Business Services, Consulting,
and Problem Solving
Approximately one million new businesses are started every year
in the United States. About 80 percent of all new businesses will fail
within five years.
As the manager of a small business, you must wear several hats. Never
stop investigating new ideas to improve all areas of your business. The
astute manager will gather information to assist him or her in making
the changes necessary to stay profitable in a competitive business world.
Here are twelve tips to improve your profits:
- Listen to your customers. You are not really selling products or services;
you are selling customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers return to
spend more money and are likely to refer new customers to you.
- It is estimated to cost ten times as much to acquire a new customer
as it does to retain a current customer through good customer service.
- If your company runs well now in your absence, it will run well in
the event of your disability or death. If you are currently indispensable,
start training people now. One of the most rewarding forms of retirement
is to own your own company and to be absent as much as you like.
- The word ability spelled "A.B.I.L.ity" could stand for Accountant,
Banker, Insurance Agent, and Lawyer. These professionals handle a variety
of business problems every day. They make excellent sounding boards
for proposed transactions. Consulting with them before you conclude
any deals can save you many problems.
- You can be your own best business troubleshooter. Consider arranging
a trip to visit a half dozen businesses just like yours, but outside
your trade area. Discuss products or services, customer relations, vendors,
physical plant and equipment, and financial statement information with
these noncompeting colleagues. Arrange a five- to ten-day trip. Take
your financial statements, a copy of your floor plan, your camera, and
a long list of questions. When you return, you will be able to inform
your staff of all you learned. This trip is especially beneficial if
you are not affiliated with a franchise business.
- Every business should operate from a budget. Your last year's financial
reports serve as an excellent guide to setting this year's budget. Since
it is designed with the best information you have available at the outset,
the variances from the budget figures may give you valuable information
in preparing the next year's game plan.
- Before you start a new business, be sure the community can support
such a business. Some areas are not large enough to warrant certain
specialty shops. A bicycle shop, for example, may take a population
base of 50,000 people to make it profitable. A grocery store, on the
other hand, can be profitable in a town of only a few thousand.
- Is it necessary or profitable to have accounts receivable? Credit
is necessary to attract some business, and it is profitable if properly
managed. For example, a construction company finds it impractical to
issue credit cards to all its employees and inconvenient to use a check
for every purchase. In exchange for the courtesy of an open account,
such a customer should be willing to pay immediately upon receipt of
a billing statement.
- Business deals and special franchises which sound too good to be true
usually are. We will gladly assist you in reviewing any new purchase
or business proposal.
- Business partnerships (marriages) seldom have the same courtship afforded
most marriages. In the absence of this courtship, you should have your
attorney draft a well-written partnership agreement. It is also important
for family partnerships.
- Don't incorporate your business without first checking the long-range
tax and nontax considerations. There are many small corporations that
would have been better off operating in some other legal form.
- Some businesses receive penalties for late payroll tax deposits. To
avoid such problems, don't sign payroll checks unless the first check
in the stack is the payroll deposit to your bank. This may have you
paying deposits earlier than required, but you will not be receiving
What makes a business successful?
Business problems and their solutions are as varied as are different
businesses. There are some universal truths, however, in managing any
Whether you are starting a business or operating a going concern, we
can help you select the proper organizational structure (corporation,
S-corporation, partnership, limited liability company, etc.) and help
you secure adequate financing. We will work with you and your banker,
lawyer, insurance agent, and other advisors to solve your business problems.
We will assist you with loan applications, pricing, credit policies,
cash flow needs, cost controls, and other management issues. We will gladly
assist you in reviewing your operations to see what you might do to be
Give us a call for a no-charge initial conference. You should interview
us, as you would any professional, to determine if we will be a good long-term
match for you and your business. If we don't have the answer to your problems,
we will assist you in locating someone who does.
You may find the Superb Links below to be interesting and useful. The
links lead to numerous calculators for finances and other computations
as well as some very good reference sites. We always welcome your questions.
Contact us by phone or e-mail. We appreciate hearing from you.
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| Links of Interest
|Eliot J. Lewiskin,
|Certified Public Accountants
|2125 Center Avenue, Suite 307
|Fort Lee, NJ 07024