Talks about Mommy Ginger’s business tips and advice for momtrepreneurs. She shares valuable knowledge on topics like branding, marketing and consumer insight.

How to Protect your Business

Are you sure that your business is properly protected against all the potential threats it might face? There’s a lot that can go wrong and taking unnecessary risks is no way to run a sustainable business. Maybe now is a good time to think about how you might go about making your business safer and more secure. Each of the ideas on how to protect your business that I’m about to share will enable you to do exactly that.

Hire a Lawyer

First of all, you should look into the possibility of hiring a lawyer for your brand. Having an attorney that you can trust and turn to when you find yourself in any legally dubious waters is massively valuable. If you are just starting a business, try to incorporate lawyer fees into your projections as soon as you can allot a budget for it. If you can’t afford it yet, just look for one who you can easily turn to for help. Finding one you trust makes sense and being able to build a relationship is key too. That trust and understanding could be huge for you in the future when their services are really needed.

Create Different Permission Levels for Employees

Not all of the employees who work for your business should have the same access and permission levels assigned to them. This can become a problem because internal fraud does happen and it takes place when new or rogue employees take advantage of the trust that’s been placed in them. You shouldn’t let that happen. Instead, create different permission levels of different employees. Always keep the administrator access for yourself (owner / founder of the business) or for the head of your Engineering team.

Put the Right Insurance Coverage in Place

Another tip for how to protect your business is to have the right insurance in place for your business. Of course, the kind of insurance you’re going to need will depend on what kind of business you run and what the risks you face on a day to day basis are. Consult an Insurance industry expert if you want further advice on the best insurance coverage for your business and its specific needs. In the Philippines, if you register your business in the municipal hall, they require for you to have a comprehensive general liability insurance. Read your policy. See what’s covered and see if it’s enough.

Afbeelding van Free-Photos via Pixabay

Use Smart Passwords

If your business is going to remain properly protected for a long time to come, using smart passwords is something that’s really important. Password security is so well-known and understood that some people dismiss its importance or overlook how significant it is. Don’t put yourself in that position; instead, create strong passwords across all different devices and accounts that your business relies on.

Secure Your Physical Location

Securing your physical location and improving its overall security levels is another thing you can work on. Using stronger locking systems, changing how people come in and out of the premises and installing things such as CCTV systems are all things you might want to consider. For internal security, it’s also a good idea to have safes in operation inside your workplace.

As a business owner, it falls to you to make sure that your business is properly protected. This is all within your control and the decisions you make today will dictate how well-protected your business is tomorrow and in the months and years to come. So don’t hesitate to make the most of the advice above.

I hope these tips on how to protect you business helps you out. If you want to add more, please feel free to comment on the comment section below.

P.S. Please read my blog posts on data privacy and safety (contributed by my husband, EJ). It’s a 3 part series.

Building a Better Brand

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels

One of the best ways to build a successful business is to build a strong brand identity for your company. The stronger the brand; the better targeted it is to your audience, the more likely you are to generate leads and ultimately convert more customers. Building a better brand takes time. How exactly do you build a strong brand?

Find out what people think of you

The first thing you need to do in building a better brand is to find out what people currently think of your business. Google your company, read reviews and comments, and see how the land lies. Once you know what kind of image you’re currently portraying and once you get insights on your customer’s behavior, you can work on getting rid of any negative views and building upon positives until you’ve created a brand that blows your target audience away.

Check out this video on Conducting a Social Media Audit.

Build your online visibility

As a modern business, you probably have a website and a social media presence at the very least. Chances are though that you could be doing a lot more to promote your company and build up a strong brand identity. For example, you could be creating guest posts on more prominent blogs and websites, which will not only draw more attention to your business but also set you up as a leading authority within your niche. Podcasting would have a similar effect, as would spending more time replying to social media comments in a friendly and informative way. Basically, experiment on different strategies that can build the positive image of your brand.

Keep it consistent

Consistency matters! Businesses fail with branding when their message to customers are not consistent. If your copy, images, downloadables, etc. all have a consistent theme, customers will always know exactly what you’re about, and this is something that will work in your favor. Think about it. You always know what you’re going to get with Apple, Coca-Cola, or Nike, and they are three of the biggest brands around. If keeping consistent is something you struggle with, a good digital marketing agency can help you out, as can using the same team of copywriters on all of your campaigns, but if you simply create a brand mission statement and refer to that before you put out anything new, it will help a lot too.

Give up trying to please everyone

There isn’t a business on the planet that is universally appealing to everyone, so you should give up trying to be all things to everyone. Gone are the days of mass marketing!

If you don’t have a specific target market in mind, chances are you won’t be able to appeal to anyone at all because your message will be so all over the place that it won’t really catch anyone’s eyes. Work out who your target market is and what you’re about and focus on that, and you’ll be more successful for sure.

Offer value

If you want people to look upon your brand favorably, you need to offer them something of value. You don’t necessarily need to be as revolutionary as Apple or as high-end as Gucci, but if you are able to produce high-quality goods and/or services that are useful, appealing, and made to last, this will reflect very well on your business and be a solid foundation upon which to build a lasting brand.

Offer excellent customer service

In building a better brand, we tend to forget that we are talking to people. With this customer service often gets overlooked as something that can help. People are more likely to engage with businesses that have treated them well than those who have not, and if you have a good reputation for listening to your customers, making things convenient for them, making their experience with you a memorable and happy one, people are going to look upon you more fondly than the competition.

Be yourself

Above all, as a business, you should strive you be your own unique self. Do things you won way, even if it’s different from the rest of the crowd, and do so unapologetically because half the battle of building a string crowd is being able to stand out from the competition.

A strong brand can get your further than almost anything else in the business world, so make it your mission to do whatever you can to build one of your own and you will see the fruits of your labor. It may take some hard work and ingenuity, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Debt Solutions for Working Moms

Having debt can be a source of shame for many people. Despite the very real fact that more Americans have debt than don’t, people feel embarrassed and ashamed about speaking about their debt problems. Event countries have debts. In the Philippines, each Filipino’s share will be at Php 83,239 to make up the Php 9.05 Trillion Debt of the Philippines. If we wanted to have a debt-free country, we’ll have to each shell out Php 83K+. So today, I wanted to talk about debt and more specifically, debt solutions for Working Moms.

Debt can have all sorts of negative connotations which can make us feel anxious, leading us to bury our feelings and never speak about them. As working parents, we want to instill in our kids the very best habits when it comes to finances, but if we have debt hanging over our heads, this can get in the way of feeling like a confident and capable parent. So how can you alleviate your debt issues as a working mother?

Photo by JD from Pexels

Here are three simple steps to guide you on your road to finding new confidence and debt freedom as a working mom

Talking It Out

Talking won’t make the debt disappear, but it will definitely help you feel at peace. Many working moms, particularly single moms, never share their stress with others for fear of burdening them or coming across as a bad parent. But the truth is, having debt doesn’t make you any less of a good parent. We all have our reasons and we all have our pasts, and for some people, that includes incurring debt over time which we are struggling to pay off now. There’s no shame in it, and the only way of getting rid of the negative stigma around debt is if we talk about it with our loved ones. 

Seeking Advice

As a busy working mother, you might find that you simply don’t have the time to research how best to alleviate your debt. You can end up feeling like you are a slave to the credit card company who demands money without any human sympathy at all. In this case, seeking financial advice is extremely important. You can call a citizens advice service or book an appointment with a financial advisor to talk through your debt, and how it can be paid off in the most achievable way for you. Most financial advisors don’t just offer insurance products; they offer sound advice to help you achieve your financial goals.

Exploring Other Options

If you feel you have been unfairly charged interest and might have a case to make against the debt you owe, you should seek out legal advice to see if this is worth pursuing. This will help you to explore all your options and potentially even alleviate some of the debt you owe, without actually paying it. These cases are rare, but it is always worth pursuing if you feel you have been wrongly charged. 

In the Philippines, you can seek advise from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) once this happens to you. If it’s a cooperative lending you, seek help from the CDA or Cooperative Development Authority.

In addition, if you are in the US, you can explore programs such as DTSS Restoring America’s Freedom, which will help you see how your debt could be unconstitutional. 

Final Thoughts for Debt Solutions for Working Moms

If you have debt which is weighing on your mind, take steps today to ameliorate your stress and anxiety. Talking it out with someone close to you is vital, followed by seeking financial support which can help you understand your situation a bit better. Finally, exploring all options will allow you to see what you can do about your debt. 

Any other debt solutions for working moms that you want to share? Comment on the comment section below.

Mompreneurs: Tip For Creating A Better Work-Life Balance

Mompreneurs, such amazing people! Seriously though. Imaging juggling all of these tasks and responsibilities. Mompreneurs always come up to me asking for better ways to manage their time. There are always things you can do to enhance the way you juggle your life as a mompreneur. Time management is oftentimes our struggle. This is the reason why we chose this as a topic for our Lean In PH Circle session for this month.

Whether you’re a new mom in business, or you’ve been managing a company for years, here are some tips that may help you improve your work-life balance, and perhaps even free up some time for you!

Give Kids Responsibilities

You don’t have to, and you shouldn’t have to do everything alone. While your partner should be doing their share of housework, your kids can help, too. This is the best time to teach them different values that you want to pass on — from a sense of ownership, commitment to responsibilities, etc.

Giving kids chores helps them to start having respect for their home environment. Tasks to give to your children can range from feeding the dog to emptying the bins. The fact is, every little thing helps, particularly when you’re trying to make your home life and business more functional. 

Nightly Prep 

Struggling to find something you need just before you need to leave the house becomes a routine part of most mom’s lives every morning. Actually, now that we are always at home, the entire household runs to you and assumes that you know where everything is.

Whether trying to find your daughter’s missing notebook for school or locating the shirt that your husband wants to wear for an important call, there’s always “something” that goes missing when you need it most. 

To save yourself the stress, why not prep everything you need the night. This means shirts, notebooks, bills, shoes, etc. Having everything prepared and ready will make your mornings go much more smoothly.

Start With The Most Important Tasks First

Picture by Jopwell from Pexels

When you’re tackling business issues during the day, try not to drift off and deal with tasks that have little to no impact on your company. Instead, start with the to-do’s that are difficult or you’ve been putting off for a while. In doing so, you’ll feel accomplished, and it’ll give you the motivation to handle the next priority in line with confidence. 

Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves. – Dale Carnegie, American writer.

Simplify and Streamline Processes

To streamline and automate processes that consume a lot of your time, look for software to take care of areas of your business for you. 

For instance, hr software from Elmosoftware assists you in consolidating numerous HR processes onto one system. A few of the areas they can take care of include talent acquisition, payroll, and maximizing employee performance. 

With everything HR-related in one space, available for you to access 24/7 online, managing your employees will be easier and less time-consuming. Meaning you can concentrate on the areas of the company you love most.

Increase Productivity at Work

To maximize the time you have available to complete work projects, try using an application, such as Pomodoro. 

Pomodoro enables you to complete tasks in short bursts, with mini intervals to rest and make yourself a hot drink. Apps like Pomodoro are perfect for mompreneurs who are limited on time and need to improve productivity while working.

To ensure your life and business can thrive, consider including the small changes mentioned above into your existing routine.

Do you have other tips for mompreneurs that you want to share? Share it with me in comment section below!

How to Write an OR as VAT Registered Individuals

I am registered as a VAT Registered Individual. I didn’t start as a VAT registered self-employed professional. I moved from being Non-VAT to VAT. This was required when I finally earned more than 3 Million gross earnings or gross revenue in a year.

One of our concerns as VAT registered individual taxpayers is how to write an OR for VAT Individuals. By the way, OR is short for official receipts. We’re not used to writing VAT official receipts, since we’ve been so used to writing Non-VAT official receipts (haha! I may just be speaking for myself). So I took some time out of my day actually to write this blog post so that I will have my own guide and so that you may have a guide, too.

I’ll be sharing two scenarios to teach you how to write an OR for VAT Individuals

Scenario one:

You charged your client Php 20,000 and you said that this is net of taxes. They asked you if you are withholding and how much percentage will that be.

Answer: The first thing that you always need to do (and this is for both scenarios that I indicate in this blog) is to send them the following together with your proposal: (1) your Certificate of Registration; (2) mention that you are a VAT entity just in case they don’t check the COR; and, (3) send a sample official receipt or invoice (a blank one).

Next, the Php 20,000 that you mentioned above also becomes your VATABLE amount. My PRO TIP is that it’s best to quote “net of taxes” because it’s easier for you and for the finance department of your client to compute. So what’s the computation?

VATable Amount₱ 20,000.00
+ VAT (12% of VATable Amount)₱ 2,400.00
Total Payable₱ 22,400.00

On withholding taxes

Since they are withholding, withholding taxes for VAT individuals are usually at 10%. I usually find it weird when big local companies (their finance) ask me what ATC do I want. The company that withholds should be the one to choose how they want to declare the person based on the COR and service to be rendered by the individual is.

Let’s pause for a while though and define an ATC or Alphanumeric Tax Code. This is the code that tells the BIR what type of tax are you paying for. There are ATCs in different tax forms, but let’s focus on Withholding Taxes. You can find the complete guide of Alphanumeric Tax Codes in the BIR’s website. It’s alphanumeric because the format is like this… WI080.

The Client that you have is called a withholding tax agent. In their COR or Certificate of Registration, they probably have to pay “Withheld Taxes – Expanded” or Expanded Withholding Taxes. That means, for each expense that they have, they have to withhold a certain percentage. So since they are paying you, they need to withhold a certain percentage and declare this to the government. This filing of theirs (to put it simply) has a list of all the people and companies that they have paid and this list is called a QAP or Quarterly Alphalist of Payees. So if you still don’t know how BIR knew you were paid even if you didn’t declare, this is it.

This is the reason why they need to give you the form 2307 or Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld. It is proof that they really remitted the taxes they said they will withhold and pay for. This is important because you can deduct the taxes they withheld from the income taxes you’re supposed to pay. For paying of income tax and how to “attach or deduct” the amount from form 2307, just use Taxumo. They have an onboarding session where you will learn how to use Taxumo to pay for taxes without really needing to know how to compute the nitty gritty details. Use my code mommyg for a 10% from your chosen subscription plans: (if you are VAT, the plan for that is the SMB plan).

So going back to the computation, the withholding taxes are withheld from the VATable amount. So let’s say your ATC is for 10% withheld taxes: 

VATable Amount₱ 20,000.00
+ VAT (12% of VATable Amount)₱ 2,400.00
Total Payable₱ 22,400.00
LESS: Withholding Tax (10% of VATable Amount)₱ 2,000.00
Net Payable₱ 20,400.00

So what do you write on your official receipt? With all the numbers above, do you want to guess? 🙂

What you will write on the right side of the OR (where you write the amount in words) is the ₱ 20,400. You will then write the breakdown on the portion where you can write the breakdown, usually on the left side for the OR.

When you get paid, you will receive (1) ₱20,400 as payment in cash and (2) ₱2,000 as payment in the form of a Form 2307 Certificate of Tax Withheld. Make sure you get both!

Scenario two:

What if I failed to tell my client I was a VAT entity and I’m fine with Php 20,000 inclusive of VAT. What is the computation? The client will also withhold.

In this case, you’ll have to compute back from the total amount / VAT Inclusive Price to the VATable + VAT amounts. Don’t worry, doing so is very easy:

VAT Inclusive Price₱ 20,000.00
VATable Amount (VAT Inclusive ÷ 1.12)₱ 17,857.14
VAT (12% of VATable Amount)₱ 2,142.86
Total Payable₱ 20,000.00
LESS: Withholding Tax (10% of VATable Amount)₱ 1,785.71
Net Payable₱ 18,214.28

So there you have it. These are the two scenarios that I’d like to share with you. If your scenario is more complicated than what I shared above (it’s possible), you can consult with a CPA via Taxumo Consult. A 45 minute consultation with them is just at ₱1000.

Hope this helps you understand how to write an OR for VAT Individuals. Please share this if you find this useful.

P.S. For Non-VAT individuals, you can check this out: A Freelancers and Consultants Guide to Using Taxumo