Dell Technologies

Accounting Tips for Small Business Owners

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By Debbie Gregory.

Starting your own business is often a learn-as-you-go process. But, the more smart decisions you make early on, the better chance your company has for success. As a new small business owner, it is imperative that you establish practices, policies, and good habits early on.

As you begin this journey, know that you will more than likely work harder and longer than you have in the past. There are some important financial practices that you will want to utilize from the very start.

Solid bookkeeping and accounting practices will help you meet your goals and grow your small business.

First and foremost, keep your personal and business expenses separate. Open a business checking and savings account in the legal name of the business with its Tax ID number. The same goes for credit cards, lines of credit, and loans. Unless you’re a sole proprietor, you are legally required to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances.

Start off with a robust bookkeeping system. There are plenty of free or low-cost bookkeeping and accounting products available to help manage your small business’ finances. Another option is contracting a part-time bookkeeper or a CPA. You can also outsource to an accounting firm that can handle your books, payroll, and invoicing.

Keep good records so that you can be up to date on the progress of your business. Your records can help you identify the more profitable areas of your business, so you know where to focus your time and talents.

Keep your finger on the pulse of your tax liabilities, be it sales tax or income tax. Also keep close tabs on the accounting tools you have in place today; they might need to adjusted as your business grows. However, you’ll never outgrow the good accounting habits you’ve put in place from the beginning.

WhatsApp for Business

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By Debbie Gregory.

WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware and cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service owned by Facebook. The application allows the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location.

Now the  company is launching a programming kit that makes it easy for businesses to use WhatsApp messaging for info and support.

WhatsApp Business was built with the small business owner in mind. With the app, businesses can interact with customers easily by using tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages. Businesses can provide customers helpful information such as the business address, description, email address, and website. Different chats can be labeled for organization, such as new customers, returning customers or orders completed.

Small business owners are also able to set away messages and create quick replies to frequently asked questions. And just like the normal WhatsApp, conversations are always encrypted, and businesses can be blocked just like individual contacts.

For medium and large businesses, the WhatsApp Business API powers your communication with customers all over the world, so you can connect with them on WhatsApp in a simple, secure, and reliable way.

The company is both charging WhatsApp Business kit users a “fixed rate” for notifications (like those passes and confirmations) and, crucially, charging them if they don’t respond to customers within 24 hours. This ensures that businesses will have a strong motivation to respond quickly to questions.

The platform is primarily suited for businesses with a very familiar or regular customer base. If you are located in a touristy area with few regular customers, for example, the app may not be the best for you. After all, the main goal should be to deepen bonds with your customers and develop brand loyalty, which is extremely difficult to do over a short period of time. However, you can still utilize the app to communicate with customers and give them more information about your business. They may return to the area or recommend you to friends who visit in the future.

WhatsApp has been testing the framework for the business application with over 90 larger companies, including Uber, Singapore Airlines and Wish.

If you’re using WhatsApp for your business, please let us know what you think.