How to Manage Your Career


Most people spend the majority of their days working at their career; this article from the NY Times provides some great tips on how to manage your career. Keeping things in balance and building a strong foundation are vital to having a long lasting, happy career. It is a great read for any person with a job. It focuses on basic principles like effective networking, staying informed, and balancing your life. “You are not your career,” it says. Finding something you enjoy doing that is not work related and having balance in what you do will allow you to perform better in all aspects of life. Read on to get some great tips.
Summary By Jess

Marketing ideas for small business owners. Are you doing any of these?


Starting a small business shows you believe in yourself and in your product or service enough to invest in yourself. Marketing is the way to grow the seed you planted into something substantial. This article from OnDeck has some great tips for promoting your business in free and easy ways.

Taking the time to talk to others about what you’re passionate about–the thing that most likely takes most of your time and mental capacity–is important. Let others know what you do and why. It will attract clients who feel the same excitement and energy you have for your business and can help it spread. Take a look at this list and implement some of these strategies. Remember, you were brave enough to take the risk to start a business; now it’s time to let everyone know.
Read the full article here.
Summary by Jess

Book Review: The Miracle Morning


January is traditionally a time to reflect on the previous year, renew our resolves for healthier, balanced lives; a time to set lofty goals for the new year.  In true January spirit, here’s something that’s helping me achieve my big goals this year.

I bought a book last year called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, after a good friend recommended I pick it up.  While I was already knee-deep in a self-improvement binge, I obliged.  The book was an extremely quick read, even quicker if you skip through the pages of glowing reviews and success stories.  (But don’t skip those because some of them are pretty inspiring.)
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The most common 1099 mistake we see


It’s 1099 filing season again! All forms need to be filed with the IRS and delivered to your contractors by the last day of January. (Postmarked by 1/31, at the very least.)

A lot of business owners still think that they need to buy stock forms, print, and mail. However, the very easiest way to fulfill your 1099 filing requirement is by using an online filing service. All you do is type in your company information, enter the vendor’s name and tax ID, and fill in the appropriate box with the correct amount. The website will then file the form with the IRS electronically, and often also has a secure email delivery option for your vendor, or maybe even a mail service. Either way, you were going to have to type up the forms manually – why not input it directly into a service that also files it for you?

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10 Tips For Dealing With Customer Complaints


Customer Complaints are the hard part of owning a business. Sometimes its something that you can’t do anything about and at other times, you are at fault. The bottom line though is that we have to figure out how to deal with problems with customers when they come up. Here is a great article by Forbes contributor Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle that gives 10 tips on how to deal with it.

My favorite one is #3, “Thank your customer” and it advises to actually thank someone for their feedback. Not in a snarky way, but genuinely thank them for bringing it to your attention so that you can rectify the situation. It also gives a tip to actually hear them out without getting defensive or wanted to give them an excuse for what happened.

Honestly, this article had some great points for not only dealing with upset customers but people in all aspects of your life.

Have a friend who is upset about something you did? Use tip #5 and “Offer Support” rather than telling them that they are wrong.

Do you have an in-law that won’t let something you said go? Use tip #10 and move on when you have done everything you can do for them.

It’s a great article, go read it!

Post by Allison

2017 Year-end Newsletter


Dear Clients,

For Backyard Bookkeeper, 2017 has been an incredibly busy year. Luckily, that also meant that we had a great year, and that is all thanks to all of you who joined our company, both new clients and new team bookkeepers. Welcome!

With this short newsletter, we would like to tell you a little about the changes we’ve made this year and introduce you to our new bookkeepers and specialists–see their pictures and bios below.

We also have some big news to share, which is that starting in January 2018, we are expanding our payroll service offering, including setting up a dedicated payroll team in a new company, Backyard Payroll LLC. We are very excited about this change because we want to provide you with the best service possible and we know that with this new service we will be able to do just that. To find out more about the payroll service options or to sign up, go to http://backyardpayroll.com. If you are a current payroll customer, look for an email from us this week explaining the changes in detail and how they affect you. Your current payroll pricing will not be affected in any way by the change.

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Small Business Failure Rates: An Optimist’s View


This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Center!

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/psychology-of-success/small-business-failure-rates-an-optimists-view

The internet is full of depressing statistics about the failure rates of small businesses. But I’d like to offer an alternative view, one based on my real-life experience in the real world, which is considerably more hopeful than those stats would lead you to believe.

As a bookkeeper, I’ve had the privilege of working with a diverse array of entrepreneurs and their various projects. I’ve seen a few of them fail, but by and large, the vast majority of them have been successful. So I’m always puzzled when I see headlines like “5 Reasons 8 Out of 10 Businesses Fail,” and I wonder about their sources and the way their statistics were gathered.

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Expert Tips: How to Deal With the IRS


This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Help Center!

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/taxes/expert-tips-how-to-deal-with-the-irs

The Internal Revenue Service: a name that strikes fear into the hearts of taxpayers and business owners everywhere. If you’ve had to deal with them recently, chances are it wasn’t a very good experience. But fear not, below are a few suggestions that may ease your pain the next time the IRS comes calling.

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A New Year’s Resolution for All Entrepreneurs: “2018 Will Be the Year I Get on Top of My Finances”


I always look forward to the start of a new year. It’s exciting to think of new possibilities and set new goals; it gives me new energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead. I usually have at least one resolution that looks something like this: “This year will be the year I finally get around to [insert something I have been procrastinating on for a long time].”

I know I’m not alone in this, because every single January, I get at least a few calls and emails from people who have resolved to finally deal with their backlog of undone bookkeeping and are asking for help. Some business owners begin panicking when they are only a few months behind in doing their books, but I have worked with clients who had literally done no record-keeping whatsoever for six or more years.

If this sounds like you, don’t stress. No matter how far behind you are, 2018 can be the year that you finally catch up, get your taxes filed and fix all those problems you’ve been avoiding.

I’d like to offer four practical suggestions for any entrepreneur who has made a New Year’s resolution to improve their business finances, catch up on undone bookkeeping or deal with unresolved issues.

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The Fine Print of Our Contracts


I wanted to provide a few details about the contracts we sign with our clients, and the reasons behind the way we set up our relationships.

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