Our Blog

Helpful Information Relating to All Aspects of Business Management

Our First Blog Entry

October 10, 2018

You read it all over the place, blogging is so important to your business.  But what is blogging?  Why is it important?  And how much time/energy do you put into blogging in order to be a successful blogger? 


Business blogging is a marketing tactic that gets your company more online visibility. It is said to help drive traffic to your website and helps convert website traffic into leads for your company.

 

Some other benefits of blogging include connecting your website to your visitors by developing relationships with potential and existing customers, establishing your business as an industry leader by showing your expertise,  and sharing relevant information with your customers.  In many ways it distinguishes your company from your competitors.


To write a successful blog, however, it takes planning, good writing skills, valuable content, and frequency.  It is recommended, at minimum, to blog at least once a week to stay engaged with your audience.  


Now with all the other day-to-day operations most business owners are tasked with, this seems like a daunting task.  With all the testimonials about how blogging helps your business grow, I believe you should at least attempt to blog, have someone in your office contribute blogging articles to post, or outsourcing your blogging to a professional.  


*Precision Marking Services, opening in 2019, will be offering blogging services.  

Starting Your Business

October 18, 2018

 Congratulations!  You have made the decision to pursue your dreams and join the millions of Americans in living the entrepreneurship dream!  But now what?  With so much to consider and put into place.....where do you start?


First, you must register your entity with the Secretary of State in all states you will be domiciled from.  But in order to do that, you need to decide how to structure your company for success.  This is a LEGAL consideration and you should never choose your entity type prior to speaking to an attorney.  Launch by LegalShield is a great way to get affordable attorney advise and have a company fill out and file all necessary business documents for you to get started.  


Next, calculate your anticipated start up costs.  Understand that as a business owner, you may not have an income to pay yourself for some time as well.  Make sure you are financially ready for the next several months.  There are rarely loans available to new ventures, so if you need financing, you may need to consider reaching out to friends/family to loans or investment opportunities.  


Now you are ready to open a business account.  Choose a bank that has free checking and is supportive of its business account holders.  Try to apply for a business credit card or line of credit to help you during the first few months.  Make sure you are using your business account for ALL BUSINESS EXPENSES and you are not using your business account for personal expenses.  This is called commingling accounts and is ILLEGAL.  


Reach out to an insurance professional to determine what types of coverages are recommended for your business type and GET INSURED!  Protect your hard work and investment!  It may also be required by law to carry insurance depending on the industry or type of structure you chose for your company.  


Educate yourself about all aspects of running your company.  You need to have at least a basic knowledge of marketing, financing, and managing your company even if you decide to outsource some of those services.  Start with your local SBDC to see what low cost workshops or free one-on-one consulting they offer in these areas.  Then, find knowledgeable business partners to help you with the tasks that you feel would better be handled by others.   We offer bookkeeping, payroll, and marketing services!


Develop a business plan so that you can track your company goals and progress towards those goals.  Update your financial projections monthly and continually "work" on your business development.  Running your business is a continual process that may require you to evolve in order to be successful.  If you get stuck, reach out to a business coach or other professionals for assistance.  

What You Need To Know About Cybersecurity As A Small Business Owner

October 29, 2018

Cybercrime is one of the fasted growing risks to businesses - even small businesses!  The fact is 71% of hackers target small businesses because they are less likely to have effective data security measures internally.  The average cost of a small business data breach is $86,500, causing many small businesses effected to have to shut their doors permanently.  


Other reasons why your small business is at a higher risk is inadequate employee training on cyber attacks, disgruntled employees with access to customer's personal information, and the high loss or theft of electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones.  


All 50 states have laws requiring businesses to notify customers when their personal data has been breached and some states have requirements of small businesses to protect personal data before a breach can occur.  KNOW THE LAWS IN EVERY STATE YOU DO BUSINESS IN....and if you sell a product on the internet, you should know the laws in ALL states.  Effective September 1, 2018. Colorado enacted privacy and cybersecurity legislation that requires all businesses to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures, dispose of documents containing confidential information properly, ensure that confidential information is protected when transferred to a third party, and notify affected individuals of data breaches within 30 days. In addition, you must notify the Colorado Attorney General and credit reporting agencies depending on the number of people who may have been affected by the breach.


The law pertains to entities that maintain personal identifying information (PII), which includes a first initial or name and last name paired with a social security number, personal identification number, password, passcode, state issued driver’s license or ID card, passport number, biometric data, employer/student/military ID number, or financial information.  Regardless of how you obtain the information or where you store it, if you gather this type of data on your customers...YOU MUST COMPLY WITH THE LAW!


Now that you have heard the facts, what can you do?  Well, the first line of defense is to get Cyber Liability Coverage.  This coverage is often not included in your General Liability policy, and if it is, it may not bee enough coverage for your exposure.  Cyber Liability Insurance is a great defense both before and after an attack occurs.  Before hand, you insurance company can assess your current risk to an attack, provide training materials for you and your staff, and provide password protection assistance.  First-party coverage provides you with notification to clients that their information was compromised, the cost of credit monitoring services for customers affected, crisis management and public relations campaigns to restore the reputation of your company, pay for data being held hostage in an attack, replacement and installation of equipment damaged by the attack, and compensation for business income that a company was unable to earn while dealing with the fallout of the breach.  Third-party coverage can pay the defense costs for a lawsuit filed against the company for breach of data as well as judgments, civil awards, or settlements your company is legally obligated to pay after a court requires it.


SO, why take on the risk yourself as a small business owner?  Talk to your insurance agent today to get a quote for Cyber Liability Insurance and be in the know about state laws regarding Cybersecurity!

End Of Year For Small Business Owners

November 12, 2018

November/December are often times slower months for  businesses and after a year of running around wearing many different hats, this is often the best time for business management.  Below is a list of things we believe you must do to achieve and maintain success in your business.

1. Thank your customers!  Whether it is sending a thank you card or sending a small gift, let your customers know that they are special to you!

2. Thank your referral sources!  Send you referral sources a small gift or stop in with lunch to spend some time with them.  Referral sources are essential for your business to thrive and these relationships should be nurtured.

3.  Get your books in order.  Maybe you already have a bookkeeper helping you keep books all year, maybe you are the shoebox full of receipts kind of person.  This is the time of year to get organized and if you are doing your books yourself, maybe call around to see if outsourcing this task would be a better business decision for you next year.

4.  Take advantage of tax law that can reduce your tax burden.  If you have not already met with your tax advisor, December is the absolute last month of the year to do so so that you can spend those end-of-year dollars more efficiently then handing them over to Uncle Sam.  We recommend meeting with your tax advisor as early as August of each year.

5.  Evaluate last years goals and set some goals for next year.  It is PROVEN that to be a successful business you must have a business plan and budget written down.  Review these documents yearly - at minimum!  If you do not already have a business plan, maybe now is a good time to get one developed.  

6.  Review all your current systems in place.  Are there additional tools that they provide to help you be more efficient in your work flow?  Is there other systems that would be more beneficial to be using?  For example, Outloook users can set multiple signatures so that you do no have to retype the same email each time.  Maybe implement an internal chatting, such as Slack, for your employees to communicate quicker and more efficiently.

7.  Review your current insurance policies.  Do they accurately cover your current operations?  Are there other types of coverage you should have?  It may be worth it to have your insurance shopped around to see if you can save some money or get additional coverages you were unable to afford the previous year.  

8. Review your company's internal documents; such as policies and procedures, employee handbooks, and job descriptions.  Get input from current employees on things that need improved and make appropriate changes.  Spend time with your employees discussing your vision and figure out how to incorporate each person in achieving your company goals.

9.  Review your pricing.  Are you staying competitive in the market?  Are you priced way lower than the competition and can increase your revenue by increasing your pricing in certain areas?   Being the cheapest in your industry is not always the best.  It may make your potential customers think you are not as knowledgeable about what you do.

10.  Review your website.  Make sure all information is accurate and up to date.  Is it professional?  Are you getting traffic to your website?  Is it providing leads for future customers?  Find ways to improve your website and find ways to use is to your advantage.  

11.  Review your company's contracts.  Maybe you have a legal team to check for any new laws that may affect your line of business.  Maybe you need to update your subcontractor agreements or client contracts with new information and disclaimers to protect your company.  Protecting your company at all times is key to being successful.

12.  Take a look at classes, seminars, webinars, or books that will help you grow as a professional or learn more about your industry.  Staying on top of the current industry information will set you apart as a industry leader and help your customers feel they are getting the best information every time they talk to you.  NEVER STOP LEARNING!


At Precision Services, Inc. we can help you with all of the above!  From company registrations, commercial insurance, bookkeeping/payroll, legal resources for your business, and marketing strategies.  

Payroll Taxes Explained

February 18, 2019

One of the biggest issues I run into is business owners misclassifying their workers as independent contractors.  When asked about it, they say they are unable to make a profit if they make their workers employees due to tax obligations and workers compensation costs.  I am going to tackle what exactly is the employers tax liability below.  When you are in the know, you are able to build this cost into your bid and still make the same profit.  


Unless your organization is exempt (e.g. a charitable organization) you need to pay into federal and state unemployment insurance. Federal contributions are governed by FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act). FUTA’s maximum taxable earnings is $7,000, anything an employee earns beyond that amount is NOT taxed. The standard FUTA tax rate is 6% so your max contribution per employee could be $420/yr, however you can claim a tax credit of up to 5.4% (a max of $378) on your yearly taxes (if your taxes are paid in full and on time). Each state runs its own unemployment insurance program (SUI).

Employee taxes for federal and state are withheld from every check you pay the employee. The amount to withhold is calculated based on the information the employee provided on the Form W-4.


Both the employer and employee are responsible for Social Security and Medicare (FICA). The wage base for Medicare has not limit, so both you and the employee are on the hook for 1.45% taxes on everything earned. Social Security has a wage base of $132,900. Both you and your employee will be taxed 6.2% (up to $8,239.80) each with the current wage base. Your employee’s FICA contributions are withheld from their wages as well.


So, let’s put these figures to work. You hire a full-time worker whose salary is $45,000 per year and he is paid monthly ($3,750). Your payroll liabilities would look like this:

 Salary - $45,000

 FUTA - $420

 Medicare - $652.50

 Social Security - $2,790

TOTAL PAYROLL COST FOR EMPLOYER PER EMPLOYEE = $48,862.50


Don't let this additional $3,862.50 cost you thousands of dollars in fines and penalties for misclassification of your workers!  Protect your company, your employees, and your investment!