Small business tips

Small business bookkeeping: what to do when you fall behind

Small business bookkeeping: what to do when you fall behind

One of the dreaded tasks of owning a small business is doing your own bookkeeping and accounting. When you fall behind on your books, it can become very disheartening. You’re continually trying to dig yourself out and get caught up, only to get more behind. Soon, it seems easier to just put the bookkeeping tasks…

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Which payroll option is right for your small business?

Which payroll option is right for your small business?

Your business has grown large enough that you need to hire an employee or two. Congratulations! Now that you’ve finished the hiring process, it’s time to make the next big decision: how to pay people. As a business owner, you have a few of options when it comes to handling payroll. You could handle it…

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Small businesses, are you on top of your quarterly taxes?

Small businesses, are you on top of your quarterly taxes?

So you decided to quit your full time job to start your own business. Congratulations! That’s a big step. However, now you’re likely to have a new concern: how to pay taxes. After all, in the past someone probably automatically withheld your income tax for you. Don’t worry–it’s a fairly straightforward process. Now that you work for…

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Bookkeeper or accountant: which is right for your business?

Bookkeeper or accountant: which is right for your business?

As you run your business, one thing requires particular attention and detail: keeping track of your invoices and expenses. Typically, a bookkeeper or an accountant manages this task. But what’s the difference between the two roles? Many people believe that a bookkeeper and an accountant are exactly the same, because of the similarity of their…

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7 mistakes all freelancers make once (at least)

7 mistakes all freelancers make once (at least)

The joys of freelancing are numerous, but so are the pitfalls. It’s all too easy to be lead astray when you’re completely your own manager. Little “sins” can lead to much bigger ones, and eventually, you may find yourself spinning out of control—at least when it comes to keeping your business on track. To help…

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12 tools to make your tax season less horrible

12 tools to make your tax season less horrible

The first few months of the new year can either be exhilarating or frightening. If you’re setting new goals, the new year is great. If you’re a small business owner, the fear kicks in because you know tax season is right around the corner. Filing taxes isn’t necessarily difficult, it’s just a time that accounts…

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Could your business be doing more recurring billing?

Could your business be doing more recurring billing?

Recurring billing is a great way to grow your business, since you keep getting paid month after month. As you add new customers, those monthly payments really start to add up. But the real question is, are you building the kind of business that people want to keep paying you for each month? If you…

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When should I start outsourcing my bookkeeping?

As your business grows, you will naturally begin to have more work that you can reasonably handle by yourself. Before you run out to hire more employees, consider another cost-effective solution: Outsourcing.  Contrary to its negative connotation, outsourcing can be a really good thing. Many of the biggest tech companies, including Slack, Skype, and Box, attribute their…

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Should you file a paper tax return or go paperless?

Should you file a paper tax return or go paperless?

Choosing between filing your taxes electronically or mailing them in manually may seem like you’re just selecting the right torture device, but we’re here to reduce the pain of tax season. And, believe it or not, your filing method can have an impact on how smoothly your tax season goes. Paper tax filing method Sending…

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Software for Mac every freelancer should know about

Software for Mac every freelancer should know about

I often get asked what software I use to keep my small-business-and-freelancer ship sailing smoothly. People tend to ask because they see that I have this swanky little laptop that never leaves my side. (Surely a person who is that attached to her computer knows computer stuff, right?) I can’t blame them, because I tend…

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When is it time to stop working and start living?

When is it time to stop working and start living?

Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners often face a problem. We are our work. And because we are our work, it’s easy to lose track of when we need to stop working and pay attention to other things in our lives besides our work: our significant others, our children, our pets, even other things about…

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Are you ready for multiple income streams?

Are you ready for multiple income streams?

When I started my most recent full-time job, I lasted about half a year before I started a side-gig. I wrote a nonfiction book and sold it to a publisher. The book wasn’t anything fancy—I just put together all my teaching materials from a course I used to teach, packaged them up for a pre-existing…

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How to keep business expenses strictly business

How to keep business expenses strictly business

Say you have a small business. Say your small business is really small. You might even call it a microbusiness. You have a main job with a salary that provides your primary source of income. Your small business is more like a side gig. Your small business isn’t incorporated—you don’t file a separate tax return…

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Fighting “scope creep” on your projects

Fighting "scope creep” on your projects

Have you ever taken on a client and realized you didn’t charge enough? Or maybe, you took on a client and realized that, no matter how much you charged this person, it would never be enough? If you’re a copywriter, this is the client who demands three or four more revisions than any other client…

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How to handle clients with boundary issues

How to handle clients with boundary issues

If you work with clients long enough—no matter what your field—you will encounter a client with boundary issues. This is the client who really needs a friend, who forgets that he’s paying you to do work and not to chat with him on the phone. This is the client who wants you to “meet him…

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How to hack a walking desk

How to hack a walking desk

You’ve probably already heard about the benefits of a walking desk, also called a treadmill desk. These benefits include not only increased health, but also increased brain function, which can yield increased productivity. Recently, I decided I was ready to make the jump from a sitting desk to a walking desk. Sure, I was thinking…

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The 4 commandments of hiring freelance writers

53 million Americans are now freelancers of some sort. In fact, according to a study commissioned by the Freelancers Union, freelancers make up more than one third of the US workforce. So what does that mean for you? If you’re looking to hire freelance writers for your business’ blog, sifting through millions of freelancers to…

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Solo 401(k) info for the solopreneur

Solo 401(k) info for the solopreneur

After finishing graduate school, I worked for nearly ten years for a big state university. One of the benefits of working for Big State was the big state retirement plan. I contributed to it every year, maxing out the matching funds the school provided to us. Basically, I saved for retirement on autopilot. It was…

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How to Work from Home When You Have Kids

How to Work from Home When You Have Kids

Whether you work for yourself out of a home office, or you work for a large company and periodically telecommute, you probably can’t escape working from home from time to time. And if you work from home and have children, you might find yourself with a special challenge. Children of all ages often have trouble…

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5 questions to ask your CPA before next tax season

5 questions to ask your CPA before next tax season

Choosing an accountant seems like an easy choice. You like money, they like counting it. Match made in heaven, right? Maybe. But there’s certainly more to it than that. Here are a few questions to ask a CPA to see if they’re the right fit for your business. Why did you choose accounting and finance…

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