New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Success

It’s the start of a new year, and with it the usual onslaught of New Year’s Resolutions; lose weight, save money, improve this-and-that, etc. For small business owners, the start of a new year can be the perfect time to assess and plan for the year ahead. Here are some ideas to kick start a New Year’s *revolution* for your business! Finance Yes, we’re starting with the “F” word.  Cash flow is a non-negotiable consideration for business sustainability, and January is the perfect time to craft a plan for success!  For most people finance is completely overwhelming, so here are a few easy tasks to get the ball rolling.   Year-at-a-glance budget The word “budget” is tough for most business owners.  My challenge to you is to simply take a one-page year calendar, and plot out major revenues and expenses.  Things like: Tax Payments Staff Hires/Training for Busy Season Seasonal spikes in revenue (summer? Christmas?) Equipment maintenance & replacement Here’s a sample blank calendar that I use in my own business.  This type of long-range planning can be an asset when you’re making the day-to-day financial decisions.   Financial Organization January is the perfect time to build habits that will carry you through the year! Start a filing system.  Even if it’s only a box or a dedicated desk drawer, having a single drop spot for all financial paperwork makes bill paying and tax time easier. Find a bookkeeper/accountant.  April sneaks up on us business owners and before we know it tax season is upon us! Start asking colleagues and friends for recommendations on working with a finance pro to make tax-time easier.  Resources like IPBC (Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada) can be a good starting point if you’re new to your business. Open a savings account; many banks will offer this for free if you already have a business chequing. Get into the habit of using it for money that doesn’t belong directly to your business, i.e. GST collected on sales, commissions owed to staff, etc.  This helps prevent the “have it, spend it” syndrome.   Make More Money Who doesn’t want their business to be profitable, and then some?  When it comes to making money you can do two things: Increase revenue Reduce expenses Pick one thing from each category that you will commit to for this year.  Some ideas: Revenue- are you able to offer...
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7 Strategies to Survive Your Business Year-End

Is your small business prepared for the year ahead? Let The Corporate Canuck help start you on a path to success with this tried-and-true list of year end tasks to make 2016 your best year yet!

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Tax Tuesday: Free Software to File Your Taxes!

If you have a relatively uncomplicated tax situation (i.e. just have T4s, or a simple self-employed business) you may be able to use CRA Netfile-certified software for FREE! Pros Free! Also, most software programs will guide you through the common tax forms to make sure you don’t miss any important info. Cons May not be able to carry-forward information from previous years. Free versions may be restricted to lower-incomes or simple tax filers. We always recommend working with a pro to maximize your tax benefits, but free software can be a great way to educate yourself about the tax system and help get organized to work with your tax pro. Want more info? Check out the list of free, Netfile-ready programs from the CRA Website....
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Tax Tuesday: 5 Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

A tax error can be costly (in more ways than one)!  It can lead to penalty fees and interest fees from the government, as well as additional accounting costs in the event of an audit. Canada Revenue Agency has released a list of the 5 most commonly reported errors on tax returns; check out the full list HERE....
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Tax Tuesday: 10 things you are doing to attract a CRA audit

No one likes to be the focus of an audit.  Many small business owners and self-employed persons feel they are not prepared or knowledgeable enough to go through an audit without the assistance of a tax professional. Here’s a list of 10 ways you may be attracting the attention of a CRA auditor when filing your taxes. Our advice for tax season: Get organized and get help from the pros!...
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