Bookkeeping Tips for the Everyday Entrepreneur

Streamline Small Business Accounting Processes with Enhanced Third-Party Integrations

Most small businesses could benefit from the increased automation, ease of use and robust functionality of cloud accounting technology platforms, such as QuickBooks Online.  And enhanced third-party integrations offer even greater customization and scale for unique business needs.   Intuit now offers QuickBooks integration with over 500 apps. With offerings ranging from ecommerce, reporting and point of sale to expenses, invoicing and CRM, the customizations are endless. Three great options have seamless integration and functionality.   Receipt Bank saves time by eliminating data entry with reliable data extraction. Submit pictures of receipts or documents, and Receipt Bank will automatically populate the data into your accounting software. It integrates with many top cloud accounting software options, including QuickBooks and Xero, has mobile functionality, and provides customizable access for everyone on your team.   Expensify automates expense management. With one-click scanning of receipts, customizable approval settings, and rapid reimbursement, your expense workflow is streamlined. You'll save time and money.   Receipt details are automatically added to an expense report that can then be automatically submitted, approved, and reimbursed based on your specifications. Expensify is accessible across all devices and integrates with many top accounting platforms.   Bill.com streamlines accounts receivable and payable processes. Choose both your method of payment and method of receiving payments including ACH functionality and simplified data entry andautomated invoicing capabilities, as well as auto-reconciliation features with integration to your accounting software. Bill.com is accessible across all devices for ease of use anytime.   For more information about small business cloud accounting technology, including integrating third party apps for increased automation and efficiency in your small business, please contact us. 
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From the CEO: How to Grow Your Business Using Referrals

I was talking with a fellow business owner recently, and I asked her how things were going at her co-working space. As she explained the energy of the place and the various entrepreneurs she’d run into, she said, “Hey, you know who you should meet…” and began to describe someone she thought would benefit from my services.   Referrals like this make up about a third of our business at Reconciled It. As a small business owner, I’m always balancing the time and energy spent providing stellar service to my existing clients while focusing enough resources on bringing in my next client. The process is made exponentially easier when I get referrals.   With referred customers, I avoid some of the hurdles I’d have to overcome with a cold outreach or an online visit. These potential customers already have confidence in our value. Why? Because someone they trust told them we’re trustworthy. So once we connect, they’re just wondering how to sign up and what the agreement structure looks like.   Creating Referral Partners   Of course, one of the best ways to get referrals is to do excellent work and be a good member of the communities you’re part of, whether they’re local or digital. But even if you’re providing great service to your customers and being kind to those you engage with, getting referrals doesn’t always happen organically.   Because I know the value of referred customers, I’m intentional about developing referral partners. Many of these are businesses that I can create a reciprocal relationship with: I think you provide a great service, so I’ll refer to you. You think I provide a great service, so you’ll refer to me. As an online bookkeeping company, my referral partners are generally accounting firms or banks, but partners don’t have to be in your same industry.   How do you get someone to become a referral partner? You ask. Sit down and make a list of people you have strong relationships with - not just family and friends but peers, people you’ve worked for, people who’ve helped you in the past. Let them know what you’re trying to do. Paint them the picture and ask them to be part of your team - because that’s what a referral partner is. They’re not on your staff, but they’re an essential part of helping you create a successful business. If there’s a bank or accounting firm I don’t already have a relationship with, I’ll ask them to coffee or lunch to begin to build rapport. Of course, I’m interested in having them as a source of referrals, but I also genuinely care that they exist in the marketplace and are contributing to the success of our community. Maintaining Referral Partners Of course, once you’ve created the relationship, you have to maintain it. I keep my referral partners updated on how we’re doing as a company by sending emails or newsletters and getting together for informal meetings. I also - and this is a big one - solicit their advice. I believe everyone has something to teach me, so I’ll ask them: Here’s what I’m doing – what do you think about that plan? How are you approaching your market? Are there ways you’re reaching clients that I should copy? It’s a great way to learn from other business owners, especially if you’re a new entrepreneur. But it also feels good to the person you’re talking to. Most people love being asked for their advice, especially if the question is coming from someone they see as a fellow expert in their field, not from a client.   Once I have a partner that refers work to me regularly, I make sure to show them my continued appreciation. I provide a portion of the revenue from the referred client if the partner is able to receive that (accounting firms, banks, and attorneys do not). If I can’t share revenue, I’ll send a handwritten card or a small gift. And each year at the holidays, I send out a small gift to all my referral partners to let them know how much I value our relationship. Getting Client Referrals   Client referrals are more often the result of providing excellent service to clients than about building specific relationships. My clients are all busy people who are focused on running their businesses - and on building their own referral networks. So I don’t spend a lot of time trying to cultivate separate referral partnerships with them. But I do let them know that I appreciate referrals. Once a year, I send a direct message to all my LinkedIn contacts, many of whom are current or former clients, to ask them whether there’s a service or product I could offer that would help them or whether they know of a business owner who could benefit from my services. I find that LinkedIn works well for this because the question is less likely to get lost in an overflowing email inbox. Working toward increasing your referral pipeline can feel very calculating unless you come at it from a place of humility. There are dozens - probably hundreds - of businesses in your community that have something to offer you. Learn from them and let them know that you can use their help.   Referrals are only one piece of any customer acquisition plan, but they’re an important part. Without them, you may be missing out on a great source of customers - and some meaningful relationships.     Want to learn more about how to grow your business? Sign up for my office hours. 
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3 Tips for the Small Business Contractor

If you run a small business, you know the challenges of competition. And as a contractor, you're surely not the only game in town. So, how do you stand out and bring in more customers?
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Why Happy Employees Are The Key to a Successful Business

You're all over making sure your employees have opportunities for professional development, great benefits, and salaries that reflect the value of their work. But are you making sure they're happy?   Happiness can seem like a pretty arbitrary measure, but at least one study shows that employees who feel happy are more productive. And who doesn't want increased productivity?    If having a staff that gets more work done doesn't convince you to jump on the happiness bandwagon, maybe these additional benefits of happy workers will: More satisfied clients and customers. Happy people are nicer to everyone around them, and that includes your clients and customers. Positive experiences with your staff will keep customers coming back for more.  Increased business. With happier customers come greater loyalty and more referrals. You'll be especially glad you have those happy, productive employees for all the new work you'll get.   Less absenteeism. Happy employees are less likely to miss work unexpectedly, which means your business processes can flow more smoothly.  Greater employee retention. If you have unsatisfied employees, they're likely looking for another job that promises a happier future. All that turnover can drain your productivity and your budget. Happy employees stick around.  You know great employees are the key to a great business - and so do we. We've built a happy and productive team at Reconciled It so we can provide great service to your happy and productive team.    Let us know how we can help. One of our (happy) employees will be in touch within 24 hours. 
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Small Business Budgeting and Cash Flow Management

Small business owners know the importance of working capital, but sometimes the challenge of keeping up with routine bills along with unexpected expenses creates a problem. For some, not having funds at the right time can lead to insolvency and bankruptcy, but a little ingenuity can keep a small business afloat. One of the biggest sources of working capital is cash flow, and it can be maintained with careful planning and forethought. 
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