Tools for Strategic Planning

Tools for Strategic Planning

Tools for Strategic Planning

If a company is operating without any strategic planning, then an imminent loss or slow progress can be anticipated. Strategic planning plays a pivotal role in the success of any business. It cannot be overlooked, neglected or considered less important at any cost – it is what defines the goal of a business.

Why is Strategic Planning so important?

You cannot go anywhere without knowing where exactly you want to go, right? In simple words, strategic planning defines “where” your business wants to go and what goals it has to accomplish. It does not necessarily mean that it will tell you the progress of a company. In other words, strategic planning is a roadmap for your company.

Fundamental Elements of Strategic Planning

When it comes to strategic planning, there is need of special emphasis on three critical elements: Values, Vision Statements, and Mission. These three are the fundamental elements of any strategic planning process.

Values: A culture of any organization is defined by the set of beliefs that are shared by everyone in an organization.
Vision Statement: The ideal or desired state of any organization is defined by a future-oriented vision statement.
Mission: It defines the true purpose of an organization/company, explains why it exists and what it aims to accomplish.

Tools for Strategic Planning

An assessment of external and internal factors is completed with the help of some major tools. These tools assist in formulating a result-oriented strategic planning. Here are some of the most common tools that are deployed by companies in the process of doing strategic planning:

SWOT ANALYSIS

An analysis method called SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is used to determine the internal weaknesses and strengths along with external openings and threats that are faced by an enterprise.

  • Strengths: These are the resources and capabilities of any company that enables it to gain a competitive edge and in generating
  • Weaknesses: These are the shortcomings that limit the progress of any company and its ability to fully utilize its resources and capabilities.
  • Opportunities: These are the openings that can be utilized by an organization to gain an edge over its competitors.
  • Threats: These can come from any direction, e., organizations, competitors, individuals, regulatory bodies, etc.

The SWOT analysis can be used to set goals, objectives, priorities, action plans, and measuring performances.

PEST or PESTEL ANALYSIS

An analysis method called PEST (political, economic, social, technology) is a micro framework that is deployed for the purpose of expanding the SWOT analysis of a company. PEST comprises of regulatory and political issues, social norms and behaviors, economic factors, technological developments, and demographics.

With PEST analysis, a company can assess its progress, weaknesses, plus points, and take advantage of its resources. When everything is fully sorted out, the process of strategic planning becomes simpler.

All in all, it is fair to say that strategic planning is crucial for any company. One cannot deny the importance of financial strategy as well.  A financial strategy is developed after a comprehensive strategic planning is complete. Just ensure that you describe the vision, fundamental values, and mission of your company and plan for future contingencies. By evaluating your weakness, strengths, opportunities, and threats, you can develop an impeccable result-oriented strategic plan for your business.

Looking for a QuickBooks Expert?

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks SetupQuickBooks Training, and QuickTune-up.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

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Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Most business owners find it difficult to distinguish between the exempt and non-exempt employees, and it also causes a great deal of confusion between employers and employees. Whether you are entitled to the overtime payment or not (usually means the extra time you work after the standard 40 hours for every week), depending on your exemption position according to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), remains the primary ambiguity in this regard. However, various other jobs don’t fall under these standards, like agricultural jobs, truck driving, and others, which are usually governed by other law organizations.

Majority of citizens in U.S come under the FLSA and you can either classify them as exempt or non-exempt, depending on the overtime pay regulations. As an amateur, you may not have a clear idea of what category of workers these are, but don’t ponder over it because that’s what we are here for today! We’ll give you a quick breakdown of what rules apply to which workers. So let’s dive right in.

Non-Exempt Employees

If you work as a non-exempt employee for more than the standard time per week, that’s 40 hours, then according to the FLSA policies, you are entitled to extra pay for the time and one-half of the standard hours of overtime work you spend. Concisely, if you are working on the hourly basis and get paid for the hours you work, apart from the standard hourly paid rate, then you are classified as a non-exempt employee. If you are a non-exempt employee, then you will not qualify for the numerous white collar job exemptions. Such employees usually include maintenance, technicians, construction, semi-skilled, blue collar, laborers, and clericals.

Exempt Employees

Such employees don’t get any protection and cover from the FLSA, and this means that they are not entitled to any overtime payments. According to the FLSA, airline and sales employees are exempt, and if you meet with three points, then you are in this category. These are the rules that apply:

  • If you are getting a payment of $23,600 for the year
  • If you get paid on the wage basis (doesn’t apply to people who work on “hourly basis,” like school teachers, and physicians)
  • If you perform duties on the job that are classified as exempt

To qualify for the exempt status, the nature of your job is also taken into account. Typically, the duties of exempt employees are high, and the FLSA splits them into three further categories:

Executive

Employees are exempt from the FLSA policies and rules if they perform duties such as:

  • Supervise more than one employee
  • Work as a manager
  • Having the power to hire, assign tasks, fire and so on.

In most cases, such people are usually considered in charge or the boss of the business or company.

Administrator

For people who have duties that support the business, like public relations, accounting, human resources and payroll staffs, then they fall under this category. Duties must also include:

  • Office work
  • Tasks related to the management or customers of the business
  • Independent discretion and judgment of significant business matters

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Government Policies

Government Policies

Most small business owners are well informed about what government policies apply to them, specifically what FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) policies they need to be in accordance with according to their business. However, an increasing number of small businesses have been cited for policy violations. It makes one wonder if small businesses are as informed as they think they are about some of the more common FLSA policies. Below is a list of some of the more egregious violations.

Unpaid Compensable Time

A good example is unpaid compensated time; this is when an employee works through lunch but is not paid for that time. That is if the lunch is unpaid, but the employee engages in work that benefits the company they can be entitled to appropriate compensation. Granted, there is some gray area to this policy, but it is one that is in need of handling through communication with the employee and the proper authorities instead of hoping that no one notices.

Unpaid Vacation Time

Unpaid vacation time occurs in mainly one instance: when an employee leaves (whether through being fired or quitting) they are entitled to their paid vacation time. Though the FLSA does not require paid vacation, if the company offers it then it is considered part of the employee’s compensation for their work, just like their wage or salary. If the employee is no longer working for the company, they are entitled to these earnings.

Overtime Status

The FLSA guarantees overtime pay to non-exempt employees. Conversely, they do not guarantee it to exempt employees. The rub is the classification. Now, there are numerous criteria to determine which classification an employee falls into, but it is up to the small business owner to make sure that they are correctly designating the people that work for their company. This can be a major violation if the government finds the owned to be non-compliant.

Overtime Pay

Likewise, if the calculation of overtime pay is determined to be faulty, it can be a major FLSA violation. The FLSA states that any non-exempt employee working over 40 hours in a workweek is to be paid one and half times their wage. Of course, there can be a miscalculation as to when exactly an individuals work week begins or ends, which is to say that if a small business has non-exempt employees, it needs to double check that it is paying the overtime as per FLSA regulations.

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Taking Your Company Paperless

Going paperless has been the way of the future in business over the past decade. People might have scoffed at the idea a few generations ago, but millennials and those who conduct business with them demand innovative solutions not only for the environment but also to cut down on the mundane drudgery of work place repetition.

And with the way things have been moving, people no longer feel like cogs in a wheel but rather integral team players with technological know how. So if your business has not moved completely digital yet, the following are just a few of the many reasons why you should be going paperless.

Boost in Efficiency

People don’t want to be doing the same task at work all day. With paper processes, the middle man is always the employee, who faithfully sits by the phone filling out papers for a client. Or the employee is busy digging in the company store room for files.

Logging onto the computer, whether for cloud accounting or client information, is leaps and bounds easier than putting people on hold or telling them that you will phone them back. You can be on the same page as the client in minutes rather than days by having their digital information at one’s fingertips on CRM. The same goes for talking between departments. It is much more efficient to send emails back and forth delineating the various degrees of urgency than to try to play telephone tag with employees in varied departments. Time is at a premium, so when a person can log on or fire off an email, time is saved from chasing down files and individuals that may not be easy to find.

Disaster Recovery

There’s no telling when a disaster might strike; maybe a flood, theft or a fire breakout could easily cripple your company. What will happen to the documents that are paper-based? Most probably, you will lose them because you don’t have a backup, or if you do have copies, wouldn’t they be likely stored in the same premises too? Going paperless can help avoid this problem. Once you store everything on the cloud, you will not have to worry about the data that you lost in the paper forms because they will all be available on the cloud and you can access them at any time.

Creative Solutions

Digital apps and programs like QuickBooks are often designed to integrate together. This is a virtual dream, literally, when it comes to helping the departments to coordinate. Without such products, people are stuck doing the same processes with paper over and over. The rewriting and photocopying of such pages can really only go so far.

To go digital, one needs to be savvy with employing people in the know-how. These teams can help to train others on processes as well as put them in place. But once paperless systems have been implemented, very few employers will regret the transition. It shows up on the bottom line quite apparently over the years as well.

Need help getting your company to paperless?  Contact STAC Bizness because we can help with establishing your company’s accounting, payroll, and human resource operations in a paperless world.  Join our newsletter for more free tips for running your business.

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7 Best Practices for QuickBooks Online

7 Best Practices for QuickBooks Online

Even if you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for a long time, it’s good to step back and evaluate your actions.

“Best practices” aren’t enforceable rules. They’re simply guidelines businesses commonly follow in one area or another. If you’re in retail, for example, one best practice might be to always ask customers checking out if they found everything they were looking for. This serves two purposes: It conveys a feeling of concern for the customer’s shopping experience, and it may also lead to increased sales.

QuickBooks Online has many best practices, some of which may serve multiple purposes, including these:

  • They keep your company data safe and clean.
  • They provide insight on your financial status.
  • They save time.
  • They can lead you to better relationships with customers and vendors.

Are any or all the following common practices for your business?

1. Reconcile accounts regularly.

One of QuickBooks Online’s most useful features is its ability to connect to your financial institution’s websites and download cleared transactions. QuickBooks Online also offers tools to help you keep your accounts reconciled online like you used to do every month when your paper statement came. Reconciling accounts can help you uncover errors. It gives you a truer picture of your cash flow, and it improves the accuracy and timeliness of some reports.

It’s not a particularly pleasant process, but you should be reconciling your accounts regularly in QuickBooks Online. We can help.

2. Clean up your lists.

Some lists in QuickBooks Online aren’t overly long. You don’t have to worry about, for example, Payment Methods, Terms, or Classes. Your lists of customers and vendors, products, and services, on the other hand, can grow unwieldy over the years. This means it can take more time than it should be scrolling through lists when you’re using those entities in transactions. It also puts unnecessary stress on your company file. If you can’t delete any, at least make them inactive.

3. Never leave QuickBooks Online open when you leave your work area.

This goes for everyone, even people who work alone and don’t access their company files away from their work areas. The obvious reason is to keep someone else from getting in and authorizing payments, for example, or otherwise compromising your financial information. It also protects the integrity of your data file in case your internet connection suffers some kind of outage.

4. Keep track of 1099 vendors.

Whether your company uses 10 vendors or a hundred or more, you may have to supply at least some of them with an IRS Form 1099 at about the same time you’re preparing W-2s for employees. Your 1099-related tasks will be much easier if those individuals and/or companies are earmarked. If you think vendors might need 1099s when you create their records in QuickBooks Online, click in the box to the left of Track payments for 1099 in the lower right corner. Not sure? Ask us.

5. Classify everything with care.

Every time you have to create a record or transaction where categories are involved (i.e., Classes, Customers and Vendors, Territories), check and double-check that you’ve assigned them the correct classification. Errors here can result not only in problems with daily workflow, but your reports will not be accurate.

6. Create a meaningful group of Classes, and use them faithfully.

They’ll help you make better business decisions.

To create your list of Classes, click the gear icon in the upper right and select All Lists | Classes | New.

7. View reports on a regular basis.

There are some advanced financial reports in QuickBooks Online that we should be creating for you on a regular basis, either monthly or quarterly. These include Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. The mechanics of creating them aren’t difficult, but analyzing them is. You should be running reports on your own at frequencies that you think would be helpful, like A/R Aging Detail, Unpaid Bills, and Sales by Class Detail.

If you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for a while, you could probably come up with your own list of best practices. If you’re new to the site, consider scheduling some time with us to go over more of them. Develop good habits from the start, and there won’t be nearly as much need for troubleshooting down the road.

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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Salon & Spa Bookkeeping

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Salon & Spa Bookkeeping

Whether you manage your own accounting books with a small salon business accounting software, or you have hired a professional salon bookkeeper to help, you will find that managing your books will help play a major role in the success of your salon business.

Even though the salon business is a little different in how it is run, the bookkeeping doesn’t need to be such a challenge.

You will mostly receive income for services, products, booth rentals, and even commissions.  Along with this might include a lease, payroll, products, equipment, insurance and other license fees.  Your salon business will require some of the bookkeeping methods to help you keep your revenue and expenses straight.

Probably the best advice I ever got in my life was from the head of the accounting department, Mr. Hutchinson, I believe at the Glidden Company in Chicago, and he told me, ‘You really aren’t cut out for accounting.

Bob Newhart

Here are some handy Beauty Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Tips:

USE APPROPRIATE SALON & SPA BOOKKEEPING METHODS

You sell to your clients your services and products, so you need meticulous records to keep up with it all.  If you deal with any receipts, you will want to use some sort of binder to track them and divide it into months.  Then use it to keep bank statements, receipts, and deposit slips.  This will provide easy referencing and will protect you in the case of an audit.  So you will want to use your business checks or your business debit card to make purchases.  Always remember to save your receipts and deposits correctly.

Good bookkeeping for salon owners involves tracking expenses.

A salon business with inventory is normally required to report under the accrual method.  However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.  Inventory as items purchased with the intent to resell, like shampoos, brushes, and other salon products you might sell in your salon & spa business.  If your salon fits under a certain annual gross income, and most small salons fit in this group, then you can elect to choose a much simpler cash basis method to account for your inventory.  Simplicity is the main reason Salon & Spa owners want to choose this cash based method.  Setting up and using the accrual method proves to be much more complex to manage for small salon owners.

But if you’re managing a larger inventory in your salon, then we recommend an accrual method of accounting for your salon.

For most small cosmetology, hair, tanning, beauty and other salon & spa owners who are not inventorying heavy, the cash basis will prove to work best in most cases.

If you are unsure, contact a Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Professional

Setup and Use Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Technology

Think about all the services your business offers, products your business sells, and even how many stylists might work in your salon.  Setup any products you will sell.  You will need to setup your business, corporation, tax information, and employees to get started.

Go over your accounts monthly, and track receipts, deposits, and bank statements to your folders.  This would be a good time to consider using proven Beauty Salon & Spa accounting software.

Salon & Spas are cash-intensive businesses.  Features you might need in your accounting software include payroll, inventory, commissions, invoicing, payments and reports.

Hire a Professional Salon & Spa Bookkeeper to Help Out

Salon & Spa owners are no different when it comes to needing help.  If you are not interested in struggling with all the setup and management of the software, look into hiring an online salon & spa bookkeeping expert to come help you.  Rather than struggling with this, make accounting easier by hiring a bookkeeper or investing in salon business management software.  These tools can help you track your expenses, and generate invoices.  This will help you implement bookkeeping practices for your salon business.

Also, don’t be like other salon owners, and wait until the end of the tax year to get their financials organized.  Waiting until the end of the year can also result in more errors so be careful about being too hurried.  If you follow these simple bookkeeping guidelines for salon & spa business, your year-end tasks will be less daunting.  You will be better prepared to meet your salon business financial obligations.

Your main goal is to get clients to come in so you can, in turn, provide them with a great experience, so make sure to use technology to help you.  So, let STAC Bizness Solutions help you with your Salon Bookkeeping.


Looking for a QuickBooks Expert?

QuickBooks ProAdvisor Houston Tx

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks SetupQuickBooks Training, and QuickTune-up.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

To schedule an initial consultation with us, please click the button below.