It’s that time of year when millions of Americans start anticipating their government tax refund. As a small business owner, I am just praying I don’t owe Uncle Sam a penny. Last year I got back $21 and I was so excited. Previous years I was zeroed out or I owed less than $500. So, that gave me little joy.
Before you plan on buying the latest Apple Watch or tablet for personal use. Let’s leverage your tax return to fuel your business, in order to, make sure you succeed in 2015.
Know The Numbers
We tend to spend money before we actually receive it or know the exact figure that will be returning to us. After you take your accountant all of your information, complied from your bookkeeping software such as Outright, sit down and analyze the numbers to make sure they are correct. I know people are overly eager to spend the thousands they are receiving. Don’t plan until the check has been finalized with funds in your account.
In 2014, I met hundreds of small business women owners who did not have their legal entities in order. They are operating as sole proprietors that didn’t have the right copyright protection or trademarks. This should be the first thing you do with your funds. Register your business with your city, acquire “Doing Business As” paperwork, EIN, permits, licenses and other business necessities. Being right with the government is very important to staying on the right track. Read our legal section to get a deeper understanding.
Save Before You Spend
This really should be the first thing you do but I personally believe your legal affairs to be taken care of first. If you have not set up a business checking and savings account for your company head to your local bank or credit union to set it up. Developing relationships with your bankers is part of having a strong foundation in your business. After you put a minimum amount of money in your checking account put 10% off your tax return into your savings account. This is your business next egg.
Product Based Companies+
Time to purchase everything in sight for the spring, summer, and fall, if possible. If you have not registered with your local wholesale markets put that on your To Do List today! Having inventory is the main factor in your company being successful outside of an amazing website, customer service, and marketing. If you can break your money down so it can go over several months of buying merchandise for your company that’s great. It is vital to be adding new merchandise monthly. Also, if you are needing a new logo, website, or marketing materials this is the time to invest in them.
Service Based Companies
Invest in an amazing website, photography, graphics, and headshot in that order. As a service based company I know the importance of appearance; wanting future clients to see me as an authority in the business consultation world. This is the perfect time to purchase your website template from Template Monster or BluChic. You can hire someone such as Davon to install the template plus make tweaks to it. In addition, contacting Amy of CJW Design Company to work on pamphlets, business cards, flyers, and much more. Katrice, the Editor of The Atlanta Tribune, always mentions the importance of headshots. This is your time to invest.
Invest In Knowledge
Personally, I would set aside $300 to invest into growing my knowledge of the business realm. This is not limited to just the eBooks, Digital Launch Kits, or Business Essential Prints I personally sale. You can use the extra funds to attend conferences like ALT Summit, Lucky FABB, INC Grow, and many others. Search on Eventbrite or Meetup for local conferences, seminars, and workshops. You might luck up and land an early bird deal. Purchase your entire book wish list from Amazon. Check out our Pinterest Reading list 2012, 2013, and 2014 if you need some ideas.
Have you been looking to join your local Chamber of Commerce, Urban League, CRAVE, or another type of professional organization that can help you. Contact the local chapter to get new member fee information. There are several professional organizations you can join to help with your small business.
Hire The Professional
If you are needing help in business then make this a priority for your company. Do some research to find the best business consultant, Public Relations specialist, Marketing Company or whatever your company needs. Yes, there are a lot of things you can do yourself, but hiring the professional is something you shouldn’t skip especially if you can afford it. It’s an invest and tax right off.
There are so many options you have with leveraging your tax return to fuel your business. The most important thing is planning and being wise with the money. Treating yourself is great but putting the funds towards your dreams is even better. What are your plans for your extra cash flow this tax season?