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01 Feb
Business Tax Deductions You Should Consider

Tax deductionsBusiness Tax Deductions You Should Consider

The poet Robert Burns once said, “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”

That sentiment rings true for small businesses throughout the U.S. as the dust of the 2016 presidential election settles and tax season approaches.

During the campaign, President Trump focused on growing the economy by leveling the playing field, reducing regulations, repealing the Affordable Care Act and lowering taxes for businesses.  While the rhetoric was music to the ears of many small business owners, others pointed to Trump’s lack of specifics as the reason for caution.

In a January 18th USA Today article, writer Rhonda Abrams pointed out that Trump’s plan to reduce the corporate tax rate would likely only apply to “C” corporations.  And she points out that “eliminating loopholes” could translate to a loss of deductions that many small business owners routinely take – like carrying forward business losses, claiming the use of your car or truck for business use and incentives for investors to fund new ventures.

The truth is it will take months, if not years, and the cooperation of Congress for such sweeping changes to take place.

In the meantime, here are 5 business tax deductions you should consider.

Tax Deductions for Interest Paid on Business Loans

You may deduct interest on small business loans, but keep in mind that the deduction can only be taken if the funds are used for business purposes.  Although interest paid on loans from friends and relatives is deductible, the IRS tends to look at these with a greater scrutiny.  Attorney and author Stephen Fishman warns, “You need to carefully document these transactions. Treat the loan like any other business loan: Sign a promissory note, pay a reasonable rate of interest, and follow a repayment schedule. Keep your canceled loan payment checks to prove you really paid the interest.”

In addition to conventional bank loans, factoring fees are also generally considered a business expense and are therefore deductible.  You should discuss your particular situation with the factoring company and your tax professional to make sure your situation conforms with IRS requirements.

Deductions for Business Travel

You should deduct your business travel costs and save your airline miles for personal use.  In a recent Investopedia article, writer Marc Prosser points out that “Business owners often rack up points on their miles card and figure that they can reduce business travel costs by using their miles for business flights. However, if they also fly fairly frequently for personal trips, this is a mistake. Business travel costs are fully deductible as a business expense; personal travel costs are obviously not.”

Deductions for Maintenance and Repairs

Tax deductions are available for the cost of routine maintenance and repairs to the business property.  However, improvements that add to your property’s value must be capitalized and depreciated.  Tax Consultant William Perez uses the example of changing the oil in a car.  According to Perez, “Changing the oil keeps the car operating normally and efficiently, but it doesn’t substantially prolong the useful life of the car. Replacing the transmission or engine, however, would substantially prolong the useful life of the car, and so this would be more like a repair that needs to be capitalized.”

Tax Deductions for Wages Paid to Independent Contractors

If your business employs independent contractors to meet your labor needs, you may deduct that cost.  Just be sure to provide any contractor who receives $600 or more in wages with Form 1099-MISC.

You should also be sure that independent contractors you employ meet the requirements outlined by the IRS.  Claiming an employee as an independent contractor can have a number of costly legal consequences for your business, including:

  • Reimbursement of wages you should’ve paid them under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including overtime and minimum wage
  • Payment of back taxes and penalties for federal and state income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment
  • Payment of workers’ compensation benefits to any employee misclassified as an independent contractor
  • Providing employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement, etc.

Tax Deductions for Employee Education and Tuition

Employee education assistance is deductible provided you set up a qualified educational assistance program that adheres to IRS regulations.  The IRS currently allows businesses to deduct up to $5,250 for tuition reimbursement for employees.

In a recent article published on www.thebalance.com, writer Jean Murray points out, “Independent contractors working for your business can be treated as employees for the purpose of this benefit. That means they may also exclude allowable education to benefit expense payments from income. Their income would be reported on Form 1099-MISC.”

Before claiming any of these deductions, you should refer to IRS publications and discuss them with your tax professional or employee benefits consultant.

Obviously, this article covered just a handful of the deductions small businesses can take.  Are there others that you think our readers would find helpful?  If so, please share them by posting a comment below.

By Jack Stieber –  President  – American Receivable

19 Dec
Get a Fresh Start in the New Year

A Fresh Start:  Keeping Your Employees Healthy and More Productive

A tidy and sanitary office is crucial for quality work.  Distraction lowers productivity, even on a subconscious level.  Studies have also shown that business offices are a breeding ground for germs causing illness, which takes employees away from work, lowering productivity and work quality.

A clean desk has shown to increase productivity.  Stacks of papers and files and other items cause clutter, which also clutters your mind.  It is recommended that after a task is completed, it is filed in the proper place.  How many times have you thought, “where is that file, or paper”? It is estimated that workers spend over 4 hours a week looking for misplaced items and correcting mistakes. If someone else needs the file, it will be easily found if it is returned to the proper place.  Productivity goes down and anxiety goes up when you are not able to locate what you need to complete the next task.  Filing things and putting supplies and other items away will create a more open workspace which will result in less mistakes being made.  Mistakes lessen productivity requiring a task to be done over.  A clean work area, uncluttered the mind as well and also makes things easily accessible.

The bottom line is that a healthy and productive workplace is not just keeping things in their place and immediately replacing files and other important papers. it is important to keep things like your computer, keyboard and other equipment clean and free of clutter.  10 sticky notes on your computer is cluttered are likely to fall to the floor.  Having too many personal items on your desk is also detrimental.  Put one personal item and find a shelf for other items you feel you need in your office. Employers should also require cleaning of electronic equipment, not only for health reasons, but for the maintenance and longevity of the equipment.  A printer full of dust is going to break down.  A keyboard with grime and bacteria will also stop working and will grow bacteria causing illness.  You touch multiple files and papers, pens and other things in an office. Imagine the germs lurking from everyone that has touched these things. Keep hand sanitizer in the office as well.  Healthy and organized employees are always more productive.

A sanitary and clear workspace makes for a clear mind and healthy body that can focus on tasks at hand.  If you have to go through stacks of paper looking for that one thing you cannot find, you will become anxious and frustrated, likely ending in a mistake. And, if there is bacteria on your desk and computer and throughout the office, illness is eminent, which will impede productivity.

Take some time before the new year and get everyone to spend some time cleaning and organizing the office.  It will make for a fresh, productive start to the new year.

Spend some time at the end of the year discussing this with your employees and involve them in cleaning the office.  Cleaning companies do basics and will not make your office sanitary.   It will make for a fresh, more productive office and healthy employees who are at work and able to do their job.   Start the new year off right!

11 Dec
Year End Check List for Small Business

 Year-End Checklist for Small Business Owners

One challenge for small business owners is to assure a strong year-end.  A survey by Office Depot resulted in 32 percent of small and midsize businesses owners stating their main concern during the holidays and end of the year was cash flow. Specifically, to have the financial resources to insure profit and success. 

There are several steps you can take to make the end of the year a success and get the new year off to a good start.

A complete financial accounting of your business will show your current financial standing and allow comparison with previous years.  This would include a profit and loss statement, balance sheet and cash flow report.  The profit and loss statement will not only show where you are for the year, it its will also give you an idea of what to expect in the coming year. 

Analyzing your cash flow for the year will give you the best idea of where you money is being spent. Three important areas to consider are:

1.  Operating expenses – incoming revenue and outgoing expenses.

2.  Investments – this includes inventory and equipment, amount      purchased and sold.

3.  Financial Debt – loans and outgoing payments made on behalf of the business.

It is important to reconcile accounts receivable at year-end.  Print a list of outstanding invoices for work completed.  Collecting amounts due will help with cash flow and allow you to begin the new year with a clean slate.

Update your vendor list.  Confirm contact information is correct on all current vendors and determine if they are profitable for you.  Purge files that are no longer active and delete any incorrect information. In addition, back up all contacts and other important information.  Make sure your client’s information is secure. 

Inventory is especially critical.  Be sure you are keeping accurate records.   Investigate discrepancies and make sure you are not a victim of internal loss.

Payroll and benefits need to be re-evaluated.  Make sure taxable benefits are accounted for, such as health insurance and transportation benefits.  Consider salaries and time off and make sure they are appropriate.  Many employers forget to include benefits like health insurance or transportation benefits as part of the salary.   Make sure the salary and benefits are appropriate,  including paid time off. Update policies and be sure all employees are aware of new policies and changes in benefits.  Be sure your employees are aware of the fringe benefits and total salary.

Many business owners worry about keeping employees on track and completing reports and other necessary year-end tasks.  Meeting with employees and coming up with a strategy will help maintain momentum and get things done right and in a timely manner.

Evaluate employees and determine if they are necessary and are an asset.  Make plans to eliminate employees who are not benefitting the business.

Meet with your staff and share the positive things that have occurred during the year.  Discuss goals that have been met and those that have not.  Set new goals for the coming year and discuss any changes that need to be made.

All of these will make your year-end smooth sailing and you can enjoy the holidays knowing you are ready for the new year.

05 Dec
Improve Your Business Cash Flow

Improve Your Business Cash Flow

Did you know that even if your income statement shows that your business is making a profit, your business can still not succeed? Just because you are profitable on paper, you still might not have a positive business cash flow. And, without cash, your business simply runs out of money and has to shut down. Cash flow problems are one of the biggest reasons small businesses fail.
Business Cash Flow

What is Business Cash Flow?

The definition of business cash flow is pretty simple. It’s the movement of cash flowing in and out of your business. Cash comes in to your business when clients or customers pay for your products and services. Cash goes out when your business pays for expenses such as inventory and rent. When cash flow in is greater than cash flow out, you have a positive cash flow. When more cash is going out of the business than is coming in, the cash flow is negative.

There are some times when a business can expect their cash flow to be negative. It’s important to plan for those times by keeping more cash in reserves. If you are just starting up, you may have many one-time expenses to get your business off the ground—such as equipment and advertising—before you get any paying customers. Also, if you are a seasonal business and experience fluctuations in orders based on the time of year, it is important to manage your business cash flow wisely.

How to Manage Business Cash Flow

Keeping track of your business cash flow will help you see where any issues may be. A cash flow statement will compare accounts payable to accounts receivable. It will also help answer questions such as:

• How much is your company owed by clients?
• How many invoices are still overdue?
• How long does it take to get paid by clients after paying suppliers?

If more items are payable than receivable, you may have a potential cash flow problem in your future. The sooner you fix a cash flow issue, the better off your business will be. If you avoid the issue, you risk getting further and further behind, resulting in the possible loss of your business.

How can you make changes to move business cash flow back into the positive? Here are some ideas:

• Short-term financing can help bridge a short-term business cash flow gap
• Long-term loans help spread large asset costs over time
• Invoice factoring
• Sell assets no longer helping with profits, such as older equipment, to liquidate cash
• Reduce business expenses
• Find strategies to increase sales
• Implement procedures for receivables to come in faster, such as twice monthly invoicing, shorter payment terms, deposits on large orders, and more
• Wait to pay bills as long as possible without consequences of late fees and spoiled relationships

Financial advisors often recommend keeping 3-6 months of expenses in cash reserves for emergencies and unforeseeable situations. This advice carries over to business accounts, as well. Having cash in your back pocket for a rainy day may save your business in times of struggle.

Small business owners must learn and maintain smart cash flow management in order to succeed and stay afloat. By applying some simple cash management strategies, you can keep your business thriving. Both your business outlook—and your business cash flow—will be positive.

Factoring: A Business Cash Flow Solution

If business cash flow problems are creating concerns for your small business, invoice factoring may be a solution.  Put your trust in the best and call American Receivable to learn how our flexible factoring solutions help businesses like yours.

American Receivable, with offices in Dallas and Austin, is ranked No. 1 nationally among small-business factoring companies. Since 1979, we have provided small businesses with the financial resources and accounts receivable management strategies they need to grow, increase inventory, make payroll on time, and effectively compete in the marketplace. Simply put, we are your source for factoring and accounts receivable management.

Our clients are our priority. At American Receivable, we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and dedicated and tenured account managers. We can provide funding within as little as 24 hours in some cases. The success of our clients is the success of American Receivable. Call us for a FREE quote today at 1-800-297-6652, or complete the quick quote form below.

04 Dec
Managing Productivity and Morale during the Holidays

Managing Productivity and Morale during the Holidays

It is easy to get off track during the holidays. People are focused on the festivities, shopping and meals of the season and can lose motivation at work.  It is important to keep your business on track at the end of the year as well.  Keeping employees motivated and morale up will help guarantee continued success.

There are many ways to keep morale up.  You don’t have to break the bank.  Simple gestures will do the trick.

  1. Decorate the office.  Encourage participation from everyone.  If you have a diverse office, into them to share different cultural traditions during the holidays.
  2. Have a catered lunch brought in once day.  Let your employees know in advance and encourage everyone to share lunch and            social time together.
  3. Have special festive treats available one or twice a week.  Ask employees to share b bringing treats. This is a good time to share    cultural or family traditions.
  4. Do an office or company wide Giving Tree. There are many options such as a coat drive      food drive or toy drive.   Another option is to adopt a family and provide for them during the holiday season.
  5. Have drawings once a week for gift cards in small denominations for coffee shops and inexpensive restaurants or cafes.

Small gestures will make your employees feel appreciated and people who feel appreciated most often will work harder. All of the above suggestions will make for a great holiday season at the office. You know your employees, so come up with other small gestures of your own.  Set a plan that fits your specific office.  

9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated During The Holiday Season

Keeping assurance and efficiency high during the Christmas season (among Thanksgiving and soon after New Year's) can be extreme. The draw (and worry) of family and seasonal shopping can make laborers be diverted, or lose intrigue. As can getting down to business while their associates take get-away days.

So what can bosses and chiefs do to keep representatives spurred and progressing in the direction of year-true objectives from late November through early January? Here are nine proposals, given by entrepreneurs and chiefs just as HR specialists.

1. Perceive representatives - with cards to say thanks as well as little blessings. "In work environment culture, the intensity of thanks is time and again ignored," says Eric Mosley, CEO, Globoforce, a representative acknowledgment organization. "At the point when representatives are said thanks to for an occupation very much done, they are propelled and roused to do extraordinary work; they are headed to outperform organization objectives; and they are more joyful and increasingly dedicated to their manager," he says. "Our Workforce Mood Tracker overview demonstrates that there is a verifiable connection among thanks and inspiration: 86 percent of representatives state that being perceived persuades them in their activity. So thank your workers for an occupation all around done - and this Christmas season as well as consistently, all year. The constructive outcome will be obvious."

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"Compose a manually written note," says Kara Simon, general director, 3Cheers Recognition and Rewards. "The time it brings to plunk down and compose a customized note says a great deal all by itself. By communicating thankfulness in an individual note, the beneficiary will feel increased in value by the exertion and propelled to keep on going well beyond."

"You can [also] say 'thank you' with endowments that are customized," says Heather Rykowski, president, All in The Present, a corporate blessing administration. "Blessings are solid sparks since they are important and make us feel better."

"Regardless of whether it's a gift voucher to their preferred eatery, multi day or two of additional excursion time or the most recent tech contraption, blending a significant reward with acknowledgment upgrades the enthusiastic association representatives share with the organization," says Simon. Regardless of whether you have a major spending plan or a little one, "discover rewards that will have esteem and be significant" to workers, which will "make a much more grounded association between the individual, the organization and its objectives."

2. Sort out an Employee Appreciation Day or excursion. "There is no better time to demonstrate your workers that you value them than during the happy Christmas season," says Garry Spinks, prime supporter, Bug Insights, a human capital and promoting investigation firm. "Have an all inclusive gathering to audit the accomplishments of the year and examine objectives for the new year." And as a reward for their accomplishments, "treat your representatives to a morning meal or lunch." Or "if your organization has additional cash in the financial backing, consider taking your workers on an off-site journey to deal with extra group building and key arranging."

At BloomNation.com, a commercial center for nearby flower vendors, for instance, they have a Paintball Day just before Thanksgiving, where they take the whole group to play paintball. It's an extraordinary method to have a great time and bond, says Farbod Shoraka, fellow benefactor and CEO, BloomNation.com. BloomNation.com likewise supports an Arcade Night for workers, another open door for representatives to have a great time and bond with associates - and like the organization.

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3. Give out honors. "During the weeks among Thanksgiving and just after the New Year, start a convention of distributing week after week worker acknowledgment grants," proposes Spinks. "This will urge representatives to keep on buckling down and will rouse them to go to the workplace to check whether they are an honor beneficiary," he says. "The board can make it a stride further by talking up the honors and conveying all inclusive messages to support some inviting challenge."

4. Give free nourishment. "Keep in mind the intensity of nourishment, particularly when it's free!" states Karen Miller, senior VP, People, at sustenance conveyance administration GrubHub. "The occasions are an open door for associations to feature that they care about their workers. What's more, one approach to do this is by offering advantages like nourishment in the workplace," she says. Without a doubt, "the 2014 Seamless Corporate Accounts Food in the Workplace review found that 57 percent of respondents said sustenance based advantages make them feel increasingly esteemed and increased in value by their bosses, and 50 percent said nourishment in the workplace makes them feel progressively happy with their managers."

5. Support a volunteer day. "Give the group multi day or half-day away from work to volunteer at a philanthropy of their decision or as an organization," says Susan Wojtkowski, organizer, TalentKey HR. "It will advance partnership and cooperative attitude."

6. Spoil your representatives. "Consistently, we employ a back rub specialist to come in and give the group back rubs," says Shoraka. "This causes everybody to feel revived and give one final huge push to complete the year solid."

Likewise think about acquiring a yoga as well as contemplation master into the workplace. The need to de-stress "turns out to be particularly significant around the occasions when feelings of anxiety will in general be high," says Jeremy Smith, prime supporter and COO, of SpotHero , an on-request stopping application that enables drivers to discover stopping and save a spot. "Having somebody gone to the workplace makes it exceptionally simple for representatives to take a break from their bustling timetables and discover a minute to unwind."

7. Have staff take part in agreeable rivalries. "This Christmas season, I obtained FitBits for everybody in the workplace for a solid strolling rivalry among the groups," says Alex Debelov, CEO, Virool, a video advertiser. "Among Thanksgiving and the New Year, everybody will vie for the most number of steps taken. The victor will get a year-long rec center enrollment to commence a solid and glad 2015."

8. Hold a wrapping party. "Give workers a chance to get blessings conveyed to the workplace and hold a wrapping party," says Travis Furlow, head of Client Services, Alexander Mann Solutions, a supplier of ability procurement and the executives administrations. "Representatives can share shopping tips and blessing thoughts, swap plans for occasion dinners and mixed drinks, and hold a challenge for the most innovative occasion out-of-office auto answer or ugliest occasion sweater," he says. "By recognizing the occasion satisfaction, you let representatives realize you esteem their endeavors and commitments that help make your business effective."

9. Offer adaptable hours. "It has been demonstrated that by offering adaptable planning, workers will be progressively beneficial when they are in the workplace," says VP of Marketing and Communications, Michael C. Fina, a representative acknowledgment organization. "This is particularly significant during the occasions, when laborers are by and by occupied."

28 Nov
What You Need to Know About an Income Statement

What You Need to Know About an Income Statement

Let’s face it, many business owners who are busy with the daily routines of running the company, struggle with taking the time to fully understand accounting principles and terminology. Yet, there are important concepts to comprehend if we are going to run a profitable and successful small business. In this article, we share a layperson’s explanation of an income statement.

The financial statements of a business provide a representation of the company’s current performance to owners and investors. The most important financial statement for the majority of companies is likely to be the income statement, since it reveals the ability of a business to generate a profit. This financial report is not only used by management within a company, but also by outside creditors and investors to evaluate performance, profitability and assessment of risk for a creditor or investor.

Income statements do not just report the income your company makes, i.e. the cash coming in. Rather, an income statement reports the revenues earned by your company during a specific period of time (month, year, etc.). Also, it shows the expenses incurred by your company during the same time period. The income statement is valued because of its indication of profitability, timely reporting and classification of revenues and expenses. You can use this report to track revenues and expenses and determine the operating performance of your business over a period of time.

Understand the Parts of an Income Statement

Simply, an income sheet will add up all of the sales/revenues and subtract all of the expenses. Hopefully, the total will be a positive number, or profit. A negative remainder would be a loss. But what goes into the sales and revenues? What goes into the expenses?

Income is the money your company receives (or will receive) for selling your product or service for the given time period. It does not include assets.

Expenses are the costs incurred in order to sell the products and services. This can be separated into Costs of Goods Sold and Overhead Costs. Costs of Goods sold are variable expenses, such as commissions and shipping charges. Overhead costs are fixed and include items such as rent and salaries. These two types of expenses are often separate line items on an income sheet, allowing one to determine margins.

Income Statement

Components of an Income Statement

• Cost of Goods Sold
• Gross Profit
• Operating Expenses
• Operating Income
• Other Income/Expenses
• Profits

Accrual Basis

The most accurate income sheets are based on accrual basis. This means that income and expenses are recorded for months they actually occur, not just when money changes hand. For example, if you sell 50 widgets for $500 to Buyer 1 on October 15, but Buyer 1 doesn’t pay the invoice until November, the $500 revenue would show on your October income statement. Additionally, if your employee sold the widgets and earns a $50 commission, but doesn’t receive that pay until November 8, the expense (Cost of Goods) will still go in October’s statement, as well.

When accounting is done on an accrual basis, revenues earned are tied to the related expenses incurred in achieving those revenues. This is called the matching principle. This helps when determining profitability on the income sheet for the given time period. Getting this more accurate view helps small business owners make more specific decisions to improve profitability, by seeing the direct correlation between revenues and expenses.

Cash Basis

A cash basis income statement only contains revenues for which cash has been received from customers, and expenses for which cash purchases have been made. In other words, under the cash basis of accounting revenues are reported on the income statement in the period in which the payment is received from customers. Expenses are reported on the income statement when expenses are paid out.

Cash basis accounting is simpler than accrual because it recognizes only two kinds of transactions: cash inflows and outflows. The main difference between accrual and cash basis accounting lies in the timing of when revenue and expenses are recognized. The cash method is a more immediate recognition of revenue and expenses while the accrual method focuses on anticipated revenue and expenses.

Make Informed Financial Decisions for Your Business

Once you understand an income statement, you can get a true picture of your business’s overall health. Are your margins poor? Are your costs of goods sold too high in relation to the revenues they earn? Are your overhead costs also too high, or can you afford the nicer offices you’ve had your eye on? Can you afford more sales staff? Do you need to look for a supplier with lower costs? Looking at your company’s profits and losses accurately will help you make these decisions, and more.

American Receivable can help bridge gaps in your income statements. Our commitment to providing our clients with responsive customer service and the most competitive rates in the industry has made us the go-to source for factoring in Texas and throughout the nation. The success of our clients is the success of American Receivable.

With offices in Dallas and Austin, American Receivable is ranked No. 1 nationally among small-business factoring companies. Since 1979, we have provided small businesses with the financial resources and accounts receivable management strategies they need to grow, increase inventory, make payroll on time, and effectively compete in the marketplace. We can provide funding within as little as 24 hours in some cases. Call us for a FREE quote today at 1-800-297-6652, or complete the quick quote form below.

13 Nov
Thanksgiving Through the Years

Thanksgiving Through the Years

The first Thanksgiving in Plymouth Colony which is now Massachusetts was in 1621.  The last Thursday in November was declared a national day of thanksgiving by Abraham Lincoln  200 years later.  In 1941 Congress made Thanksgiving an official national holiday. A day of “thanks” and “giving”.

Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day of family and friends getting together for a meal and fellowship.  A day to stop and reflect on all of the blessings we share.  In 1876, football was introduced as a tradition.  Yale and Princeton played the first American Football game on Thanksgiving day.  People were off from work and were able to go see football. It was not until 1934 that the first football game was broadcast.  The Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears at University of Detroit Stadium and a new tradition, which later became a television broadcast.

Thanksgiving has changed over the years.  While many of the original traditions remain, new ones were born.  Black Friday became a big tradition for many families.  Getting up at early hours to go Christmas shopping for the best deals.  The idea came from retailers showing losses seeing a surge in sales on discounted merchandise on  Black Friday, often bringing their revenues back in the black.  Retailers started opening early on Black Friday and advertising big sales.  In the last decade, lit has become a Thanksgiving evening tradition with stores opening on Thanksgiving evening and staying open 24 hours. People have made their own traditions as well.  Many take vacations and skip the big meal and the shopping, although most still incorporate a game of football in the plans.

Thanksgiving is celebrated in many ways.  However you celebrate, remember to give “thanks” and “give” to those in need.

American Receivable is thankful for our customers and our relationships in the financial industry.  We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

In the words of the late Erma Bombeck:

“It takes 18 hours to prepare a Thanksgiving meal,

 It takes 12 minutes to eat it.  Half-times are 12 minutes.

 This is not a coincidence.” 

Some More Facts About Thanksgiving

Cheerful Thanksgiving!

As our walking groups get ready to rampage of Chicago as a major aspect of the Uncle Dan's Thanksgiving Day Parade, we chose to uncover a couple of fun realities about Thanksgiving! Do you realize what was served at the primary Thanksgiving? What about what number of calories are expended all things considered on Thanksgiving Day?

Here are nine fun realities about Thanksgiving to share around the supper table.

The primary Thanksgiving was praised in 1621 over a multi day collect celebration. It included 50 Pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and endured three days. It is accepted by history specialists that lone five ladies were available.

Turkey wasn't on the menu at the main Thanksgiving. Venison, duck, goose, shellfish, lobster, eel, and fish were likely served, close by pumpkins and cranberries (yet not pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce!).

Abraham Lincoln broadcasted Thanksgiving a national occasion on October 3, 1863. Sarah Joseph Hale, the lady who stated "Mary Had A Little Lamb," persuaded Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national occasion in the wake of composing letters for a long time.

The historical backdrop of U.S. presidents acquitting turkeys is sketchy. Harry Truman is regularly attributed with being the principal president to exculpate a turkey, yet that is not exactly obvious. He was the first to get a stylized turkey from the National Turkey Federation – and he had it for supper. John F. Kennedy was the first to release a Thanksgiving turkey, trailed by Richard Nixon who sent his turkey to a petting zoo. George H.W. Shrubbery is the president who formalized the turkey exonerating convention in 1989.

There are four towns in the United States named "Turkey." They can be found in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

The normal number of calories expended on Thanksgiving is 4,500.

Jelly belly answers in excess of 100,000 turkey-cooking questions through their Butterball Turkey Hotline every November and December.

The custom of football on Thanksgiving started in 1876 with a game among Yale and Princeton. The first NFL amusements were played on Thanksgiving in 1920.

In excess of 54 million Americans are relied upon to go during the Thanksgiving occasion this year. That is up 4.8% from a year ago.

07 Nov
Business Partnerships: A Necessary Risk

Business Partnerships: A Necessary Risk

Starting a business is an exciting venture.  Sole proprietorship allows you the freedom to Implement your own ideas, business procedures, and schedules as you wish.  The decisions you make will not impact anyone except you.

Working alone can be difficult when trying to jump-start a new business.  Most people need help in some areas, especially with the financial aspect. Some people may be better suited for a collaborative effort.  People have different strengths and weaknesses which is beneficial to the business. 

There is always a risk in a partnership.  You have heard the saying “nothing is forever”.  Many problems can arise when working with other people. Many people go into business with someone who initially seems to have the same mind-set and goals for the business. At some point during any partnership, egos, differences in opinion or direction may cause a rift in the partnership.  When the partnership dissolves, there are often claims of ownership and property that can cause disputes.  Partnership agreements can eliminate legal disputes that may arise from the split.  If one partner is going to keep the business, legal disputes can be expensive and result in the business being forced to close. Different skill sets, temperaments, and ideas can create diversity. However, the necessity for financial help, implementation of business procedures and creative ideas are worth the risk is you are protected.

Business partnerships are often necessary and have the potential to make the business a success.  However, a partnership agreement is unquestionably critical in making sure both parties are protected in the event the partnership dissolves.

More Information About Business Partnerships:

What Makes a Strong Small Business Partnership?

An effective private company organization is similar to a decent marriage. Both require momentary shared enthusiasm as well as long haul similarity. You need perfect qualities and vision, good monetary assets and desires, and good objectives.

Obviously, similarity doesn't really mean being actually indistinguishable or notwithstanding concurring on everything. The best private venture organizations include some give and take. Be that as it may, under the worry of structure another business, contrasts that from the start appear to be eccentric or even correlative can transform into significant fractures.

Luckily, you have the ability to set your independent venture association on the way to long haul accomplishment with only one straightforward advance: set desires.

Set Expectations for a Successful Small Business Partnership

Desire setting with your private venture accomplice may not be a simple discussion, yet it is an essential one to have. You will likely explain each possible part of your association relationship—both so anyone can hear and recorded as a hard copy—before any dabbed lines are agreed upon. You can't attempt to realize your colleague's situation on anything without first examining the issue and consenting to a composed definition.

To direct you in this procedure, we've structured 22 addresses you and your accomplice ought to have the option to reply before beginning an independent company organization. It might be useful for you and your potential independent venture accomplice to each survey the inquiries underneath all alone and answer them separately before meeting up to share any useful info and discover shared view. This can enable you to assess your individual point of view and distinguish regions of potential clash before they emerge.

In this way, snatch your note pad and prepare for some intense inquiries. You won't have any desire to skirt these 22 must-knows before beginning your independent venture organization!

Know Your Motivations

When you're beginning a business with someone else, understanding for what reason you're starting a new business turns into even more significant. What is your inspiration for the business adventure? What do you plan to escape the relationship? For what reason would you like to work with an accomplice as opposed to going only it? Know your inspirations so you can control your private company organization a similar way.

For what reason Are You Considering A Small Business Partnership?

What is your inspiration for seeking after an independent company association as opposed to going only it? To address this inquiry successfully, ponder the specific individual you're starting a new business with and progressively about the possibility of a colleague as a rule.

For what reason is an association structure gainful to your endeavor? Will the advantages of having an independent venture accomplice merit the inconveniences and exchanges that accompany it? Keep in mind that the dread of going only it is definitely not an adequate motivation to frame a private venture association. Ensure that picking this business structure fits with your long haul intrigue.

What Will This Potential Small Business Partner Bring to the Table What You Couldn't Achieve without anyone else?

A sound private venture organization requires a degree of regard that comes just from the understanding that you're both carrying basic abilities and assets to the table. How do your forthcoming private venture accomplice's gifts supplement your own? How does joining forces together make your business adventure more effective than if you somehow happened to go only it? Especially on the off chance that you are thinking about starting a new business with a decent companion or relative, assess these issues as equitably as would be prudent.

What Is Your Vision for the Business Venture?

Is it accurate to say that you are looking to fabricate a quickly developing startup or a little neighborhood business that you'll clutch for quite a long time? Is it true that you are building your business in view of a future deal? What are your desires for your business' size and yearly income? Illustrate where you see your business in two, five, and 10 years, and contrast that with your accomplice's vision.

Do You And Your Small Business Partner Share The Same Personal Values?

It ought to be clear that you and your independent company accomplice both plan to pursue the law in your business dealings, however only one out of every odd choice you face will be morally high contrast. Your own qualities will normally drive your business basic leadership, so values arrangement is basic to your association with your private company accomplice. Consider finishing a qualities practice together to distinguish what's most essential to you and decide if your gauges and needs are all around coordinated.

Know Your Relationship

The more obviously you can characterize your association with your private company accomplice, the more effectively you can decide, understand clashes, and deal with the everyday tasks of your business over the long haul. Answer and examine these key inquiries regarding your business relationship before circumstances become truly challenging, and you'll be better arranged to face the hardships of business proprietorship together.

What Role Will You Hold in the Small Business Partnership?

Diagram an expected set of responsibilities for yourself inside the organization. What will be your territories of obligation? The more explicit you are with this definition, the simpler it is to gauge achievement and abstain from neglecting key obligations through the breaks.

What Responsibilities Do You Expect Your Partner to Fulfill?

Utilizing the equivalent "set of working responsibilities" design, characterize what you're anticipating from your accomplice before you meet up to examine your jobs. Notice and talk about your disparities in desires, and you can both beat suspicions as you explain your individual territories of duty.

The amount Time Do You Plan to Commit to Building the Business?

It is safe to say that you are seeking after your business full time, or as yet keeping your normal everyday employment? What amount of time can your sensibly submit while keeping up a practical way of life? Be explicit and sensible as you answer this inquiry—yielding rest and rational soundness could prompt burnout before your business even gets off the ground!

What Kind of Time Investment Do You Expect From Your Small Business Partner?

You and your independent company accomplice don't really need to make an equivalent time promise to the business adventure, however you do need to know from the start what's in store from one another. Likewise with the jobs definition above, plot your desires for your accomplice's time so you can recognize any difference among desires and reality.

By what method Will You Measure Each Small Business Partner's Contributions?

When you're feeling the worry of structure another business, it's anything but difficult to accept that your accomplice isn't pulling his or her weight. To abstain from mounting disdain, characterize clear and target execution pointers from the earliest starting point to quantify every one of your commitments. Along these lines, on the off chance that either of you neglects to finish on desires, you can hold a practical discussion dependent on actualities rather than sentiments.

In what manner Will You Resolve Disagreements?

Inside a long haul independent company association, it is anything but a matter of if yet when you and your accomplice will have a noteworthy difference. Before that first debate emerges, it will be useful to set some standard procedures for compromise.

By what means will you settle on choices when strains are high? Do you want to determine questions immediately, or do you need a couple of days to think about your position? Is it accurate to say that you are available to working with a business mentor or association advisor to explore your private company relationship? Talk through a couple of various compromise situations to get a feeling of how things will play out when clashes come up.

In what manner Will You Settle Legal Disputes With Customers, Vendors, and One Another?

Nobody likes to consider the likelihood of a claim or lawful debate, however they are a truth of working together. Will you incorporate an intervention statement in client or seller contracts to settle debates secretly? What occurs on the off chance that you and your accomplice achieve a contradiction that you can't tackle alone? Settle on whatever number choices as could be expected under the circumstances while everybody is getting along so that if a lawful contest arises, you have a make way forward.

Know Your Financial Roles and Viewpoints

Toward the day's end, the motivation behind any business adventure ought to be to create income and turn a benefit. A private venture organization is a monetary relationship, so talking about business accounts from the beginning is basic.

Outside of a business setting, funds aren't really a subject for pleasant discussion. In any case, in a business relationship, legitimate and direct monetary discussions need to occur. Albeit monetary choices can be profoundly close to home, make sure to talk through these next inquiries from a "carefully business" point of view.

In what capacity Will Each Partner Contribute Financially to the Business?

You've heard a million times that "it takes cash to profit." When you're in an independent company organization, that reality shows extra inquiries: Who will contribute monetarily? What amount of capital will be normal from each accomplice? When does that venture need to be made?

Remember that while the points of interest of who will contribute what monetarily are imperative to your organization understanding, monetary assets alone are not an advantageous motivation to acquire a private venture accomplice. In the event that money related capital is all your accomplice is bringing to the table, that is not a colleague—that is a financial specialist. Have sure you comprehend the effect, and structure your business relationship in like manner.

What Is Your Potential Small Business Partner's Tolerance for Debt?

When thinking about potential money related commitments, recall that money forthright isn't the main—or even the most widely recognized—type of budgetary commitment that an accomplice can make. You may look for an outside speculator, or you could take out a bu

31 Oct
The Cash Flow Struggle

cash flow problemsThe Cash Flow Struggle

Cash flow is essential to any growing business.  When cash flow slows down, it can cause the business to drop revenues or completely fail.  In order to keep from failing, business owners have to look at their business practices and figure out what is causing the cash deficit.  There are many possible reasons for the shortage of cash flow as well as simple ways to eliminate the problem.

New streams of revenue may be a possible answer. Can you diversify your business to include other services that would bring in regular cash flow?  Adding the right services to your current business can help fill in the cash flow gaps.

Don’t overestimate when forecasting cash flow.  Bee conservative and consider worst-case scenarios when forecasting for the future.  Planning ahead will help your business stay afloat and reduce risks in the event of an unexpected cash flow shortage.  Consider prior years when forecasting your upcoming year.   Late payments from customers or large unexpected business expenses can lead a business into a cash flow crisis.

Collecting from customers can be a constant struggle.  Look at your current collection practices and look for ways to make them more efficient and effective. Implementing software that can flag overdue accounts and send reminders to customers should be utilized.  Follow-up phone calls or emails may be required, however, the software will give you the assurance that reminders are being sent and your accounting division is aware of any problem accounts.

Evaluate the time management and resources of your employees.  Are they using time effectively?  Are your employees using resources too quickly that could be used more conservatively? Are they spending too much time in one area and too little time on something more crucial like collections or verifications?  Efficiency in your business will be a helpful tool for cash flow management. 

Business expenses and operating costs.  Know how much revenue is being spent on office supplies and other expenses.  Businesses often order supplies that are not really essential for daily operations that could be purchased on an as-needed basis. Look at your supplies and order only what is necessary.  A smart business owner will always be on top of revenue coming in and going out.

Cash flow is the most important asset for a business.  Make sure your business is utilizing your cash effectively for growth and longevity.

24 Oct
Building A Customer Focused Business

customer service representatives
young multi ethnic business people group walking standing and top view

Building A Customer Focused Business

What is the #1 asset in your business? Your customers, of course! They provide the revenue that keeps your business afloat and enables growth. Without your customers, you would not be in business.
Who does not like to feel familiar and appreciated? People in general like to be acknowledged and made to feel that they matter. The same goes for business. Getting to know your customers personally and showing interest in their business will make them more likely to stay with you. Personal attention is crucial and will result in referrals to other prospective customers. People who know your business and hold you in high regard are the best referrals.
Building a customer focused business is easy.  Focus on the customer, first.
1.  Get acquainted with your customer and learn about their business.  Understand their needs and show them how you can offer support.
2.  Be accessible.  When customers call, they want immediate answers  A customer focused business will have someone answering the phone and directing them to the appropriate person to solve any issues or  handle other needs.  Lack of accessibility will result in the     customer moving their business to your competitors.          
3.  Listen and understand questions and concerns.  Show them you are interested in them and their business and finding solutions for their issues.
4.  Do them a favor.  Customers  will often call with a critical request that may be against normal protocol. Don’t make it a habit, but accommodate them when the request is feasible. Be clear that this is not usually something you do, but that you want to help  and will make an exception this time. Accommodating them will show them that you really are focused on their needs.
Remember, the success of your business is a result of your customer’s success.

More Tips On Building a Customer-Focused Company

1. Fathom for a particular client need.

Sarah Nahm manufactured her organization in 2017 to tackle a bothering issue in the tech business. In a meeting with Business Insider, Nahm said Silicon Valley organizations were experiencing difficulty procuring and holding workers, so she made Lever to help. Switch is a simple to-utilize device that helps organizations recognize top ability, yet in addition feature the general population who might be well on the way to remain with the organization. In the meeting, Nahm says she "lives" for interfacing organizations to the correct individuals at the opportune time.

By tackling explicit issues for its clients, Lever has had the option to work through a spot in Silicon Valley. Forbes assessments Lever has more than 1,300 clients and made more than $20 million in income. Moreover, Nahm has had the option to raise more than $62 million from speculators due to her client centered methodology.

2. Continuously search for item enhancements.

Paul Burke is the CEO of an advanced substance creation organization called Guru, which enables social establishments, to like exhibition halls, draw in visitors. Master is an organization that always searches for approaches to improve its item, and it utilizes its help channels to support an open criticism circle with clients. At the point when asked by Digital Media Update for what good reason the organization will succeed, Burke noticed that it will be because of "continually endeavoring to make [the] item better."

During a similar meeting, Burke said he trusts Guru is "an accomplice to social foundations, not a seller." Therefore, the organization can adjust its items and improve the customer's prosperity. This outlook has demonstrated viable, as Guru as of late won the San Diego Venture Group's yearly contribute fest 2017.

3. Make the client part of the brand.

Glossier is one of the world's quickest developing magnificence marks that is gained over $52 million in financial specialist subsidizing. By first captivating legitimately with shoppers, Glossier's CEO, Emily Weiss, perceived a requirement for moderate, astounding excellence items. In a meeting with The Business of Fashion, Weiss ascribed her prosperity to how she had the option to make the client feel like piece of the brand.

In a similar meeting, Weiss noticed that "60% of Americans depend on distributed proposals" when purchasing a wonder item. Along these lines, she formed the Into the Gloss blog to "give ladies voices to be their very own specialists." By incorporating the client's voice in its substance, Glossier increased more than one million Instagram devotees in only three years. Subsequent to building a network on her first blog, Weiss then utilized the stage as a crowd of people when she propelled the main Glossier items.

4. Be proactive when conveying organization changes.

In 2015, TapInfluence enlisted Promise Phelon to help quicken the progress of the organization from oversaw administrations into a SaaS organization. The organization previously had a huge client base, and Phelon had the test of presenting radical change while limiting client stir.

To do as such, Phelon was proactive in imparting these progressions to her clients. She started by distinguishing the most significant records and afterward worked with them to guarantee they were content with the new administrations. In a Forbes blog entry, Phelon stated, "it was significant that [they] worked with them to deal with the progress from oversaw administrations to SaaS."

On account of her endeavors, TapInfluence had the option to experience a smooth progress into SaaS. It held around 95% of its clients and, as per Crunchbase, got a $14 million venture a year after Phelon's enlisting.

5. Go well beyond with client administration.

Zappos is an online retailer that utilizations client administration to separate itself from its rivals. Each client administration delegate at Zappos is required to fulfill the client regardless of the expense. In his book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, stated, "We should never lose our feeling of direness in making upgrades. We should never agree to 'sufficient,' on the grounds that great is the foe of extraordinary. "

Zappos doesn't avoid this conviction either, as administration reps are relied upon to spend in any event 80% of their day talking with clients. On the off chance that a client is despondent, the rep has the specialist to discount buys, convey free items, or give a one of a kind settlement. This fabricates a forceful passionate association with their clients who feel Zappos really values their business.

This philosophy has satisfied for Zappos as the organization hit $1 billion in deals during its initial 10 years. In 2015, Forbes detailed the organization surpassed $2 billion in yearly income.

6. Develop trust with your clients.

Brendan Candon, originator and CEO of SidelineSwap, is a millennial businessperson with a nearby association with his intended interest group. His organization enables competitors to purchase and sell utilized donning hardware, and as an ex-school competitor, Candon perceived individual competitors' worries of "ensuring there is trust in the commercial center." Candon talks about structure that trust in a meeting with MarketScale this year.

To make an arrangement of trust in an individual to-individual market, Candon concentrated on taking care of issues before clients turned out to be increasingly baffled. Workers would contact purchasers and merchants to get their input on the client experience. At that point, workers would talk about repeating subjects and set up help alarms for when barricades were probably going to happen.

This appears to have been powerful, as Crunchbase reports that over 17K clients download the application every month. Owler likewise reports that Sideline Swap creates more than $1 million in yearly income.

7. React to the adjustments in your industry

Jay McHarge is the CEO of a biopharma coordinations organization called AeroSafe. Because of an adjustment in the biopharma bundling industry, McHarge was looked with two choices for his organization: either proceed with what they were doing or make a huge difference. McHarge picked the last when he saw a chance to change the organization from bundling to conveyance coordinations.

"It was for the most part the customers, them revealing to us what they required and us tuning in," McHarge told the Chief Executive Group in a meeting this year. Rather than adhering to an obsolete item, McHarge moved the organization to a markdown coordinations administration which profited their present clients. Thusly, McHarge spared the organization, as Owler reports AeroSafe is currently returning around $11 million in yearly income.

8. Hunger for your clients' input.

Q10 Consultancy is an European promoting consultancy that enables independent company to develop. Martine Nierman, CEO of Q10 Consultancy, qualities the accomplishment of her organization to her clients' criticism. She utilizes roundtable occasions and NPS® studies to gauge client experience. She guarantees this criticism is her organization's guide for planning and improving items. In a video on Q10 Consultancy's site, Martine says she "needs [customer] input to develop much further to turn into the best item."

By wanting client criticism, Q10 Consultancy has developed from a benefit the executives apparatus into a marking mechanization stage. Through the span of three years, Q10 consultancy has opened six new workplaces and has turned into a worldwide showcasing organization.

9. Put resources into your representatives' development.

ThinkLions is a product organization that creates applications and enables new businesses to get financed. Its CEO, Mike Sims, trusts one remarkable quality of the organization is its emphasis on preparing workers. Since numerous organizations, similar to ThinkLions, can't enlist huge staffs, Sims centers around giving careful preparing.

Sims continually makes new trainings and searches for various chances to teach laborers about the business. At the point when gotten some information about his methodology by Forbes, Simms stated, "they can manufacture their aptitudes and capacities, which advances them expertly while quickly profiting [his] business."

10. The client's experience is critical.

Brian Halligan, prime supporter and CEO of HubSpot, fabricated his organization by concentrating on the client's involvement. In a meeting with Slush, Halligan discusses the move in power among purchasers and dealers. Rather than utilizing a business rep, clients would now be able to discover all the data they need alone. He takes note of that, rather than having a superior attempt to sell something, presently "your client experience must be multiple times superior to your opposition."

To achieve this, HubSpot gives a broad onboarding procedure to its superior clients, alongside every minute of every day bolster channels. HubSpot likewise gives self-administration bolster archives and committed record chiefs for certain clients. HubSpot even has a Customer Code that layouts how it means to treat its clients.

Starting at 2017, HubSpot has increased more than 23K clients in more than 90 nations, and the organization detailed a 39% expansion in income somewhere in the range of 2016 and 2017.

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