How Businesses Can Thrive in this New Landscape

There is no doubt that businesses all over the world are reeling from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. With millions of people currently being advised to stay at home as much as possible, companies need to be agile and adaptable to survive. I, personally think that most businesses now are asking “now what?”. They’re asking how businesses can thrive in this new landscape. If you run a business, and you’re looking to work towards a more stable and profitable future, here are some tips to help you thrive in a new landscape.

Go online

While many businesses have been hampered by having to close physical premises (we’ve just moved into a full work-from-home scheme), some have seen an increase in traffic, customers and sales as a result of offering online services. People are spending more time online than usual, and they’re also using websites to place orders and find details of companies providing services in their local area.

If you don’t already have a website, you don’t offer an option to order or buy online, or you don’t accept web or phone payments, now is the time to consider making changes. If you run a store, for example, you could look into marketing your products online and setting up a local delivery service, or you could offer customers the chance to order and pay online using systems like those available from Total Merchant Services.

For businesses to thrive in this new landscape, it’s also useful for businesses to use online marketing techniques to drum up interest while offices, stores and showrooms are shut. Using SEO, PPC and social media marketing, you can drive traffic to your website, create high-quality leads and increase conversion rates.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Communicate

One of the most crucial aspects of navigating uncharted waters is keeping in touch with customers and clients. Keep people in the loop and let them know what kinds of services and products you’re selling and how they can continue to support you during and after the Covid-19 crisis. If you’re now offering online services, for example, let your customers know how they can find your website, what they can buy and which delivery or collection options are available to them.

Use social media to promote your products and services, but also to reach out, keep channels of communication open and inform followers of any news or updates. At this time, customers may have questions and queries about placing orders or visiting a store or an office, so it’s critical to check your emails and social media comments and reply promptly.

Diversify

The pandemic has created difficulties for businesses across all sectors, but it has also opened doors. Demand for some products has soared, for example, and many companies and brands have emerged in a positive light after supporting relief services or measures designed to benefit those on the front line.

If you’re looking to make the most of a negative situation, diversifying may be an option. Could you turn towards creating and selling a different type of product or change the way you provide services? Gyms are an excellent example. While clients cannot train at a facility at the moment, they can tune into virtual sessions, register for online classes or enroll in one-to-one personal training sessions delivered by video call. 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Global lockdowns have impacted businesses in almost every country, and there is no doubt that the landscape is very different now. To thrive, it’s vital to be adaptable, flexible, resourceful and innovative.

All About Business Registration with the BIR

The Bureau of Internal Revenue just announced recently that anyone who is earning income, especially those who are earning via electronic means, should be registered with the BIR. They discussed in detail business registration with the BIR in this circular RMC 60-2020.

Part of the list of types of business mentioned by the BIR are the following:

  • businesses earning via electronic means
  • Partner sellers and merchants
  • Payment gateways
  • Delivery channels
  • Internet service Providers
  • and other facilitators

All business owners shall update their business registration document with the BIR and their status no later then July 31, 2020.

Business owners, aside from business registration, are all encouraged to voluntarily declare all past transactions when declared and paid before the said date.

For all newly registered businesses, too, you are also required to have and do the following:

  • Issue Official Receipt or Invoice for every sale
  • Keep registered Books of Accounts and accounting records of business transactions
  • Withhold taxes (if applicable)
  • File required tax returns
  • Pay correct taxes on time

BASIC REGISTRATION GUIDELINES FROM THE BIR

Which RDO should you register with?

In general, register with the RDO in the city where your head office is located or in the city of your residence if you are an individual or self-employed tax payer.

If I don’t have TIN?

You have to get a Tax Identification Number first before registering your business.

What if I have a TIN but I haven’t registered any business yet?

Please register your business using Form 1901 of the BIR in the RDO within the correct city of the place of business.

If you need the list of requirements, feel free to head on over to https://www.taxumo.com/business-registration/ The complete list is there for Individual tax payer (whether you are a Non-Licensed professional like a consultant, freelancer, etc. or a Licensed Professional like a doctor, etc. or a Sole Proprietor like an online seller, etc.)

What are the requirements to get a Certificate of Registration?

How do I know if I am completed business registration with the BIR?

You will know if you are completely registered with the BIR if you have a Certificate of Registration or Form 2303, An Authority to Print form (this is so that you can have ORs and Invoices printed by accredited printers) and stamped books of accounts.

If you are based in these locations, Taxumo offers a service where they can process the registration for you:

  • All parts of Metro Manila
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • Cavite
  • Tarlac
  • Batangas

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to bizreg@taxumo.com.

Hope this helps!

6 Essential Tools For A Successful Small Business

There are several types of software, tools, and apps that simplify tasks and speed up projects for small business owners and their employees. However, the problem of finding the ideal tools can be a bit challenging for even the tech-savviest entrepreneurs. So, in this article, we will take a look at essential tools for a successful small business. I divided it into different categories, but all aimed towards making the business experience less complicated. 

Project Management

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Every new business (particularly one with a remote workforce, or one that requires collaboration across various teams) needs some assistance in keeping track of its several projects and tasks. This is especially true if your business has a remote workforce that needs some means of collaboration across the board. Using traditional email service is not the optimal solution for this, as it is too isolated. Plus, some members can easily be left out of the mailing list and may lose important updates. 

Project management platforms such as https://setapp.com/how-to/apps-to-brainstorm-more-effectively make available several essential project tools that cover coding, writing, drawing, as well as other tools needed for taking on projects successfully. There are also cloud-based tools that give complete and transparent access to projects. They indicate project status, its lifecycle, and also allows every authorized user to trace the progress of such projects from start to completion.

Website performance monitoring

A company’s website is the online soul of the company. Not only should it offer visitors every information they need to know about the company, but it should be used as an advertising platform to attract potential clients and drive sales. No matter how attractive or impressive your website is, you should be able to know how people are using it, not using it, or have the potential to use it. This information will help you create adjustments with the sole purpose of influencing potential clients to make the decisions you want. Website monitoring tools such as Google Analytics helps to track all visitors to your website. It shows you whether they are leaving immediately or staying longer as well as the kind of pages they are visiting on your website. It also offers insight into what kind of data you can use to increase performance, create traffic, and boost sales.

Customer Relationship Management

No matter what kind of business you are engaged in, you cannot ignore the role digital marketing plays in the success or otherwise of a company. And one of the most important tools of digital marketing (and indeed, marketing in general) is customer relationship management (CRM). The days of operating your customer relationships on the fly are no longer here. Most of the time, this system has led to forgotten or lost leads, and in some instances, turned repeat clients into ghosts.

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool offers an opportunity to track almost every aspect of the client relationship you are able to build. It makes it possible to know how often a company follows up with loyal clients. It also gives an indication of which users and how many are visiting the company’s website. Also, a company will be able to track essential information like how many site visitors are filling out online forms but not completing purchases. There are several types of customer relationship management software to choose from. All these are designed to help you keep your company organized internally while ensuring a healthy relationship with your clients.

Social Media Management

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Almost every successful business is aware of the role social media plays in the success of businesses. With the constant rise in the number of social media users worldwide, there is a pool of potential customers in the billions that are waiting to be reached. Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer businesses the chance to reach a wider number of audiences within a short period of time. 

One of the best ways a company can maximize the potential that social media offers are by linking the platforms to the company’s website. Doing this will help to direct traffic to the website with the help of effective marketing campaigns. This means that the company has to regularly update all social media platforms with engaging content that will draw comments and interactions. This will give the company the opportunity to respond to questions from both clients and potential customers. Another great thing about social media platforms is the fact that most of them come with optimization tools that allow users to monitor feed, view analysis, and even create and schedule relevant posts.

Accounting Software

Crunching numbers is one thing that most new business owners are not too excited about. In fact, some new business owners feel that the accounting aspect of their businesses is too boring to require proper attention until they start receiving surprise visits from the Internal Revenue Service for audits. Thankfully, you do not need to be an accounting guru to be able to handle the accounts of your new company, expertly.

With the presence of several online accounting software to choose from, you can easily handle the accounting rudiments of your new company. Online accounting software takes on the work of both accounting and bookkeeping. It does so by tracking both profits as well as expenses, creating expense claims, sending invoices, reconciling debts, and handling basically anything else that will keep the Internal Revenue Service off your door. If you are a beginner in this arena, and you’d like to simply keep track of your income and expenses, file and pay your taxes, try Taxumo. Although it’s not an accounting software but a tax service software, it’s something that you can use especially when you are just starting a business.

Email Marketing

One of the most slept-on online tools for new businesses is email marketing. Email marketing offers one of the most effective and popular digital marketing strategies – newsletters. And just like most of the tools already touched on, email marketing tools also come in different types to choose from. Most of the email marketing platforms will help businesses to easily design and send out and review the results of the company’s newsletters. It also helps businesses to respond to questions from customers as well as receive important feedback. Using email marketing will mean that your company will have a mailing list to communicate regularly. Some platforms come with features that allow you to monitor which recipients opened the newsletter, which pages they visited most, and who should receive follow-up emails.

Other Essential Tools For A Successful Small Business

There are other tools that you can use for other things in your business. From SEO to Graphic design — the list can go on and on. There are also a lot of tools online for Search Engine Optimization. When you want to rank on the first few pages of Google, it’s beneficial to do a website audit, see where you stand when it comes to certain keywords, etc. To know more about SEO, we discussed it in an interview with Sean Si, one of the experts here in the Philippines.

For Graphic design, I use Canva. How about you? What other essential tools for a successful small business do you use and you can recommend? Share with us using the comments section below.

How to Submit BIR Attachments During GCQ

To be honest with you, I really don’t want to leave the house. I’ve been rejecting work from potential clients that require me to go to their physical stores. I really want to help though, but I think to keep everyone safe, it’s my personal choice to stay at home. With the BIR deadline coming up, one of the questions people are asking is how to submit BIR attachments during GCQ (General Community Quarantine).

Yesterday, I saw that BIR came out with RMC 49-2020 (Revenue Memorandum Circular 49-2020). This circular is being issued to provide options to taxpayers in the submission of the filed 2019 Income Tax Return and its required attachments.

So option one is to submit them through Revenue Collection Officers (RCOs). And the new option is to submit online using a facility called eAFS.

How to Submit BIR Attachments via Revenue Collection Officers (RCOs) with payments done via online facility of AABs

A taxpayer should bring all the pertinent documents that he/ she has which are the Annual Income Tax Form, the eBIR or eFPS confirmation and the attachments. Examples of the attachments are all 2307 forms, 2316 form, the SAWT validation, and the AFS (if applicable to your business).

Note also that: “The attachments to the income tax returns shall be stamped only on the page of the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement and Audit Certificate, if applicable. The other pages of the financial statements and its attachments need not be stamped “Received”. In case of corporations and other juridical persons, at least 2 extra copies of the Audited Financial Statements for filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should be stamped “Received” pursuant to Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) Nos. 6-2010 and 13-2011.” Personally, I just create 4 copies of all sets of documents.

How to Submit BIR Attachments Through eAFS

Any taxpayer, may submit the Filed ITR and its required attachments through the BIR eAFS system. This may be accessed through the BIR website (eAFS icon).

First step is to gather 3 sets of documents and save them as PDF copies. The three sets of documents are: (1) ITR Documents; (2) AFS documents (if applicable; (3) Other documents. I will expound on each below.

ITR Documents

  • For Manually Filed ITRs: lncome Tax Return (BlRForm l7O2 or 77OL)stamped bY AABProof of Payment
  • For Electronically File ITRs: Filing ReferenceNumber/EmailNotification

Note that the file name should be: EAFSXXXXXXXXXITR2019 where: XXXXXXXXX is your 9-digit TIN and 2019 is the taxable year. File size should not exceed 4.8 GB.

AFS Documents (if applicable)

For both Manually and Electronically Filed ITRs, compile these:

  • Certificate of independent CPA duly accredited by the BIR. The CPA certificate is required if the gross annual sales, earnings, receipts or output exceed (3M). 
  • Account information Form (AlF) and/or Financial Statements (FS), including the following schedules prescribed under existing revenue issuances which must form part of the Notes to the audited FS: 
    • Taxes and licenses 
    • Other information prescribed to be disclosed in the notes to FS
  • Statement of Management’s Responsibility (SM R) for Annual income Tax Return

Note that the file name should be: EAFSXXXXXXXXXAFS2019 where: XXXXXXXXX is your 9-digit TIN and 2019 is the taxable year. File size should not exceed 4.8 GB

OTHER ATTACHMENTS

  • Certificate of income Payments not subjected to Withholding Tax (BlR Form No. 2304), if applicable; 
  • Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld at Source (BlR Form No. 2307) – All 2307s;
  • Duly approved Tax Debit Memo, if applicable; 
  • Withholding Tax Remittance Return on Sale of Real Properties (BlR Form No. 1606) 
  • Proof of prior year’s excess credits, if applicable;
  • Proof of Foreign Tax Credits, if applicable; 
  • For amended return, proof of tax payment and the return previously filed; Report of electronically submitted Summary Alphalist of withholding Agents of income Payments Subjected to withholding Tax at Source (SAWT) thru esubmission@bir.gov.ph, if applicable;
  • Proof of other tax payments/credit, if applicable; 
  • Certificate of Compensation Payment/Tax Withheld (BlR Form No. 2316);
  • Others

Note that the file name should be: EAFSXXXXXXXXXOTH2O19-01 where XXXXXXXXX is your 9-digit TIN and 2019 is the taxable year. “01” will be the first file of other attachments and “02” will be the second file and so on and so forth. File size (per file) should not exceed 4.8 GB.

The eAFS will acknowledge successful submission by issuing a system generated Transaction Reference Number and by sending an email to the system user. This Transaction Reference Number shall serve as the proof of submission by the taxpayer, in lieu of the manual “Received” stamping.

All of us should should keep the original copies of the digitally submitted documents in accordance with Section 203 of the NIRC for the period as prescribed under Revenue Regulations ll-2013. This is just in case the BIR officers need to see it later on, we have a copy.

Here is the link to the RMC 49-2020 on BIR attachments.

https://www.bir.gov.ph/images/bir_files/internal_communications_1/Advisory/posted%20while%20under%20quarantine%20march%202020/RMC%20No.%2049-2020.pdf

Step – by – step guide (Annex to RMC)

P.S. If you are a Taxumo user, like I am, please stay tuned for announcements. 🙂 They will be announcing details about attachments this week.

Hope this helps!

Startups 101: How Digital Marketing can Grow Your Business During the Corona Virus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed many industries across the globe, rendering millions of people unemployed. As many economies continue to decline (almost hitting recession), businesses are losing billions of dollars in revenues. The pandemic also presents a steep learning curve for many businesses. In particular, the COVID-19 crisis underlines the importance of learning and implementing digital marketing strategies in overcoming marketing uncertainties and dynamics and anticipating customer needs.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Speaking of the advantages and the benefits of digital marketing, here are some ways digital marketing can support the growth of your business during this pandemic.

Relationship building

The success of any business is founded on the relationships with the stakeholders, including customers, employees, and shareholders. Digital marketing platforms, including social media platforms, offer a unique platform for building stronger relationships, particularly with customers. During this pandemic, customer loyalty is especially an invaluable asset that makes the difference between closing down your business and staying afloat. Therefore, it’s important to harness the power of digital marketing channels, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to develop connections tailored for specific market segments and individual customers.

Data analysis

Today’s business landscape is dependent on data. Metadata is increasingly becoming an invaluable asset. Analyzing and interpreting metadata is critical in understanding market trends, customer behaviors, and making projections. A website company is strategically placed to deal with market uncertainties like this coronavirus pandemic. During this crisis, understanding customer buying habits and their geographical locations can help strategic positioning within the market and identifying potential niche markets to explore. Businesses can collect such valuable information from different platforms, including their websites.

Performance measurement

Digital marketing will provide your business with data for performance analysis. Digital tools such as Google Analytics will help your business gauge its performance in different markets. From lead generation on social media platforms to customer reviews and feedback, digital marketing channels offer a unique opportunity to fast-track strategy implementation and organizational performance. During this pandemic, informed re-strategizing is critical to establish a presence in new markets while also cementing your position in current niches. 

Improving market visibility

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal business operations across the globe. Traditional media channels are increasingly curating their content to help in the fight against the highly infectious disease. Digital platforms offer a disruptive and customizable marketing option for greater visibility. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and business websites are great ways to improve your visibility. These innovative digital marketing channels allow your business to create highly customized content to generate traffic.

Cost-effective market reach expansion

One of the advantages of using digital marketing is the freedom to curate messages; high-quality and interesting content that is tailored to specific markets. With digital technologies such as Facebook and YouTube, you get a cost-effective marketing strategy with a global reach. Marketing content and communication can be customized to appeal to specific jurisdictions you plan on establishing your business operations.

Surviving during this coronavirus pandemic requires well thought of business strategies. Settling on a cost-effective marketing strategy and decisiveness are essential entrepreneurship skills needed to navigate these hard times. Digital marketing offers a unique opportunity to expand business operations while creating curated content for communication and marketing purposes.

Hope these help! Share your thoughts using the comment section below.