Monthly Business Finance (You’ll Love Yourself at Tax Time!)

For most entrepreneurs, bookkeeping ranks up there with the absolute most dreaded tasks in the business. Unless of course, bookkeeping is your business- in which case, chances are you probably don’t need to read any further!

Love yourself at tax time

Last year at tax time, I found myself scrounging around, digging through piles and piles of papers to find one certain receipt. Hunting through emails, looking for that invoice. Hours and hours wasted. If only there was some super obvious way to avoid all this, right?!

Well, I’ve learned a lot since then. And guess what? Doing my taxes was MUCH easier this time around (and only in part because I hired an accountant to file them for me)!

Here are a few little things I’ve learned that have made life so much easier!

1- Invest in a filing cabinet, or at least a filing box. Personally, I use both.

2- Actually use the filing cabinet. I know some people prefer to use a software program or app for bookkeeping, but it’s important to back it all up in physical form too. You can be audited for years and may need too produce those documents, and what will happen if your phone or computer is long gone by then? So use digital if you like, but print and file too!

3- Have separate bank accounts. Using your personal account for your business is probably one of the biggest mistakes that people make in the world of small businesses!

4- Keep every receipt (that is relevant), every invoice, every document you think you may eventually need to refer to. Mine get collected into an envelope to sort later (usually weekly, but sometimes monthly during slower periods.

5- Pay roll. If you have employees, track their payroll monthly- you’ll thank yourself when it is time to issue T4’s/T4a’s!

6- Stay up to date on sales tax payments (whether they be monthly, quarterly, or yearly). Most provinces/states require you to collect sales tax, and it’s not something you want to fall behind on!

7- Keep a milelage log. A lot of planners come with them included, and if not, there’s tons of free printables to be found online.

8- Print everything. Your monthly bank statements, any invoices/receipts you receive digitally, contracts, etc. Print them, and then FILE THEM.

9- Keep an ongoing expense sheet, and add to it regularly. It’s easy to forget that printer ink you bought if you don’t log it right away!

10- Update your ledger, income/expense spreadsheet, or online software to calculate your monthly net profit- it’s hard to evaluate how you’re doing when you really don’t know what you’re doing!

Follow these tips on a regular basis, and I promise you will have the easiest tax season possible! Who knows? You might even grow to enjoy (or at least not dread) bookkeeping!

Increasing Productivity with Daily Focus

Productivity + Batching + Time Blocking + Focus

I’m sure you’ve all heard of batching in terms of blogging, but the same principle can be applied to every aspect of your work (heck, even your house work, your errands, etc).  The day I started batching my work life, was the day I swore I would never go back to any other planning method. Seriously.

In a normal week I have “daily focuses” for:
-Content/Blogging
-Social Media
-Marketing
-Admin Tasks
-Financial

Broken down further:
Content/Blogging
-Write blog posts for the upcoming week.
-Blog planner work if necessary.
-Create Social Media images for blog posts.
-Take any necessary photos.
-Edit contributor’s content and schedule for publishing on website.

Social Media
-Plan and schedule Social Media content for the week.
-Set Social Media goals.
-Social Media research (topics, hashtags, influencers, etc)
-Research useful shareable content.

Marketing
-Fine tune marketing plan for the upcoming week.
-Evaluate which marketing methods are working.
-Work on specific tasks within that weeks marketing plan.

Admin Tasks
-Contacting contributors, marketing outlets, sponsors, venues, vendors, etc that I need to touch base with.
-Creating contracts, etc.
-Newsletter creation and automation.
-Website updates.
-Follow-ups.

Financial
-Invoices and receipts.
-File expenses and receipts, send any necessary documents to accountant.
-Write and send cheques.
-Deposits.
-Update ledger.

Of course that isn’t an extensive list, and not every item on that list has to be done on a weekly basis. And as always, there are tasks that have to be done daily that don’t fit the focus, and sometimes things come up and change my plan entirely. But I have definitely found that batching my tasks and given myself a “focus” for the day has been incredibly helpful with keeping myself on track!

 

Increase Your Productivity with Time Blocking

I’ve recently started using time blocking in my planning in hopes that it would help my productivity level sky rocket (or at least increase slightly..), and so far, I’m loving it!

time blocking-productivity

No more sitting down at my computer wondering what I need to do next, because I’ve told myself what needs to be done ahead of time.

No more bouncing back and forth between tasks, because they’re all broken down by similarity.

My new day plans look like this (I’m still working on the neatness factor..):

planner time management productivity

 

First, I sat down ad made a do list of every single thing I need/want to get accomplished in the run of the next day. Then I take my markers and color code (because, well, I like colours) by type of task (social media, emails, finances, advertising, household, children, projects, etc). As you can see, the majority of tasks for this day are finance related, so clearly that’s my “focus”.

Next, I block things that fall into the same time every day into routines. For example, my morning routine includes coffee & journals, showering and getting ready, and then answering all emails and messages.

Then I pencil in any meetings, commitments, or phone calls I need to make at a specific time.

Then, everything from my list all goes into my bullet journal, by hour.

Next, I want to tackle time logging, so I can practice my time blocking more effectively- by knowing exactly how much time each task requires.

Note: Make sure to plan in some family time, personal time, workout time, etc! It’s easy to get carried away by our to do list, but it’s important to keep that down time as well!

I’m Re-Branding! Should You?

Brunch (1)

Let’s face it- my blog is all over the place. And as far as content is concerned, it’ll probably continue to be a mixture of business-y stuff and mommy stuff, because well ya know, I’m a Mom in Business (duh). But, I feel like things should and could flow better.

So, I’ve made the decision to rebrand both my blog and my businesses. When people look at my blog, I want them to feel like they know me, that they’re getting a glimpse of who I am and what I do. Trust and loyalty are important, and that’s what I intend to build with my brand.

So, I’ve spent a lot of time researching this branding thing (which by the way, I thought I knew..), only to discover that it’s so much more than I originally thought it was! It’s something we throw around a lot in the business world, but not something anyone really, truly, defines often enough.

So, in case you’re in the same spot I am, I’ve put together a list of the top five resources that I’ve come across in my researching- and some of them even have freebies (yeah!).

Why Branding Matters– by Elle & Co is a very in-depth article (with lots of visual examples), on why branding is important for even the smallest businesses.

How to Develop Your Brand– by Gemma Sands is a great article about what branding means and why it is important- she even includes a free workbook!

How To Start Branding Yourself and Your Business– Christine at Better Looking Biz talks about brand/personality words, including step-by-step tips (and a free worksheet!)

http://How To Create a Consistent Brand Experience– by Spruce Rd. A great article of tips, focused on consistency- and a free checklist!

Launching Your New Brand– by Rosanna. In this article she explains what should be done AFTER your brand is created, because really, a great launch is half the battle!

There, the research is done for you, now get to work! I hope you find these links as helpful as I did!

Who is taking this branding/rebranding journey with me? Any experienced branders (um, sure) with tips to share?