When you’re running a business, it’s important to ensure that you are keeping things as easy as possible for your customers. In doing so, you can guarantee that they are more likely to provide you with the fantastic reviews that you need while also returning for the critical repeat sale. This is key to longevity on the market. So, let’s explore some of the factors that you must consider here.
Keep Security At The Right Level
First, you need to make sure that you are keeping security standards at the right level in your business model. Without the right standards of security, you are always going to struggle to gain the trust of your customers and ensure that you have a positive reputation on the market. If you want to ensure that your business reaches the right standards here, then you should consider investing in an IT support solution. They will monitor your business network and make sure that any gaps in security protocols are filled in without any further delays or issues.
Hire The Best Team
Next, you should make sure that you are hiring the best team in your business model. Without the right team, you are always going to struggle to deliver the high quality, smooth service that customers and clients expect. One of the best ways to find the best team would be to use a recruitment agency. A recruitment agency will allow you to cut through the maze of candidates on the market who may not be suitable or qualified enough for a position in your business. They essentially act as gatekeepers for the best people who you can hire to work for your company in every sector and position.
Automate Elements Where Possible
Finally, you should strive to automate elements of your business model where possible. There are various elements of your business that can be automated. For instance, you might want to learn how to optimize the merchant onboarding process using the right tools and software. In doing so, you can guarantee that there are no delays in terms of payment processing in your business model. This is just one example of how automated solutions can help guarantee that your company does run smoothly in the future.
Offer Advanced Client And Customer Support Solutions
Finally, you need to make sure that you are providing the right customer support solutions. If anything does go wrong in your business, you need to make sure that you are resolving the situation as quickly as possible without any further delays or issues. There are various ways to ensure that this is the case. For instance, you might want to consider using a call handling solution. With a call handling solution, you can ensure that your customers never have to spend hours on hold waiting to talk to someone from your business.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key points that you need to consider to ensure that you do provide everything that your customers are looking for from your business.
Sharing this article with Sole Proprietorships and Freelancers / Professionals.
It’s almost December 31 and we’re still as busy as ever. I’m personally busy also as I need to “close” some things for my Sole Proprietorship business. As you know, I am a co-founder of Taxumo, but I have my own personal business which is registered as a Sole Proprietorship. We often hear the term “closing” from business people when it’s December, but we don’t know exactly what they mean. This is especially true if you are new in running a business or not in business at all but exploring this world (might be a plan for next year).
So I decided to write this as a guide for all Sole Proprietorships and Professionals/Freelancers, because we normally need to do the same things anyway when it comes to compliance.
The things that I will share in this article are the things that I personally do.
Collect all Pending Receivables
Receivables are funds that you need to collect from clients. So in my case, I monitor all of my collections in Trello. My handler, Niña and I then go through it and we try to contact the clients that we have to ask if they can pay before the year ends.
The reason why I do this is because I need to issue official receipts and collect 2307 (Creditable Tax Withheld) forms from these clients so that I can include it for this year.
Track and Compute the Taxes that you need to pay for January
People usually forget that you need to pay for their Percentage or VAT taxes as Sole Proprietorships in January, need to Renew their Mayor’s or Business Permits and even pay the Annual Registration Fee for the tax ministry (BIR or Bureau of Internal Revenue). Since they forget it, they usually end up not having money to pay these taxes or to even renew their businesses.
I use Taxumo so I know exactly how much I should set aside for my taxes for January and even for April’s Annual Income Tax Return (Annual ITR) tax deadline as early as now. This is how I efficiently plan my finances. It’s actually good that I collect in December, because I don’t have a problem anymore when it comes to funding these. I can sleep soundly at night.
What I do is I actually set aside these funds and place it in my ING account so it earns higher interest rate. I don’t touch it, too. 4% is huge so “yey” for me!
As for Business Permit Renewal for Sole Proprietorships, I secured the services of Taxumo for this. They have limited slots though since the government process in the LGUs is still very much MANUAL. To be honest, I’m not sure if they have slots to help you process your Mayor’s Permit / Business Renewal in your LGUs. Tauxmo Can cater to Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Tarlac, Pangasinan and Baguio clients. If you are interested to check if they have a slot, email customercare(at)taxumo(dot)com.
By the way, for Freelancers and Professionals, check your occupational tax receipts and professional tax receipts. Some of the LGUs require that you renew that on a yearly basis. You may need to go to your barangay to renew those. Some also require an NBI permit and a health certificate so that you can renew it (just a heads up!).
But, here is a checklist that you can use of what you need to compile. I’m proud to say that I’ve completed all of these things. I “printed” (shucks! super wasteful process 🙁 haay!) all of my tax filings and BIR confirmations that the Municipal Hall needs. They will need to know your gross sales for the year.
As for this, if you know someone from your Municipal Halls or work for Municipal halls, please let me know. For full disclosure, we at Taxumo have ways to help them really simplify all of these.
So going back, yes, you have to print all of these. Check out my complete files!
I’m so proud… I’m going to tear up. For some reason, I love that sense of accomplishment after completing this checklist. I feel like an adult! haha! Wait, I am one! haha!
It took me just a couple of hour printing since all of my filings (files and documents) are in Taxumo. I didn’t need to scramble through all of my files. I printed the form, BIR confirmation and the Payment record. I then signed all of the forms and used binder clips to distinguish the Income tax forms with SAWT attachments and confirmation, versus my VAT forms (I am VAT so for Non-VAT entities, you’ll have Percentage tax forms) versus the Annual Renewal fee or the 0605 form that I paid via Taxumo last January.
Update your Books
So I finished updating all of my books, too. For those who are wondering, YES, I write them all by myself. Taxumo allows you to generate and print a report that’s formatted already so you just need to copy it per column. Check out the picture above. The papers on the right side are the reports from Taxumo and one of my books is the one on the left. These books of accounts reports come with any of the subscription plans of Taxumo.
So there, that’s what I do at the end of the year. I got my stuff all in order, and I feel that I can enjoy celebrations now!
How about you? What’s your “end-of-year” business process? Shout out to all Sole Proprietorships and Professionals! Share it with us. Let’s help one another.
Here are other articles that you might want to check out:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some friends have advised me — Stop watching Netflix. You become unproductive.
Yes, oh so evil, Netflix! You have become the major temptress in this insane life of mine.
I have succumb to the temptation, and willingly allow myself to be seduced. But hear me out first, before you judge. I need it!
Aside from the fact that I need a break from running a business and raising a child, I get to learn a lot of secrets to running a business by watching shows on Netflix (by the way, this isn’t a sponsored post… just to put it out there!)
So today, especially when you want to finally start that business that you have always wanted to start, watch Netflix shows. Or if you’re like me, trying to survive the cut-throat and challenging world of entrepreneurship where only the ones with hard core GRIT survive, just give in to the temptation. It won’t hurt.
I’m sharing a list of my favorite shows with quotes or lines that I love, because each one taught me a lesson. Each one also either inspired me emotionally or urged me to write strategies and plans.
Line: One of the lines exchanged in the show was between Number 5 and Vanya:
Number Five: I’ve decided you’re the only one I can trust.
Vanya: Why me?
Number 5: Because you’re ordinary. Because you’ll listen.
Lesson: Sincerely listen and be your own unique self.
As confident as I may seem, there are a lot of times when I feel sincerely out of place. I’ve suffered having Impostor Syndrome a lot of times. I always feel like I’m not good enough or that I shouldn’t be chosen for a lot of things.
But rather than focusing on what you can or can’t do, I have decided a long time ago to shift the focus from me to other people. How do you do that? Just listen. Intentionally listen and just be there for the other person. You’ll discover a lot about the other person (and a lot about you, too) in the process of the conversation.
Also, it will always be a breath of fresh air when you do YOU. You don’t have to like the same things other people like. You don’t have to do what people who inspire you in social media do. Do your own thing. Be your own self. We need a world with people with different talents and strengths. It’s good to have a life where you want to be better and always strive for excellence, but it has to be your own path. You have to steer your own ship towards where you want it to go.
Line: One of the lines of Dustin Henderson (Stranger Things, Season 2)
I am on a curiosity voyage, and I need my paddles to travel. These books are my paddles. I need my paddles.
Lesson: Read books. It will guide you in this journey.
There are a lot of hurdles in life that you have to overcome. There were numerous times when we would get stuck looking for the right answer to a business decision that we need to make.
Oftentimes, the secrets to running a business are just in front of you stored in books. Authors write books because it’s a way to pass on their experiences to a massive following. Most of them write, because they feel that it’s their obligation and purpose to help others learn from mistakes made in the past.
I’ve always admired authors, and the work that they have. When you think of books as “secrets and keys to unlock the mysteries of life”, wouldn’t you want to read more?
House of Cards
Line: One of the amazing lines of Frank Underwood
History is earned. You win the day, and then you win the day after, and you do the same thing every day until you’re dead. And you’re remembered not for the winning, but because you never lost!
Lesson: Success takes time. Perseverance and grit is what will make you survive and eventually, succeed.
Ever since we started our business, a lot of people trusted us BUT, a lot of people also thought that we would or will eventually fail. This will be the same journey for you when you decide to embark on this entrepreneurship journey. I guarantee you.
When you hear these things from other people, you’ll sometimes wonder “Yeah, he’s/she’s right! What the F am I doing with my life when I can opt to live comfortably. I’m not dumb. I work smart and hard. I have my family’s lives at stake here for crying out loud!Wake up <insert your name here>”
This I tell you, if you want to make a difference and if you want to feel that sense of fulfilment and purpose (in any thing that you’re doing — not just in business, but in employment or in being a professional, etc.), don’t expect it to come in a day, or in a month, or in a year.
I’ve noticed that the reason why people quit their jobs is that they think that they will find fulfilment in a month or in a year or even three years.
What I’ve learned is that it takes decades, hell, even a lifetime to possibly get to that point where you feel that you’ve made a difference. And the bigger the difference, the longer the time it takes.
This is why I love this line. People won’t remember the little wins that you’ve had for your company — the press write-ups and all. What they will remember is that you continuously fought and that you never gave up.
And changing direction, doesn’t mean giving up. It just means your pivoting and learning from the experiences that you’ve had. Changing direction just means changing direction, so don’t feel bad about it. In my opinion, it’s not equivalent to quitting. I’d liken it to growing.
Line: From Quellcrist Falconer
First thing you’ll learn is that nothing is what it seems. Ignore your assumptions. Don’t trust anything. What you see, what you hear, what people tell you, what you think you remember.
Lesson: Question everything to get to the answer.
I think one of the gifts that I have is that I have “hunches” when it comes to business, and they turn out to be right. When it comes to assessing people though, I’m pretty bad at it. I tend to see the good in people and always see the positive. So being in business has really taught me to question and ask for more information, before making decisions.
Quells quote here may be an exaggeration, but it teaches is that we need to be more inquisitive. Maybe most people and things are still authentic and remain true to their form. With technology, social media, and all of these changes, authentic appearances and true intentions are hidden in “noise” and in filters.
So if you’re in business, you have to practice looking for, hearing and seeing what your customers truly want and need.
So, see… You can learn a lot from watching shows on Netflix. The next time your spouse or friend brings this up, just say that Netflix is your TED Talks.
P.S. Do you like the secrets to running a business that I have shared? Do you like this article? Would you like a part two? 😃 Comment on the section below!
I know of a lot of women who want to start their own businesses, but really don’t know where to start and what to do. At my previous office, I can name at least a dozen women in my circle who would love to escape from the corporate environment and start their own ‘thing’. But how do you start — really start?
It all starts with looking for business ideas. But then again, you might ask, how do I find THE business idea? Well, based on my own experiences and some experiences of other momtrepreneurs, here are ways and tips that you can do or follow to look for business ideas:
1. Know yourself and write down your skills and hobbies.
Prepare a list of the things that you are good at. Write it down. It can be that you have a nice singing voice or you give out outstanding presentations. It can be that you write well or have a knack for writing creative stories. It can be that you love and appreciate food, love shopping or even love creating little trinkets. If you do not know what you are good at, try to listen to what others tell you that your strengths are.
Now, why am I asking you to do this. In starting your own business, it should you be something that you like doing, something that is of interest to you or something that you have the passion for. Now, if you are thinking of starting a business that you don’t really like, but you want to start it just because everyone’s doing it, then there are lesser chances for success. I believe that even if you hire a person to do the ‘dirty work’, for the first few years of the business, the ‘business owner’ will still be the main driver. How can you motivate a team, when you yourself are not motivated enough to get up in the morning and face your newly established business?
2. Read Books & Magazines. Surf the Net.
Ideas come from everywhere. I, personally, do this. I read magazines (hehe… don’t really like books unless these are the motivating one for personal finance. I love those books! They make me feel rich instantly :P) and I surf a lot. With every article that I read, I know that I won’t be able to use them right away, but somehow, at some point in time, I get a bright idea based on that article that I want to turn into a business. If you ask me now, I have tons of these businesses in the list in my mind, which I only get to execute one by one. So read up, people!
3. Break the ‘Cycle’
This, I am serious about. I’ve met a lot of people who are still working and really want to start their own businesses, but give me the reason that they are so busy with work. Their daily schedule is: Wake up at 6:00 am. Feed the baby. Get ready for work. Drive to work. Work. Have lunch break with people from work. Call home to check on the baby. Work. Have an afternoon break with again people at work. Work. Drive home. Feed the baby. Eat. Try to squeeze in work again. Sleep. And the cycle continues.
How about breaking that cycle and try having lunch with other people aside from workmates at least twice a month. Try having lunch with a high school friend or college friend whom you have never seen and catch up. You can also take fitness classes in the evening and meet new friends. How about a cooking class? This will probably just take 1 hour anyway. Why not drop work when you get home and watch the news instead? If you are in that hypnotic cycle, try to break free! It will boost creativity and it will also widen your network. Which leads me to…
4. Widen your contact list.
I love talking to people. You can ask my family and friends and they will tell you that I am a walking directory of people. I love, love, love getting to know people and asking them about what they do and what they are busy with. I love doing that since I also love helping them connect with others, who I think would be helpful to them in the endeavor that they are doing or I, personally, may be able to help them. Talking to people and having them talk to you about what they like, what they want to do, what they are good at, etc. can sometimes trigger that light bulb for an idea of the business that you are looking for.
5. Keep an open mind and think of a solution to a need.
Sometimes, we think that everything has been done before. There is no other business that is left to create and launch. Well, you are wrong. I believe that as long as people want specific solutions to their needs, there will always be new ideas — new businesses that take off and fly. So, keep your ears on the ground. Listen to what people are clamoring for. Write down all of these needs and one day, you will come up with a solution. A solution that will be your own ‘business idea’.
Would you have other tips for business idea creation? Let us know. Please share your thoughts.