do your taxes. In addition, keeping good financial records makes good business sense so you know where you can cut your budget if necessary. Small business accountants can help you in the preparation of your taxes.

Sales forecasting is an important component of business. All marketing efforts should be documented and results examined to see what is working and what isn’t. Different marketing approaches should be tried over time to see the impact on sales. Make sales projections for at least three years in the future.

Whether you are in a service industry or retail industry, ultimately you want to have highly-satisfied customers. Highly-satisfied customers mean return business which means increased profits to you, the business owner. Some ways to ensure customer satisfaction are to treat everyone fairly and seek to exceed expectations. Giving away freebies that also act as a marketing tool such as pens with the company logo on them is a good tactic. If you are selling a product, having a liberal return policy is a good idea.

Part of having happy customers is created within the company by having happy employees. Small business owners should strive to provide benefits and compensation that are received well by the employees. In addition, small business owners should connect with their employees on a greater level than larger employers. An ethics program that is communicated from the top down can make employees feel more secure in their workplace and work standards. A small business accountant can help the small business owner design a compensation plan as well as help design an incentive program for employees. Hiring professionals to handle aspects of the business that you do not have expertise in is a smart strategy for business. Hopefully, with these tips you are now in a better position to start your company on its road to success!


PASBA member accountants bring the collective resources of a nationwide network of Certified Public Accountants, Public Accountants,  Enrolled Agents and other practitioners available to answer your tax and financial questions and streamline your business accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll operations. To find a trusted accountant in your area, visit

Please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, any advice contained herein is not intended to be used, nor can it be used, for the avoidance of any tax penalty that the IRS may assess related to this matter. Any information contained in this article, whether viewed or subsequently printed, cannot be relied upon as qualified tax and accounting advice.  Any information contained in this article does not fall under the guidelines of IRS Circular 230.

Copyright Information 2011 Professional Association of Small Business Accountants


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