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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.
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.