Author: Janet Behm (46 articles found) - Clear Search


The Role Of The Business Owner

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"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy

When I meet with Salt Lake County business owners and clients, we always go over the particulars of their business (how money comes in, how it goes out, accrual vs. cash, etc.), but when the moment is right, I often stump the client when I ask them this question -- and, actually, I'll ask it of you:

"What business are you actually in?"

As an example of what I'm talking about, let's say you run a daycare business.

In fact, not only do you run a daycare business, you run it very well. Your employees are licensed and trained to the highest standards; your facilities are top-notch; you've got years of experience and parents rave about how their kids are happy when they pick them up.

But you're losing money, because you don't "get" what I'm about to tell you.

You see, you could have the World's Greatest [your industry here] Business (in absolute truth), and still have a poor bottom line. Read More...


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Three Overlooked Ways To Control Costs In Your Business

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"Never spend your money before you have it." -Thomas Jefferson

Profitable revenue is the only thing that will grow your business.

Are there other elements that fuel that process? Absolutely. But you must control costs so that you can forecast and attain PROFIT for the good of your business.

Some people will see this as greedy or profiteering, but a lot of those people just don't know what it takes to run a business. For the rest of us, it's important to keep one another in check with various systems in place to control costs and maintain profitability.

Here are three ideas that often go overlooked -- and if you have questions about any item, please reach out and let me know. I'm available to discuss ways to help you save (and therefore gain).

Annual Renegotiation

Depending on your business model, setting a yearly meeting with vendors to renegotiate terms and payment can be a great first step to controlling costs for your business.

Before setting meetings in stone, you should probably follow a guiding principle in business: whenever possible don't set a contract any longer than a year. This might seem obvious, but many businesses think this longer-term strategy will help them lower costs. That is not the case. Read More...


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Cash vs. Accrual Accounting: Two Main Differences For Businesses To Consider

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"Accounting is the language of business." -Warren Buffett

Let's look at a few differentiators between the two and how each could help, or hurt, your business moving forward.

As always, please let me know if you or your accounting team has any questions on this topic. I would love to help in any way I can, or provide resources for further understanding. My goal is for your business to succeed!

Timing

The key difference between cash and accrual accounting is largely due to timing.

For instance, cash accounting considers revenue right when the cash is received, and right when you pay expenses. Many businesses opt for cash accounting because it's easier to keep track of -- it's a simple method especially for entry-level accountants to maintain.

On the other hand, accrual-based accounting keeps track of earnings as opposed to what's actually been received. Although cash accounting is simple, accrual is more popular because of this timing: businesses consider revenue upon "project completion" instead of waiting to receive the money. Read More...


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Smart Employers Are Rewarding These Four Traits In Their Employees

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"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers." -Stephen R. Covey

When you go out of your way to reward an employee, it's easy to wonder: What do other employees think about this?

And although jealousy is a possibility, rewarding team members can also motivate other employees to "level up" their performance to get on a similar track for growth.

To foster a culture built on growth and "raising the bar" for one another, it's important to reward your employees with regularity and honesty. But it's equally important to do so on an objective basis.

Here are a few items to look out for when rewarding your employees. These are "soft skills" that don't necessarily show up in typical employee evaluations, but they are critical to building a healthy team.

(Exactly what to reward them with is another conversation for another day. But get creative with it -- they will value the thought you put into those rewards.) Read More...


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Are You Safe From the Financial Storm?

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Whether it's the rumors of recession (or worse), continued chaos in the political world (and still over a year away from elections -- yikes), increasing cultural division, or something more local, it's a mess out there.

Behm's Key Reminders to Keep Safe from the Financial Storm:

1) What you choose to "ingest" will greatly impact your state of mind.

This will always be the case. Truly -- the media outlets and websites do better (financially) when there is chaos.

That means that there is a very real (monetary) incentive for them to highlight turmoil. If you're wise, you steer clear. I'm not suggesting that you stick your head in the sand, just ... use a strong filter.

2) The only thing certain about the stock market is that it's volatile.

With all that talk of negative yield curves and spooked markets, it's hard to feel confident about long-term outlooks. Which might mean that the best "investment" these days may be YOURSELF ... and your business.

Which leads to...

3) The only thing you can truly control is yourself. The economy, the local market for your goods and services, your retirement -- much of it is out of your hands, in a very real sense.

That said, we met with business owners and clients last week who were taking positive action. With our advice, just a few small tweaks can realize six figures of true savings over the course of years.

Let me know if I can do the same for you.

Until then...

BE THE ROAR not the echo®

Warmly,

Janet Behm
Utah Real Estate Accountants
(801) 278-2700


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Focus Less On Sales Pitch And More On Adding Value

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"I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way." -Lee Iacocca

We've made it one of our goals to give our clients more than they expect from us, and go beyond the mere transaction level. We never regret the investment we make into relationships with you and our clients.

So, along those lines, I wanted to give you some ideas that we've picked up over the years for why and HOW you can do this too.

You see, not every marketing message should be a targeted sales pitch. That can really pester your clients and prospects -- when your only interaction with them is about whether or not to buy from you. I've written plenty about how critical your *relationship* is with your customers and prospects.

And, thinking in those terms, if you're constantly "pitching", it's like asking a girl you like to go on a date with you every time you see her. That won't work in romance ... and it doesn't work in a real business.

There are many ways that you can do this more effectively -- ranging from simple gifts, to other ways to demonstrate that you care. But with all of the tools and resources out there, it's important that you remember that you can also provide your prospects and clients with knowledge. And specialized knowledge is always welcomed. Read More...


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Four Steps For Attracting Better Prospective Salt Lake County Clients

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"Be careful not to compromise what you want most for what you want now." -Zig Ziglar

I should preface this to say that these steps are rooted in business ethics which, essentially, mean laying out all your information on the table for prospective clients. They can take it or leave it, but they'll at least get out of limbo. And 'limbo' is never good for you or them ... unless it's at the end of a summer luau party.

These steps are oriented to the kind of businesses that pursue higher-level clientele. A retail business, restaurant, etc. doesn't have the same kind of dynamics for which some of these steps make sense ... but that said, you CAN adapt them to your particular situation -- because they work.

So here are four steps for using the slow season to reach high value Salt Lake County prospects who have been on the fence:

1) Make an Effort to Know Them

This point is exactly how it sounds: an effort on your part. Is your prospective client a family man? Then it shouldn't take four or five meetings to remember his wife and kids' names. If not family, make a point early on to memorize his or her interests, hobbies, and tendencies. Prospects, in the end, will go with the business they feel a personal connection with. And that might start with you going to one of their kids' soccer games. Read More...


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9 (More) Reasons You Should Own Your Business' Building

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Working remotely is more prevalent in work culture than ever before.

The rise of coworking spaces like WeWork and PlexPod offer alternative, fun and modern ways to work alongside, and potentially collaborate with, other individuals in their own respective ventures.

In addition, many business owners prefer working from the comfort of home or local coffee shops.

With these options, I pose the question: Is purchasing your own space for your own business worth it anymore?

Well, one good reason is that your customers/clients will associate you and your space together. The more stable the location, the more comfortable they will be from meeting to meeting.

Oh, but I'm just getting started. I have nine more great reasons for you today...

9 (More) Reasons You Should Own Your Business' Building

"Don't wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait." - Will Rogers

2. You can personalize your work environment.
Whether through technological installation or temperature control, you are the boss of your business AND your space. You also have more power over maintenance and who you allow to work in and on your building. Read More...



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Establishing Clear Pricing For Your Customers

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"Mystification is simple; clarity is the hardest thing of all." -Julian Barnes

The first thing we'll address is pricing. Why? Because it's the first thing a prospective client wants to know. When they ask (and they will ask) about your price, the last thing you want to do is beat around the bush.

Prospects will know when you're avoiding the price of your offering.

Set your price based on the value of your offering. And when you do . . . stand your ground with confidence. You know what your offering is worth, and you shouldn't have to fluctuate the price on every sale just to make it work. This is obviously easier said than done, but it's incredibly powerful in practice.

Ways to Pay

Although this is another tip on price, it's just as important.

Cell phones are expensive. And even though cell phone companies should also stand their ground (because we've now seen what they're worth to people), many have payment plans that make phones an easier palm-sized-pill to swallow. Read More...


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Have You Been Thinking Too Small For Your Salt Lake County Business In 2019?

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"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." -John D. Rockefeller

We're officially over halfway through 2019.

And as you reflect on the first half of the year, it's important to learn from wins AND losses moving forward.

In terms of ways we can help ... your finances and books are what we do best. But you're the only one who can take your Salt Lake County business and secure clients, deliver value, and repeat the process year-in and year-out.   This is part of what we mean by "BE THE ROAR not the echo!"

I see my role in your business as more than merely financial, though. I'd like to offer you some coaching, and a little "halftime pep talk" so that when we close the books on 2019, we show a victory, rather than a loss.

So, I'll start here: Have you been thinking too small?

Most Salt Lake County business owners don't ask themselves that question nearly enough. We get so caught up in the day-to-day concerns of operating that we don't take the time to consider it. Read More...


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