I was at the Canadian Association of Women Executive and Entrepreneurs (CAWEE) Annual General Meeting in June and Irina Photography was taking head shots of all the guests. I have a great deal of respect for entrepreneurs who go out on a limb to expose (no pun intended) themselves in unconventional ways.
Thanks for making me look great in the a picture that took you all of 5 minutes Irina!
The least I can do is pass your information along to my community!
I had such an enjoyable meeting with Tammy Elliott last week and amongst the topics we covered she was kind enough to share her insights and tips on how she keeps track and builds her authentic network of connections.
Companies use benchmarking to identify the weaknesses within an organization and improve upon them, with the idea of becoming the “best of the best.” A retail manager will analyze sales, returns, profit margins, cost per square foot, and return on investment, comparing them to established benchmarks in order to make decisions about which promotions they want to repeat. Similarly, in order to be successful in life, we need to continually measure our own progress or lack of progress as it relates to whatever goals we have set for ourselves. If you have never sat down and really analyzed where you are and what you want to accomplish, then it’s not too late to start right now!
The first thing you need to do is define what you need to support you as an individual in order to be happy and content. For example, maybe you want to start exercising to lose weight and improve your heart health. Make sure your goals are achievable, specific and measurable so that there is true potential to accomplish them. Using our example, write this down as the first goal on your list: “I want to exercise,” then beside that goal make a list of all the things you need to do that will move you closer to achieving that goal: “sign up for a gym membership, enter gym dates on my calendar, visit doctor to get a stress test, walk every day for 20 minutes, buy a pedometer, recruit my friends to start a walking club, join a sports league, play tennis with my son once a week.” You get the idea, just list whatever comes to mind and in no particular order – you can sort out the order later or just check them off as you get parts of your goal done.
By breaking down your goals into manageable steps you will have clear direction and be able to focus on the details. The act of setting goals will make you think about your priorities and personal desires, as well as take into consideration other people and how they might be affected. If you face challenges to your goals, list these as well along with any solutions you may think of. The simple effect of setting a goal can empower you to believe in the outcome. Give it a try!
It’s hard enough knowing that your documents aren’t in order but then you read an article like this one and you start questioning your accountant.
Do you remember your accountant? That guy or gal who you speak to once a year when you send them your tax documents and then they invoice you, you pay them and you’ll speak again next year.
When you ask them questions do they take a moment to give you the answers or do you complete your taxes each year with unanswered questions still hanging over your head?
If your questions aren’t getting answered by your accountant then you need a new one!
kAos Group and the good accountants work hand in hand – we set up the systems to manage your documents and the accountants make sure the numbers allocated appropriately on your taxes.
Think about it this way – if your accountant told you that he/she could expense your mileage instead of your gas receipts would you be able to share the actual mileage you travelled each week last year? Most people would answer no and that is absolutely fine if you have your gas receipts handy. But if you are going to embark on a conversation with your accountant you’ll need to make sure you have organized systems that will enable you to track the information you’ll need to give him/her next year.
Here are some common questions you may ask your accountant:
1. What are the ramifications of not paying payroll or corporate taxes?
2. Can retirement funds be funded until the date of filing?
3. Should I use mileage or gas receipts for my deduction?
4. What’s the most efficient way to track personal expenses incurred on behalf of the business?
5. Will the equipment in my office be written off as an expense or should it be depreciated and why?
6. Should I hire my children as employees to save on my profits and is this legal?
7. Are those team members ‘employees’ or independent contractors and are you positive?
8. Do I need to keep my receipts
9. When should I pay wages and bonuses
Be organized and ensure your accountant wants to work with you, if they don’t then find an accountant who does.
The focus what Where and How to Get Money for your Business Venture. It’s not that I’m looking for money but I was certainly interested in attending for many reasons: personal interest, to learn and then provide information for our clients, to hear the speakers – Chandra Lee , Catherine Swift and Sean Wise (yup the guy from Dragons Den) – what an intriguing panel it was, plus I was so fortunate to see familiar faces and meet a few really great new people.
Here are a few interesting facts that I took from the panel:
– Investors want to see large amounts of revenue before they invest 50 – 500k
– Angel investors are available on the internet (go figure!)
– Succession plans should be established and reviewed regularly.
– Catherine Swift made mention that some people who create succession plans neglect to tell their successor that they’ve chosen them. She suggests ensuring that you tell the person you’ve chosen.
– A business plan should be a living document (oh my – I got excited here because that is what we say about Operations Manuals)
– Chandra Lee said her business plan helps her see trends in business and predict slow periods.
Interestingly enough David Cohen was featured as in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business “Challenge” article as a panel advisor. Here is the link to the article…
I’ve always loved the name of Nick and Judi’s company because it’s exactly what they do and they do it really well – Your Planning Partners. So you can imagine how great it felt when they asked me to contribute to their blog.
Initially I thought we’d explore the all too common love hate relationship with time or maybe the overloaded email inbox but as much as I can talk about those topics for days it just seemed timely to offer up one of the kAos Group Best Practices tools – click here to see which one we decided on. We even invented a new word!
Wait, before you click be sure to allocate at least 5-7 minutes to review their blog because it’s almost guaranteed you’ll want to read other articles in their blog roll.