by Linda J

open for business

Building your own successful Montgomery County business requires a tremendous amount of planning. Deciding what you want to sell is just the first step in a long process toward living your entrepreneurial dream. Along with setting your goals, choosing your company’s legal architecture and marketing campaign, you must attend to the nitty-gritty financial details. You want to be properly prepared or you could find yourself in a chaotic situation that could impact your reputation in the marketplace. Here are 5 tips to help you organize and build your successful business.

1. Be ready for the bookkeeping.

When you first start out and business is slow, you may have time to hand-write checks to your suppliers and service partners and to collect money in sales. As things pick up, though, you quickly learn that paper piles up and money stops flowing and you’re spending entire evenings and days off playing catch-up. If you’re planning to do your own books, make sure you have, and understand, a good software program for it (such as QuickBooks) and an organized space in which to handle your accounts.

2. Choose a good tax accountant.

Not all bookkeepers do taxes, so if you plan to hire an administrative assistant, and that person isn’t the one who will file your company’s taxes, make sure you line up a good tax accountant, too. The tax accountant can help you or your assistant set up the bookkeeping program so every dollar coming in and going out is allocated to the right tax line in the profit and loss reports and balance sheets. Your tax preparer will love you for it.

3. Get free checking and unlimited transactions accounts at your bank.

Be very discriminating when it comes to choosing your bank partner. Get the absolute most for the very least expense or no expense at all. Look for a bank that offers free checking, won’t charge you fees if your balance dips below a certain level and one that is generous in how many transactions you can make in a month before fees kick in.

4. Choose a good merchant services company.

If you are going to accept credit and debit cards, and you must these days, then you will need a merchant services company, the people who actually process your credit card sales. Beware, though, you will be a rabbit in a forest full of wolves. The competition amongst merchant service providers is fierce, and while they might offer low processing rates, they may also charge a multitude of ancillary fees that will cost you far more than you should ever have to pay. Because your merchant services company is a middle man between you and the credit card issuers, they need to make their profits, too, but you should never have to pay a monthly effective rate of more than 4%, tops, of your credit card sales transactions, no matter how the fee structure is compiled. Also, because you will have to keep on top of PCI compliance (Payment Card Industry security standards) which can be very confusing, commit to finding a company dedicated to helping you navigate this tricky on-going process. You’ll be very glad you did. Overall, when choosing your merchant service, don’t even bother considering one that does not have a genuine A+ rating with your local BBB.

5. Open a separate checking account for your credit card sales receipts.

Because your merchant service provider will be making deposits into, and taking fees out of your bank account, avoid the risk of a mistake wiping out your account by surprise. Everyone is capable of errors, and if someone happens to misplace a decimal point while collecting the credit card fees from your account, you might find yourself in a very bad place while you scramble to have the error corrected. If this were to happen within your general account, you could end up with bounced checks and blots on your reputation. Commit to the little extra work required to transfer funds from the credit card account to your general funds as a sensible precaution.

In the exciting world of becoming your own boss, you can’t underestimate the importance of planning your financial structure. We hope you find these five tips useful in your own business strategy.

 

 

BKZ Logo_fullThis Montgomery County business spotlight is presented by BKZ Consulting. BKZ Consulting Partners provides transaction processing services and payment processing technologies to businesses in the region. They are experts in providing these transaction solutions to both multi- and single location customers in the retail, restaurant, e-commerce and utility business; BKZ has earned a reputation for long-lasting customer relationships due to an open and honest approach. Call today for a free statement review and recommendations on reducing your transaction charges at 888.853.1012 Ask about their free EMV terminals!

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